LVT Floor is primarily made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and calcium carbonate (limestone). Luxury vinyl flooring consists of multiple layers that include a factory-applied urethane topcoat that protects against scuffing, scratching, abrasion, and chemicals, a protective vinyl layer that provides durability, and a decorative PVC printing film that provides design and color. and flexible vinyl backing.
LVT design and comfort:
Luxury vinyl floor comes in a variety of designs that have been designed based on different needs for different spaces. Some LVT floors come with an acoustic underlay for added comfort underfoot as well as sound-dampening properties. Others are specifically created for areas that require quick installation without any off-gassing from adhesives, such as hospitals and schools. There are even LVTs specifically designed for marine vessels such as cruise ships!
Vinyl plank and tile products are also produced more sustainably from more environmentally friendly raw materials. For example, phthalates have historically been used in PVC materials to make the product more flexible and softer, but have been linked to some health problems. This has led many responsible manufacturers, such as Tile Bar, to ban their manufacturing process. Tile Bar LVT products are also made from 100% virgin raw materials to ensure they remain free of metals such as lead, mercury, and tin, which are known instigators of health problems when people are exposed to them for long periods.
How is LVT installed?
There are several designs of luxury vinyl flooring that have been designed to meet different needs in both commercial and residential spaces. Innovations in the LVT product category have made the installation process easier for homeowners and plumbers.
Adhesive: Also known as “dry back”, the adhesive is most commonly used in commercial applications due to high-traffic environments and heavy rolling loads. This installation method requires the use of adhesive during installation. In the past 10 years, there have been many innovations with adhesives beyond the traditional towel application, including spread-on, peel-off, stick-on, and spray-on adhesives.
Click: Unlike glue down, click does not require the use of adhesives, as the boards or tiles are installed using a tongue and groove locking system on the edges of the product. This makes installation faster and easier than gluing/drying. However, traditional click LVT has problems with subfloor irregularities and dimensional stability, so it has mostly been replaced by the improved solid core product category.
Rigid Core Click: This LVT has an installation process similar to click LVT, but usually has a thicker and more rigid construction. LVT rigid core construction provides better dent resistance, better dimensional stability, and more comfort underfoot. There are 2 general categories of rigid cores: WPC (wood plastic core) and SPC (solid polymer core or stone plastic composite). WPC was the original rigid core construction introduced to the US market, but it had problems with product construction and dimensional stability. SPC flooring was introduced to correct the shortcomings encountered by WPC flooring and offers a more structurally stable and waterproof construction.
Free Lay: This version of LVT has a thicker product construction than glue. Most manufacturers promote loose laying of LVT in smaller spaces without rolling loads, as the minimal adhesive is required around the perimeter. Manufacturers recommend that the adhesive be applied to loose-laid LVT in a medium-sized room (room width greater than 20 feet) around the perimeter of the room or even a grid of adhesive every 8 feet.
In applications with heavy traffic or rolling loads, manufacturers recommend a full application of free-lay adhesive to make it a tacky installation. The advantages of loose laying are a faster installation process, acoustic benefits, use on substrates with high moisture content, installation over existing floors, and greater comfort underfoot.