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The Threat of Rigid Core Luxury Vinyl in 2019

In 2018 Rigid Core Luxury Vinyl Flooring has the market by storm. Within this category, you may have heard of terms such as WPC and SPC. All these are acronyms refer to different core structures within the Rigid Core Luxury Vinyl category.

Much of the appeal of Luxury Vinyl Flooring is because it consists of a 5 layer system all sandwiched together in a neat little package ready for install.

  1. The Finish – This is the shield of your flooring keeping the rest from scratches and stains.
  2. The Image – This printed image gives the appearance of wood and stone looks, due to advances in technology the images look better than ever before.
  3. Vinyl – The vinyl is the most important part of the product which will vary in thickness from 6 Mil to 20+ Mil often used for a commercial grade application.
  4. Core – If the vinyl is the meat of the floor, then the core is the secret sauce that holds it all together. A core for rigid core vinyl determines the comfort, dimensional stability, and ease of installation.
  5. Underlayment – The underlayment gives lvt floors the edge when it comes to ease of installation and price. This padded underlayment serves as a vapor retarder and sound deadener making the floors sound as good as it feels.

Rigid Core LVF represents the leading growth sector of the flooring marketing for two consecutive years in a row and has become a legitimate threat to traditional flooring categories such as hardwood, ceramic tile, and carpet. So why has this category experiencing such explosive growth and becoming the driving force behind the entire flooring industry? Will it cannibalize the hardwood flooring market? In this segment, we will break down some of the advances LVT has made and forecast the future outlook to 2019 and beyond. We will see if this is the right flooring option for your home or business.

History

I’ve heard of sheet vinyl, is luxury vinyl the same thing with the word “luxury”?

Sheet vinyl was originally introduced into the flooring market as a cheap alternative to traditional hard surface floors such as ceramic tile and hardwood floors. This was eventually overtaken by laminate floors which offered a similar price range as sheet vinyl and realistic imagery successfully imitating the look of wood along with a wood shaped plank, long and narrow, without grout lines.

Luxury vinyl has since challenged the laminate sector by providing a waterproof alternative with better visuals. Believe it or not, luxury vinyl has been around for about a decade now and is no longer the new kid on the block. However, Rigid Core a subtype of luxury vinyl is the new rising star featuring an interlocking system and tough durable feel.

Originally vinyl flooring was marketed as a water-resistant option for mudrooms, laundry rooms, basements, and high-rise condominiums. The perception has changed in recent years with this product offering many of the same benefits as hardwood floors such as ease of cleaning, warmth, and improved air quality. With the latest advancement in rigid core technology. We now are seeing this category in larger applications such as kitchen, main living areas, and even bedrooms.

The Verdict

Real estate agents often agree traditional hardwood floors is an excellent feature for luxury homes and will likely to yield top dollars in today’s market and beyond. One of the last things for LVT to overcome is visual appeal and value added. In recent years, LVT technology is advancing rapidly to close the gap. Although synthetic material is used, LVT now looks as real as ever with high-definition printing technology capturing the realism of knots and cracks found in real wood. Embossed giving the vinyl a texture much like real wood grains.

Hardwood floors represent a natural product capturing a different segment of the flooring market. Often imitated throughout history but never duplicated. There will always be hardwood flooring enthusiasts valuing the unique look of each individual plank. It might not be for everyone but I believe this to be true for any product.

The market is split between hardwood enthusiasts and early adopters of the new age flooring. It’s up to you to decide what is the best floor covering for your home. Buy something you love, this way you can feel good about your decision when trends inevitably change with the times.

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