19 Feb 2020
Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) Flooring versus Laminate Flooring
The growing popularity over the last few years of Luxury Vinyl Tile Flooring has caused some confusion with customers on the benefits compared to laminate flooring.
What is it?
LVT flooring can look like real wood or real stone and have any design printed on it. It is produced in tile or plank formats, and can be either floating the same as laminate flooring or stick down like traditional vinyl.
The main reason LVT flooring has become so popular over laminates is the fact they are waterproof, therefore they are used more and more in bathroom and kitchen areas where water is commonly present. However, there is now water-resistant laminate flooring also on the market which provides alternate options.
What are they made of?
LVT is made of PVC based materials which makes it incredibly tough. Laminate is made from High-Density Fibre boards – tiny pieces of recycled wood pulp pressed together under extremely high pressure. For these reasons LVT generally has longer warranties, were as laminate shall generally be more affordable.
LVT is made from PVC which is 100% waterproof, laminates however can be damaged from water sitting on them for prolonged periods so it is essential that spills are mopped up as quickly as possible.
Thickness and Wear Layer
LVT flooring can be anywhere between 2mm-6mm thick with each layer ranging from 0.1mm -0.6mm. Laminates range from 7mm – 12mm thick. LVT may seem a lot thinner than a laminate but when you consider that 4mm of compressed vinyl is much stronger than 8mm of HDF wood there is no need for LVT to be thicker considering their high density and strength. Due to this factor is why LVT is so commonly used for high traffic commercial areas.
Both laminate and LVT are good at resisting scratches due to their tough wear layers. In most cases, if you do happen to get a scratch or dent in a small area, it's possible to replace that board.
All laminates are laid as floating floors with build-in click system and underlay below. This means there is no need for nails or glue, making it a very efficient and quick assembly. LVT floors also come in click format and can be floated, however they also come in glue down which is a more involved process that requires a professional fitter for optimum finish.
Both Laminates and LVT are perfect solutions for floors with underfloor heating as they can resist temperatures up to 22 degrees Celsius.
LVT and laminate floors both have high definition designed printed on the board before the wear layer is applied, which gives real authenticity. Both have the option of flat finish or textured finish also to give a more natural feel, if required.
The main difference in design is that laminates predominantly come in prints replicating wood. LVT comes in a much larger range including designs from wood, stone, tile and patterns.