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What is LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile) Flooring? Everything You Need to Know

What is LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile) Flooring? Everything You Need to Know

Are you in the market for new flooring? With all the options, it can be hard to make a decision. 

Some commercial flooring options prioritize looking nice, and others are built to be sturdy, but the best ones often struggle to find a balance between the two. 

That’s where luxury vinyl tile (LVT) comes into play.

You may have heard of LVT more recently as it has quickly risen in popularity. So, what is LVT flooring? What makes it the best choice for a commercial facility? Let’s dig in and find out. 

LVT Flooring Definition

Luxury vinyl tile, or LVT, is an industry term that describes a type of vinyl tiling with the appearance of natural materials, like wood and stone. 

Don’t be confused if you see LVT referred to as luxury vinyl plank or LVP. LVP flooring is essentially the same thing as LVT. 

So, with that in mind, just know that what we talk about in this article also applies to LVP.

What is LVT Flooring Made Of?

LVT flooring is made up of four layers:

  1. Wear Coat
  2. Print 
  3. Vinyl Core
  4. Backing

Layer 1: Wear Coat

The wear layer is a transparent top coat that protects the print layer. This layer is the tile’s primary line of defense, protecting the decorative graphic from scratches, stains, and wear. 

This layer is made from virgin or recycled polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and coated with a UV-cured urethane for added protection. It’s thanks to the PVC top coat that LVT is so easy to clean, compared to traditional commercial flooring.

Layer 2: Print 

The print layer is arguably what makes LVT flooring stand out the most among other tiling options. 

This layer consists of a digital image printed on paper that is adhered to the vinyl core and protected by the wear layer. The print layer presents a very realistic image of tile, wood, stone, or any number of materials.

The print layer creates an upscale look for far less than it would cost to use real wood or stone.

Layer 3: Vinyl Core

The vinyl core is the LVT’s backbone, making up the main component of the tile. 

It is a synthetic material that is made by mixing and melting various ingredients together. Primarily, the vinyl core is a blend of PVC resins, calcium carbonate, plasticizers, and UV stabilizers. 

Depending on the manufacturer the blend can differ slightly, some more common ingredients include white pigments, calcium carbonate, and fungicides. 

Layer 4: Backing 

The backing is the final layer. 

This layer is waterproof, preventing the formation of mold and mildew underneath the tile. 

It also adds to the overall stability of the tile and ensures flatness. Some LVTs, such as the ones used for glue-down applications, have textured backing to help promote adhesion. 

Why is LVT Flooring so Popular?

In short, LVT flooring’s versatility, affordability, and ease of maintenance are what make it such a popular option for facilities in need of new commercial floors. 

Benefits of LVT Flooring: 

In this article, we’ll cover three of the biggest benefits of LVT flooring. 

  1. Easy maintenance
  2. Cost-effective 
  3. Easy installation 

Easy Maintenance

LVT flooring is very low maintenance compared to its counterparts. 

Unlike the stone, ceramic tile, and wood that it mimics, LVT flooring doesn’t need to be sealed or refinished, so the upkeep is simple. The trick is to be proactive with your floor care and maintenance. 

Once the damage has started, there isn’t much that can be done to bring the LVT flooring back.  

Daily dry soil removal is necessary to prevent dirt and soil from building up. If dirt and soil do build up, it will eventually end up scratching and damaging the wear layer.  

Damp mopping with a neutral cleaning and clean water will keep your floors looking fresh between periodic scrubbing. Another benefit is that you don’t have to worry about cleaning grout lines, either!


For its features and build quality, the cost to install LVT flooring is incredibly low.  

At its cheapest, LVT flooring can run from $1.75 to $3 per square foot. Thickness, core construction, and quality of the wear layer all actor into how expensive, and how durable, LVT flooring is. 

High-end LVT flooring costs around $5 per square foot, which is still cheaper than what you can expect for wood, stone, and some laminate flooring. But, in terms of durability, and compared to other waterproof options, it’s the best bang for your buck. 

You also have to take into account the low maintenance costs over its lifetime. You’ll spend less time and less product keeping these floors’ appearance up than any other natural flooring alternative. 

Easy Installation

One of the many great aspects of LVT flooring is that there are several different installation methods for you to pick from. 

There are varying levels of difficulty for different installation methods. 

Glue down, click, and loose lay are all popular methods. Rigid core click is another popular choice because it allows you to install the LVT flooring over hard surfaces, eliminating the need to tear out the existing floor.  

Where can LVT Flooring be Installed? 

Any and every facility can benefit from installing LVT flooring. 

In recent years, LVT flooring has become popular across multiple market segments, like most commercial buildings, offices, healthcare settings, residential homes, and universities, due to its durability and versatility. 

LVT flooring can even be found on boats and vessels alike. 

Facilities often install LVT flooring in areas that see heavy foot traffic or are prone to spills, like lobbies, corridors, break rooms, cafeterias, waiting rooms, and office spaces. 

Final Thoughts

LVT’s combination of high-quality design, low cost, and durability make it our go-to choice for commercial hard flooring. It may not be the cheapest vinyl option, but compared to wood or stone, it is both more affordable and more durable. 

LVT flooring can be 100% waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about spills leading to mildew or mold growth. 

On top of that, it’s slip resistant, making it ideal for fast-paced environments where workers on constantly on the go. This feature is also a big benefit during the rain/snow season. 

For good measure, LVT flooring is also anti-static, making it perfect for areas where an electric discharge can be dangerous. 

More than just having utility, though, LVT flooring is also visually pleasing. There’s a wide variety of natural materials that LVT flooring is designed to realistically mimic. If that’s not enough, you can even have custom digital images printed for the print layer, creating a truly unique floor design for your building. 

Not only does LVT flooring mimic natural materials with realism, but it’s actually more comfortable to walk on. Compared to stone, ceramic, porcelain, and wood, LVT flooring is much softer, making it easier on the feet. 

If you have any challenges with your LVT flooring, consider reaching out to one of our floor care experts, located at an Imperial Dade facility near you. 

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