Do you feel it is time to upgrade the flooring in your business? One of the options we covered in our ‘is it time to upgrade your office flooring?’ article was luxury vinyl tiles. Luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) is a flooring option that is becoming increasingly popular due to the durable nature of the flooring and the affordable price. LVT is a flooring option that is not only popular in homes but can also be used in many business environments. Considered to be the latest advancement in flooring, LVT combines the benefit of versatile designs with high durability to make it a flooring option that not only looks good but lasts too. The high durability makes LVT’s water resistant, scratch-proof and very easy to clean. LVT’s versatile design also gives you the all-natural look without the drawbacks of such flooring materials like wood. There is no need to worry about it being cold or noisy either as LVT is both warm and quiet underfoot compared to other flooring types. Designs can come in a variety of styles, including plank and tiled, to authentically replicate the designs of other flooring. With so many great benefits, you may be left wondering are vinyl floor tiles right for your business. Here are five facts you need to know to help you decide.
LVT – Five facts you need to know
1. Cleaning luxury vinyl tiles is easy
Cleaning luxury vinyl tiles is incredibly easy and simple and can be achieved using a brush or a mop to remove any spillages and vacuuming to pick up any dirt present. Weekly cleaning of luxury vinyl flooring only requires a wiping over with a mop to restore and maintain the look of the tiles. Removing stains on luxury vinyl tiles is relatively simple as well and may only require a mild cleaning solution to get rid of any stains. Caring for your luxury vinyl tiles will help in preserving the look and ensure they continue to last longer.
2. Different types of luxury vinyl tiles
One of the great benefits of LVT is the wide variety of design choices available. The vast array of designs and styles ensures this flooring is suitable for a wide range of business environments. Vinyl tiles can come in rectangular plank design or square tiled designs using an effect to mimic similar flooring. Other popular styles of vinyl flooring tiles include chevron and herringbone patterns.
Herringbone pattern: Chevron pattern:
Other designs for luxury vinyl tiles include:
- Oak effect
- Pine effect
- Stone effect
- Slate effect
- Metal effect
- Moroccan style
There are different types of vinyl finish too. Firstly, no-wax finish is designed for areas with minimal foot traffic and little exposure to dirt and moisture. Secondly, urethane finish is suitable for areas with medium amounts of foot traffic and is more resistant to scratching due to the heavier finish. Finally, enhanced urethane finish is the most durable of the vinyl finishes and is ideal for high foot traffic environments and where scratching and stains are most likely to occur.
3. Installing is easy
LVT can come in four different types; glue down, loose lay, rigid core, and click. With four options available for installing LVT means it is a quicker and more effective flooring option to install compared to alternatives such as wood or ceramic.
Glue down, or stick down, is the traditional method of installing LVT and is considered the best option. As the name suggests, this method of installing LVT involves sticking or gluing the tiles down using an adhesive. Doing so prevents the flooring from slipping and provides a lasting and durable flooring solution. Additionally, using this method of installation allows LVT to be fitted over underfloor heating.
Loose lay is a second method of fitting LVT. Unlike glue down, loose lay can be installed quickly and without the need of an adhesive. Installing loose lay LVT is simple due to the specially designed backing and only requires tightly laying the tiles next to one another on the floor. Installation can be done over almost any floor too.
Another method of installing LVT is rigid core, which like loose lay, does not require any adhesive to install the flooring. Considered to be an improvement over traditional vinyl, rigid core is constructed with 3 layers. These include a wear layer over the top side to protect from scratches and stains, a thin layer covering the core and a strong rigid core made from either wood or a stone plastic composite to give this LVT added durability. Some rigid core tiles also come with an extra fourth layer of underlay.
Click LVT, as the name implies, is a method of installing vinyl tiles by clicking them into place and can be a great choice for any businesses flooring needs. Providing the same benefits of a glue down vinyl tiles, these LVT fix into place without the use of an adhesive. Instead, the click mechanism ensures the flooring does not slip.
4. Maintenance is simple
LVT is designed to endure the pressures that some commercial environments may experience. Able to withstand high amounts of foot traffic and exposure to moisture, LVT is a much more resistant flooring type. For this reason, maintenance is not usually a concern with LVT due to the protective layer.
Tiles that were not fixed down with an adhesive can be easily replaced should a tile need replacing due to damage. Click fittings enable you to simply remove the damaged tile and reinsert a new one. As vinyl tiles usually come in individual packs, replacements will not require keeping or purchasing entire rolls as with sheet vinyl flooring. LVT that is stuck down can be harder to remove and will require a heat gun to remove the tile.
To prevent damage to flooring tiles, use mats or rugs with a non-stick backing underneath furniture and avoid dragging furniture across the floor to prevent dents or scratches. If possible, avoid using LVT in rooms with constant direct sunlight as discolouration may occur. Otherwise try to limit the amount of direct sunlight the flooring will receive to minimise the damage.
Check out our tips for how you should clean luxury vinyl tile floors for some dos and don’ts.
5. Misconceptions of luxury vinyl tiles
While luxury vinyl tiles are a growing popular flooring option, it has also gained a few misconceptions that may make people sceptical or put off when choosing this flooring option.
LVT is too expensive
Due to the durable nature of LVT, and the other benefits outlined at the start, it could work out to be a better investment for your flooring. While the price of LVT will inevitably increase as the quality improves, LVT should last longer than many other types of flooring options available.
Pattern design is low quality
Because the pattern of LVT is usually printed on, people assume the pattern will be low-quality or noticeable. While this may be the case for cheaper tiles, higher quality tiles can hardly be distinguished between the LVT and the look-a-like flooring.
LVT is just expensive laminate flooring
The manufacturing and design of both LVT and laminate flooring is completely different and unique. While both flooring aims to mimic the surfaces of other flooring, LVT is uniquely made with 3 or 4 layers, with a top layer to protect the tiles, the vinyl film where the pattern is printed, a rigid layer for support, and sometimes a layer of underlay. The number of layers helps to ensure LVT maintains its design and durability.
Usually, vinyl flooring tiles do not require the use of an underlay as most flooring tiles come with a base layer making the use of an underlay pointless. The only time vinyl flooring may require an underlay is if the flooring surface beneath is not level or has damp issues.
Choosing the right flooring to restyle your business can be a difficult choice, but with the number of great benefits and design choices available with LVT’s makes it a great flooring choice for your business. With the wide choice of designs and patterns will allow you to match LVT to your current décor too. Depending on maintenance, traffic, and location, LVT will also be a long-term investment due to the long lifespan of about 25-30 years.