Flooring is one of the things that can eat up your home building budget. Like walls and ceilings, it composes the majority of your house. But walls are a given, so you put most of your money into making sure it looks good. On the other hand, the ceiling is the least of your priority in the aesthetic department.
But you know for sure that when guests come in, they will bat an eye on your floor, and you want them to be impressed. However, premium floors aren't cheap because they deliver that impressive luxurious look and feel for your house. But what if it doesn't have to be expensive?
Fortunately, there's another option called luxury vinyl flooring that you can get on the tap and still get the approval of your guests.
Overview: Luxury Vinyl Flooring
Somewhere, you may have walked across a well-polished and beautiful wooden flooring and wondered how someone could afford such luxurious wooden floors. It is most likely vinyl flooring. Here's what you need to know about this amazing flooring option.
A Substitute for Hardwood
Luxury vinyl flooring is a floor designed to mimic the appearance of other floor materials such as hardwood floors. That's why it is often sought as a substitute. The problem with flooring made of wood is it is susceptible to moisture and expands or contracts depending on temperature. Vinyl solves this headache with the innovative waterproof vinyl flooring. Choosing luxury vinyl means lower maintenance and upkeep costs while getting the same aesthetic value.
It's a Popular Commercial Option
Contractors and even homeowners who have done their research see vinyl flooring as a practical commercial option. It is often used in spaces such as airports, hotels, and hospitals— places that look luxurious. The name speaks for itself: luxury vinyl flooring— a floor that looks like a top dollar.
Another reason for its popular commercial use is the cost. You can get a luxury vinyl floor for a lot less. That's why it's scalable compared to genuine wooden floors or other luxurious flooring materials such as marble.
There Are Three Options to Choose From
Luxury vinyl flooring comes in different cuts. There's the luxury vinyl tile (LVT), the luxury vinyl plank (LVP), and the luxury vinyl sheet (LVS). All these flooring types have different design patterns that suit the cut made.
Apart from the different cuts, luxury vinyl flooring is also suitable for different installation methods, such as glue-down and floating or click-together methods.
The Anatomy of a Luxury Vinyl Flooring
The different parts of luxury vinyl flooring depending on the manufacturer. In order to differentiate a luxury vinyl flooring product, they add layers that give the vinyl floor certain features. But the basic anatomy composes of the following parts:
The Base / Core
This part is at the bottom of the flooring. The material commonly used by manufacturers who process traditional luxury vinyl flooring is polyvinyl chloride (PVC). But due to an increasing environmental issue awareness, other manufacturers have replaced the plastic material with something eco-friendly. Today, some companies process waterproof LVT or plank flooring made of stone plastic composite (SPC) or wood plastic composite (WPC)— a more eco-friendly option. It's important to note that the core materials used do not expand or contract when subject to heat or moisture.
Another thin layer is placed on top of the base material composed of WPC or SPC. This layer is a vinyl sheet. The vinyl is an essential addition because of its fire-resistant qualities— an important requirement when it comes to building materials.
After the main layer is laid out, a layer with a wood print or stone pattern is laid on top. This printed sheet is high definition. You won't be able to tell the difference between the vinyl and the genuine flooring material it tries to mimic, not with a closer look.
What's amazing about the printed layer is that there can be a lot of variations because the manufacturer can easily print out different flooring patterns, types, and colors.
Last comes the protective layer. For the printed layer to retain its pristine design pattern, it has to be protected from elements, most commonly water. So, manufacturers add wear and water-resistant features that protect the floor's surface from water spills that may damage or distort the printed layer. And the finished product is waterproof vinyl flooring.
Waterproof vinyl planks, tiles, and sheets sometimes have another layer on top of it. The ultraviolet (UV) layer protects the printed layer from the UV rays of the sun that can cause the image to fade where the light shines the strongest. This is particularly true for waterproof LVP flooring that's installed outdoors, such as the porch.
Why Get a Luxury LVT Flooring For Your Space?
It was cheap and looks good. Vinyl floors are for those contractors and homeowners who want to be practical. Oftentimes, building or even renovating a house involves a lot of areas. Some homeowners have other priorities other than flooring, but they still want something that looks good. Luxury vinyl is just perfect for that preference.
If you're someone who's leaning toward purchasing that authentic wood or stone flooring material, maybe these benefits will help steer you in the direction of getting luxury vinyl flooring.
Easy to install
Luxury vinyl flooring is lightweight compared to hardwood or stone. So, it's easier to move around and put together than other flooring materials. That's why it's easier to install them on your subflooring.
Feels smooth and soft
Luxury vinyl feels comfortable under your feet compared to hardwood. While there are textured luxury vinyl flooring out there that even mimics the texture of wood, it's still relatively smoother in the tactile senses because of the material it's made of.
Moisture-resistant / Waterproof
Waterproof floors are a must-have these days in any season or geographical area you choose to live in. Vinyl is a great choice of waterproof flooring if you live in parts of the country that see a lot of snow or rain. The vinyl will retain its shape and quality even if subject to moisture, rain, or even flood.
Easy to clean and maintain
Vinyl floors don't have to be sanded back into form or polished with special floor wax. Just sweep off the dirt and mop the floor with a little soap and water, and you'll have it in top condition afterward.
The added layers of the luxury vinyl floor make it durable against sunshine, moisture, and water and prevent any scratches and chips on the flooring to ensure that your floor continues to look expensive.
Waterproof LVT Flooring: Suitable Applications For Your Home
Now that you know the composition and benefits of a luxury vinyl floor, let's hone in on a specific flooring type: the waterproof luxury vinyl tile (LVT). While this particular vinyl flooring type can be used anywhere in the house, there are areas wherein it would sit right at home. Here's where you can use it.
The kitchen area is a busy area where you prepare and cook food, wash the dishes, and put down all your groceries. It's prone to many elements like water spills, heat generated from cooking meals, and possibly scratches from falling objects such as knives, pots and pans, canned goods, and other sharp or blunt objects in the kitchen.
Installing wood in your kitchen may not be as practical because you're going to risk damaging it. However, a waterproof LVT with a wooden pattern printed on it is a great substitute.
The bathroom is an area in your house where moisture and water prevail. Taking a bath inevitably causes water spills on the floor. And since the bathroom is where water never leaves, there's moisture all over.
Ceramic tiles are great for your bathroom, but they can be slippery. If you want something practical that can withstand water and moisture while reducing the risk of slipping, try out a waterproof LVT. The tile cut suits the bathroom set-up, and it will remain tough even under moist conditions.
This cool and dark place just below the surface is also prone to moisture. Most likely, the basement ground is made of poured concrete flooring, and you keep it that way because you don't see the point of putting another layer of flooring into it.
But there are instances wherein you want to beautify the area. Perhaps turn it into your hidden entertainment room, your music studio, or even your doomsday shelter. It's going to be hard to replace that poured concrete, so why not treat it as a subflooring for your waterproof LVT?
The Takeaway: Luxurious and Affordable
Luxury vinyl flooring has proven its worth in terms of function and appearance. The way it is made maximizes design without compromising its quality. The vinyl floor's layers and its production prove that something scalable packed with features can be made efficiently and eco-friendly. The luxury vinyl flooring communicates just one thing: luxury doesn't have to be difficult to get.