Durable, water proof and cost effective.
Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) comes in a wide array of sizes and designs, from a variety of manufacturers. They mimic an array of natural surfaces, from refined and distressed wood to concrete to slate, marble and other stone. Each tile and plank is constructed of multiple layers of plastic and padding, which vary by thickness and in the composition of the core layer; these elements affect how quiet and comfortable the floor is to walk on, and how durable it is.
Vinyl flooring makes sense for laundry rooms and anywhere that needs to withstand heavy use such as in mudrooms and entry ways.
Some of today’s luxury vinyl tiles and planks, especially those with a rigid core, come with an underlayment, which is the lowest layer that attaches to the subfloor and provides sound-muffling and cushioning for foot comfort. In general, an underlayment should be included for luxury vinyl that will be installed over existing hardwood, concrete or vinyl without cushioning.
The installation of luxury vinyl flooring depends on the type of tile or plank. Some types are glued down. Click-lock flooring comes in pieces that are locked together and float atop the subfloor without any adhesive. Loose-lay tiles or planks are made heavier with added plasticizers and are laid atop existing flooring, also without adhesive, making it easier to remove and replace individual pieces or the entire floor.
Each installation option has its pluses and minuses, but regardless, it’s most important to make sure the floor you’re installing the tile or planks on is smooth, undamaged and level. Keep in mind that although LVT and LVP products tend to be more cost-efficient than hardwood or real tile, quality installation can drive the price up very quickly.
CARE & MAINTENANCE
To keep LVP or LVT floors in high-traffic areas of a home looking their best, they should be dry mopped or vacuumed daily to remove grit that can cause scratches. Spills should be wiped up immediately to prevent stains that may be more difficult to remove later. The floors should be thoroughly cleaned at least weekly.
Products that contain ammonia can damage vinyl surfaces. Mop and shine products can leave a film on the floor that attracts more soil. If desired, you can easily create a cleaning solution with products you have on hand that will clean LVP flooring without causing non-reversible damage.
For floors in bedrooms or living areas, a mixture of one cup of distilled white vinegar per gallon of warm water will leave floors clean and shiny. Unless you have used too much soap, no rinsing is needed. However, if the floor feels sticky, do a quick rinse with a water/distilled white vinegar solution to leave floors squeaky-clean. Allow the floors to air dry.