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  • Writer's pictureMaggie Hickey

Luxury Vinyl Flooring

Luxury Vinyl Flooring, also known as LVP or LVT, has swept through our industry quickly. Every store you enter, whether a big box store or a hometown retail business offers it, and has an opinion on it. But is it right for your family?

Luxury Vinyl Flooring came into the market place in response to a clear gap in the industry. In a rush to make laminate inexpensive they also compromised the quality of the product. Therefore, customers began experiencing issues with their laminate when it was exposed to moisture.

Laminate and Luxury Vinyl are NOT the same product.

The appealing aspect to a luxury vinyl is that it is marketed as "waterproof". And in kind, warrantied for the wet areas of your home (kitchen/bath/laundry). We have put TONS of this product down in all sorts of homes and had it function incredibly well. In fact everyone on our sales team has it in some aspect of their own homes. I (Maggie) have it in my wet areas (bath/kitchen/laundry). Kent (owner) has it in his laundry and kitchen. John has it throughout his entire house. My point simply being, when you choose the correct product combined with the correct application this product can, and does, work beautifully!

Choosing the correct Luxury Vinyl Flooring is incredibly important to how it will function in your home. The quality of the product is determined by its wear layer. That wear layer is referred to as a "mil". So, you should hear a sales person dictate product as a "12 mil, 20 mil" etc. This is different than the total over all thickness. The wear layer is the literal top layer, in which will take your every day wear as well as any abuse that might happen.

Luxury Vinyl Flooring has been on the market long enough for us to see the negative side to the product.

"Keep in mind, every product has a weakness. Determining what product works for your family is critical"

What we are seeing now are two issues worth mentioning. First, scratching. Luxury Vinyl Flooring is not scratch proof. Especially the lower mils. Here at CCI we don't recommend anything below a 12 mil because of the lack of appropriate performance. It just isn't functional for most families. The higher the mil layer the better scratch resistance you're going to get. Second, the thickness of the actual product. Luxury Vinyl Flooring is actually incredibly thin. There are benefits to this, however we mostly run into trouble because of it. Because it is so thin it will not cover any subfloor irregularities. Any lows and highs you have in your slab or plywood will teleport through. This often requires more money spent upfront to correct those issues. Also, because the product is so thin in turn the locking mechanisms are thin. If you have any of the lows and highs discussed previously and they are not corrected the product will break at those locking joints over time.

We are not here to say Luxury Vinyl will or wont work. Simply to encourage you to talk to a professional about your specific job. Each environment is different, and where one might thrive the other might fail. Make sure you fully trust the store you choose to work with and listen to their suggestions to determine what works best for your family!

*Be sure to always check the warranty, and manufacturer accepted conditions of the specific product you choose before installation. That information is typically available online, but if not ask your retail location for copies.

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