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Luxury Vinyl Tile Flooring: How to protect and maintain LVT

Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) flooring is the fastest growing commercial flooring choice. Driving this growth is construction of new facilities and remodels/additions of existing facilities.

One only needs to observe the ongoing construction projects with hospitals, schools, senior living facilities, and market rate apartment complexes to understand what is fueling the growth.

What is LVT?
LVT is a multi-layered engineered flooring surface that includes:

  1. Wear Layer
  2. Laminate Layer    
  3. Print (design) Layer
  4. Fill Layer
  5. Backing

LVT flooring has many different design possibilities. It can be made to simulate Real wood flooring, natural stone, or other surfaces giving it great appeal. It is often textured to simulate actual surfaces. Considering it is used in healthcare, nursing homes and senior living, the texture also offers a measure of added slip resistance.

Luxury Vinyl Tile encompasses sheet vinyl, luxury vinyl plank (sometimes referred to as LVP) and other luxury vinyl tile shapes.

What is the appeal LVT?
Architects like to spec LVT in on new construction and remodels because of the rich looking appearance and a myriad design possibilities.  LVT also offers the promise of low maintenance which appeals to facility owners.

Where is commercial LVT be used?
Hospitality: hotels and restaurants
Education: K-12 Schools, Universities
Office: Class A office buildings
Healthcare: Hospitals and Nursing Homes
Senior Living: Complexes for assisted and unassisted living.
Market Rate Apartments: Used in common areas and apartments

What are the challenges with cleaning and maintaining LVT?
1. Lack of knowledge: those responsible for maintaining LVT are often left uninformed on proper maintenance.

2. Wear and Tear: It is inevitable that despite the durable wear layer, LVT will get scratched, gauged and damaged. The LVT manufacturers take great pains to talk about protectors on furniture and chairs, but reality suggests this does not happen as much as it should.

3. Hard to Clean: LVT is often textured. The purpose of the texture is to simulate real surfaces, but also adds a measure of safety. Wet or contaminated floors will maintain a higher level of skid resistance than a smooth floor.

Recommended Maintenance by the Flooring Manufacturers:
Regular dust mopping and wet cleaning of LVT floors are the most important maintenance procedures required for appearance and long life of the flooring. Typically, manufacturers recommend a cleaner that is near neutral pH for regular wet cleaning. Some floor manufacturers have their own branded cleaner they would like to promote, but don’t require it.
Floor finish systems are optional and somewhat discouraged, but finish considerations are most often related to either a high gloss finish or a lower gloss (matte) finish.

System for LVT Flooring
A system for maintaining LVT flooring can be simplified to an appropriate cleaner for LVT and a protector to minimize the effects of wear and tear.

Cleaning products for LVT: Traditional neutral floor cleaners are often recommended for cleaning LVT flooring. Owing to their mild nature, these conventional products may not provide the cleaning horsepower needed to clean textured LVT surfaces. Dirt tends to collect in the low spots of the textured surface making it hard to clean while detracting from overall appearance.

A stronger neutral cleaner: Modern technology is allowing neutral cleaners to be strengthened by the use of naturally occurring enzymes that help break down soils.  These bio-enzyme cleaners are still near neutral in pH, but exhibit better overall cleaning performance.  Like neutral floor cleaners, the bio-enzyme cleaners don’t leave a significant residue and do not require rinsing. Owing to their better cleaning performance, these cleaners can be classified by UL for slip resistance.

Protection to LVT without Build Up: Scratching of LVT flooring is a real possibility. Applying a rejuvenator to the flooring can hide existing scratches and other blemishes while protecting the floor from further scratching. Best of all, the rejuvenator makes floors easier to clean. The protector is an ultra thin shield that doesn’t build up on LVT flooring.

Can a regular floor finish be applied to commercial LVT flooring?
Yes, a conventional floor finish can be applied to LVT flooring. However, it is considered optional and often discouraged because the maintenance and build up associated with finished floors. However, as LVT ages and is subject to wear and tear, a floor finish program maybe considered to extend the life of the flooring.

Multi-Clean LVT Maintenance and Protection System
Zyme-X: Bio-Enzymatic Cleaner/Degreaser

Endura-Shine: LVT Rejuvenator and Protector

 

Floor Coating and Finishing Material As to Slip Resistance Only SA45311

 

 

 

Follow this link to learn more:  Multi-Clean LVT System

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