LVT Flooring has had a surge in popularity in recent years, becoming a draw for both homeowners and commercial businesses. This is due not only to the high visual appeal that LVT has but the strength of the material itself. It has a great ability to withstand heavy foot traffic and resists scratches, and even water – all whilst being one of the easiest floors in the market to clean.
As such, LVT is in high demand, and there’s a wide range of products out there in the market. These products vary not only in price but, unfortunately, quality. The allure of low-priced flooring with such benefits may be hard to resist, but before you give in, Luvanto has put together a guide to ensure that you fully understand what you’re getting into. After all, there are some long-term considerations that we believe a lot of customers miss.
The Nature of Cheap LVT Products
Everyone has a budget, and everyone wants the best value they can get. But cost versus value should take into account the negatives of what you get for your money, not just the positives. The cheap price point that seems like a practical solution, alongside the marketing that acts as if the product is comparable to their high-end alternatives, can make it look like an attractive option.
But beware, why is it cheap in the first place? The reasons are the following:
You can reasonably expect a good quality LVT flooring material, fitted by expert installers, to last for more than twenty years. Throughout that time, it will require frequent cleaning, and for the best results, the regular use of care & maintenance products to retain the floor’s finish and improve its longevity.
Cheap LVT doesn’t know the meaning of longevity, however. The long-term implications of buying cheap LVT mean that you will noticeably see the reduced quality of your flooring within a short space of time.
Why? Simple. The manufacturing process and materials used. You see, to sell LVT cheaply and still make a profit, the manufacturing process has to change. Instead of the high-quality materials used within LVT, cheaper ones are used instead. This means that the many layers that make up LVT are not only fewer or weaker individually, but their performance is inferior too.
Cheap LVT almost always has a thinner wear layer. The wear layer of cheap LVT is usually quite thin in comparison to many products on the market. For reference, the average wear layer for a residential area is 0.3mm. Luvanto, which only manufactures high-quality LVT, comes with a standard wear layer of 0.55mm, suitable for commercial use.
The wear layer is primarily responsible for protecting the layers beneath it – essentially maintaining visual appearance. With cheap LVT, this wear layer is thinner and wears out faster, exposing the layers that make up the pattern or finish which can then become discoloured or patchy.
Cheap LVT lures you in with lower upfront costs, but as with many cheap products, you end up paying more as a result. In the case of cheap flooring, this may mean repair or maintenance. One significant drawback of cheap LVT flooring is, as we said before, their longevity – but what happens when a section of LVT is damaged?
Glue-down LVT has the amazing ability to be repaired piece by piece, which makes it highly convenient and efficient as an option. Click LVT needs to be dismantled plank by plank to reach a damaged area. But when a cheap LVT means that your flooring may be damaged more often, and you must replace sections much more than you would a strong flooring material, then how convenient is it really? The cost will add up over time, and who knows, you may end up paying the price of a high-quality floor anyway.
On top of that, cheap LVT will become dirtier and may be less resistant to scratches and staining. This may mean that you have to jump through extra hoops to protect your floor or end up having to exert more effort cleaning up messes.
Ultimately, buying cheap LVT reminds us of the old adage – “buy cheap, buy twice”. It may be more worthwhile to simply save up for the best value option you can afford so that you can safely rely on your floor to remain in good shape for years to come.
It might be strange to think about, but yes, cheap LVT flooring can come with health concerns. Vinyl is known to emit VOCs, gases that have been attributed to various health problems, especially respiratory related. Therefore, you should always look to purchase LVT with an A+ rating (very low emission) as they are considered safe to use.
If your floor gets damaged, there’s a good chance that both bacteria and mould could follow. This is an unwanted proposition to those with families who suffer from allergens, or perhaps even young children who are not fully developed. Most disinfectants will kill off bacteria, but you should always look for an LVT with a fungal growth resistance of zero as this does not support fungal growth.
Poor Aesthetics and Performance
High-quality LVT flooring can mimic natural materials such as wood or stone with a realism that is uncanny. On top of that, rigid core products can not only look like these materials but feel like them in texture, too – to the point that only the warmth and bouncy comfort of the floor will tip you off that it’s actually vinyl.
How about budget LVT? Well, you’d probably spot the difference a mile off. Not only does the texture feel synthetic, but the designs will not look nearly as crisp and detailed, as the picture layer that creates the design and will have less resolution and crispness.
Then, of course, there’s performance. There have been many reports on issues on both the stability of these cheap LVT floors, but also the comfort. The LVT is not nearly as soft or comfortable underfoot, it may also be brittle and easily damaged.
Cheaper options do not necessarily mean better value options.
Why should I choose Luvanto’s LVT?
Luvanto’s LVT has a real advantage over cheap alternatives, as its construction is premium. Here’s why you should consider making Luvanto your flooring choice.
- Durability – Most residential LVT floors come with a 0.3mm wear layer. Luvanto’s LVT flooring has been meticulously designed for durability and proves this by boosting the wear layer to 0.55mm, which is usually reserved for commercial settings. Our floors are rigorously tested to withstand heavy foot traffic, and the occasional spills and scuffs that life throws its way.
- Finish – Luvanto has a fantastic Floor Care, Cleaning & Maintenance Kit that can maintain the finish of your floor and keep it looking as good as new for many years after you’d expect. The kit reinforces the wear layer, makes the floor look beautiful and, overall, simply takes the stress out of maintaining beauty.
- Beauty – Luvanto’s LVT has a massive range of patterns, colours and visuals – each of which is perfectly recreated with remarkable realism. Whether they are stone, wood, or geometric patterns – we have a style and colour to fit your home.
- Assured Health – Luvanto’s LVT use high-quality materials that are safe in use. When you invest in Luvanto, you are investing in the health and safety of your space. Our flooring adheres to high levels of safety standards.
- Peace of Mind – And we can’t forget about our warranties. So long as the right flooring products were chosen for the area in which they are used and properly installed, then you are backed by a warranty that will assure you are taken care of – a 25-year standard domestic warranty.
Thank you for reading this guide, and we hope you have been sufficiently warned about the dangers of cheap LVT products.