There is a segment of the floor covering market that hasn’t received the full attention it deserves. Commercial designers/specifiers are HUGE fans of this, but what they know hasn’t filtered down to be shared with flooring retailers and consumers at large. Well it’s time to share the features and benefits of luxury vinyl tile and separate these unique products from the mix of other vinyl goods. Luxury vinyl tile couldn’t be more different, not only in how it’s manufactured, but in the total aesthetic and applications.
You can’t possibly have the look, grain texture, and character of real hardwood in vinyl tile—or can you? Today’s technology in replication processes is the first step in creating vinyl “wood” planks and textured “stone” tiles that rival the real thing admirably. Top design firms in metropolitan Los Angeles and Orange County, California with amazingly beautiful office suites with elegant luxury vinyl “wood” planking or vinyl “slate” adorning their office floors. Professional Interior Designers can have any flooring material they want, yet so many of them chose LVT. And of course, I had to find out why. Here’s what they know that I want to share with you:
The look and feel of nature’s best materials at a lower cost are a reality of LVT manufacturing
|Sustainability||Vinyl flooring satisfies Green building standards and earns LEED points in commercial applications.|
|Safety Features||Meets requirements of commercial flammability codes, slip resistant requirements…and a menu of other safety codes|
|Clean-ability||Simple damp mopping is the recommended cleaning procedure for LVT floors|
|Excellent selection of sizes, shapes||The size options vary by manufacturer, but many styles are available in 12 x 12”, 18 x 18”, 12 x 24” sizes, and planks in standard (3 x 36” 4.5 x 36) and extra-large widths (7 or 9’ widths).|
LVT floors are inherently water resistant (and fairly impervious to wet spills from above). It’s important to install over flat, dry, approved substrates so that no water seepage occurs beneath the floor.
|Scratch, stain, dent and scuff resistant||
Specialized wear layers (most common are 20 mil; Amtico International offers a 40 mil layer). Then the floors are coated with urethane to enhance durability
Economics factor favorably into the specification of LVT for both commercial and residential applications, giving the look and feel of rich, natural materials at a lower cost
LVT is constructed to withstand commercial wear and tear, it’s probably “over-qualified” for residential use and can handle high-traffic areas with ease. Warranties vary by manufacturer, but it’s not unusual to see 20-25 year warranties on brand name LVT
There are multi-layers of vinyl in LVT as well as a resilient backing as the foundation, LVT tiles and planks have more resilience underfoot. It’s easier to stand on for long periods of time AND as an added benefit, it tends to be warmer underfoot than ceramic.
There has been a stunning transformation in the design aesthetics of LVT in the last five years. If you are linking it to “industrial” looking floors, this is where you need to throw away your misconceptions and do some research. This may be the one biggest factor that has caused interior designers to stand up and take note of the new brand of LVT. The realism of the total look, INCLUDING distressed wood finishes, stone and slate tactile surface textures, and even woven textiles imbedded in the wear layers, are grabbing attention.
There is a reason that luxury vinyl tile is gaining huge momentum in the consumer market, and the reasons are pretty simple. It’s time for you to be pleasantly amazed. If you work in the trade, contact your ProSource Account Manager to get a first-hand look at this highly evolved segment of floor coverings. Create some space in your resource room for these award-winning looks. It’s still a fairly new frontier in the quest for what’s innovative in flooring. Its your job to offer this new flooring solution to your clients and customers!