Why tiles are the preferred flooring option over LVT

Why tiles are the preferred flooring option over LVT
August 9, 2017

Ceramic tile is not only beautiful, but it’s also healthy for your home. Because of the base nature of the product, clay, tiles contain none of the chemicals that have been in the news associated with other flooring products and health issues.

It’s also long-lasting, easy to clean, fire-safe and slip-resistant. Perhaps, most importantly – from a sustainability point of view, it is free of ‘VOC’ – Volatile Organic Compounds, unlike alternative flooring known as ‘LVT’.

What is LVT?

LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile) is a layered product construction commonly used in homes for flooring. The technical name for VINYL is PVC with the main ingredient used in the manufacture being petroleum.

Why are tiles the chosen flooring option by specifiers?

1. ‘Volatile Organic Compounds’ (VOC’s) – The production of ceramic tile does not include the use of toxic chemical Petroleum in the manufacture process. Alternatively, many products such as Vinyl do and therefore can emit various levels of toxic VOC’s which are harmful to the

air quality of the environment and can cause respiratory problems over time. This is particularly important when considering children living in the home or those with bronchial ailments, such as asthma. As a fired product, ceramic tile is also formaldehyde-free unlike many alternative flooring options on the market.

Dioxins are created during the manufacture of the Chloride in PVC. Dioxins are a group of highly toxic chemical compounds that are harmful to health. They can cause problems with reproduction, development, and the immune system. They can also disrupt hormones and lead to cancer. Other toxins produced during the manufacture of the chlorine in PVC include ethylene, dichloride and vinyl chloride.

Note: Most manufacturers do not list the materials that make up engineered flooring products produced during production.

2. With a 60-year service life, tile is not only cost-effective but is sustainability-speaking, the best choice for reducing negative environmental impacts, resource use, and demolition waste, when compared to most flooring products. Many of which need to be replaced more frequently, like LVT’s, LVP’s and engineered timber flooring on the New Zealand market currently.

3. With regards to the occupant safety of the many flooring choices available, ceramic tile stands out when Slip/fall safety is a consideration in bathrooms, entrance ways and kitchens. This is in stark contrast to floorings that, according to their manufacturers, must be kept dry in order to be slip-resistant.

4. Biodegradable: Tile is biodegradable, other flooring finishes such as LVT are not due to the product used in its manufacture (e.g. PVC).

5. Shrinkage: LVT has many documented issues with shrinkage. This is an issue which has resulted in specifiers, Group Housing builders and soft flooring resellers now reluctant to recommend this product.

6. Humidity: Many engineered flooring products are susceptible to moisture with humidity being a major problem. So for areas such as Auckland and Northland, vinyl is not always ideal.

7. Hypoallergenic: Tile is inhospitable to mould, dust & bacteria so it does not trap mould in the product and release mould spores into the atmosphere…that we breathe!

8. Fire Hazards: If a fire breaks out and vinyl catches flame, it will begin to emit noxious fumes which will fill the air with harmful toxins, including dioxins.

9. Fading: Sunlight fades vinyl, discolouring the flooring. The only way to combat this is to close curtains during the day. When exposed to long periods of direct sun, LVT will shrink, crack and fade over time.

10. Thermal Mass: Tile has a high thermal mass calculation as unlike vinyl, the clay is able to absorb heat during the day and release it in the cooler evening.

11. House Value: Tiles have a higher perceived value to potential house purchasers.

12. Shape: LVT is largely only available in a version of timber plank. Tile comes in square, circle, rectangle, plank, hexagonal and other shapes.

13. Heating: Tile can be underfloor heated unlike vinyl.

14. The test of Time: It makes sense when selecting finishings, to ensure products are chosen that stand the test of time. Soft flooring is inherently less permanent and some would say only a temporary flooring due to its softness in regards to surface hardness and susceptibility to deep abrasion and wear. A properly installed ceramic tile floor will outperform and outlast nearly any other flooring option on the New Zealand market.

Tiled floors – The preferred option for sustainable choice.

Environmentally friendly, ceramic tile is manufactured using natural materials and does not retain toxic chemicals, odours, allergens or bacteria. It also does not burn or emit toxic fumes.

Should you have any queries regarding the above information, please consult
Tile Warehouse for specific product information, www.tilewarehouse.co.nz
or 0800 289 845.

Notes: Ref. Tile Council of America, TCNA_Bulletin_Ceramic_Tile_Safe_Healthy_Home. March 2016.

More than 95% of a fired ceramic tile is made from clay and other raw materials found in nature. Per UL-Certified Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for North American-Made ceramic tile.

The above information is general in nature and is not specific to any one building product. Tile products and their properties can vary among manufacturers. Products that contain any of the chemicals referenced above may contain them in manners that are not known to be harmful and/or that comply with applicable health and safety regulations. We recommend you contact the manufacturer of a specific building product to learn about its particular characteristics.

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