Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) and Plank flooring are popular choices for residential and commercial spaces due to their versatility, durability, and affordability. Both LVT and vinyl plank flooring (LVP) offer a range of benefits, but there are also some disadvantages that must be considered before making a final decision. This article will explore the advantages and disadvantages of LVT and vinyl plank flooring so that you can make an informed decision about the best flooring option for your space.
Advantages of LVT and Vinyl Plank Flooring
Versatility: Luxury vinyl tile & plank flooring come in a wide variety of styles, patterns, and colors, making it easy to find a design that complements your decor. They can mimic the look of natural materials such as hardwood, stone, or tile, and offer a realistic, high-quality appearance. This makes LVT and vinyl plank flooring suitable for any room in your home or office, including kitchens, bathrooms, and high-traffic areas.
Durability: LVT and vinyl plank flooring are made from a combination of PVC and other materials, making them resistant to moisture, stains, and scratches. They are also easy to clean and maintain, making them an ideal choice for busy households or commercial spaces.
Affordability: Compared to natural materials like hardwood or stone, LVT and vinyl plank flooring are more affordable, making them an accessible option for many home and business owners. They also require less initial investment for installation and maintenance, making them a cost-effective flooring option over the long term.
Easy Installation: Luxury vinyl tile & plank flooring are easy to install and can be done by a DIYer or professional flooring installer. They are available in a variety of installation methods, including floating, peel-and-stick, and groutable options, so you can choose the installation method that works best for your space and budget.
Comfort: LVT and vinyl plank flooring are comfortable underfoot and provide a warm, cushioned feel, making them a great choice for areas where you spend a lot of time on your feet. They also reduce noise levels, making them a suitable choice for apartments, condos, and offices.
Environment: LVT flooring is typically made from vinyl, a synthetic material that can be produced using less energy and resources than natural materials like wood and stone. LVT flooring is often recyclable, which can reduce waste and contribute to a more sustainable future.
Disadvantages of Luxury Vinyl Tile & Plank Flooring
Limited Longevity: Although LVT and vinyl plank flooring are durable, they have a limited lifespan compared to natural materials like hardwood or stone. Over time, they may start to show signs of wear and tear, and eventually, they will need to be replaced. This however does depend on the amount of traffic. We’ve seen even inexpensive regular vinyl flooring in great shape after 10 years in bedrooms with relatively low traffic. And LVT is a thicker more durable grade of vinyl flooring than inexpensive regular vinyl flooring.
Heat Resistance: Luxury vinyl tile & plank flooring can become hot underfoot in direct sunlight, making them less comfortable and less suitable for outdoor use. This can also make them less suitable for use in areas with high levels of heat exposure, such as sunrooms or conservatories.
Reduced Resale Value: Although LVT and vinyl plank flooring are more affordable than natural materials, they may not add as much value to your home when it comes time to sell. Potential buyers may prefer the look and feel of natural materials, and may be less interested in a home with LVT or vinyl plank flooring.
Limited Customization: LVT flooring is somewhat limited in terms of customization compared to other flooring materials such as hardwood or tile. While LVT flooring comes in a wide range of styles and patterns, it is limited in terms of the level of customization that can be achieved. For example, you cannot refinish and change the color of LVT flooring like you can with hardwood.
Chemical Sensitivity: LVT and LVP flooring are easy to clean & maintain however it can be sensitive to certain chemicals, such as bleach, and can become damaged or discolored if they come into contact with these substances. One simply must be careful to avoid harsh chemicals & follow manufacturers recommendations for cleaning.
Environment: LVT flooring can potentially emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are chemicals that can have negative effects on air quality and indoor air health. Some LVT flooring products can potentially leach harmful chemicals into the environment and harm wildlife. VOCs are released from many common building materials, including some flooring products.
Not all LVT flooring products emit VOCs at levels that are considered harmful. It’s important to look for LVT flooring products that are certified low-VOC or VOC-free to minimize the potential impact on the environment & indoor air quality. You can also reduce the impact of VOCs by ensuring proper ventilation in your home or office and avoiding the use of strong chemicals or cleaning products that can exacerbate the issue.
It’s worth noting that while LVT flooring can have a small impact on indoor air quality, it is generally considered to be a relatively low-emitting flooring option compared to some other types of flooring, such as carpet or flooring adhesives. And while the production and disposal of LVT flooring can contribute to plastic waste and pollution, especially if the product is not properly recycled, many LVT flooring products are made from recyclable materials, which can help reduce environmental impact overall.
When comparing the environmental impact of LVT flooring to natural materials like wood and stone, it’s important to consider the entire lifecycle of the product, from production and use to disposal and recycling. Some natural materials, such as wood, may have lower environmental impact than LVT flooring in some areas, but may have higher impact in others, such as resource depletion or deforestation.
Ultimately, the best choice for a more environmentally friendly flooring option will depend on individual circumstances, such as location, budget, and personal values. It’s important to do your research and consider the environmental impact of each option carefully before making a decision.
As you can see, like anything, there are many pros and cons with LVT luxury vinyl tile and plank. Considering LVT flooring is the most popular flooring choice overall in the US, many obviously consider the pros to outweigh the cons.