Do you desire the look of clay (i.e. porcelain & ceramic) or stone flooring, but have reservations on whether the investment is right for your home? There is no doubt that clay and stone tile flooring offer a vast selection of visual styles. The added luxury of a stone or clay floor can appeal to a future home buyer and offer a great return on investment when placing your home on the market. However, if the permanence and expense of installing these floors is keeping you from making the updates that you desire, perhaps you should consider Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) instead.

Using modern, high-resolution 3D imaging techniques, vinyl tiles realistically reproduce the appearance and textures of clay and stone flooring. Comprised of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), LVT is 100% waterproof and scratch resistant making it a wonderful alternative for rooms such as kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms, where clay and stone flooring has traditionally reigned supreme.

Why Choose Vinyl?

While vinyl, clay, and stone are all considered durable flooring options, clay and stone tiles are much more labor intensive when it comes to installation. Cement subflooring is required; wood subfloors will require the installment of cement backerboard. Subfloors must be carefully inspected and without imperfections, as any unevenness or flaws can damage tiles over time. These tiles also require a special wet saw for cutting and can create high levels of dust and debris during the installation process. When considering clay or stone, one must also factor in the additional expense of mortar, grout, and lengthy installation time. While these tiles can be installed yourself, it is typically suggested to hire a professional due to the intricate level of detail that must be observed during installation.

Comparatively, vinyl tile installation is much less involved. While some tiles do require a glue down installation with optional grouting, there are now several options available that are installed as a floating floor. Vinyl tiles can be installed over most pre-existing flooring with little-to-no preparation needed and can be easily cut to size using a simple utility knife or saw. The time it takes to install is considerably less than that of clay and stone and can be done by a professional or tackled by a do-it-yourselfer.

Another benefit to vinyl tile, whether you choose the glue-down or floating method, is the ease of removal when it comes time for a change. Floating flooring is undoubtedly the easiest to be removed; simply pry a tile from an outer edge and the rest will easily follow. Even glue down tiles are quicker and less destructive to remove than stone or porcelain. Because they require a special pressure sensitive adhesive during installation, glue down tiles will release when met with a bit of opposing force. You can also use a heat gun to assist in loosening the adhesive during removal.

Alternatively, removing clay and stone tile can be exhaustive, time-consuming work. Due to the permanent installation method required for these tiles, removal requires hammering, chiseling, and scraping piece by piece and can lead to hours of difficult work.

Along with the easy installation and removal processes, vinyl tile has two additional benefits over clay and stone; vinyl floors are significantly warmer underfoot and boast slip-resistance finishes. The latter feature being especially beneficial in rooms where wet floors may pose a safety hazard to you and your family.

You will find a greater selection of visual styles in stone and clay, but with the ever-growing popularity of vinyl flooring, manufacturers are continually adding new looks to their lines. Perhaps there is one that will be perfect for your home!