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Comparison

Discover the difference between laminate flooring and LVT and which one is best for you below.

Written by: Yarl Christie

Published on: August 10, 2022

LVT Vs Laminate Flooring

Trying to decide between LVT and laminate flooring? Both options are incredibly popular with homeowners and businesses across the UK. However, they each have a range of pros and cons you need to be aware of before deciding which one to invest in.

Kahrs Sarek Click LTCLW2116-218 6mmProduct: Kahrs Sarek Click LTCLW2116-218 6mm

To help narrow down your search for the perfect floor, our friendly flooring experts provide a brief comparison of LVT vs laminate flooring below.

What is LVT Flooring Made From?

Short for Luxury Vinyl Tiles, LVT floors are made from layers of PVC vinyl. Numerous compounds are mixed in with the PVC to adjust the hardness of the floor.

A rolling process is used to compress the layers together while they are suspended in liquid. Once complete, they are dried using air and heat.

LVT floors are made from layers of PVC vinyl

The top layer includes a decorative print that is typically embossed to provide a more realistic wood or stone effect. Newer floors are also fitted with a click system for easy installation. You can read more about what LVT flooring is here.

What is Laminate Flooring Made From?

Much like LVT, laminate flooring is made up of several layers. There are usually four layers included in their design, including backer paper, HDF board or core, decorative paper, and a wear layer.

These layers are fused together at the same time using a high heat press operation. Temperatures reached during the direct-pressure lamination process go up to 300°C.

Laminate flooring is usually made from four layers, including backer paper, HDF board or core, decorative paper, and a wear layer

The way laminate planks are produced today has improved significantly since the floors were first introduced onto the market. This has helped to provide them with a more realistic wood effect.

Which is Waterproof?

Laminate floors are not naturally waterproof. LVT floors on the other hand do generally come with a fully waterproof design.

Luvanto White Porcelain QAF-LCT-07 Click Luxury Vinyl FlooringProduct: Luvanto White Porcelain QAF-LCT-07 Click Luxury Vinyl Flooring

If you want to install laminate flooring in areas like the bathroom, it is possible to purchase waterproof varieties.

Comparing Durability

LVT and laminate floors offer incredible durability thanks to their multi-layered design. It’s difficult to say which one is better, as ultimately it depends upon the quality of each floor.

Quick-Step Majestic Desert Oak Warm Natural MJ3551 Laminate FlooringProduct: Quick-Step Majestic Desert Oak Warm Natural MJ3551 Laminate Flooring

The quality of LVT and laminate can vary drastically, but in general terms LVT tends to have an edge over laminate in the durability stakes. This is because it is more resistant against layer separation, and it doesn’t show signs of wear and tear as much as laminate. With that being said, laminate floors do feature a tough protective wear layer, and many are designed with scratch and stain resistance in mind.

Balterio Traditions Opal Oak HydroShield 61001 Laminate FlooringProduct: Balterio Traditions Opal Oak HydroShield 61001 Laminate Flooring

Both LVT and laminate floors can last up to 30 years, depending upon their quality.

Installing LVT vs Laminate Flooring

LVT and laminate floors can require the same click installation process. However, most LVT floors may instead require a Gluedown method to be followed. With click system installation, you just click the planks into place for a fast and secure fit. Read more about click vs gluedown LVT here if you are unsure which is right for you.

LVT Vs laminate flooring installation

Another difference between LVT and laminate flooring installation is that laminate needs to have an underlay installed. While adding underlay to LVT flooring can improve its comfort, it doesn’t necessarily need it to function correctly. Some laminate floors do come equipped with a built-in underlay, but if it doesn’t you will need to install one yourself.

Room Suitability

Room suitability for laminate and LVT floors depends upon whether you purchase a waterproof variety. For standard floors, both LVT and laminate can be installed in all areas of the home besides the bathroom.

Atkinson & Kirby Luxury Liwa Oak LVT1005Product: Atkinson & Kirby Luxury Liwa Oak LVT1005

The protective layer on both laminate and LVT helps to make them spill-resistant. This means you can get away with installing them in the kitchen and dining room.

Comparing Insulation

In terms of insulation, laminate and LVT floors are both warm to the touch. Laminate will produce more noise underfoot, but this can be reduced by installing a sound reducing underlay. Similarly, the comfort of both types of floors can be enhanced with a good quality underlay.

Installing underfloor heating with LVT or laminate flooring

To keep the floors warm in colder temperatures, LVT and laminate can both be installed with compatible underfloor heating systems.

LVT & Laminate Styles & Effects

Both LVT and laminate floors are available in a huge range of designs. Both provide realistic wood and stone effects, produced through a hyper-realistic photographic layer.

EGGER PRO Aqua+ Classic 8mm Dark Langley Walnut EPL067 Laminate FlooringProduct: EGGER PRO Aqua+ Classic 8mm Dark Langley Walnut EPL067 Laminate Flooring

You can also select bevel edge and textured finishes with both types of flooring to enhance their realism.

Luvanto Priory Oak QAF-DES-03 Design Herringbone Luxury Vinyl FlooringProduct: Luvanto Priory Oak QAF-DES-03 Design Herringbone Luxury Vinyl Flooring

You will find that there is slightly more variety in the different effects available in LVT floors. Laminate products tend to focus more on realistic wood effects, while LVT has more stone and abstract designs to choose from.

Both types of flooring are available in parquet and herringbone styles. There are several styles of parquet including Versailles, chevron, basket-weave and herringbone.

Comparison Table

LVT Laminate Flooring
Construction Multi-layer PVC with decorative top layer. Can come with underlay built in Multi-layer plywood with a photographic top layer. Can come with built-in underlay
Waterproof Yes No, though waterproof varieties are available
Durability Can last up to 30+ years Can last up to 30+ years
Installation Click system or Gluedown Click installation
Room Suitability Kitchen, basement, conservatory, lounge, dining room, hallway, bedroom, bathroom All rooms except the bathroom (unless installing waterproof laminate)
Insulation Warm to the touch, doesn’t produce much noise. Can be installed with underfloor heating Warm underfoot, produces some noise which can be limited with a sound reducing underlay. Can be installed with underfloor heating
Effects & Finishes Wood effects, abstract designs, stone effects Wood effects, abstract designs, stone effects
Laying Patterns Plank, Herringbone, Chevron, Versailles & Basket-Weave, Stone Tile Plank, Herringbone, Chevron, Versailles & Basket-Weave

Conclusion

LVT and laminate floors are both excellent options for the home or business. They offer the same level of durability, provide a wide range of designs, and they are easy to install and maintain. It really comes down to which one you personally prefer when trying to determine which one to invest in.

Luvanto Warm Grey Stone QAF-LCT-06 Click Luxury Vinyl FlooringProduct: Luvanto Warm Grey Stone QAF-LCT-06 Click Luxury Vinyl Flooring

If you could use some help deciding which floor is best for your project, contact our flooring experts today. They are more than happy to discuss your requirements and run through the options available to you.

Further Browsing

You can purchase LVT flooring here.

You can purchase laminate flooring here.

You can purchase parquet flooring here.

About The Author

Yarl Christie

Yarl is the Managing Director of Stories Flooring. started his career in the flooring industry by becoming a floor fitter at the age of 18 (2004). Yarl finally decided to move with the times and set up an online flooring store (Flooring Yorkshire, 2018). He works closely with the business managers and resource team to source new products from wholesalers, which in turn brings down the sale price. This enables Stories Flooring to be one of the leading UK flooring retailers.