Luxury Vinyl Flooring and Standard Vinyl
So-called "luxury" vinyl flooring (LVF) differs from standard vinyl flooring in its ability to closely mimic the look of natural materials, such as wood or stone. It accomplishes this by a surface layer that has a very realistic photo-created image, combined with textures that resemble that of the real materials. Expect to pay higher prices for this product.
Qualities of Luxury Vinyl
- Simulates natural materials. Luxury vinyl flooring takes on one of two forms. Either it simulates stone (slate, travertine, marble, etc.) or it simulates wood (teak, maple, oak, walnut, and pine). (Traditional vinyl flooring sometimes imitates natural materials and sometimes does not.)
- Often plank-shaped. Another thing that distinguishes luxury vinyl tile (LVT) is the shape of individual pieces. Traditional sheet vinyl flooring comes in room-widths and -lengths to minimize or even eliminate seams. Normal vinyl tiles are usually square: 12"x12" or 16"x16" most often. Because LVT often imitates solid wood flooring, it comes in plank shapes. In this respect, LVT and laminate flooring are the same. Sizes vary, but the general shape is long and narrow. A typical size is 7" wide by 48" long.
- Composition. Luxury vinyl is typically either 100% vinyl or a vinyl/limestone mixture. Any wood-look LVF will be made of all vinyl. Stone-look LVF often will contain minerals. Armstrong's Alterna, for example, is 75% limestone and 25% vinyl. Note that only the base layer is limestone, while the top layer is vinyl. So, you are looking at and walking on the vinyl layer.
Size and Thickness
LVF usually comes in either plank or tile form. A typical plank size is 48 in. x 4.5 in. A typical tile size is 16" x 16". Sometimes, as with Mannington Adura, you can find unusual shapes, such as rectangles sized at 12" x 24".
Thicknesses range from 10mm to 12mm ( about 1/8"). Ordinary vinyl flooring can be as much as 10 times thinner, with bargain tiles coming in at 1.2 mm. Burke Flooring offers a product that is 20 mm thick.
(Source : thespruce.com)