Vinyl is an attractive, durable and affordable flooring option in any room, including your bathroom or kitchen. Since its creation in the 1930s, vinyl has evolved to the point where you can buy high-end finishes that look just like solid wood and stone.
Whether you buy it in plank or tile form, luxury vinyl is made with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in multiple layers. The base layer is a backing material that provides the floor with strength and durability. The clear top urethane layer, meanwhile, features 3D images to give it the look of any kind of material. Both Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) and Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) can be floated, glued down, or snapped together for easy installation.
Still wondering if luxury vinyl flooring is the right option? Consider these benefits.
7 Benefits of Luxury Vinyl Flooring
As a robust, versatile and economical alternative to tile and hardwood, luxury vinyl is a popular flooring choice among homeowners and interior designers. Featuring the character, look and grain of hardwood flooring or the texture and feel of porcelain tiles, vinyl floors are a great way to update the look of your property. Below, we’ve outlined a few reasons luxury vinyl is increasingly popular.
Before the introduction of luxury vinyl, vinyl flooring had an artificial, plastic look that was neither popular nor fashionable. Thanks to modern 3D printing technology, luxury vinyl is now available in a range of patterns. The result can look incredibly similar to wood, ceramic, stone, glazed tile, and a range of other materials. Whether you want reclaimed wood-style flooring for your home office or a graphic tile design for your living room, you can customize it accordingly.
When you invest in flooring, you need to make sure the material is strong enough to withstand regular wear and tear. This is all the more important if you have kids or pets . Vinyl, particularly Parterre vinyl, is a hard, closed-cell material that resists heat, moisture, stains and scratches. Unlike hardwood or laminate, which both absorb moisture, vinyl is water-resistant and durable enough to keep out dirt, water and sand. This makes it perfect for mudrooms, entryways or bathrooms, where moisture is a constant concern. Spills and splashes won’t cause cracks, bubbles or warping, which means it’ll last for years without repairs or replacement. Although a sealant isn’t usually required for luxury vinyl floors, it’s recommended as an added layer of protection for excessively damp areas of your home.
One major advantage of luxury vinyl is that it can be installed almost anywhere, including kitchens, basements and other spaces that are prone to moisture. It can be put in over your existing floor and comes in three easy-to-install forms – click-and-lock, peel-and-stick, or glue-down planks.
The click-and-lock system is perfect for DIY installation, as it requires few tools and no adhesive. Simply line the locking system grooves together (like a jigsaw puzzle) and lower the planks to the floor.
Peel-and-stick vinyl, often referred to as self-adhesive vinyl, is another DIY-friendly flooring option. Peel the backing paper off the luxury vinyl planks and press them against your existing floor or subfloor.
Glue-down vinyl plank flooring uses adhesive tape or liquid glue to adhere the planks to the subfloor. Due to its ease of installation, the overall cost tends to be lower than other flooring options.
LVT is softer and warmer than ceramic or real stone, making it comfortable to walk on and do other tasks that require prolonged standing, such as cooking. Luxury vinyl is typically thicker than traditional vinyl due to an extra layer of heavy film topped with a UV-cured urethane, which provides heat insulation and comfort underfoot. What’s more, its relative flexibility makes it a quiet surface to walk on.
Vinyl’s flexibility may cause imperfections in your floor, but this can be advantageous if you have subfloor levelling issues. A flexing or weakened plywood subfloor can cause hardwood to cup, linoleum to bubble, and tiles to crack. Luxury vinyl, on the other hand, has more give than harder surfaces, which means it can bend and adapt to your flooring without causing damage. It can easily adjust to the way your home moves and stays intact – a feature you don’t find in other flooring materials.
The only maintenance necessary to keep luxury vinyl looking beautiful is sweeping and mopping to remove dirt and dust. Unlike hardwood or laminate which need specific cleaning products, there are no special care or cleaners required to keep luxury vinyl floors pristine. Moreover, since LVT is sold in individual tile packs (as opposed to a vinyl roll), you can easily replace the damaged tile without affecting the rest of the flooring.
Luxury vinyl floors are suitable for homes with underfloor heating systems. The vinyl planks or tiles are thin enough to allow easy transfer of heat and are stable enough to withstand sudden temperature changes.
In a nutshell, luxury vinyl flooring is an attractive, durable and budget-friendly alternative to expensive, natural flooring varieties like stone and hardwood. With incredibly realistic looks and an average lifespan of 25-30 years, there is no reason not to choose vinyl flooring. Since there’s a wide range of designs available, consider asking a flooring expert to help you weigh your options.