LVT or Laminate: Which Flooring Should You Choose?
If you’re looking for an economical yet stylish flooring option, chances are that you’re deciding between laminate flooring and luxury vinyl tile flooring (otherwise known as LVT.) They’re pretty similar types of flooring if we’re being honest, but there are a few key benefits to each that may persuade you in one direction or the other. Have a read through our quick guide to LVT or Laminate to help you make your decision.
First things first…
What is LVT Flooring?
LVT flooring is constructed from multiple layers of vinyl. This means that’s it’s pretty thin and flexible, making it a great choice of versatile flooring that can be adapted to all kinds of spaces. The great part about LVT is that the surface looks almost the same as the material it’s looking to emulate, giving you an authentic wood, stone or ceramic appearance. LVT is pretty resilient, meaning it’s scratch resistant and perfect for high traffic areas, rooms that may require waterproofing, and even areas in which you want to install underfloor heating.
What is Laminate Flooring?
Laminate flooring, on the other hand, gets it’s authentic looks from a photographic top layer. Constructed from fibreboard underneath and finished with a protective layer, laminate is just as versatile, but often not quite as hard wearing. However, many laminate floors are now being designed with waterproof and scratch resistant features, meaning you can place laminate flooring in almost any room of your home with peace of mind.
So LVT and Laminate are pretty similar on the surface, but let’s dig a little deeper into how they hold up in terms of key features that homeowners are looking for in their flooring…
LVT flooring is made from PVC which is completely waterproof – this means that you get a full choice of all the different LVT designs available and don’t have to worry about fitting it in damp rooms such as the bathroom. Laminate flooring is pretty waterproof, but you’ll need to mop up spills as quickly as you can to stop them from becoming damaged. However, there are a few ranges of laminate flooring that are 100% waterproof too, such as the Quickstep Impressive range.
Our Verdict: Choose LVT if you’re looking for the widest range of choice, but a waterproof laminate will work just as well.
Material & Design
There are slight differences in the manufacturing of LVT and laminate. For example, laminate is constructed using high density fibre boards which is very environmentally-friendly and affordable. LVT is made from PVC which makes it tougher and can be more comfortable underfoot than laminate. In terms of design, both ranges are pretty versatile with the top design simply replicating natural materials. The design is printed onto the boards, meaning that almost any design can be created. However, in terms of availability it’s usually laminate that replicates wood and LVT that branches out into both wood and stone designs.
Our Verdict: Go for LVT if you’re looking for a greater choice of design and something a little more luxe underfoot.
Both laminate flooring and LVT flooring is extremely tough and ideal for areas in the home with a lot of footfall. It’s difficult to really scratch either flooring, but the advantage of LVT is that you can recoat it should the worst happen.
Our Verdict: If you think your flooring may be at risk of scratching, choose LVT, but bear in mind that you can easily replace a single laminate board and it will cost much less.
Installing laminate flooring is extremely easy, with most laminate floors having a built-in click system which eliminates the need for adhesive or nails. LVT flooring, however, takes a lot more skill to fit as it does require an adhesive, so you may need a professional fitter.
Our Verdict: If you’re looking to DIY, choose laminate for an easy fit.