Understanding the Anatomy of LVT Flooring

Are you Cleaning it Correctly?
by EnvirOx
Understanding the Anatomy of LVT Flooring

Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) flooring is one of the hottest building trends right now. In 2018, the LVT market size was at $3.6 billion. It’s expected to top $8.9 billion by 20251. So, if you aren’t cleaning LVT yet, you will be soon. One of the keys to knowing how to clean and maintain LVT is understanding what it’s made of, and how it differs from more traditional flooring.

LVT is popular because it offers so much variety and lets architects design an upscale look without sacrificing durability. LVT has its own unique advantages as well. It can:

  • Reduce maintenance costs over the life of the floor
  • Help with comfort, sound absorption, and insulation
  • Provide additional texture to floors to prevent slip and fall accidents

So, let's go ahead and dive into what LVT is made of. Interact with each colored circle to read more about that layer.

Urethane Coating Layer
Wear Layer
Design Layer
Foundational Layer

What to remember when cleaning LVT

Now that you know what LVT is made of, let's talk about how this will affect the way you clean and maintain it.

No waxing required: Because of the permanent protective UV coating in combination with the wear layer, LVT does not require waxing. This means the days of applying multiple coats of wax and buffing it with specialized machinery are over. Stripping and re-coating are a thing of the past. However, some manufacturers might recommend an acrylic finish to LVT floors. This liquid is applied with a mop and bucket and is good for high-traffic areas to reduce scratches and scuffs. However, note that floors should be thoroughly cleaned before you do this, or the dirt will be trapped under the acrylic finish. 

Buffing & burnishing: Most manufacturers do not recommend the use of a high-speed burnisher or buffer on LVT. They can destroy the flooring by grinding through the wear layer and possibly causing the layers to separate. A low-speed buff of the outer finish can enhance the shine, however. Be sure to consult the manufacturer's guidelines.

If you get scratches or scuffs: If the scratches aren’t too deep into the UV or wear layers, the low-speed buffing mentioned above might do the trick. A vinyl floor sealer (after a thorough cleaning) can help hide them, and there are kits available for spot repairs. If a scratch is deep or the scuff is resistant to your efforts, then you might have to replace the plank or tile in question as a last resort.

Daily Cleaning: The textured surface of the wear layer can trap dirt, and traditional cleaning methods can lead to a build-up that results in LVT floors looking dirty. You might also notice slippery or sticky spots on the floor. You can avoid this by using a low-residue cleaner such as H₂Orange₂ Hyper-Concentrate 112. For more info on how to clean with this product, download our new E-book described below.

Want a deep dive into this topic?

We've got the e-Book just for you. Luxury Vinyl Tile: Proper Cleaning & Maintenance is available for free. It gives you resources on how to clean and restore LVT flooring, common challenges when cleaning LVT, and much more.

Request a copy
  1. Press Release. (2018). Luxury Vinyl Flooring (LVT) Market is Projected to Grow at a CAGR of 11.8% from 2018 – QY Research. Digital Journal. Retrieved from www.digitaljournal.com

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