Have you ever been in a coffee shop or supermarket and wondered how they could possible have hardwood floors in such a high-traffic, high-use environment? Commercial Luxury Vinyl Tile (or LVT for short) is their secret!
Commercially-rated LVT offers the appearance and style of a wood floor, but with all the durability and resiliency of hard-wearing vinyl. And luxury vinyl tile isn’t limited to just simulating wood! LVT is available in a huge variety of colours, styles, textures, and appearances that can give the appearance of slate, stone, tile, concrete, and more!
Looks fake? Only the basic ones.
One of the most common misconceptions about commercial luxury vinyl tile is that it “all looks fake”. While some of the very entry-level products do lack a realistic appearance, it’s typically only the “fake-looking” ones that you notice as not being genuine wood! The high quality commercial-grade LVTs we sell and install have built-in actual 3D texture and grains in their surfaces, ranging from the subtle to the pronounced. Some LVT product lines are even available in varying plank lengths to go a step further in simulating the look and feel of a real hardwood floor!
Why choose luxury vinyl tile?
If you want the appearance of wood, then why choose LVT? The quick and easy answer is durability. As beautiful as a natural hardwood floor can be, it requires an extensive amount of careful maintenance. Natural hardwood floors need to be carefully cleaned and cared for on a regular basis, and will need to be periodically stripped and refinished on a periodic basis regardless of how meticulously they are cared for. Hardwood floors by their very nature are sensitive to moisture and temperature changes – a flooded floor due to a failed appliance, or extreme humidity/temperature fluctuations, can severely damage or completely destroy a genuine hardwood floor.
Luxury vinyl tile offers none of those disadvantages. Because LVT is made completely of vinyl, it is absolutely waterproof and is completely unaffected by water. In fact, some LVT product lines are designed to fit together so tightly that they actually offer a waterproof seal between tiles! Unlike wood, LVT is also completely homogeneous throughout the entire tile from top to bottom and from tile to tile; this means that the expansion and contraction of the tiles caused by temperature changes is minimized and is uniform across all the tiles at the same time.
LVT’s key advantage: the Sacrificial Wear Surface.
LVT’s best advantage over real hardwood lies in the surface you actually feel and touch: the sacrificial wear surface. Natural hardwood has to be finished after installation by applying a protective layer of coating – commonly urethane. This protective layer acts as a sacrificial wear surface – meaning that it’s the surface that takes the wear and tear of traffic instead of the wood below. This is analogous to how you use a cutting board in your kitchen when chopping vegetables to protect your countertops! But while urethane is a tough surface, it’s not nearly as tough as what is applied to LVT at the factory. Urethane coatings on natural wood floors need to carefully monitored, as they will wear through unevenly in areas of high traffic – and the coating has to be stripped and refreshed before wearing all the way through the final coat, or permanent damage can occur to the wood! Typically urethane coatings will only last a few years in a commercial environment before needing a major service and refreshing.
High quality, commercially-rated luxury vinyl tiles don’t have this drawback. The sacrificial wear surface is applied in a perfectly-even manner at the factory, and is integral to the tile – there’s nothing to wear off! And depending on the specific model of tile, some sacrificial wear layers are rated to the same hardness as diamonds! The highest-quality LVTs we carry offer 10 – and even 20! – year warranties for protection against wear. You’ll be ready to remodel for a new and style look long before your LVT floor wears out!
Contact us today to see how a luxury vinyl tile floor can work in your commercial space!