In addition to carpet, hardwood and laminate, vinyl is a popular choice for the floors of your home or business. Vinyl itself comes in several forms. There is sheet vinyl, which is glued directly to the subfloor. Sheet vinyl has come a long way with realistic tile, wood and stone looks. The other option for vinyl is called luxury vinyl, which comes in either tiles or planks.
Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT) look like stone or ceramic tile. With natural colors and surface texture, these tiles look and feel like real stone or ceramic. Luxury Vinyl Planks (LVP) offer the look of wood planks in various species and colors. Surface textures can even include scraping or embossing to heighten the realism.
Whether you choose sheet vinyl, LVT or LVP, you will get a resilient flooring, know for its warmth and comfort underfoot. It’s real claim to fame though is its resistance to moisture, making it the best option for a bathroom or kitchen. It’s also much less expensive than real ceramic or wood.
So, maybe you’ve decided luxury vinyl is the way to go for your new bathroom install, now all you need to do is decide on the style and color, right? Not quite, there are still many more things to consider and this is where it can get confusing.
First, you can choose how you want to install the luxury vinyl floor. There are still some that you can glue down, while other options include floating click and loose lay. With floating click, the planks or tiles click together forming a water-tight seal. Loose lay flooring allows you to simply lay each piece down to cover the floor. This type of flooring is simple to repair since you can easily remove one piece in the middle of the room and replace it.
You will also have choices on the thickness of the tile or planks. The core of the plank may have extra cushion to dampen sound and provide more comfort under foot. Other types may be more rigid, allowing them to hold up better under heavy foot traffic.
There are some other acronyms used to describe the core of luxury vinyl: WPC and SPC. Depending on the manufacturer, these stand for different things. For example, WPC can stand for Wood Plastic Composite, Waterproof Polymer Core or Wood Polymer Core. Likewise, SPC can stand for Stone Polymer Composite, Solid Polymer Core and other variations. So, you can see where the confusion might set in!
If you are looking for new flooring and decide to research luxury vinyl, you might become frustrated with all the different terms and lack of consistency. All manufacturers tend to have their own name for things, which makes it difficult for the consumer to know what’s what. With just a few searches on the Internet, you will soon realize there’s way more to luxury vinyl flooring than you may have originally thought!
This is where you local flooring store can be your best option for expert flooring advice. They will know the differences between manufacturers and the type of products they make so you will be better able to compare. In addition, you can simply explain to an expert at a flooring store what type of look you want, where in the house it will be used and what type of traffic it is likely to get. Then they can offer suggestions and help you weed through the flooring jungle to find the best luxury vinyl option for your needs.