LVT: What It Really Means

LVT. A term that has exploded in the flooring industry… but what does it actually mean? Technically, LVT stands for ‘Luxury Vinyl Tile’ NOT to be confused with Laminate. There are some major differences between the two. Due to being the fastest growing market segment in flooring, it has gained a lot of exposure and press for it’s popularity and here’s why…

Luxury Vinyl Tile offers a variety of new, innovative specs to what was considered an ‘old school’ product. Manufactures now have 3D printing technology that embosses and registers the LVT to give a very life-like look and feel to the product – most commonly mimicking that of hardwood or stone/tile – adding depth and realism to each plank or tile. LVT also has a high performance wear layer that coats the top of the product. Typically the wear layer provides a commercial grade level of protection against scratching, denting or marking of the floor. There are three main levels of protection you can choose from when deciding on LVT – 12mil, 20mil and 30mil wear layer, this gradient does contribute to the cost of the product because it is the main factor of durability. 

Another thing that consumers love about LVT is the fact that it is a less permanent and most often times affordable option than ceramic tile or hardwood. A lot of the time, we see clients who initially come in looking for hardwood but then quickly realize that the cost will be practically double (if not more in some cases) than going with a very similar looking LVT. As much as we love hardwood, it is hard to compete with the convenience and easy care that LVT offers over it.

There are two main ways installation methods for LVT – floating and glue down. The floating floor installation method is most times preferred because it essentially lays, or ‘floats’, on top of sub-floor or existing flooring if possible. Floating floors typically require less prep work on a subfloor to get it smooth and ready for installation. Glue downs often need more prep work to get the surface smooth and straight for installation – which usually ends up being a larger cost for the customer. 

All in all, there are countless options (seriously countless, our showroom is STOCKED with a very versatile variety) of LVT to choose from. Have more questions? Come see us or give us a call at 412.653.3424.