Luxury Vinyl Tile
For years, sheet vinyl flooring was regarded as the very best choice for locations where moisture- and stain-resistance was an issue, such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements, and kitchens. But standard vinyl is made from a very thin layer of vinyl printed with a design layer and covered with protective coating; it is prone to gouging and tearing, and it can feel quite hard underfoot, especially if it is installed over concrete.
In response to this, manufacturers created a new form of vinyl, known as luxury vinyl flooring, or LVF. Luxury vinyl flooring is sold in semi-rigid planks (LVP) or tiles (LVT) and is installed using the same click-lock interlocking edges that are found in laminate flooring. Although luxury vinyl was introduced in the 1970s, it was not until the 1980s that it really took off as a flooring material. Today, it is challenging laminate flooring as the best second-tier choice after hardwood and ceramic or stone tiles.
Standard vinyl flooring is sold either in flexible sheets or in square tiles. Standard vinyl consists of a thin backing layer of felt or fiberglass, to which a thin layer of solid vinyl is bonded. This vinyl layer is printed with a design, then covered with a transparent protective coating. Standard vinyl is flexible and quite thin, with a wear layer of only 10 to 15 mil (10/1000 to 15/1000 of an inch).
Luxury vinyl is a much different type of flooring, though it contains the same PVC vinyl as standard vinyl flooring. Luxury vinyl is sold in multi-ply planks or tiles with wear layers that range from 2 to 8 mm in thickness (roughly 8/100 to 3/10 of an inch thick). This makes luxury vinyl planks considerably thicker than standard vinyl, giving it a semi-rigid nature.