In the world of music, vinyl has old school charm. In the world of flooring, memories of vinyl sheet goods (or linoleum), are not quite nostalgic… Lino was a good affordable floor twenty years ago, but is now considered kitsch and has an unsavory, plastic look to it.
But about 4 years ago the flooring industry reinvented and perfected Vinyl, calling it ‘Luxury Vinyl.’ Most commonly called LVT or LVP, ‘luxury vinyl tile’ and ‘luxury vinyl plank,’ it is vinyl, but reinvented.
Aesthetically, Luxury Vinyl is more like laminate than linoleum, in that it mimics. LVP mimics the appearance of hardwood and LVT mimics the appearance of stone. You know what, on second thought maybe ‘mimic’ isn’t the right word—it kind of implies copying, but falling short… ‘Emulates’ is a better word, since LVT and LVP so closely achieve their desired look. State-of-the-art embossing methods used by manufacturers accurately recreate unique wood grain and stone patterns, as well as – and this is what is especially impressive about Luxury Vinyl – the texture of hardwood or tile. It’s difficult to show in a photo, but the surface of higher quality Luxury Vinyl has a three dimensional texture just like hardwood and tile.
What really makes it special though, is its performance. It is extremely durable, waterproof and does not create much of a mess during installation. LVT and LVP is a very hard product. It is harder than hardwood, so even the largest dogs are hard-pressed to claw it up. Luxury Vinyl is also completely waterproof. Whereas most floor coverings are quite susceptible to water damage, LVT and LVP do not absorb water and so cannot warp or delaminate. In terms of installation, Luxury Vinyl is typically a click together, floating-floor, so installation is simple, quick and does not create much of a mess.
The fact that Luxury Vinyl is superbly durable, waterproof and comes as a floating floor makes it a very versatile floor covering option. Its durability and impermeability make it well suited to kitchens, entry ways, bathrooms and utility rooms; not to mention family homes, which see more than their share of wear. As a floating floor, Luxury Vinyl can be installed over concrete subfloors like those found in basements, condos and apartments. All of these applications are quite practical… but nowadays we see plenty of homeowners opting for Luxury Vinyl over more traditional floors—it performs so well and it is not lacking in the style department. For example, homeowner’s often put glue-down LVT in their kitchens instead of ceramic because it is warmer, softer and can be grouted, keeping the appearance of ceramic convincing.
At Floorscapes we carry Torlys, Shaw and Richmond’s Luxury Vinyl lines. Check out their websites and take a look at available colors, styles and qualities. Or, of course, come into our showroom and we’d be happy to educate you further.
Written by guest author Eric Osborne