WHAT IS LOOSE LAY VINYL?
Updated: Sep 26, 2019
LVT, LooseLay, 5mm- it’s got a few different names, and even more applications.
It’s really no wonder that LVT quickly rose to become one of the world's most popular floor coverings. With endless design possibilities, a waterproof and durable construction and easy installation, luxury vinyl is now competing with the likes of carpet, ceramic tiles and hardwood floors.
LVT can be laid anywhere indoors, both in a residential & commercial space. LVT's can be found in the most luxurious houses and widely used in commercial spaces.
It can be installed straight over concrete slabs that are flat, however on a timber floor, because of the movement that comes with such subfloors (e.g. yellow-tongue floors), masonite, cement fibre board, or self-levelling compound sometimes need to be installed first, just as if you were installing a ceramic tile.
There has been a huge swing towards LVT in the rental housing market due to it being durable without sacrificing style. Let’s face it, tenants won’t take care of a house as if it were theirs, so in recent years owners have been ripping up the carpet and installing stain, scratch and tear resistant vinyl planks.
Loose lay vinyl is the most DIY friendly floor you can choose. Loose Lay, as the name implies, can be installed without glue, however the planks are most often fitted with a pressure sensitive glue, which doesn’t set like a traditional glue, but rather remains sticky. Because of this installation method, damaged planks are easy to remove and replace, unlike click-and-lock systems. A very important stage in installing vinyl is acclimatizing the planks, which prevents gapping between the planks in the future. Stay tuned for upcoming blog on Loose Lay installation.
Modern vinyl planks or tiles are constructed with multiple layers, each with a special purpose. Manufacturers differ in number and types of layers in their planks:
1st (bottom) Layer: Made mostly of either virgin or recycled polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which gives the tile weight, strength, and grips the subfloor.
2nd: This is usually a layer of fibreglass which is vital for preventing expansion and shrinkage in hot and cold weather, this layer is essential in vinyl planks greater than 3mm thick. Some manufacturers construct planks with two fibreglass layers for added strength.
3rd: Another layer of PVC
4th: The design film
5th: A heavy duty wear layer made of clear vinyl + UV coating protects the design film from sun damage and general wear & tear.
6th (top) Layer: PU nano silver top coating for slip, staining and scratch resistance and also adds antibacterial properties.