Discover the difference between LVT and solid wood flooring below...Written by: Yarl Christie
Published on: July 13, 2022
LVT Vs Solid Wood Flooring
The floor you choose for your home or business will make a huge difference to the overall look of the space. However, it isn’t just aesthetics you need to think about.
Different floors offer different features, and some also provide better value for money than others. This means, when choosing between the numerous flooring types on offer, you’ll need to have a good understanding of what each one offers.
Product: Kahrs Grossglockner Click Impression LTCLS3002-457 6mm
Two of the most popular flooring types we sell at Stories Flooring, are LVT and solid wood. Both come with pros and cons that you should consider prior to purchasing.
Not sure what the differences are between the two? Discover everything you need to know to make the best decision when choosing between LVT and solid wood flooring below.
What is LVT Flooring Made From?
Short for Luxury Vinyl Tile, LVT floors are mostly made from PVC. They are specifically designed to mimic real stone and wood flooring, using a hyper-realistic photographic layer to achieve the look.
Vinyl layers are compressed together, creating a strong and stable floor.
What is Solid Wood Flooring Made From?
The planks are made from 100% real wood. Unlike engineered wood floors, solid wood floors don’t have a layered construction. Instead, each plank is made from a single piece of wood.
Most tend to be made from oak, walnut, or maple, and they produce a striking, natural look in the home.
Which is Waterproof?
LVT floors are created from PVC, which means they benefit from natural resistance to water. You won’t need to worry about damage from spills or accidents provided they are cleaned up quickly. Keep in mind that LVT floors are not naturally waterproof. If you want to install them in high moisture areas such as the bathroom, you will need to choose one that is advertised as being fully waterproof.
Under no circumstances should solid wood floors be installed in bathrooms or other moisture prone areas. This is because the wood will warp and become damaged over time.
LVT floors provide excellent value for money, with most guaranteed to last between 10-20 years. In some cases, manufacturers are so confident about the quality of the floor that they offer a lifetime guarantee. Is still important to regularly clean your LVT flooring, however, they are known to be one of the best low maintenance floors. They are scratch and moisture resistant, ensuring they stand up well against daily wear and tear.
Solid wood floors offer excellent durability. It is easy to remove stains from hardwood floors due to the fact they can be re-sanded and re-finished several times further extends their lifespan. When looked after properly, a solid wood floor can last anywhere from 30-100 years.
One of the main benefits of solid wood floors is that they can be sanded down and refinished several times over the course of their lifespan. Restoring solid wood flooring helps you to refresh the floor, giving it that brand new look and feel.
Installing LVT vs Solid Wood Flooring
LVT floors are easy to install as most feature a click system. This means the planks and tiles click tightly into place without much effort. Some do require a glue-down installation which can be messy, but it is still possible to do it without calling in the professionals. You can read the difference between click and glue-down LVT here.
The installation process for solid wood flooring is a little more difficult as the floors can be nailed or glued down. This can make it tricky to replace individual boards; though you can re-sand and re-finish the floor several times to keep it looking like new.
We recommend acclimitising solid wood flooring planks before installation to prevent them warping or buckling once installed. It is always recommended you leave solid floor flooring installation to the professionals to achieve best results.
LVT floors can be installed in a much broader range of environments. This is because they come with water resistance, and in some cases, a waterproof design. You can install them in all areas of the home including bathrooms, utility rooms, and basements.
Solid wood will warp when exposed to moisture, making it unsuitable for areas such as the bathroom and kitchen.
LVT flooring can be installed with compatible underfloor heating systems. You can also install comfort-boosting underlay. Solid wood flooring on the other hand cannot be installed with underfloor heating, but it does have a naturally warm feel to the touch.
LVT & SPC Styles & Effects
LVT floors come in a superb range of designs including wood, stone, and abstract effects. While they do look highly realistic, they can’t compare to solid wood in terms of authenticity.
You can’t beat solid wood floors in terms of their luxurious and natural appearance. As the entire planks are made from real wood, you get that solid and secure feel underfoot. Once installed, solid wood floors look sensational.
Both solid wood flooring and LVT come in straight plank, herringbone, parquet, Versailles and basketweave laying patterns.
|Solid Wood Flooring
|No, though waterproof varieties are available
|Up to 30 years, suitable for heavy traffic areas
|30-100 years, suitable for heavy traffic areas
|Click system or Gluedown
|Tongue and groove, nailed down, glue-down
|Kitchen, basement, conservatory, lounge, dining room, hallway, bedroom
|Compatible with underfloor heating
|Not suitable for use with underfloor heating
|Stone, wood, and abstract effects
|Real wood, lacquered, oiled, Handscraped, brushed, unfinished
|Stone tile, wood plank, herringbone, chevron, versailles & basket-weave
|Plank, herringbone, chevron, versailles & basket-weave
The type of flooring you choose will ultimately be determined by your own preferences and budget. However, when comparing LVT to solid wood flooring, it is important to take the above factors into account.