Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) has become an increasingly popular floor treatment in homes due to its water-resistant properties and affordable pricing. When considering new flooring, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of LVT flooring. After reading this guide, you will be more confident to buy LVT flooring for your home or office.
Pros of Luxury Vinyl Tile
The vinyl surface is thicker and more scratch-proof than other resilient floors like vinyl sheets or linoleum. Most LVTs have a ceramic coating for extra wear protection. It makes it suitable for high-traffic areas prone to mess like kitchens or mudrooms. LVT also stands up well to pet nails and active children. Properly cared for LVT can last up to 25 years.
2. Water Resistance
The layered construction of LVT creates a waterproof barrier resisting moisture better than wood or laminate. Vinyl floors are unaffected by spills and steaming. This water resistance allows LVT to be installed in damp places like basements or bathrooms. The seams can be welded together for even more water protection. LVT stands up to wet mopping without the swelling or damage to solid hardwoods risk.
Quality LVT flooring costs $2-10 per square foot installed. This competitive pricing makes it more affordable than stone, hardwood, or porcelain. Still, even high-end LVT remains cheaper than most alternatives while retaining resilience and beauty.
4. Easy Maintenance
Keeping LVT floors clean is simple with only sweeping, mopping, and occasional deep cleaning needed. The tough surface resists stains, scuffs, and scratches better than more high-maintenance wood or carpeting. LVT requires no waxing or refinishing over time. The waterproof construction also allows easy damp mopping without damage. Prompt mess clean-up keeps LVT floors looking fresh.
5. Realistic Looks
Quality LVT mimics the color variations and textures of real hardwood, stone, and ceramic tile. Advancements in digital imaging bring remarkable realism to wood grain and stone patterning. Mixing planks and tiles in patterns adds a customized personality reflecting traditional floors. Coordinated LVT equivalents of baseboards or stair risers continue flows. LVT now fools even flooring experts’ eyes.
6. Quick Installation
LVT flooring clicks together simply without power saws or a glue mess. The floating click-lock planks allow DIY-friendly installation compared to tile or glued-down sheets. LVT installs over existing flooring, saving costly subfloor prep. Most jobs take just a day with no lengthy curing. Sections can also be quickly replaced if ever damaged without altering the whole floor. LVT’s speedy installation causes less disruption than fully replacing other resilient or hard floors.
Cons of Luxury Vinyl Tile
1. Less Padding
The vinyl surface of LVT feels harder and offers less bounce-back than cushioned vinyl sheet goods or carpets. Thin LVT lacks padding while thicker options only have attached foam layers rather than separate cushy underlayments. It causes LVT floors to sound somewhat hollow and echo more noise without soundproofing preparations. Adding area rugs brings softness while also diminishing noise issues.
2. Not for Extreme Temperatures
Although water-resistant, LVT becomes more brittle in extremely cold temperatures. Long-term direct heat exposure over 150°F degrees can also damage LVT. These vulnerabilities mean LVT floors get installed only indoors, not in seasonal outdoor spaces lacking climate control. Ensure proper temperature regulation when installing LVT in basements, garages, or sunrooms.
3. Off-Gassing Worries
Allowing LVT materials to air out fully before installation can mitigate this concern. Search for greener LVT free from hazardous chemicals and low VOC adhesives if toxicity worries. While off-gassing seems minimal to nonexistent for most quality LVT, sensitive individuals should take precautions.
With proper selection and care, LVT flooring offers homeowners durable, stylish, and water-resistant flooring at affordable prices suitable for most living spaces. Reduced installation costs and disruption make LVT an easy upgrade over worn-out floors.
Just weigh the noted pros and cons of LVT flooring against your needs. Going with quality products and allowing materials to air out fully further eases health concerns. For most homeowners, LVT presents an attractive, realistic-looking floor covering worth considering.