People who are looking to renovate are quite often looking for a mix of practicality and style, wanting a variety of styles, designs, colours and shapes. For this, your best bet will be LVT Flooring.
An LVT tile can be practically anything you want it to. Stone, marble, wood, etc. They are primarily produced in the shape of planks and tiles but LVT is a novel item and its growing rapidly popular items in the market. On occasion, it can be substituted for laminate flooring especially in areas where humidity is present and moisture bound to get in the flooring. However, with the introduction of impervious floors for bathrooms, there are still a lot of good options available.
These are found everywhere these days – hotel lobbies, airports, hospitals, schools, restaurants and even modern domestic homes. While it is no doubt very versatile to work with, working well with any surrounding – there are some apparent misconceptions about this product. Let’s take a look at what really is the product:
How Are LVT Tiles Manufactured?
The constituent material of the product is made from Polyvinyl chloride. The vinyl is mixed in with various other chemical substances that make it much harder and stronger. The constituent compounds used in the production of LVT include polyvinyl chloride resins (PVC) and calcium carbonate. The multiple PVC layers are meticulously compressed together by a process of rolling, then being suspended in a liquid.
This is then parched and cured by a process that involves air and heat. This adds that the required robustness that vinyl is supposed to have. Depending on the brand and in the variety of quality that’s available in the market – you can even get Luxury Vinyl Tiles where the manufacturer adds in an embossed layer for a more realistic finish. This adds some realism for the last layer where this touch can help add the same seam as that of actual wood or stone.
Layers of LTV Tiles
All in all, there are 4 layers – The backing layer, which absorbs sound, coming with a textured grip. There’s the Fill Layer, added for stability and indentation resistance. There’s then the Print layer, where premium types of LVT come manufactured with very realistic, 3D designs that can be installed to resemble ceramic or stone. Lastly, there’s the Wear layer which plays a crucial role in the lifespan of your tiles. It has an aluminium oxide coating that will keep your flooring from breaking down over the years.
Furthermore, these LVT tiles also have a vinyl finish and urethane layer which adds a more protected finish. When these are wedged with each other, later a decorative layer (that’s printed) is added on top for further finishing of the aesthetic. The thicker the LVT boards and planks are, the more rigid and inflexible they tend to be. However, because of their click and place system, the princess of installation is often pretty convenient.
Why Are LTV Floors Lean?
LVTs usually range in thickness somewhere in the middle of 2mm and 6 mm thick. Because of the multiple layers that make up the tile, thicknesses can vary, between 0.1mm-0.6mm. While it doesn’t seem much, especially when contrasted with the classic laminate floor tiles which are quite thick, around 7-12mm. The reason why they’re so slim is because of their good quality and density/strength. If we look at it, 4mm of Vinyl will be more long-lasting and stronger than an 8mm High-Density Fibreboard, so making them any more stocky doesn’t make sense. They’re as robust as it gets, even being applied to be used in big traffic machinery, commercially. Whereas, a thinner structure makes it more efficient to be used in things like shower bases.
What Are These LTV Floors Utilized in?
Because of their constituent elements, it is easier for them to be used almost anywhere. They’re used in various spaces such as restrooms, schools, kitchens, yoga studios, dance studios, hair salons, gyms etc. The point is, anywhere where humidity is rife and the floors are prone to get clogged with moisture – this is your best bet as an alternative for wooden floors. Furthermore, the multiple layer composition of this product enables supreme stability when laid out onto the floor. This also doesn’t absorb any water or retain any moisture.
Installation of the LTV Floors
LTV planks can be installed by 2 procedures – either by using adhesives or with a loose lay floor. The loose click system does require specific LVT support. There are adhesive based systems that require specific LVT glue. Both types of fitting require a complete and levelled sub-floor. As for laying down LTV tiles, there are a bunch of steps that you’ll need to follow, here they are listed below:
Prep the site before you start the DIY project. First off, check if the subfloor upon which you will be laying down your LTV tiles. Check for any irregularities, lumps, bumps or anything that will become obscurity in it being completely flat. You can also test for dips using a long straight edge such as a spirit level. Plant it in various areas of the room and then look for any bumps or lumps.
The next thing to do is acclimate to your floor. This means that leave the closed boxes of flooring in the room of installation for 48hrs prior to laying. The heating conditions are ideal for the room so they’ll be able to react either way to the environment.
Use an LTV underlay. This is an important step because it provides a mantle for the LTV tiles to set on with proper stability. Other types of flooring are unable to provide sufficient support for something as luxurious as an LTV floor. Usually, LVT underlay has a high-density – 1mm-1.5mm thick foam. Furthermore, it does not retain moisture. It is also possible to use self-glueing vinyl tile underlay, which is perfect for all LVTs, because of how strong it is and its natural grip, often making installations easier and more robust.
Placing the LVT tiles: you have to be careful that you put it against a straight wall using 7-10mm spacers to maintain an even and meditative gap between the LVT board and the wall. Don’t lay the flooring in any particular direction for more than 7m. This often results in breaking up rooms. This is done using threshold strips, which are used to conceal expansion gaps. Threshold strips should also be used at all door openings as these enable expansion gaps to be used.
Advantages of Using LVTs
There are significant advantages, here are some that are mentioned below.
Well, first of all, LVT tiles have an incredibly easy and convenient installing procedure. Using the more modern loose-lay system inhibits you to install the LTV titles with minimized floor prep and dusting. Using this will cut down significantly on costs like the subflooring installation cost, the installation time and also the adhesive, solution cost can be reduced by a decent margin.
There’s also a very important pro to consider here – you’re getting the aesthetic/stylistic value and money-for-value in terms of practicality, all in one. Hardwood floors cost almost twice as much as LTV tiles do and they’re more prone to damage over the years with maintenance costs being high.
Another very valid advantage is the comfort it offers – meaning it is more compatible with the human touch. LTV tiles are traditionally softer than their original counterparts, like stone or wood. It is soft for the feet and what’s more is that there is minimal sound, which is a very important factor to consider for anyone who’s willing to renovate their space.
The Bottom Line
Anyways, while the daily grind and hustle of life may take its toll on the floor beneath you, it is important that you invest in something that suits your needs and something that you’ve researched properly. LVT is very efficient and easy to clean, isn’t prone to chipping or any significant damage, is low maintenance. It doesn’t retain moisture and thus it makes it an ideal option to be considered when renovating.
We hope that this guide was helpful and that your investment into LVT flooring satisfies you and your vision in creating a new and more prosperous home. Good luck!