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Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) vs. Laminate Flooring

Paving a new house or a renovation is not an easy task, and choosing the right type of flooring is an important decision. While carpet can be replaced every few years, hardwood, tile, or laminate floors will most likely stay in place for ten years or more.

Hardwood flooring, engineered wood, tile and even stone have their place, but they are expensive and present challenges in terms of durability, cost and warmth; so they are not practical for many families.

Laminate has been a popular flooring choice for the past two decades, is generally inexpensive when you factor in lifespan, looks good, and can be installed by those who are proficient at DIY.

Another type of flooring that the two biggest brands of Amtico and Karndean are most familiar with is Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT). Luxury vinyl tile was traditionally a dry-backed, adhesive-backed product over high-quality plywood or smooth concrete subfloors. Today, LVT is available in click, with installation similar to most laminates, making it easy to hang. Most flooring specialists would still recommend the glue product as it is considered stronger and generally cheaper than its click counterpart.

Luxury vinyl tile is typically more expensive than laminate flooring, but while the two best-known brands are at the pricier end of the market, there are hundreds of other brands and manufacturers to choose from at all ends of the market. spectrum.

While laminate flooring can be cold underfoot, luxury vinyl tile is warmer, can provide excellent texture, and is not limited to wood planks, but can provide long-lasting stone, marble, and mosaic effects. more practical. For many, the most important characteristic of LVT floors is that they are waterproof. While laminate is made up of layers of wood or particle board, LVT is made up of layers of PVC with a high definition print. Because of this, it is structurally more stable and water ingress will not cause it to swell or warp, making it not only ideal for dealing with spills, but can also be used in bathrooms and kitchens, meaning it could be use one type of flooring throughout the house. . The technology behind some of the most advanced luxury vinyl tile and flat allows them to be embossed and textured to follow the natural grooves, waves and knots that would be found in real wood, stone or tile. Laminate boards, while thicker from top to bottom, generally have thinner wear layers, while LVT boards and tiles can carry not only domestic but also commercial warranties of 5 to 20 years.

While laminate and LVT installation can be done by a competent DIYer, laminate is a bit more forgiving. Luxury vinyl requires a subfloor that is smooth and flat, small bumps or blemishes that would be hidden by laminate, if large enough, will show through on a luxury vinyl floor, making subfloor preparation and the associated costs are higher.

In short, both laminate and LVT have advantages over hardwood, tile, and stone flooring, as well as each other.

Laminate is:

  • Generally cheaper than other types of flooring
  • Relatively easy and inexpensive to install
  • stain resistant
  • relatively tough
  • Easy to clean (although be careful not to get it too wet)

However, it suffers from some drawbacks:

  • It can be cold underfoot
  • Does not handle water or moisture well.
  • It is limited to the wood effect.
  • Has a lower wear layer

Luxury vinyl tile is:

  • hot underfoot
  • Provides an excellent and realistic texture.
  • Offers stone, tile and wood effects.
  • Can be customized to create borders and designs such as herringbone, basket weave, chevron and more
  • Thicker wear layer making it more durable.
  • Easy to clean
  • Waterproof

But it does have some drawbacks, including:

  • More complicated or expensive installation costs
  • Generally more expensive than laminate (although cheaper ranges are available)
  • Doesn’t deal as well with exposure to flame.

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