Grout is almost always considered the weakest link in stone or ceramic tile flooring. If anything in the flooring is going to crack, discolor or wear at an accelerated rate, it’s going to be the grout between the tiles. While floor owners can take steps to prevent the degradation of their grout, it does require work.
Grout doesn’t always fail because of the material itself. If a subfloor isn’t properly prepared and reinforced, or an underlayment isn’t installed, shifting tiles may cause grout fatigue over time. If you ever see flooring where grout is popping out of joints in sections, it’s likely a problem with underlayment or subfloor preparation. In those scenarios the only surefire way to fix the problem is complete reinstallation.
Different types of grouts also have their own unique drawbacks. Cementitious grout, the type of grout most people think of when they imagine installing tile, is the cheapest to install. It’s also the type of grout that’s most susceptible to staining, blotching when dried and creating installation messes.
The slushy cement-like mixture, which must be made on the spot, is less flexible than alternative grouts when dried, making it more prone to cracks and crumbling. It also should ideally be sealed more frequently than some other higher-end grouts. Sealing can be a time and labor-intensive task, especially if you need to do it annually.
Epoxy grouts are more resistant to water and more likely to have a consistent appearance, but it’s also a bit more expensive. Epoxy grouts also have the misfortune of turning yellowish when exposed to regular sunlight. The one benefit of cementitious grout is that the cheap powder can be mixed with water to make extra for patches, but with epoxy you essentially need a new batch for any minor touch work.
Some other frequent problems with grout include:
- Increased likelihood for mold and mildew growth
- Hard to clean and sanitize due to texture and porosity
- Can suffer mineral buildup
- Susceptible to cracking (as are the tiles themselves in some circumstances)
- Installation is time consuming and expensive
- Higher end tiles and grouts are expensive
The Benefits of Metroflor Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)
There are several benefits of installing luxury vinyl tile instead of authentic stone, ceramic or porcelain tile with grout:
- LVT looks just like the real thing
- Installation is fast and affordable
- No intensive maintenance or sealing is required
- Resistant to mold, mildew and water damage
- Material is much more affordable than many types of authentic stone, ceramic or porcelain tile
- Won’t crack if something heavy is dropped on it
Many of the LVT brands manufactured by Metroflor have special water and stain-resistant wear layers that make them resistant to scratches, chipping, stains and water damage. They can also be easily disinfected and can stand up to medium to heavy traffic for years.
The ways in which LVT installations are easier than traditional tile installations can be safely described as profound. Cutting stone tiles for corners or to fit up against walls is messy work that often requires a wet saw. The silica dust generated by cutting tiles can leave your property covered in a hazardous powder. Expensive tiles can also break or chip during this process. LVT and LVP, on the other hand, can be scored with a razor and snapped to fit.
Replacing LVT is also much easier and affordable than replacing single broken or chipped tile should the need arise.
There are several different luxury vinyl flooring installation methods available. Which you use will likely depend on the type of LVT you purchase and where you’ll be installing it. Metrostone LVT flooring – our newest multi-layer, rigid core, waterproof flooring – can be installed quickly with an extraordinarily easy DropLock installation method. Metrostone looks amazingly authentic but without the jaw dropping price tag associated with their authentic stone counterparts.
Other Metroflor installation methods, such as Attraxion Magnetic Attachment, are even easier. The magnetic installation method is especially useful in spaces where you want to switch out the flooring relatively frequently. With magnetic flooring, changing flooring is as easy as pealing the luxury viny plank off the magnetic underlayment and laying down a replacement.
All of these installation options are easier than tile and grout installation methods that can be time consuming, expensive and messy. An improperly installed tile floor can also turn into a costly mistake with grout that doesn’t last nearly as long as it should before requiring replacement.
Find Out Why So Many Businesses, Homeowners and Installers Prefer Affordable, Beautiful Luxury Vinyl Tile
There’s no wrong reason to invest in luxury vinyl tile, whether you’re doing it for the comfort and durability or the price point and style. Luxury vinyl products look just like the real thing without the high cost or the maintenance downsides.
If you’d like to learn more about why luxury vinyl installation is easier than paying for authentic stone tile and grout installation, make sure to contact a Metroflor dealer near you!