Tag Archives: luxury vinyl tile

Alternatives to Hardwood Flooring – Part 2

mannington-adura-provence-resized-600This week, we look at Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) as another smart alternative to hardwood flooring.  LVT is the fastest growing category in the flooring business.  Why?  Like laminate flooring, it provides the natural, elegant look of wood, tile and stone at a more reasonable cost.  But the real story of LVT is its exceptional durability.  LVT is so durable that many of them are even recommended for light commercial use.

  • Exceptional Durability

Because LVT is constructed to withstand commercial wear and tear, it’s probably “over-qualified” for residential use and can handle high-traffic areas with ease. Warranties vary by manufacturer, but it’s not unusual to see 20-25 year warranties on brand name LVT.   Specialized wear layers (most commonly 20 mil) are engineered to be scratch-, stain-, dent- and scuff-resistant.   Then the floors are coated with urethane to enhance durability.

  • Realistic-Looking

LVT planks feature incredibly realistic photo replications of hardwood, with handsome graining, realistic knotholes, worn saw marks and beveled edges embedded in the wear layer.  This gives the floors the look and feel of real wood finishes at a fraction of the cost.

  • Naturally Water-Resistant

If  you’ve been longing for a hardwood look in your basement or bathroom – moisture prone areas that would normally be “off limits” for traditional wood flooring – this is your floor!  LVT can take water spillage and it’s possible that it may even survive flooding, provided that the floor was installed correctly and that you remove the water ASAP.  Now that’s impressive!

  • Safe & Comfortable Underfoot

Vinyl is inherently slip-resistant, making LVT a good flooring choice for folks with mobility problems, as well as kids and pets.  Plus, LVT is comfortable to walk on.  Because they contain multi-layers of vinyl as well as a resilient backing as the foundation, LVT tiles and planks have more resilience underfoot than hardwood.  It’s easier to stand on for long periods of time and it tends to be warmer underfoot than ceramic.

  • Fast & Easy to Install

LVT floors are either glued to or “floated” over a subfloor.  Although no underlayment is necessary, the subfloor needs to be secure, free of moisture, smooth and level.  This is important because roughness or unevenness of the subfloor may “telegraph” through the vinyl planks, resulting in an unsightly surface and excessive wear on high spots.  The cost and time involved in installation will depend on the condition of the subfloor.  That said, most LVT floors will be less expensive to install than hardwood.  As always, we recommend using trained, professional installers for the best long-term performance of any flooring product.  But the skilled “Do-It-Yourselfer” can save even more money by using special Luxury Vinyl Planks made for glueless installation.

  • Easy to Maintain

Simple damp mopping with a manufacturer-approved cleaner is the recommended cleaning procedure for LVT floors.  Although LVT is tough and durable, if a plank does become damaged, it can be removed and replaced.

mannington-adura-plank4-resized-600Our Favorite Luxury Vinyl Plank

Since its introduction in 2007, MANNINGTON ADURA® has been a perennial favorite of our customers.  In my opinion, it’s the most realistic-looking of the LVT products.  Mannington’s Adura collection features a nice variety of hardwood species, textures and plank sizes.  Adura Planks are available in today’s most popular 4″, 5″, 6″, and also variable width planks.  Take a look at Mannington Adura flooring in “Dockside” (pictured, above left) – a reclaimed and restored wood visual that makes a bold statement in design, color, and character.

freefit-amendoim-resized-600In a field of products known for their durability, Adura is “the best of the best” and is backed by a 20-Year Residential Warranty against wear, fading, staining, de-laminating and defects.  In fact, I can’t think of one instance where a customer has had a problem with an Adura floor.  The floor is that good (and our installers are that good)!

FREE FIT LVT Floors are new to Pucher’s.  When we learned about them, we were impressed by their innovation.   First of all, they’re totally glueless, making them really easy to install.  FreeFit planks feature a suction backing that forms an anti-skid surface between the subfloor & the plank.  FreeFit Planks are dense – the weight of the product allows it to lay flat to the subfloor. So, assuming you’ve got a good subfloor, the Free Fit floor is extremely stable and no glue required!  FreeFit claims to have the best warranty in the business – a Limited Lifetime Residential Warranty & 15 Year Commercial Warranty.  Pictured above, right is FreeFit LVT in Amendoim (Brazilian Oak).

Key Takeaway:  Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) and Planks will give your rooms a realistic hardwood look with more durability and for less money!  Now that’s a great value!

Flooring That Can Survive Flooding

adura-elements-resized-600

Due to the wet weather we have had in NE Ohio in recent years, many homeowners (including us) have run into problems with flooding (usually basements).  It seems like this year has been particularly bad.  In fact, our Berea store flooded this summer for the first time due to the unusually heavy storms we had.  We can’t control the weather, but let’s look at some practical flooring options that can help homeowners who live in a flood-prone area.

Carpet

Carpeting is a popular choice for basements because it is so warm & insulating and makes your basement areas more liveable.  But carpeting can be a real challenge after a flood.  The good news is that it can be saved , IF you act quickly!  The problem is actually the carpet pad, which absorbs a lot of water.  Water underneath the carpet creates the perfect breeding ground for mold. Once mold develops, it’s over.  So, your best move is to call professional cleaners ASAP (but no later than 24 hours).  They have powerful equipment that can quickly extract water, remove the carpet pad and dry the carpet ASAP.

However, if your carpet did not make it and you still want carpeting in the basement, you might consider carpet tile.  It is easy to install and is very family-friendly.  In case of flooding (or spills, pet accidents, etc.), simply remove the affected tiles, have them cleaned and re-install them.   The great news is carpet tile is becoming more popular today and is available in a variety of styles & colors.  It’s not just for offices anymore!

Wood & Laminate Flooring

We wish we had better news for you here.  Because they are porous, wood & laminate floors are often permanently damaged in the event of flooding.  Engineered wood & laminate flooring CAN be used in basements because they are less dense and more moisture-resistant than solid wood.  However, we would not suggest installing these floors in your basement if you live in an area that is flood-prone.

Ceramic & Porcelain Tile

No problem here. Because they are made of stone, these tiles only absorb about 1-2% of standing water, making them one of the most waterproof floors available.  Plus, they are fantastic solutions in southern climates because they keep homes nice and cool.  If you live up north like we do, you might consider installing radiant heating underneath the tiles; or you can try…

Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)

This product is one of our favorites and is especially good in any area where moisture is a concern.  They are waterproof (if installed with waterproof adhesive) and can handle standing water for a limited time.  If any of the tiles are damaged, simply cut the damaged tiles out and replace them with spares.  Plus, LVT is extremely durable, easy to clean and warmer and softer underfoot than ceramic.  If that weren’t enough, LVT tiles are gorgeous and available in a variety of realistic wood and stone looks (check out Mannington Adura, pictured above).

Key Takeaway:

Coming home to a flooded basement is no fun (we know).  Homeowners can mitigate the damage, cost and stress by choosing flooring that is not only durable and low-maintenance, but water-resistant and easy to replace.

Luxury Vinyl Tile – A Floor You Can Live On

aduratile1-resized-600Luxury vinyl tile and plank floors offer homeowners a winning combination of style, comfort and durability. 

If you’re in the market for flooring, take a look at Luxury Vinyl Tile.  LVT is one of the hottest-selling floors right now and with good reason.  It’s a real multi-tasker – attractive, functional and low-maintenance.  You get the wood or tile looks you love, plus an unbelievably durable floor.

LVT is perfect for:

  • Rooms where moisture is an issue (kitchen, bath, laundry, basement)
  • Families with kids and pets
  • High-traffic areas

I can even give it a personal endorsement.   I installed Mannington Adura vinyl tile in both of our bathrooms and couldn’t be happier with it.  First, the tile looks just like ceramic – you can see and feel the embossed stone texture.  But, unlike ceramic, the floor is soft, quiet and warm to walk on.  It’s water-resistant, so I don’t have to worry about getting it wet when I step out of the shower.  Plus, Adura has a scratch-resistant wear layer that comes with a limited 20-Year Residential Warranty.  I have dropped all sorts of stuff on it and it doesn’t chip, crack or break.  It is easy to keep clean, requiring only light sweeping and mopping.

Luxury vinyl tiles usually come in 16″ x 16″ tiles  in a variety of realistic tile, stone and slate looks.  Mannington Adura comes in a variety of sizes, shapes and includes accent tiles to help you create a custom designed floor.  LVT can be installed with or without grout.  Most LVTs can be installed over any substrate as long as it is clean, dry and smooth.  Adhesive is required.

Luxury vinyl planks are usually 4″ – 5″ wide, just like hardwood planks.  Most vinyl planks are glued down, although some companies feature quick locking products that can be easily clicked in place without glue by the do-it-yourselfer.

mannington-adura-provence-resized-600At Pucher’s Decorating we feature and can recommend the following brands of LVT as well as other vinyl flooring:

  • Adura by Mannington ($2.19 – $5.95 per sq ft)
  • Array Luxury Vinyl Tile & Plank by Shaw ($1.74 – $5.07 per sqft)
  • PermaStone by Tarkett ($3.99 per sqft)

The sale prices listed are current through 9/3/11.  Whichever look you choose, we think you’ll be pleased with the style and performance of your luxury vinyl tile floor.   Tell us about your experience with LVT.

Key Takeaway:  Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) gives you the best of all worlds – realistic stone and wood looks in a floor that is comfortable underfoot with unsurpassed durability.  It is truly a floor you can live on.