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What is LVT?

Rob Eckersley explains what LVT is, its benefits, and provides a guide for those who may need help choosing a supplier.

LUXURY Vinyl Tile (LVT) is a type of resilient flooring that’s gained significant popularity owing to its versatility, durability, and realistic appearance. The term ‘LVT’ can be considered a group name for various types of flooring that fall within that category. For example, SPC (Stone Polymer Composite), resilient flooring and glue-downs.

What are the benefits of LVT?
LVT is designed to mimic the look of natural materials like hardwood, stone, or ceramic tile, but it offers several practical advantages over these traditional materials. Here are some key features and benefits of Luxury Vinyl Tile:

  • LVT is designed using advanced printing and embossing techniques that replicate the texture, patterns, and colour variations of natural materials. This allows for various ranges of design options, from classic to contemporary styles.
  • LVT is highly durable and can withstand heavy foot traffic, making it suitable for residential and commercial applications. It’s resistant to scratches, stains, and dents, making it a practical choice for busy areas.
  • One of the notable advantages of LVT is its resistance to water and moisture. This makes it an excellent flooring option for areas prone to spills, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. Impervia flooring as an example, is completely waterproof.
  • LVT is easy to clean and maintain. Regular sweeping or vacuuming, along with occasional damp mopping, is typically sufficient to keep it looking new.
  • Some ‘LVT’ products such as Impervia flooring have a built-in underlayment that provides additional comfort and noise reduction. Impervia’s backing provides a 21dB impact sound reduction.
  • LVT is available in various installation formats, including glue-down, click-lock, and loose-lay. Click-lock LVT is especially popular for its ease of installation, as it doesn’t require adhesive and can be installed as a floating floor. Impervia flooring utilises the Valinge 5G-i locking system which is said to be one of the finest systems on the market today.
  • LVT offers the look of high-end materials like hardwood or stone at a more affordable price point. This makes it a budget-friendly option for achieving a stylish and sophisticated look.
  • Some LVT products are manufactured using eco-friendly materials and production processes, which can appeal to environmentally conscious consumers.
    It’s important to note LVT comes in different quality levels and price ranges. Higher-quality LVT tends to have better wear-layers, which are important for long-term durability. When choosing, it’s a good idea to consider factors such as wear-layer construction, manufacturing process, installation method, availability of certification and testing records along with warranty coverage.
    What do you need to look for from your supplier?
    With many suppliers on the market offering various forms of ‘LVT’ flooring, it can be difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff. Below you’ll see a simple checklist you can question and critique your suppliers with, to help you make the best choice:
  • Do they have an EPD on their product? An EPD (Environmental Product Declaration), is a document which transparently communicates the environmental performance or impact of any product or material over its lifetime.
  • Overall transparency and availability of information including product testing. There are many tests manufacturers can undertake. As manufacturers of Impervia flooring, we test for release of formaldehyde, slip resistance, heat exposure and acoustic performance to name a few.
  • Does the supplier clearly show information on their website? This information can be product based, for example construction, specification, and fitting, or socially based, for example environmental commitments.
  • Are any claims backed by official bodies? Regulatory authorities such as FloorScore can provide a significant qualification to claims on emissions and performance.
  • What is their on-hand stock availability? Of course, it’s unfair to expect suppliers to have mountains of stock of hundreds of colours – and bespoke work is another matter; but do they carry stock of multiple lines to enable them to deliver in a timely manner? Or is everything made to order? While not something to completely write-off using a company, it could be evidence of ‘moving’ production, for example, they order stock from various places which potentially makes any consistent ordering and quality or performance claims difficult to control.

    Overall, LVT is a versatile flooring option that offers a combination of aesthetics, durability, and ease of maintenance, making it a popular choice for residential and commercial applications.
    Rob Eckersley is director at The Solid Wood Flooring Company
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