If you’re looking for a flooring product which replicates solid wood but without the substantial price tag, then Luxury Vinyl Tiles and laminate are the clear front runners. But what exactly is the difference? Which one should you choose? We’ve put together a guide to help you decide between the two!
Luxury Vinyl Tiles - Vinyl has been used in homes and commercial properties for many years, but it’s only recently that it’s become as popular as it is. Although many of us associate vinyl with being the ugly, old fashioned sheets from the 1980s, vinyl has been revolutionised to produce the practical, stylish Luxury Vinyl Tiles of today.
Vinyl is incredibly durable and will last for many years after it’s installed. This makes it perfect for rooms that see high foot traffic and lots of use such as the kitchen and living room. Additionally, it is scratch, stain and water-resistant as well as being very easy to keep clean, making for a very easy going flooring.
So, what is exactly the difference between LVT and standard sheet vinyl? LVT comes in individual pieces, most commonly in tiles but plank style is also available. whereas traditional vinyl comes in a sheet that is cut to the length of the room. The layers that make up LVT are thicker than regular vinyl too, making it more durable and a better insulator than its predecessor. So, let’s have a look at the individual layers:
- Protective wear layer: This is the last thing to be placed on top of the floor and is what protects the floor from any wear and tear.
- Design layer: This is likely the most distinctive layer as it gives the vinyl the all-important realistic appearance. It is made up of a photo print which gives the wood or stone look.
- Backing layer: The bottom layer is the backbone of this floor, providing LVT’s famous solid structure.
As previously mentioned, one of the main advantages of LVT is that it can replicate pretty much any surface. You can often get the realistic look of real wood, stone or ceramic tile but at a much cheaper price and with easier installation and maintenance. This makes it the number one choice for busy family households and any property that sees lots of foot traffic.
Laminate - Laminate is another worthy choice and is popular in homes across the world and shares many similarities with LVT. Like the aforementioned, laminate it is another impressive replica of real wood at a much cheaper price and is also made up of many different layers, which are then topped with a photo image of the desired surface and protective layer.
Like LVT, laminate is very easy to keep clean, with only warm soapy water and a sweep a few times a week necessary - no fancy chemicals! In most cases, it’s very easy to install, with a click system making it easy for those amateur DIYers. Laminate, however, is only resistant to scratches, stains and water so we’d recommend being aware of anything that may scratch or stain it and keep it away from rooms that see high water exposure.
Overall, both laminate and LVT hold very similar qualities. In terms of aesthetics, there isn’t much difference between the two of them with it often being hard to tell them apart from the real thing. We’d say that LVT is the best option if you want something completely practical and care free, whereas laminate is ideal if you need a cheap and easy fix.
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