A Strong Foothold
A Strong Foothold
January 29, 2024
In the flooring world, Luxury Vinyl Tiles are gaining prominence
Luxury Vinyl Tiles or LVTs provide the best of two worlds – the look and finish of a ceramic tile floor and the ability to withstand today’s demanding lifestyles.
When one thought of flooring a few years earlier, the first thoughts that come to mind are typically wood, tile and carpet, and very rarely LVTs. But today, these are holding their own in the flooring arena. Recently LVT has been taking market share from other flooring categories, like laminate, hardwood and ceramic.
Initially, vinyl was only thought of as suitable for the less visible areas of a house, but this has changed in recent years. The term “luxury vinyl” isn't a contradiction in terms as these tiles are today counted among the most innovative, versatile and high-performing flooring available. Technology indisputably has given vinyl a whole new look, and designers have increased focus on it and created innovative patterns and designs.
Premium vinyl flooring offers the beauty and texture of more expensive natural materials, like hardwood, ceramic and stone, at a more cost-effective price range. Photo Courtesy: Merino Laminates
Benefits and More
Compared to other floorings, luxury vinyl has greater durability.
There is a vast spectrum of designs and colours to choose from in this category. Progress in technology has allowed manufacturers to become increasingly creative, and LVT is one flooring segment that has benefited from this. This is because these designs permit suppliers and manufacturers to make the surface of the finished product mimic the real one. Premium vinyl flooring offers the beauty and texture of more expensive natural materials, like hardwood, ceramic and stone, at a more cost-effective price range.
This is just one of the many reasons why this segment is enjoying growth in both sales and popularity. Apart from a vast range of choices, these also offer the benefit of quick installation. A comparable ceramic tile installation takes double the time.
Luxury vinyl is highly durable but soft underfoot and maintains a comfortable temperature throughout the year. Vinyl is essentially waterproof, perfect for kitchens or other high-traffic areas. A durable, protective top layer resists scratches, dents, and stains. It's exceptionally easy to clean, and more protected against drops and spills. In addition to this, the product is sturdy and scratch-resistant. This flooring offers both sophistication and comfort.
Another big advantage of this flooring is that it is easy to install. LVT is moisture-resistant and can be installed anywhere. This very attribute makes it an ideal choice for kitchens where the floor is often susceptible to water and spillages.
The economics also favour the use of LVT for flooring as they give the look and feel of rich, natural materials at a lower cost.
Luxury vinyl is highly durable but soft underfoot and maintains a comfortable temperature throughout the year. Photo Courtesy: Merino Laminates
At the simplest, the process of making LVT amounts to taking a photo of wood and printing it into the significantly more economical vinyl flooring, usually in the form of squares or planks.
The skill to replicate real hardwood and stones using advanced photographic technologies is the base of luxury vinyl flooring systems. There are four distinct layers fused together to produce the final product: a resilient vinyl backing, a vinyl colour layer, a photographic film layer, and a urethane or aluminium oxide top layer. The protective top layer is vital to the sturdiness of the product.
Usually, when a product is referred to as “vinyl,” it is comprised primarily of Polyvinyl Chloride or PVC, which is the most toxic plastic for humans and it’s not great for the environment either. So vinyl has been targeted by environmental activists and vinyl floors were not thought of as earth-friendly. This is because it is a petroleum product and uses non-renewable resources.
Questions were raised doubting its suitability for use, particularly long-term. However, manufacturers claim that solutions have been found to overcome this after repeated attempts being put together by the manufacturers.
However, this has not stopped the popularity of LVT floorings from increasing, and they are being extensively used in setting up many commercial and domestic floors today.
[The article was first published in the April-June 2016 issue of Kitchen Ideas magazine.]