What Is LVT Flooring?

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There are various terms for the same type of flooring covering known as LVT flooring. The LVT stands for ‘Luxury Vinyl Tile’ though it is sometimes referred to as ‘vinyl flooring’ or ‘PVC flooring’.

Its main plus point is that it comes in planks or tiles which are easily manipulated to perform really well in whichever room they are put in.

LVT flooring is essentially a very thin floor finish that can mimic wood, tile, and stone as a more cost-effective solution.

The installation is also straightforward as it can be installed without glue as ‘floating’ or ‘glue down’.

Whichever name you want to call it by, LVT flooring is a great alternative to hardwood and laminate flooring which can work with an underfloor heating system.

In this guide, we will look at how LVT flooring is made, its benefits, where it can be applied, and how it can be applied with underfloor heating.

How LVT Flooring Is Made

One reason why LVT flooring is referred to as ‘PVC flooring’ is that it comprises multiple layers of PVC vinyl.

In fact, the PVC layers are mixed in with several compounds to affect how hard the eventual LVT flooring will be.

Those layers of PVC vinyl are compressed with a rolling process and suspended in a liquid. The layers are then dried via a heat and air application to create reliably tough sheets of vinyl.

You will recognise that the top layer features an embossed finish which may include a layer of depth to mimic the look and grooves of a material such as wood or stone.

It may take the appearance of those materials, but LVT flooring has a coating of clear vinyl and urethane applied when it has reached the end of its manufacturing.

These two layers are compressed together which adds even more protection and comfort underfoot.

You can also expect a final decorative layer of printed vinyl which is bonded to the surface for even more warmth and durability.

In an effort to create more eco-friendly products, some manufacturers are using recycled plastics as the core materials. A cork underlay can also be used as an alternative to plastic.

The thickness of LVT flooring can vary from 2 to 8 mm with the top layer alone differing between 0.1 to 0.6 mm.

Laminate flooring is comparatively thicker at between 7 and 12 mm, this is largely due to how dense and strong LVT flooring is.

This high density typically means that around 4 mm of compressed LVT flooring is stronger than 8 mm of High-Density Fibreboard.

The Benefits Of LVT Flooring

LVT flooring has risen in popularity in recent years, and it is easy to see why with so many benefits.

The primary benefit of LVT flooring is its moisture resistance which makes it the ideal flooring choice for kitchens and bathrooms.

While it remains highly durable it is also relatively thin so works really well for renovations and can be easily installed due to its glue down and click options.

That durability largely comes down to how easy it is to clean while remaining scratch and stain resistant, so you should not have to worry about its maintenance, even with pets and children.

LVT flooring is comfortable to walk on thanks to its softness and warmth properties while remaining quiet due to how well it reduces sound.

The details that mimic wood and stone can also be made to be extremely realistic while it remains more durable than both materials.

This type of flooring is also highly tolerant to humidity and changes in temperature making it ideal for conservatories.

Finally, LVT flooring is compatible with both electric and water-based underfloor heating systems as it is thin enough for the heat to transfer through.

Where LVT Flooring Should Be Applied

Where LVT Flooring Should Be Applied

Primarily, LVT flooring should be applied in rooms where you can expect some moisture to occur.

This makes it an ideal alternative to wooden floors and can be used in bathrooms and kitchens where you can expect some spillages.

The several layers used in LVT flooring ensure stability so that it remains flat without expanding due to water. For that reason, you are also likely to find LVT flooring in yoga studios and hair salons.

Though LVT flooring is so versatile that it can be suitable for any room, its durability makes it ideal for busy areas of your home such as the entrance hall.

Due to its sound-reducing properties, it can also be ideal in an upstairs room such as bedrooms or studies.

Whichever room it is installed in, this type of flooring can add character and charm due to how bold the flooring effects can be.

How LVT Flooring Can Be Applied With Underfloor Heating

If you are using underfloor heating with LVT flooring then you would be advised to use a floor probe. This is due to the floor finish requiring the floor surface temperature to be relatively limited.

Once the Wundatherm Premium+ Boards are secured to the substrate there should be no movement in the boards.

The underfloor heating also needs to be pressure tested to ensure that the system works as expected though the heating should remain off.

Any unused channels bridged with foil should be broken through with the foil edges pressed firmly into the channel walls.

Ensure all debris has been removed from the area and particularly the channels themselves.

It is also recommended that you prime the entire surface by applying UltraFloor Prime It MSP then ensure it is completely dry which may take a couple of hours.

You would also need to prepare the Wundatherm Premium+ boards by applying a 5 mm bed of UltraFloor Level It Two then allow that to cure for 48 hours before installing the LVT flooring itself on top with a high-temperature adhesive.

The flooring should remain at an ambient temperature for at least a week with the underfloor heating turned off. Gradually, the heating temperature can be increased to reach a working temperature.

LVT flooring has a surface temperature that is limited to 27 °C, the same as wooden flooring.

Final Thoughts

LVT flooring can be an ideal choice in your home due to how versatile and easy to install it is.

This type of flooring has increased in popularity due to its compatibility with underfloor heating systems as it is thin enough for the heat to transfer through.

There are a few added considerations to make for its installation, yet these are simple enough. You should find that they are worth it as LVT flooring is comfortable, decorative, and durable.

Contact us for further information on using LVT flooring with an underfloor heating system.


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