Luxury vinyl tile – the versatile flooring choice

Steve Ball, Technical Services Manager for Malmo™ outlines the benefits of luxury vinyl tile (LVT) flooring.

Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) continues to be the number one flooring choice in 2021 as its unique selling points become more widely recognised among consumers, contractors and installers. If you’re not that familiar with it, LVT is a printed vinyl flooring material that combines stylish and realistic design looks with high performance, easy installation and low maintenance benefits.

Realistic designs and textures

Long gone is the bland product supplied on a roll; these days LVT comes in realistic plank, herringbone and tile formats in a wide choice of designs that appeal to today’s consumer tastes and trends.

As a sophisticated man-made material, LVT has the benefit of being able to combine high performance with designs that mirror the look of natural stone, woodgrains and patterned tiles. Our Malmo™ Senses for example features registered embossed technology which can realistically replicate the look and feel of real wood because the surface texture is printed in line with the visual pattern of the woodgrain.

One of the major benefits associated with LVT flooring is that it delivers stylish, long-lasting looks with far easier cleaning and none of the ongoing maintenance issues of real wood flooring. The product offers wide design scope for any room within the home as well as a range of commercial applications.

Easy Installation

It’s no idle claim that LVT is faster and easier to install than natural stone and wood and this is another major factor behind its popularity. The product is supplied in packs of planks or tiles that are lightweight and easy to handle and transport to jobs.

Stickdown and rigid click are the two types of LVT flooring products which are installed through two different methods – stickdown is glued to the subfloor whereas the rigid click system is laid and locked into place. The choice of methods gives the flexibility for many applications across domestic and commercial interiors.

Both installation systems are easy to fit without the need for power tools and the flooring is easily cut to size with a Stanley knife or similar hand tool. This also makes it a straightforward and environmentally safe product to install on site with no dust or chemical particles to worry about.

Installers who are already familiar with laying tiles, wood or laminate flooring can easily add LVT into their portfolio of services. Reputable brands provide easy to follow instructions and online resources to enable fitters to learn the installation techniques. The secret to any successful flooring installation is to ensure the correct products and installation method is used for the application, so take the time to learn about the product you are installing and don’t assume they are the same – this avoids simple mistakes becoming problems and customer dissatisfaction down the line. See the Top Tips below to help you with this.

Rigid Click vs Stickdown

Both types of LVT flooring can be installed across domestic and commercial applications offering high performance, water, slip and wear resistance but there are instances where each have their particular strengths.

Stickdown LVT is a fully adhered system, and as it is glued to the subfloor it doesn’t expand or contract. This gives it a higher degree of stability and tolerance to temperature variations compared to rigid click installations, creating more freedom in its application. For example, it can be pre-installed before kitchen cabinetry allowing a job to flow more smoothly and quickly, in conservatories, and alongside large, glazed doors. It is also good for installing in large open plan spaces as no expansion gaps are required around the edge of a room or fixed furniture.

Rigid or ‘click’ LVT can be installed in many rooms in the home, as well as in commercial environments, and is generally faster and easier to fit than a stickdown product. For example, our Malmo™ Rigid products feature push down end joints and each plank only requires a firm finger touch to securely click the product into place with no need for hammers or tapping tools – offering particular benefits for bathrooms, cloakrooms and en-suites where space can be tight if working around sanitaryware and underneath doors. Look out for products with a built-in underlay because this will save a lot of time and make the job easier too.

With the boom in home renovation, LVT is a flooring product that offers a lot of potential for the trade with its wide flexibility for use and easy installation.

Across the complete Malmo™ LVT collection there are 57 on-trend designs in woodgrain planks, herringbone and tile effects in a broad colour palette to cater for every taste, with 13 new designs recently added to its Stickdown collection. The brand offers a warranty of up to 25 years for domestic applications and up to 10 years for commercial use.

Top Tips on laying Rigid Click LVT flooring

  1. Always allow 48 hours for the LVT product to acclimatise in the room where it is to be installed. Store the packs flat.
  2. Take appropriate time to prepare the subfloor ensuring it is level. Use a good quality levelling compound with a maximum 2mm variation over a 2m x 2m space.
  3. Remember that expansion gaps of 6mm are required around the perimeter of the room and any fixed object.
  4. When installed over underfloor heating, expansion gaps should be 10mm and the surface temperature not allowed to exceed 27⁰C.
  5. Install a door profile in every doorway.
  6. The maximum area of coverage without an expansion break is 10m x 10m.
  7. Heavy furniture, such as kitchen furniture, cannot be installed over a rigid click LVT floor.
  8. If the area has lots of glazing, e.g. a conservatory or bi fold doors, recommend to the customer to install blinds to minimise temperature variations.

This article was written by:

You may also like