With its introduction in October 2006, luxury vinyl flooring, (LVF) reinvented vinyl flooring, and manufacturers quickly began positioning it as a good flooring material for homeowners who are well-educated about flooring. It is also seen as an initiative to capture the urban market—luxury condominium dwellers who do not want to install solid hardwood due to cost, or who may be prevented from this by HOA rules.
Today so-called luxury vinyl flooring is a top pick for many people because of its ability to mimic the look of natural materials, such as hardwood or stone. It is able to do this by a surface layer that has very realistic photo-created image and embossing process, combined with textures that resemble that of the real materials. Luxury vinyl designs look less artificial and more natural than traditional vinyl.
Qualities of Luxury Vinyl Flooring
Appearance: Luxury vinyl flooring closely simulates natural materials, without the big investment. Either it simulates stone (slate, travertine, marble, etc.) or it simulates wood (teak, maple, oak, walnut, and pine). Traditional vinyl flooring sometimes imitates natural materials and sometimes does not but looks more artificial that luxury vinyl.
Size and Thickness: Luxury vinyl is much thicker than traditional vinyl. The thickness of luxury vinyl is what gives it a much more realistic “wood or ceramic” feel and appearance. Luxury vinyl usually comes in either planks or tiles. A typical plank size is 48” x 4.5” A typical tile size is 16″ x 16″. Sometimes you can find unusual shapes, such as rectangles sized at 12″ x 24”. Thicknesses range from 10mm to 12mm (about 1/8″). Ordinary vinyl flooring can be as much as 10 times thinner, with bargain tiles coming in at 1.2 mm.
Often plank-shaped: Traditional sheet vinyl flooring comes in room widths and lengths to minimize or even eliminate seams. Normal vinyl tiles are usually square: 12″x12″ or 16″x16″. Because luxury vinyl often imitates solid wood flooring, it often times comes in planks and is sometimes referenced as luxury vinyl plank ( LVP). Sizes vary, but the general shape is long and narrow. A typical size is 7″ wide by 48″ long.
Durability: Luxury vinyl was initially designed and manufactured due to durability issues with traditional vinyl flooring. The thinness of vinyl sheets and tiles can be vulnerable to scuffs and scratches. Most vinyl floors will typically not last more than 15 years. However, luxury vinyl is not only a thicker material, the top layers are also thicker which gives added protection against wear and tear. This provides a longer lifespan for your floor.
Installation: Luxury vinyl may be one of the easiest floors to install, where traditional vinyl can be more difficult. The thinner the flooring material the fewer imperfections you can have in a sub-floor. Also, with sheet vinyl, cutting to match corners, appliances etc., can be tricky. And if you make a mistake you ruin the entire sheet. The installation of either type should always be completed by a professional floor installer.
Manufacturers and Brand Names of Luxury Vinyl Flooring
At Fred Callaghan Carpet & Flooring we carry a wide selection of the industry leaders of luxury vinyl flooring including:
• Armstrong Alterna
• Armstrong Luxe Plank
• Mannington Adura
• Shaw Floors
• Mohawk Flooring
• COREtec Waterproof Luxury Vinyl Flooring
• Masland Luxury Vinyl Plank
Give us a call to make an appointment or stop by our Showroom to take a look at the many options available.
The staff at Fred Callaghan Carpet & Flooring would like to wish our customers a happy, healthy and safe holiday season!