Luxury vinyl tile describes a variety of vinyl flooring products from those that appear as wood, natural stone, granite and ceramic tile. The possibilities are limitless as the patterns are produced through high definition photography similar to the production of wallpaper. The printed pattern is bonded to a base and coated for protection, much like that of a laminate flooring product.
Luxury Vinyl Tile the Confusion!
At this time 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. These terms are used by flooring manufacturers and dealers to describe and promote a large number of vinyl flooring products.
Without a uniform definition, some also 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 also applying the term “luxury vinyl tile” to solid vinyl tile – SVT, a product similar to VCT but made up of at least 34 percent vinyl. Until we have an industry wide definition the term will be exploited. For this article, luxury vinyl tile will be discussed as a layered product.
Luxury Vinyl Tile Product Layers
Luxury vinyl floor products both 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. Patterns from stone to wood are produced through the use of high definition photography and 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.
LVT “Luxury Vinyl Tile” Style
Since the beginning of this decade, luxury vinyl tile has made amazing transformation. The luxury vinyl tile business has been a boom to the flooring industry. This past decade the 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. If you want the look of ceramic tile and the softness of vinyl there are even luxury vinyl tiles that you can grout just 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. From those that are deeply embossed to distressed and textured styles you should be able to find the perfect luxury vinyl product.
Luxury vinyl tile is manufactured in tile 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 luxury vinyl tile products.