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Is LVT (Vinyl Tile Flooring) a Substitute for Laminate?


Recently we had the pleasure of talking with a flooring manufacturer about the advances in luxury vinyl tile flooring (also known as LVT flooring) and similar offerings. By far the most important advancement has been the introduction of floating LVT.

What’s Floating Vinyl Tile Flooring?

For our readers who aren’t familiar with the difference between floating and glue-down, we’ll give a quick overview. Glue down LVT is simply vinyl tiles which are glued down to the subfloor. Floating, on the other hand, is where the flooring tiles are floated over a subfloor.

Many people who want to install laminate choose to go the floating route. This makes for an especially easy install over a proper subfloor; the flooring strips just snap and click together. Now that this is a reality for LVT, there’s a more cost effective option for people seeking a real tile or hardwood appearance without the cost and moisture sensitivity.

One of the greatest benefits of choosing vinyl tile flooring over a laminate flooring is that it’s more water resistant. While you have to take care to not overdo it on moisture, LVT can tolerate greater amounts than laminate due to its construction not including wood products in the core. If you do choose LVT, make sure your installer is capable of and familiar with installing it. According to the manufacturers we’ve spoken with, a laminate or hardwood installer may not be completely familiar with some of the unique characteristics of LVT (such as choosing the proper glue and maintenance differences).

From a cost perspective, LVT does offer an advantage in that for a “cheap” laminate price you may be able to get higher end vinyl tile. Why does this matter? Well, with modern LVT mimicking wood and tile so accurately, the higher end vinyl tile option may look more realistic than the laminate alternative.