LVT vs Laminate Flooring

Having trouble deciding between Laminate and LVT floors? You’re not alone! At first they can both seem pretty similar but below the surface there are actually a fair few differences between them.

Flooring Materials

Laminate is made from High Density Fibre boards – tiny pieces of recycled wood pulp pressed together under extremely high pressure. This is a very environmentally-friendly method of production which makes laminate practical and affordable. LVT, meanwhile, is made from PVC-based materials, which makes it incredible tough. Because of this, LVT often has longer warranties and is generally quieter and warmer underfoot when compared to laminate floors.

Flooring Water Resistance

Whilst there are ranges of laminate floors which are guaranteed waterproof including these Quickstep waterproof laminates, all other laminate boards can be damaged from water sitting on them for prolonged periods of time so it’s best to mop up spills as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, every LVT range is made from PVC which is 100% waterproof – it’s why they’re so popular in bathrooms. This also gives you more freedom over design choice.

Flooring Scratch Resistance

Both of these floors are brilliant at resisting scratches thanks to the tough wear layer that each board/tile is coated with. This means both floors are perfect for areas with high traffic. The difference between the two is that it is possible to completely recoat a LVT floor with a new wear layer, which isn’t possible for laminate floors. However, in most cases, if you scratch or dent a small area of it’s often possible to replace that tile or board.

Flooring Installation

All laminate floors are joined using a built-in locking mechanism, and laid over an underlay (known as a floating floor system) with no need for glue or nails. This makes installing laminate floors a potential DIY job. Vinyl floors, meanwhile, are mostly glued down, which is a more involved process that needs a lot more skill – therefore we recommend a professional fitter for LVT.

Flooring Room Suitability

All laminate floors are joined using a built-in locking mechanism, and laid over an underlay (known as a floating floor system) with no need for glue or nails. This makes installing laminate floors a potential DIY job. Vinyl floors, meanwhile, are mostly glued down, which is a more involved process that needs a lot more skill – therefore we recommend a professional fitter for LVT.

Flooring With Underfloor Heating

Both floors work very well with most underfloor heating systems, and can resist floor temperatures of up to 27 Celsius. See our guide here for more information on installing floors over underfloor heating.

Flooring Designs

With both laminate floors and LVT, the design you see on top is actually a high definition photograph designed to replicate natural materials. This is printed on the tile/board before being covered with the scratch-resistant wear layer. Both floors have the option of bevelled edges and a textured finish, too.

The only real difference here is that laminate floors predominantly replicate wooden boards, whereas LVT has a much wider selection of both wood and stone tile designs. Because of this, your floor can have almost any design imaginable, making LVT and Laminate floors popular choices for the design-conscious.


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