Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) in a Custom Home?

While “vinyl” and “custom home” seem to be a contradiction, more custom home owners are considering installing luxury vinyl tile when they build their new home.  Luxury Vinyl Tile, also known as LVT, mimics the look of wood planks and stone tile.  It was introduced in 2006 and is one of the fastest growing flooring products in the residential market.

Why are some custom home owners choosing LVT for their new homes?

  1. LVT differs from traditional sheet vinyl in that it is thicker, with deeper embossing, and comes in individual plank or tile-shaped pieces. It has very realistic photo-imaging that makes it hard to distinguish from natural wood and stone flooring.
  2. While several times more expensive than sheet vinyl, LVT is usually less expensive than hardwood and tile, making it an appealing alternative to the natural materials.
  3. LVT planks can be installed in a standard hardwood pattern, or laid out in herringbone or parquet arrangement.
  4. LVT is a resilient, easy to maintain flooring, generally requiring only sweeping, vacuuming, or light mopping.
  5. LVT is softer to walk-on than hardwood, porcelain, or stone.
  6. LVT is not affected by water like hardwoods.
  7. LVT is hardwearing and durable flooring, good for high-traffic areas, children, and pets.
  8. LVT is great for sub-grade applications like basements where hardwood cannot be installed.

There are two kinds of LVT.

Glue-down LVT requires a special vinyl adhesive to glue it to the sub-floor.  Once installed, it requires several hours for the glue to harden before it can be walked on.  While, water-resistant, it is not waterproof as moisture can seep between the seams of the tile.  Because it is glued down, it requires more effort to remove it if needed.

Floating LVT does not require an adhesive.  Each piece has a tongue and groove edge that fits together with other pieces.  It can be walked on immediately after installation.  This type of LVT seems to be gaining popularity, especially in the higher-priced products.  Some of these products are advertised as water-proof.  They are also easier to remove if a plank if necessary.  However, because of the interlocking pieces, surrounding pieces can be damaged in the process.  Also, because the pieces are floating, you may notice a hollow sound when you walk on it.  If this bothers you, consider installing a thin pad on the subfloor first.  This does add to the cost, however.

As with any flooring choice for your custom home, there are pros and cons with luxury vinyl tile.  However, if this is a product that is new to you, it may be worth the time to check it out.  And if you are thinking of building new custom home in the Salt Lake City area, check out DaVinci Homes.