LVT and LVP, what are they? If you’re on the look out for flooring, you’ve probably heard their names and the associated buzz. In fact, LVT and LVP are both types of “Vinyl Plank,” a term that the public uses to encompass a new wave of vinyl floor coverings.
The industry calls it “Luxury Vinyl,” which is more accurate, but because the former is more popular, I will use ‘Vinyl Plank’ in telling you why it is such an excellent product.
In the past, vinyl used to be synonymous with Linoleum and VCT (Vinyl Composite Tile). Contemporary Vinyl Plank however, is Vinyl reinvented: it has exceptionally detailed patterns and textures, it has impressive resilience and it is completely impermeable. Given its exceptional look and performance, it is not surprising that Vinyl Plank has become extremely popular in the short time since its release.
Similar to Laminate, Vinyl Plank emulates natural materials, but as opposed to using a printed graphic, it is embossed with patterns and textures of the material it seeks to emulate. As a result, Vinyl Plank feels more three dimensional than Laminate. State-of-the-art embossing technologies used by its manufacturers makes this a possibility.
Now, back to LVT and LVP (and here’s where using the term “Vinyl Plank” is a bit misleading). LVP is short for Luxury Vinyl Plank and it emulates hardwood, hence the word “Plank.” LVT however, is short for Luxury Vinyl Tile and it emulates stone tile. They are both excellent emulations: the latter has both the intricacies and subtleties of wood grain patterns and the former has the earthy striations of stone. Running your hand across their surfaces, you can feel all the ripples of the soft and hard grain (in the case of LVP), and the pores and cracks of stone (in the case of LVT).
Vinyl Plank is a very durable product, resisting the wear of foot traffic for decades. Two attributes make this possible. First, it is very hard, in some cases harder than hardwood and its finish is very resilient. But most importantly, as a synthetic product with no pores or seams, it is completely impermeable—100% waterproof. This makes it impervious to moisture and thus very resistant to drastic fluctuations in climate and humidity.
Vinyl Plank comes in two formats: floating and glue-down. As a floating floor, it is a great option if you want to install it over a concrete subfloor, like in a condo or a basement. As a glue-down, it will stand up very well to heavy foot traffic. If you’re using LVT, the glue-down format allows you to grout it, creating a very realistic emulation of ceramic or stone tile.
As a completely waterproof product, Vinyl Plank is an excellent option for areas more likely to see moisture damage: kitchens, bathrooms and utility rooms. If you spill something, if a minor leak arises, you just wipe up the liquid, dry the floor and there’s no need to worry.
It’s difficult to really get a sense of how extraordinary Vinyl Plank is without seeing it in person. Come to our showroom and take a look and feel for yourself.
Written by guest author Eric Osborne