LVT may sound suspiciously like a kind of disease to be avoided but it’s actually a type of flooring. LVT stands for luxury vinyl tiles and it is a growing trend in the flooring world. Like me you’ll probably know, vinyl is a type of plastic but it often brings up connotations of PVC clothing or vinyl records. How can this be the same material we are considering for our floors? Well vinyl is the 2nd largest manufactured and sold plastic resin in the world, most likely because of it’s versatility and safety.
Many people have previously used vinyl cushion floor in their homes, often referred to as lino. However things have significantly moved on from those days. Today LVT is becoming increasingly popular with large name brands such as Amtico and Karndean taking a large portion of the market. So what is LVT? It is essentially vinyl tiles or planks that have a picture or design printed onto tiles, then coated with a clear protective overlay. These tiles are produced in many different designs and can give a realistic appearance of a range of materials including wood, stone, marble or ceramic.
Why should I choose LVT?
LVT has increased in popularity because of it’s many excellent features.
- It is extremely easy to clean, although steam mopping is to be avoided.
- Easy to maintain with no maintenance requirements like waxing or polishing which would be required for real wood floors.
- It is very hard wearing so doesn’t get the tread wear that you might get with carpet.
- It doesn’t age over time which means it will look virtually as good in 20 years as the day it is installed.
- There is a very large range providing significant choice and there are also some bespoke ranges which means you really can have your own unique floor
- There is a long warranty on products giving you peace of mind that your purchase is secure.
So where do I start when buying LVT?
It’s not surprising that the sheer choice of LVT can feel overwhelming so here are some things to consider to get you started.
1. Design – There are hundreds of designs available but knowing the type of look you want will help narrow down the choice. Do you want a natural design, something more abstract or 3D patterns or perhaps a vintage look.
2. Supplier – The choice of look can guide you to the best supplier so Harvey Maria stock vintage style designs providing a Neisha Crosland style look, whereas suppliers like Amtico and Karndean are favoured for a more natural affect.
3. Preparation and fitting – LVT requires a different type of fitting. Some styles are self adhesive, some need to be glued down and others have an interlocking system to hold them in place. However whatever type of LVT you choose won’t detract from the need for thorough preparation of the sub floor. Although some LVT ranges can be more forgiving than others, the correct sub floor preparation is vital to ensure that imperfections don’t show through.
4. Price – It’s always important to ensure that you invest in a floor for the long term. LVT are a significant investment that is there to stay, so choosing the correct floor for you is crucial. This means that price should fall slightly further down the list, however most people do have a budget. The price of LVT ranges from £25 a sq/m up to £70sq/m. Why the big difference? Well top end ranges tend to have tailored designs, orders are custom made and the quality of the wear layer of the material is thicker with a lifetime warranty.
So if LVT is for you then come into our store (122 Coldharbour Road, Redland, Bristol) and see our extensive range or ask us for a free quote and we can bring some designs to you. We can show you the various ranges and find the perfect LVT to suit your home. We will even design your new floor for you!