Laminate or LVT – Which One Should You Choose?

Deciding on the best flooring for your property is a consideration that should take into account both practicality and style. You want to make sure that the floor chosen fits within your budget but is also able to withstand the demands of a specific room. Here at Virtuoso Flooring, we have a wide range of flooring options and the expertise to help our customers find the most suitable one for them. And in this article, we’re going to be looking at two popular options – laminate or LVT. So, which one should you use?

What Is Laminate?

Highly durable and relatively inexpensive, laminate flooring is a synthetic flooring option which takes on the appearance of either wood or stone. It has become increasingly popular due to it’s quick installation and suitability to high foot-traffic environments. With advances in technology, laminate has become even better at emulating these more expensive flooring options while still fitting well within most people’s budgets.

How Is it Made?

Laminate is a multi-layer flooring option. At the centre, there is a high-density wooden fibre (HDF) core which is manufactured from heavily compressed wooden fibres. On to this, a layer balancing paper is used to provide moisture-protection, followed by a decorative paper. This is how laminate gets its wide range of finishes – this paper can be printed and finishes in a host of colours and patterns. Finally, laminate is coated in a clear laminate sheet to improve strength and resistance to abrasion.

Pros of Laminate Flooring:

  • Cost-effective for most budgets.
  • Highly scratch-resistant.
  • Good stain resistance.
  • Non-allergenic.

Cons of Laminate Flooring:

  • Low-quality models can be susceptible to damage from excess moisture.
  • Can be noisy underfoot.

What is LVT?

LVT or Luxury Vinyl Tiles are a modern evolution from vinyl flooring. With the ability to look like real wood or stone, these water-resistant tiles are becoming increasingly popular in recent years. The tiles themselves are thin, making them a popular choice for certain environments. They are ideal for most rooms in the house and can be installed quickly by professionals.

How Are They Made?

Similarly to laminate, luxury vinyl tiles are made from numerous layers. This time, the main material is PVC vinyl which is combined with other compounds to improve its hardness and durability. These layers are compressed and then dried with a blend of heat and air. If the tiles are destined to emulate wood, the surface is then textured which makes them considerably more realistic than laminate alternatives.

Pros of LVT:

  • More cost-effective than wood or stone.
  • Comfortable underfoot.
  • Good sound insulation.
  • Low maintenance.
  • Highly durable.
  • Stain, scratch and dent resistant.
  • Highly insulating.
  • 100% waterproof.
  • Easy locking mechanism which removes the need for glue or nails during installation.

Cons of LVT:

  • If not properly installed, they can catch moisture underneath which leads to mould.
  • Susceptible to punctures.
  • Damage cannot be repaired but must be replaced.

While both laminate and LVT have their benefits, we recommend you look at the environment in question. LVT tiles are more ideally suited to moisture-rich environments and have the durability to withstand high foot traffic. Laminate flooring is a cost-effective solution that you can fit yourself and allows you to dabble in the look of wood or stone floors. If you would like to discuss these benefits with a member of our expert team, please get in contact with Virtuoso Flooring here today.

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