The popularity of luxury vinyl tile (LVT) and plank (LVP) is showing no signs of slowing down. With its durability, ease of maintenance and cost-friendly appeal, luxury vinyl flooring continues to be a top choice for residential interiors.
“For durability, practicality and longevity, you can’t beat LVT for high performance in residential environments,” said Russ Rogg, president and CEO, Metroflor.
Originally seen as an optimal choice for kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms in homes due to its water-resistant properties, LVT has since grown far beyond those specific rooms and become a popular flooring choice throughout the entire home.
According to Jeremy Kleinberg, product manager, residential systems for Armstrong, consumers are most interested in looks, durability and convenience when it comes to selecting flooring for their homes, and they seem to be finding all of these qualities in luxury vinyl flooring. The company recently unveiled Vivero, a luxury vinyl floor with a diamond-infused coating for durability and water resistance.
“The look of LVT has come a long way,” he said. “It’s about taking the capability of digital image production in terms of making looks that borrow the best from multiple mediums and then constantly increasing the realism you’re able to get—not only from the print visuals but from the embossing and surface textures to make a really great-looking floor. That’s enabled LVT to expand into new areas, and more central areas of the home.”
Due to constantly improving technology, LVT visuals and designs are far above where they were even several years ago, according to Angelina Cebrián, IVC’s marketing communications and events manager. “I believe over the years we’ve been able to understand LVT better and therefore manufacture a better-quality LVT product through years of experience,” she said.
From the paws of beloved pets, to the accidental drop of a pot or pan in the kitchen, LVT is specifically designed to withstand the wear and tear residential floors see every day.
“Because LVT is stain-, scuff- and scratch-resistant, it outperforms many natural products from a care and maintenance standpoint,” said Cebrián.
Durability and easy maintenance are big selling points of the product, Rogg noted. “LVT products that feature UV-cured urethane coatings infused with ceramic bead especially provide long-term durability. LVT is known for its low maintenance and easy care. The floors can be easily cleaned and maintained by mopping, vacuuming and when necessary, the use of a recommended cleaner.”
Ease of installation is another big factor, with glueless click systems among the most popular methods to install LVT. “Click LVT installation fares very well for DIYers,” said Cebrián. Whether installed by a DIYer or a professional, click products are designed for quick, easy and efficient installations.
“LVT click products are popular because they are fast, easy to install and durable,” stated Rogg. “In addition, they are water-resistant, don’t require glue for installation and can be easily replaced if damaged. They can also be installed directly over most existing floors or substrates.”
Manufacturers recommend that professional installers handle any glue-down applications. Rogg added, retailers must assess site and subfloor conditions before recommending any type of LVT installation system.
Choosing the right transitions are an essential consideration for LVT installation. “Transitions are used to protect the edge of LVT from damage while creating a finished look and seamless transition between different styles or heights of flooring,” explained Duane Farley, Loxcreen’s Canadian sales manager and installation specialist.
He added that the number of transitions needed depends on the job; however, an LVT trim or transition should always be used on every open edge for protection and finishing.
Since entering the market in 1998, Versatrim has worked with manufacturers to create transitions that match their flooring. “For transitions for LVT, we will match any floor and offer it with no minimums in our Match All Floor Program,” said Thilo Hessler, president of the company. “What’s nice about that is no one has to have inventory; no one has to have a commitment—it’s all on us to match the moldings.”
With the exploding popularity in LVT, Rogg offers a word of caution. “Because the LVT category is so popular, it is garnering attention from more and more manufacturers and suppliers. Due to this broadened assortment of choices, it’s important that dealers understand that not all LVT floors are created equal—dealers must match the environment with the right floor at the right price.”