By Annette M. Callari, Allied ASID; Chair Holder CMG
You will be seeing new entries in Designer’s Corner over the next two months presenting a two-part series on LVT. I thought this might be just the right time to blog about some of the “secret” design options you can create for your floors using luxury vinyl tile. All it takes is a bit of ingenuity, and some “insider” information of what’s available to you.
Anything you can do with porcelain tile or natural stone, you can do with LVT. Anything you can accomplish with natural hardwood floors, you can do with LVT. Concrete looks, floors that glitter, metal-look floors, marble, slate, hardwoods–all of these are available in LVT. Ease of maintenance, high performance, and exceptional life cycle of these products are bringing incredible attention to LVT products. Let’s take a closer look to see some of the lesser known options that many manufacturers are now offering:
Borders and Corners
You don’t have to sacrifice a custom look to use wood-look LVT planks rather than hardwood. Ornate borders with corner pieces can be used to create insets or perimeter borders around a room to make it memorable.
We’ve seen beautiful medallions (or motifs) offered by hardwood flooring manufacturers. These are perfect for foyers, formal living rooms, even as a focal point in a master bedroom. Whatever you can do with wood, you can do with LVT. Many manufacturers have stock patterns in standard sizes available. These are usually laser-jet, precision-cut motifs offered in both contemporary and traditional modes. If you require a custom medallion, or a custom size, leading manufacturers have design teams in place to work with you to create your vision. CAD drawings are generated for your approval, and LVT wood samples of your choice provided, so each and every design motif can be one of a kind.
This is usually one of the first questions I am asked by designers and customers, “Won’t I be limited as to the size tiles or wood planks I want to use if I choose LVT?
Simple answer to that is, “Absolutely not.” I am amazed at the growing number of sizes being offered as standard. As an example, Amtico International (made in Georgia) offers stone look LVT in 12 x 12”, 12 x 18”, 18 x 18”, or 12 x 24”. Wood planks come 3 x 36”, 4 x 36”, 6 x 36”, 7.25 x 48” and even 9 x 48” (with an extra charge for the last two size options).
Some flooring patterns have a timeless feel to them and are requested over and over. Herringbone layouts, parquet, random plank, key insert layouts, and many more are offered as a “package” floor for just a bit more cost. The result is exceptional precision-cut floors, all manufactured and ready to be professionally installed. You choose from the company’s product range, the correct amount of total square footage is then ordered, all of which is pre-cut and ready for a glue-down installation. (Smooth wood subfloors or concrete substrates are best.) No
Bottom line is that LVT has evolved to the point of becoming quite the status floor. The Europeans discovered the advantages long before we did, here in the USA. I have it first-hand that throughout Europe, when real estate comes on the market and boasts “luxury wood vinyl floors”, that is a huge selling advantage! I believe that as American consumers become more comfortable with LVT luxury flooring systems, we will see this same mind-set take hold right here at home.