Luxury vinyl flooring? Really?
Yes but these products definitely are not the shiny orange sheet that covered your moms kitchen floor, or the old peel-and-stick school hall tiles your dad plopped down in the foyer. Modern luxury vinyl is a broad category that includes wood- and stone-look products with colors and textures good enough to fool the eye.
It is a category thats growing rapidly. Earlier this year, the industry website, Floor Daily called it the most dynamic category. Sales of luxury vinyl hit $500 million last year up 13 percent, Floor Daily reported.
For those who dont choose carpet, hardwood or hard tile, luxury vinyl instead of laminate is likely to be the favorite option.
If you visit your favorite home center or floors website, youll find lots of options. Online, youll find discussions of the best products and techniques.
Theres even a shorthand: LVT for luxury vinyl tile, and LVP for luxury vinyl plank.
These are products you can install yourself if youre reasonably handy. Some products click together for ease of installation.
If you have the top products installed by a pro, though, you can pay about as much for luxury vinyl as for some standard hardwood or ceramic tile. Say, $7 to $11 a square foot installed.
So, if not for price, why choose luxury vinyl?
Again, the appearance is one reason. The tile-look products can be grouted, to make it look more like ceramic or stone. The wood-look planks feature rich colors and textures. The technology responsible for such looks is helping to drive the popularity.
Its softer under foot than tile, and stands up to spills and large pets better than hardwood. One huge advantage for luxury vinyl is that it isnt damaged by moisture.
Many designers like the high-end laminates, but manufacturers have never been able to fully eliminate that distinctive and sometimes objectionable clicking sound when its walked on.
Luxury vinyl has a couple of advantages for remodeling projects.
These floors can be glued down or floated. Individual tiles and planks can be clicked together and then installed without glue, to float on special underlayment. Floating floors can cover up minor imperfections in the subfloor.
Luxury vinyl is thinner than hardwood, and thinner than stone or ceramic tile installed on the required underlayment. When remodeling, its easier to match a thinner product to the level of the surrounding existing floors.
One common complaint about luxury vinyl is the lack of good-looking options for the edge, or transition, where luxury vinyl abuts another type of flooring or a floor thats a slightly different level. Installers use wood and a matching stain, or metal, but it is not an ideal solution to dealing with edges.