7 Must-Have Features to Consider When Investing in Luxury Vinyl Flooring

National Floors Direct brings the Store to Your Door®

February 1, 2024

Luxury vinyl flooring has become famous for homeowners and commercial spaces thanks to its durability, versatility, and stunning aesthetics. With an array of options available in the market, it’s crucial to know what features to look for when investing in luxury vinyl flooring. Whether you’re renovating your home or upgrading your business space, here are seven must-have features to consider before deciding.

Quality and Thickness

The first feature to consider when investing in luxury vinyl flooring is the quality and thickness of the product. Luxury vinyl flooring comes in various thicknesses, typically 2mm to 8mm. A thicker plank or tile often signifies a more durable and long-lasting product. Thicker luxury vinyl flooring also provides better insulation and soundproofing, making it an excellent choice for residential and commercial spaces.

When assessing quality, look for products from reputable manufacturers known for their craftsmanship and attention to detail. High-quality luxury vinyl flooring will have a strong wear layer that protects against scratches, stains, and wear and tear over time. A top-tier product will often come with a warranty, which is a good indicator of its durability.

Authentic Appearance and Texture

One of the primary advantages of luxury vinyl flooring is its ability to mimic the appearance and texture of natural materials like hardwood, stone, and tile. When shopping for luxury vinyl flooring, pay close attention to the authenticity of the design and texture. A realistic visual appearance and a textured surface can make your luxury vinyl flooring virtually indistinguishable from the real.

Advanced printing and embossing technologies have made it possible for luxury vinyl flooring to replicate the unique grain patterns of wood or the intricate veining of natural stone. When choosing a luxury vinyl product, opt for those that offer a wide variety of designs and textures, allowing you to find the perfect match for your aesthetic preferences.

Waterproof and Moisture Resistance

Waterproof and moisture resistance are crucial, especially for spaces prone to spills and moisture, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. Luxury vinyl flooring is inherently water-resistant, but some products offer enhanced waterproof properties that provide an extra layer of protection against water damage.

Look for luxury vinyl flooring with a waterproof core, such as WPC (Wood Plastic Composite) or SPC (Stone Plastic Composite). These cores are highly resistant to moisture and can prevent water from seeping through and damaging the subfloor. Also, choose luxury vinyl flooring with tight seams and secure locking mechanisms to enhance moisture resistance.

Wear Layer Thickness

The wear layer thickness is another critical feature to consider when investing in luxury vinyl flooring. The wear layer is the topmost protective coating that shields the flooring from daily wear and tear, including scratches, stains, and fading from sunlight. A thicker wear layer provides better durability and longevity.

Typically, luxury vinyl flooring comes with wear layers ranging from 6 mils to 28 mils in thickness. A wear layer between 12 to 20 mils for residential use should suffice, while commercial spaces require a thicker wear layer of 20 mils or more. Be sure to choose a wear layer thickness that aligns with your space’s expected foot traffic and wear patterns.

Installation Method

The installation method is an often overlooked feature when selecting luxury vinyl flooring, but it can significantly impact the ease and cost of your flooring project. Luxury vinyl flooring is available in various installation options, including click-and-lock, glue-down, and loose lay. The choice of installation method should align with your DIY skills, project timeline, and budget.
Due to their ease of installation, click-and-lock luxury vinyl planks and tiles are popular choices for homeowners. They interlock, eliminating the need for adhesives. Glue-down luxury vinyl, on the other hand, requires adhesive for secure placement and is often chosen for commercial applications. Loose-lay luxury vinyl can be laid without adhesive, making it a convenient choice for temporary installations or areas where access to the subfloor is necessary.

VOC Emissions and Indoor Air Quality

Maintaining good indoor air quality is essential for a healthy living or working environment. Consider its VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions when choosing luxury vinyl flooring. VOCs can be released from some flooring materials and adhesives, contributing to indoor air pollution and health issues.

Opt for luxury vinyl flooring that meets or exceeds industry standards for low VOC emissions. Look for products certified by organizations such as FloorScore or GreenGuard, which assess flooring products’ indoor air quality impact. Choosing low-VOC luxury vinyl flooring will provide a healthier space and reduce the risk of odors and off-gassing.

Maintenance and Cleaning

Finally, consider the maintenance and cleaning requirements of the luxury vinyl flooring you select. While luxury vinyl is known for its low maintenance, different products may have varying care instructions. Some luxury vinyl flooring options feature enhanced stain resistance, making spills easier to clean and maintain.

It’s advisable to follow the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning guidelines to preserve the longevity and appearance of your luxury vinyl flooring. In general, luxury vinyl requires regular sweeping or vacuuming to remove debris and occasional damp mopping with a manufacturer-approved cleaner. Be aware of any specific care instructions to ensure your luxury vinyl flooring remains in top condition.

Luxury vinyl flooring is a wise choice due to its durability, versatility, and aesthetic appeal. To make the most informed decision, prioritize quality, authenticity, waterproof properties, wear layer thickness, installation method, indoor air quality, and maintenance requirements. By carefully considering these must-have features, you’ll be well on your way to selecting the perfect luxury vinyl flooring for your home or commercial space.