Column: Luxury vinyl can mimic realistic textures

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Northampton is a moisture-resistant plank that features seven-year light commercial Virgin vinyl, making it durable and easy to clean. (Submitted photo)

Northampton is a moisture-resistant plank that features seven-year light commercial Virgin vinyl, making it durable and easy to clean. (Submitted photo)

While most people wouldn’t think vinyl to be a very contemporary flooring choice, there have been many innovations in vinyl over the last few years. Today’s luxury vinyl tile (or LVT) products have been specially developed to mimic the look of natural materials and textures, which can bring a new degree of beauty into your home. While LVT has been gaining popularity among builders, the majority of homeowners remain unaware of the innovations and benefits of LVT flooring. Let’s quickly take a crash course in LVT 101.

 Aesthetics

Luxury vinyl can mimic realistic textures such as distressed wood finishes, stone, slate and even woven textiles into virtually any space. The wide array of designs comes from the way it’s manufactured. LVT is created when layers of different synthetic materials are bonded together and overlaid with an image. The appearance of the design is actually printing using a giant press, and then protected with a clear coating that’s applied on top. LVT prints are pretty amazing because they can perfectly render various natural materials such as stone or hardwood almost identically.  It’s no secret that natural materials can often be very expensive to install and maintain. (Hardwood especially comes with limitations due to wood’s susceptibility to moisture and harsh temperatures.) But luxury vinyl offers you an alternative way to capture the look of natural materials and bring them into spaces that may not have accommodated the real-life versions. The only consideration to take into account is that LVT must be used on flat, level surfaces. This means it cannot be used on stairways or other inclines.

 Maintenance

LVT has gained a reputation for being durable and easy to maintain. The protective top layer makes its surface scratch, stain, dent and scuff resistant: ideal for high traffic areas. Additionally, LVT floors are inherently water resistant. All that’s required to clean LVT is simple, damp mopping. And because it’s made from sustainable materials that can be recycled, vinyl is a green building material.

 Safety

Manufacturers of LVT have paid careful attention to creating a product that’s safe to use in commercial and residential spaces. Vinyl meets flammability codes and is slip resistant in case of spillage. And because it’s made of multiple, resilient layers, LVT planks are generally more comfortable to stand on for long periods of time. As an added benefit, they tend to be warmer underfoot than ceramic tile or stone.

 Cost

Luxury Vinyl tiles are quite cost efficient, when compared to their natural counterpart. And given their durability properties, LVT flooring can last for years to come if properly cleaned and maintained.

If you think luxury vinyl flooring could be a great choice for your next remodel project, you can learn more by visiting: http://the-affordablecompanies.com/flooring/materials/vinyl.

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