If you’re looking for a modern, practical and stylish choice of kitchen flooring, you might be tempted by ceramic tiles, wood or natural stone flooring – but would you look twice at vinyl? Let’s face it, vinyl flooring has been having a bit of an image problem, ever since the market (and our homes!) were flooded with cheap and nasty vinyl sheet flooring back in the 1980s.
But that was then.
Today, Luxury Vinyl Tiles are hugely popular and the preferred choice of flooring for commercial designers and industrial fit-outs where durability, robustness and cost are key considerations. LVT flooring is now the fastest growing market segment in the domestic flooring industry too. Isn’t it time you got on board?
Here’s a summary of the obvious benefits of LVT and why you shouldn’t underestimate its all-round appeal as a flooring solution for your home.
Exciting and realistic designs
One of the main advantages of LVT flooring technology is that tiles are available in a vast array of designs and colours. These include mosaic and checked patterns, florals and geometrics in different tile shapes and sizes.
Innovative manufacturing techniques mean that you can now choose vinyl tiles that accurately mimic the appearance of other materials such as hardwood or stone tiles, owing to impeccable standards of design, texture and finish. Choose bevelled edging for added authenticity and add additional feature strips to enhance the detail of the design and do away with the need for grouting.
In fact, LVT’s recent meteoric rise in popularity is chiefly due to the ability to provide a robust, versatile and virtually maintenance free alternative to tiled and hard wood flooring with a realism that is much admired. From the look and grain of wood flooring to the texture and feel of slate tiles, LVT is a viable, affordable substitute.
Affordable and practical choice
If you are working to a strict home improvement budget, you may have consigned yourself to the fact that top-of-the-range flooring products are simply out of reach. However, with LVT, you can bring luxury designs into your home at significantly lower prices.
In contrast to cheaper vinyl composite tiles, luxury vinyl tiles (like these ones from Harvey Maria) have a wear layer – a clear layer that covers the print layer and protects it from scuffs, scratches, wear and tear. When you make your product selection, this is an important criterion: the thicker the wear layer, the greater the quality and the longevity of the tile.
Flooring manufacturers offer LVT flooring with wear layers in a wide range of thicknesses, ranging from 0.2mm for residential use all the way up to just over 1mm for heavy commercial environments. Choose thicker LVT tiles for the best quality:
- 0.5mm thickness is suitable for commercial areas with low/medium foot traffic such as offices
- 0.7mm thickness is suitable for commercial areas with high foot traffic such as schools, hospital corridors, and building entrances
Clean, safe and comfortable floors for your family
Whether you have small children or pets, or just recognise the importance of kitchen hygiene, LVT offers a comfortable, environmentally friendly solution. Unlike ceramic tiles or even hardwood flooring, the surface is naturally warm underfoot with a nice, cushioned feel. Of course, you can use LVT with underfloor heating installations for an even homelier atmosphere.
Choose thicker LVT tiles for extra sound insulation, particularly in high traffic or open plan areas of your home – LVT is noticeably quieter to walk on than stone tiles, wood or even laminate.
In addition to offering water proof and slip resistant properties, the surface is hygienic and stain resistant making it a doddle to keep clean. Regular mopping will suffice as a simple cleaning regime, but you can use chemical household cleaners for a deep clean as and when necessary.
When you’re cleaning your LVT floors, you can afford to be a little more thorough compared to other types of flooring. This is due to the protective wear layer that provides fantastic scuff, scratch, stain, chip, crack and dent resistance.
Easy installation and repair
Installing LVT flooring in your home couldn’t be simpler. Flooring can simply be clicked or glued in place, and installed over existing plywood or concrete subfloors without much fuss – much quicker than installing ceramic, wood or stone flooring.
Even though the installation consists of tiles, there’s no need to grout – a messy job at the best of times. Feature strips act as a grouting substitute, and they’re quick and efficient to install while replicating the look.
If the unthinkable happens and a tile gets damaged – no big deal. Rather than having to replace the entire floor, LVT tiles are sold in individually tiled packs, meaning you can simply swap out an old for a new tile.
A hardwearing, long-term flooring solution
Made from extremely robust materials, LVT is built to withstand heavy use – whether in domestic or commercial environments. The average lifespan of a high performance LVT floor is about 25-30 years, and many manufacturers offer generous warranties that reflect confidence in their products.
From high levels of foot traffic to exposure to moisture, there’s not much this flooring cannot withstand. Use hallways and foyers, dining and reception rooms, bedrooms and even kitchen and bathroom environments. LVT is waterproof and non-slip, suitable for use with underfloor heating, and the fabulous choice of designs available will ensure that it looks great in any part of your home.