You want the classy look of hardwood floors, but you’re not quite ready to drop a small fortune on them. You love hardwood flooring’s classic good looks, but you’re not quite convinced it’s right for you. You have a busy house filled with kids and pets who love to create messes. You’re worried you’ll be on edge watching them scamper across, wondering when the first nick or scratch will occur.
Enter luxury vinyl plank.
Think of it as a chameleon, mimicking the appearance of wood with impressive realism.
Not quite sure about luxury vinyl planks? Does the word “vinyl” set you on edge?
We get it. A lot of people start out that way until they learn more about luxury vinyl.
Luxury vinyl plank, or LVP for short, is the result of some serious flooring evolution. Way back, vinyl flooring got a bad rap for being, well, a bit cheap. The aesthetics weren’t perfect, and the durability was anything but good.
Then someone had a lightbulb moment: “What if we make vinyl flooring that looks like real wood and feels amazing underfoot?”
Luxury vinyl plank is the cool, stylish cousin of regular vinyl flooring. With advancements in printing and embossing technologies, manufacturers figured out how to create textures that mimicked the grain of hardwood. The high-resolution printing techniques brought out the intricate details – knots, swirls, and all.
Luxury vinyl planks are here to stay. But are they the right choice for your home?
How luxury vinyl planks are made
Luxury vinyl planks are crafted through a blend of technology, craftsmanship, and a dash of personalization.
Luxury vinyl planks are made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin, calcium carbonate, plasticizers, and sometimes, a few secret additives that make the vinyl planks more resilient and good-looking. Each manufacturer has their own way of doing things, and it shows up in the planks’ structure, durability, and aesthetics.
As each plank is crafted, high-resolution images of real wood are printed onto the vinyl sheets using advanced printing technologies. These images capture every detail – the knots, grains, and nuances of natural wood. To make it feel like real wood underfoot, the vinyl planks undergo embossing. This process involves pressing the heated vinyl sheets with textured plates that impart realistic patterns and grain to the surface. It’s like adding the finishing touch to a painting.
The large printed and embossed vinyl sheets are then cut into individual planks. This is where the dimensions and shapes take form, creating the familiar look of wood flooring. Precision is key here to ensure consistency in each plank.
A clear wear layer is added on top to enhance durability and protect against daily wear and tear. This layer shields the plank from scratches, stains, and sunlight, keeping your LVP looking fresh for the long haul.
Many luxury vinyl planks come with additional features for easy installation. Some have click-and-lock systems, making them a breeze for DIY enthusiasts. Others may have adhesive backing or glue-down options, catering to different installation preferences. What’s right for you depends on your unique situation.
What makes luxury vinyl planks durable
Even reading the above gives you an idea of why luxury vinyl planks are durable. But let’s break it down further … in case you need more convincing.
At the top, you’ll find the wear layer – a transparent, protective coating that shields the flooring from scratches, stains, and fading due to sunlight. The wear layer thickness varies among different products, and the thicker it is, the more resistant the flooring is to wear and tear.
The primary component of luxury vinyl planks is polyvinyl chloride (PVC). It’s a robust and resilient material that can withstand heavy foot traffic, making it ideal for busy households and commercial spaces. Calcium carbonate is often added to enhance rigidity.
The realistic appearance of luxury vinyl planks is achieved through high-resolution printing technology. This printing captures the intricate details of wood, from grain patterns to knots. Embossing techniques further enhance the authenticity by adding texture that mimics the feel of natural wood.
Luxury vinyl planks typically consist of multiple layers, including the core layer. This layer provides stability and additional resistance to impacts and pressure. Some luxury vinyl planks incorporate a rigid core technology, like WPC (Wood Plastic Composite) or SPC (Stone Plastic Composite), making them even more durable and resistant to moisture.
Unlike traditional hardwood, luxury vinyl planks are highly resistant to water damage. Water spills, pet accidents, or wet mopping won’t lead to warping or swelling. This makes it an excellent choice for moisture-prone areas like kitchens and bathrooms.
Luxury vinyl planks are designed to be stable in various temperature conditions. They don’t expand or contract as much as natural wood, making them suitable for installation in environments with temperature variations. Want them in your basement? Not a problem.
Luxury vinyl planks’ durability is also linked to its low-maintenance nature. Regular sweeping and occasional damp mopping are usually sufficient to keep it looking pristine. The protective wear layer prevents stains from penetrating the surface, simplifying cleaning tasks.
The top layers of luxury vinyl planks are engineered to resist fading due to exposure to sunlight. This UV resistance ensures that your flooring retains its vibrant colors and doesn’t lose its aesthetic appeal over time.
Combining these elements, manufacturers have created a flooring option that can meet daily life’s challenges, making luxury vinyl planks a durable, practical, and attractive choice for many homeowners and businesses.
Are luxury vinyl planks right for you?
Do you see the benefits of installing luxury vinyl planks in your kitchen, living space, or basement? You’re not alone. That’s why they continue to grow in popularity.
If you’ve been hunting for the right flooring material for your remodel, look no further than luxury vinyl planks. Their good looks and durability are things few homeowners can ignore. They’re the perfect addition to any home where aesthetics and functionality go hand in hand.
Need help finalizing your selection? We have many different products available and can help you find the look you’ll love for many years to come.
How can we help you with your luxury vinyl plank purchase?