LVP, or Luxury Vinyl Plank, is a durable, affordable, and beautiful alternative to hardwood flooring. It’s well-suited for a variety of residential and commercial applications, and, when installed correctly, perfectly mimics the look, texture, and warmth of real wood. But how much do you know about the vinyl that gives LVP flooring its resilience and strength?
The Early History of Vinyl
Let’s go back to 1872. As a German chemist named Eugen Baumann was experimenting with a particular gas called vinyl chloride, he left it exposed to sunlight. He returned to find what would be called PVC. It was an accidental discovery, but the first step in one of the most widely-manufactured plastics today.
In the early 1900s German companies attempted to use PVC in their products, however the manufacturing process yielded inconsistent results.
It wasn’t until 1926, when American inventor and chemist Dr. Waldo Semon (who is sometimes incorrectly credited with inventing bubble gum!) was trying to bond metal and rubber, that he discovered a formula that would make PVC useful. His formula, which allowed vinyl to remain rigid, yet flexible, would produce what is known today as vinyl.
Vinyl saw use during World War II: the material was used to insulate wiring, but it would soon become available to commercial and consumer markets in the form of flooring – affordable, resilient, and sturdy.
Use of Vinyl in Flooring and the Introduction of LVP
1970 saw the introduction of the first Vinyl Plank Flooring – and décor options for homes grew. Instead of relying on the affordability of generic-looking sheet vinyl, homeowners had the chance to show off their style while staying within a budget, and relying on its practicality.
Today, Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring is a great alternative to hardwood flooring. A floor is comprised of individual pieces of vinyl that lock or glue together to mimic the look and feel of real hardwood planks.