Ceramic Tiles v Luxury Vinyl TilesPublished 24/02/2014
For many years kitchens and bathrooms have mainly been floored with traditional ceramic or stone tiles. However, in recent years new flooring has taken consumers by storm – LVT or Luxury Vinyl Tiles to give them their full name.
The description of vinyl tile doesn’t do them justice and seems to hark back to an era of the rather uninspiring stick on tiling of the 1970’s – it couldn’t be further from the truth. Today’s tiles or planks mimic fashionable real stone, slate, marble or wood planks in rustic or sleek modern grains.
So what exactly are LVT made of? Think of your sheet vinyl and imagine a far more solid version that is cut into strips or tiles. They are made up of several layers:
- Base backing layer – made of material that is strong and adheres very well to adhesive (although a new click together version is now available)
- Centre core of different plastic properties to give more strength and stability.
- A printed image of the stone/wood etc – so accurate today with digital imaging and a variety of images to make the floor look more naturally varied
- Transparent layer
- Polyurethane coating – this is what gives your surface scuff resistance and a low maintenance regime
Why would you choose a vinyl tile over ceramic?
It is true ceramics/stone have very good, long lasting qualities – very durable, cemented in with grout so movement is minimal. The glaze also gives an excellent strong surface which is fairly difficult to damage (although some stone can be absorbent if not protected).
So what does LVT offer that ceramic doesn’t? There are some key features you may like:
- Warm – it feels warm and softer to the touch, tending to retain the ambient temperature of the room
- Hygienic – there are no grout line to try and keep clean
- Easy to maintain – day to day just wash with small cap of cleaner in water (minimal aftercare – saving time and money)
- Affordable – excellent quality of product for lower prices than stone or wood
- Practicality – you can put it in any room. Although hard to damage you can just release a tile and replace it