Luxury vinyl tile, often referred to as LVT, describes a variety of vinyl flooring products. Designs that appear as wood, natural stone, granite and ceramic tile. The possibilities are limitless. Patterns created through high definition photography similar to the production of wallpaper. Like laminate, the printed pattern bonded to a base and coated for protection.
Luxury Vinyl Tile the Confusion!
The industry has not established a uniform definition for Luxury Vinyl Tile. There are acronym such as LVT for luxury vinyl tile. LVP for luxury vinyl plank and LVF for luxury vinyl flooring. Many terms are used interchangeably by flooring manufacturers and dealers to describe and promote their products. The World Floor Covering Association describes it as the ultimate in high-end vinyl flooring
Some apply the term LVT to a variety of vinyl composition tile products – VCT, which is a combination of vinyl and other materials. There are some that are some that apply the term “luxury vinyl tile” to solid vinyl tile – SVT, a product similar to VCT, but made up of at least 34 percent vinyl. Without an industry wide definition, the term will continue to be exploited. For now, we will discuss lvt as a layered product.
LVT Product Layers
luxury vinyl tile and luxury vinyl plank are manufactured in layers, similar to that of laminate flooring. These products consist of the following:
Backing Layer: Primarily but not limited to PVC vinyl. The backing layer or base provides dimensional stability.
Decorative Layer: PVC film or other proprietary print layer. Using high definition photography, unlimited variety of patterns can be produced. Designs range from stone to wood. The Decorative layer bonded to the backing layer.
Wearlayer (Top Layer or mil layer): Typically clear vinyl. Some products use a urethane or aluminum oxide wearlayer for extra protection. The thickness of the wearlayer varies from a few mils up to about 40 mil on the best products. With high traffic and commercial application one should consider a product of 20 mil or greater.
Since the beginning of this decade, LVT has made amazing transformation. The luxury vinyl tile business has been a boom to the flooring industry. Sales of luxury vinyl products have been one of if not the most rapidly growing segments.
LVT is now available in a large number of shapes, colors, patterns and styles. Do you like the look of ceramic and the softness of vinyl? There are luxury vinyl tiles that you can grout as you would with real ceramic, stone or porcelain tiles.
Do you have pets that are not perfectly potty trained and want the look of hardwood but not the damage placed on hardwood and laminate from pets? Tile choices that appear as stone or wood are almost limitless. From flooring with a matte finish to those with a tabletop appearance. Style range from deeply embossed to distressed and textured.
Luxury vinyl tile is manufactured in squares, wide sheets and planks. On some, there is adhesive on the back for ease of installation. Visit your independent floor covering or big box store and you will find a large assortment of products.