LVP: What is it and why is it so popular?
Updated: Jan 19
LVP stand for Luxury Vinyl Plank. If you see LVT it is basically the same thing but instead of being shaped like planks they are styled after tile and stone looks.
Here are are a few things to keep in mind with LVP
Wear Surface/Layer - This is rated in mil. A mil is 1/1000 of an inch. We recommend at least a 12 mil product.
Installation Method - Some LVP is Floating/Rigid while others are Gluedown.
Thickness - This is usually shown in millimeters. Mostly important to let you know if you need a transition.
Gluedown planks are glued down to your concrete slab. Shocking right? Since they are glued instead of attached to their neighbors, if a couple planks get damaged you can remove them without much effort. The glue also makes it less likely for water to get under your flooring and cause issues. Gluedown does require more prep as the slab needs to be fairly smooth.
Floating clicks together and is fairly DIY friendly. The top part is essentially a piece of gluedown LVP that then has a rigid layer and an attached padding. This allows it to be forgiving about the flooring beneath it. Floating floors can often be placed over an existing hard surface that could be expensive to remove such as tile or wood.
Gluedown LVP tend to range from 1.5-3mm thick while Floating tend to range from 3-5.5mm (Shaw's Titan HD are 12mm thick!). A standard 3/8" hardwood floor would be about 9.5mm thick, that could be 1/4" difference. Luckily most companies make matching transitions or t-moldings to beautifully blend with your floors.
LVP is waterproof and scratch resistant. It is cheaper than hardwood and in some cases more durable. You can get a high quality LVP that looks like an expensive hardwood installed for the price of a basic builder grade hardwood installed. The top layer is rated in mils. In general, the thicker this layer is the more scratch resistant the floor will be. The majority of the products we use are between 12 and 30 mil.