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A Luxury Choice

Paul Hambidge of Factory Direct Flooring highlights some key advantages and trends in LVT

Paul Hambidge of Factory Direct Flooring highlights some key advantages and trends in LVT.

As a flooring installer, you’ll be well aware of the popularity of hard flooring, which has become a number-one choice in UK homes. It’s not hard to work out why: practical, durable and offering a contemporary feel over traditional carpet, it gives good bang for the buck to homeowners.

Durability and practicality

Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) has increased exponentially in popularity for a number of reasons. A significant factor is that many ranges are water resistant, so it can be used for any room, including kitchens and bathrooms. It’s also highly durable due to the protective wear layer, which can come in different thicknesses so homeowners can choose the best one to suit their space: in a high traffic area like a hallway, a thicker wear layer would be advised to ensure durability, whereas in a bedroom a standard wear layer would usually suffice.

Additionally, LVT provides unrivalled practicality – it’s easy to care for by vacuuming or brushing and damp mopping. It’s also warm underfoot, and thanks to the insulation backing it offers low acoustics, so can be used upstairs and downstairs.

Unrivalled design options

We think the unprecedented growth of LVT is largely down to the fact it comes in such a wide array of designs, which is a major factor for homeowners. The authentic look is achieved with the textured wear layer combined with very realistic wood or tile effect digital prints. And with the increase in designs such as knotty or grainy wood, emulating heavily marked woods like pine, or more subtle wood effect markings, replicating woods such as oak or birch, there is no end to the choices available.

When it comes to plank style and size, again, the options are plentiful, ranging from short or long to slim or wide – and of course bevelled. The style that has really stormed the homeowner market is the herringbone effect. We sold more of this in 2020 than any other style of LVT. We believe it’s because herringbone offers a timeless, classic look and can be laid in a variety of ways. The classic herringbone doesn’t have to be the only installation option – there’s basket weave, chevron and fishbone styles to consider. As an installer, you’ll have no end of design inspiration for customers.

You’ll be mostly used to the glue down or loose lay installation, but the option of DIY plank can also be attractive for installers. LVT offers a wide range of budget options, but of course, it’s always best to advise them to choose the best they can afford, for longevity. 

Laminate remains popular 

So while LVT has stormed the domestic flooring arena with great success, it hasn’t spelled the end of  trusty laminate, which is still popular among homeowners wanting wood or tile effect flooring in high-traffic or low-moisture areas. The ease of maintenance with laminate flooring is appealing, and the design options as plentiful as LVT ranges – with good plank size choice and realistic textures and designs. It’s incredibly UV resistant and has a thicker composition, which can be forgiving on variations in subflooring, and there is an option to suit every budget. The only real downside of laminate is its ability to withstand moisture, which negates use in high-moisture areas like bathrooms. 

As long as your customers are armed with solid advice to make the right flooring decision for their setting and budget, you’ll have happy customers all round.

FDF's range of LVT click products, laminate and wood floor options are offered to customers throughout the UK. FDF works closely with manufacturers to remove the ‘middleman’ and bring products direct to customers at competitive prices – all underpinned by exceptional service.


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