Luxury Vinyl Tile: Functional and Stylish

Just like other home materials, flooring is trending toward handsome but easy-care materials, says Kevin Rose, president of CarpetlandUSA Colortile, 326 N. Alpine Road, Rockford.

“The most innovative material in the flooring world is luxury vinyl, which comes in planks (LVP) or in tiles (LVT),” says Rose. “People are thrilled with how good it looks and how well it wears.”

Not to be confused with the plastic-looking vinyl floors of yesterday, luxury vinyl imitates natural wood and stone products with uncanny accuracy. The image on the surface of the vinyl is topped with a durable finish that resists stains, scratches and dents. Vinyl products are softer and warmer underfoot than real stone or tile and far easier to install, although Rose still recommends professional installation.

Unlike laminate flooring, which can disintegrate in moisture, or solid wood floors, which can warp in the Midwest’s fluctuating humidity, “Luxury vinyl is 100 percent waterproof, which means it can be used in basements, bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens and anyplace moisture could be a problem,” says Rose.

Trending now are much wider planks and much larger tile sizes.

Hard-surface flooring continues to gain ground over carpet. Luxury vinyl is taking market share away from laminate flooring, but solid wood and engineered wood floors are still wildly popular.

We’re covering fewer square feet of our homes in carpet these days, but it’s still highly valued in certain rooms for its warmth, softness and beauty, especially in four-season climates like ours.

“Carpet was probably 65 percent of our business 10 years ago and now it’s 50 percent,” says Rose. “We’re still laying a lot of carpet.”

Rose says the durability of carpet varies greatly and “you really do get what you pay for” when it comes to choosing a carpet of good fiber with adequate face weight, density and twist.

Carpetland is the longest continually running flooring store in Rockford and has a second location in Sycamore, at 1719 DeKalb Ave. ❚