Luxury Vinyl Plank

LVP flooring example

LVP - Luxury Vinyl Plank

LVP, or Luxury Vinyl Plank, is a robust, affordable, and a great looking alternative to hardwood flooring. While having the look, texture, and warmth of real wood, LVP has become a popular option replacing typical hardwood because of its resilience and strength.

As the name describes, Luxury Vinyl Planks are planks that look like real hardwood.  The individual pieces of vinyl (not sheet vinyl) look similar to the real thing.  Most luxury vinyl is waterproof (or highly water resistant).

What’s behind today’s Luxury Vinyl Planks:

These planks are developed with multiple layers of durability with protective top layers that resists scratches, dents, and stains from everyday traffic. When manufactured, the layers are bonded through a process called curation.  This bonding process needs to be done correctly in order for the coating to hold-up properly.  Reviewing the product’s warranty will guide you on manufacturer level of bonding.

The level of wear on a vinyl plank is measured in mil or one thousandth of an inch, roughly 40 mil equals 1.0 mm.  Quality products have the highest wear layer which makes it more resistant to scratching and denting. Look at wear layers of 12 mil or more for residential use.  An active family or an assemblage of pets consider 20 mil or higher.  Commercial traffic require even thicker wear layers.

Cores and Bottom Layers

LVPs core structure is made of a solid Wood Plastic Composite or called WPC. WPC is made of thermoplastic and calcium carbonates, there’s no actual wood.  And it’s safer for your family because it’s free of phthalates.  With this rigid center there’s an increase of durability and better stability, it’s also water resistant and mask minor imperfections in the subflooring.

The underlay or backing may include a pad or other soundproofing material and provide underfoot cushioning.  Not all vinyl planks come with an underlayment backing which needs to be included when installed.

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