By Annette M. Callari, Allied ASID; CMG
I have a confession to make. There was a time during my early design career that I had some preconceived notions about luxury vinyl planks and tiles. I had categorized it somewhere in my mental files as equivalent to olden-day linoleum. It’s a designer’s job to stay current on new products, so I did my research and accepted an appointment for a product knowledge presentation.
That was an awakening. In front of me were visuals so impressive, once installed they would be taken for real wood (and stones), without a doubt. The tactile surface texture added to the realism. Here was a product that could give my commercial clients the warmth and character of real wood, but with easy maintenance and a performance story that could outlast most other flooring products.
Designers see LVP/LVT as a solution product because of its durability. Besides authenticity, the range of styles and colors is exceptional. There are many newcomers on the market, so here are a few of the things professional designers look for when specifying LVP/LVT:
- The mil layer is important! 20 mil and above will perform well in heavy commercial use settings. Ask for the manufacturer’s specification sheets to verify mil layer. (12 mil performs favorably in residential settings.)
- Look for a brand that has longevity. Especially in commercial applications, warranty is important. Not just the label on the product (anyone can add a 10 or 20 year warranty sticker), but does the company have a history, and will that company be around to support and service warranty claims years from now, if necessary?
- Does the product have certifications that meet all U.S. standards? This is very important. Government regulations ensure that the product is safe and has no harmful contaminants. This information should be readily available to you.
- Be sure you can reach out to the manufacturer’s customer service department with any questions, including care and maintenance. Ask for the 800 number and test it!
That’s a quick primer in how to choose a quality LVT/LVP floor. If you find a product that meets the qualifications above, use that square-foot pricing to compare to other like brands.
Price and value do correlate in the world of LVT. If this sounds a bit like “buyer beware”, that would be correct. As a consumer, doing your due diligence always pays off in the end. As a designer, doing your due diligence (for the sake of your clients) is mandatory.
Need to know where to buy your LVT flooring, or help from a local, LVT flooring expert? Find your local, specialty LVT flooring stores.
By Annette M. Callari, Allied ASID; CMG
Interior design is embracing the Midas touch. Gold is turning up in the most unlikely places. The treasured metal speaks of luxury, and everything from floor coverings to cabinetry is wearing it well.
Floors and walls go 14K with Chilewich product releases. “I lifted gold out of its comfort zone,” says Sandy Chilewich, referring to a range of colors for contract-focused wall and floor coverings. Their gilt tone wall covering “Boucle” creates a shimmering effect, while “Stripe” comes in nine metallic colorways. Incorporated in the coverings is bicolor TerraStrand, a proprietary yarn system with 25% renewable vegetable content. It’s treated with Microban to protect against stains, bacteria, odors, and moisture.
Furniture goes gilt! Case goods, chair frames, golden pedestal tables, and accents pieces are all bringing gold into interiors. Rather than overdoing the golden accents, just a touch goes a long way. A bit of sparkle cheers up a room and adds a measure of luxury.
Let’s not underestimate the power of textiles to add golden elements, á la Louis XIV style. Pollack fabrics has added gold and silver weaves to their textile line. Upholstery, drapery, even fabric-clad walls can dress in gold.
Lastly, Emser tile showcased a metallic finish wall tile earlier this year. Jazz™ electrifies any design with its striking metallic colors and one-of-a-kind 3D characteristics. A glazed ceramic wall tile series, Jazz is available in four colors (including gold) and in two finishes for endless design options.
Playing with metallic finishes for your interior design is great fun. Just a reminder that a little glitter does go a long way. So pick your favorite precious metal and feel free to interpret it your way.