The Ultimate Luxury Vinyl Flooring Guide
Home Improvement

The Ultimate Luxury Vinyl Flooring Guide

Luxury vinyl flooring, often abbreviated as LVT, has become an increasingly popular flooring option for homes and businesses over the past decade. This high-performance material combines the classic look and feel of natural materials like wood, tile and stone with the durability and water-resistance of vinyl. Keep reading to learn all about luxury vinyl flooring.

What is Luxury Vinyl Flooring?

Luxury vinyl flooring consists of multiple layers fused into durable planks or tiles. The top vinyl layer is decorated with photographic prints or colored films to mimic wood grains, stone textures, concrete, leather and more. This layer is coated with a clear protective finish that resists stains, scratches and fading.

The core layer gives LVT its structure and shape, while the bottom layer contains glass fibre, felted polyester, or textiles for added stability and cushioning. Advanced printing technologies allow luxury vinyl floors to capture fine details of real hardwood, slate, marble and other materials convincingly.

Types of Luxury Vinyl Flooring

There are two main categories of luxury vinyl flooring:

Rigid Core Luxury Vinyl Plank and Tile

This LVT format provides the most durability and stability. The inflexible core layer ensures the planks and tiles lie flat without separating. They lock together firmly and can be installed over most existing floors.

Flexible Luxury Vinyl

Also called flex LVT, this version contains more vinyl in the core for improved flexibility. The planks can adapt to subfloor imperfections and bend around fixtures and along walls. Flex LVT requires a perfectly smooth subfloor to install.

In addition, LVT comes in tile formats from 12’’ up to large squares or planks in widths from 4 to 8 inches, or wider for a dramatic visual statement. Consider the size and layout that suits your interior design needs.

Benefits of Choosing Luxury Vinyl Floors

Many advantages make luxury vinyl an appealing flooring choice:

  • Durability – LVT is highly resistant to chips, dents and abrasions from heavy foot traffic. The waterproof construction prevents moisture damage. Many LVT floors come with warranties of 15-30 years or more.
  • Easy Maintenance – Luxury vinyl requires no waxing or refinishing. Just sweep, mop or vacuum regularly. The protective top coat resists stains.
  • Affordability – LVT costs significantly less than genuine wood, stone or ceramic tile floors while still offering the look of high-end finishes. The DIY-friendly tiles are budget-friendly.
  • Comfort and Noise Reduction – Vinyl absorbs sound and has more give underfoot than hard surfaces, making it comfortable for standing. Some LVT contain attached cushion layers for added softness.
  • Variety of Styles – From rustic wood looks to modern stone and concrete patterns, luxury vinyl comes in endless options to match any decor. Popular tile sizes and plank widths give flexible layouts.
  • Waterproof – The 100% waterproof construction of luxury vinyl plank flooring makes it ideal for damp areas like basements, kitchens, and bathrooms. LVT resists damage from spills or leaks.

How to Install Luxury Vinyl Flooring

One of the appeals of LVT is the relatively easy DIY installation. Follow these basic steps:

  • Make sure the subfloor is clean, dry and flat. Fix any imperfections.
  • Remove baseboards, trim and old flooring if necessary. Undercut door jambs.
  • Roll out foam underlayment and lay planks in a staggered brickwork pattern. Tap together until locked firmly.
  • Around fixed objects, trace and cut planks to fit with a utility knife.
  • Attach planks to the edges of the room, using spacers to allow for expansion.
  • Reinstall trim pieces to cover expansion gaps and create a finished look.

Pro Tips

Always follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions closely. For best results:

  • Acclimate the flooring in the room where it will be installed for 24–48 hours beforehand.
  • Use patching compounds to flatten lumps or dips in the subfloor.
  • Check that your luxury vinyl meets or exceeds the industry AC Rating standard for durability.
  • Invest in professional underlayment for added moisture, sound, and thermal insulation.
  • For flooring longer than 30 feet, control joints/transition strips should be added to allow for the expansion and contraction of the planks.
  • Begin installation working from the corner furthest from the entrance to avoid having to step on laid planks during the process.
  • Use spacers to maintain even gaps for expansion around the perimeter and fixtures. Remove spacers after several laid rows.
  • When cutting planks, make sure the decorative film side faces upwards for the best appearance.
  • Inspect planks thoroughly and avoid installing any with visual defects, damage or uneven locking systems.
  • For floor level transitions, ‘stair-step’ planks by increasing each plank incrementally rather than cutting.
  • Roll and cross-roll each installed section with a 75-100 lb roller to ensure strong, even adherence to the subfloor.
  • Avoid heavy furniture or appliance placements for 24 hours after installation to allow proper setting.


With the classic appearance of high-end flooring and unmatched durability, luxury vinyl plank flooring offers beautiful, affordable quality for today’s homes and commercial spaces. Just be sure to familiarize yourself with the variety of vinyl looks and tile sizes to find the right one to complement your interior design vision.

Photo by Doug Greenman on Unsplash

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