LVT is showing up in some interesting places in home remodels.

March 30, 2018

Luxury Vinyl Tile Making Big Inroads—But Where?

There’s no doubt that Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) is a rapidly-growing option in home re-flooring. According to Home Innovation’s 2018 Consumer Practices Survey (CPS), it now represents more than 6% of this 14 billion square-foot-per-year market just a few years after its introduction. Why this rapid success? Well, according to its manufacturers, LVT is durable. It’s easy to maintain. It’s beautiful. It’s easy to install. And it’s more comfortable underfoot that some other flooring products. But knowing which rooms consumers are installing it in gives us insight into the key drivers of this burgeoning trend.

Based on our recently-completed survey of 100,000 U.S. households, more than 1,000 of which purchased LVT flooring, the most popular room for LVT it is the kitchen. LVT represented 10% of all re-flooring installations in the kitchen in 2017. 

LVT Share of Re-flooring Market Purchases by Room, 2017

Source: Home Innovation Research Labs Annual Consumer Practices Survey

Generally, builders, remodelers, and consumers consider moisture resistance, durability, and ease of maintenance when selecting kitchen flooring – LVT seems to provide all these attributes. Wood-appearance products have become very popular in the kitchen in the past decade, as well. And, with a deeper look into the CPS data, we see that LVT (which is often made to look like wood plank flooring) is drawing share away from solid hardwood and laminate in the kitchen. Engineered hardwood is still enjoying relatively unencumbered growth in kitchen applications, with only a slight dampening effect from LVT. The product seems to be having very limited impact on consumers’ selection of ceramic tile and other resilient products. While manufacturers tout LVT as an easy-to-install flooring, the current CPS survey shows that LVT is no more likely to be installed as part of a DIY project than these other flooring options.

The most surprising result from the newest CPS is that LVT has become nearly as popular in basements as in kitchens – likely due to its moisture-resistance and warmth underfoot – and is stealing share from carpeting and ceramic tile for that area of the home. In the living room, dining room, and family room, LVT is taking share primarily from laminate, but also from carpeting and a bit from solid hardwood. In bedrooms, where LVT is least popular, its growth is primarily at the expense of carpeting. Geographically, LVT is doing best in the Pacific states (8%) and worst in the South Atlantic (4.5%).

Overall, LVT seems to be garnering most of its growth at the expense of laminate flooring. As we know, laminate flooring did not have nearly the success in new home installations (peaked at 3%) as in home re-flooring (peaked at 17%). With this as the backdrop, how well should we expect LVT to be accepted in new home flooring? It will be interesting to see if our Annual Builder Practices Survey (BPS), which will be completed in April, will reveal if LVT’s appeal reaches into the new homes. This year, for the first time, the BPS provides separate response categories for standard vinyl tile and LVT.

Keeping current on why consumers are choosing LVT over other options is key for manufacturers, dealers, and remodeling specialists to refine their marketing strategies and stay ahead of this quickly-evolving market. Our Consumer Practices Reports, which will be published and available for purchase in a few weeks, provide market details on about 30 product categories in addition to flooring – a complete list is available online. See one (or more) that piques your interest? Let’s chat.