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LVT vs Laminate....

Design Time on WMEN TV5

June 2020

TV5 Design Time WNEM
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We have talked about some of the new floors that are out, but now with all the flooding that has happened in the Midland, Sanford and Edenville areas, many people are now being faced with replacing flooring as they rebuild their homes. Two of the popular hard surface floors are Laminate and LVT and/or LVP..


Today on TV5's Design Time, Kathy Kilbourn from Tri City Furniture discussed what the difference between the two products are, how to install both, if one product would be better for a basement floor vs the other and how pricing breaks down. To learn more, watch today's video posted above!

  • First, LVP stands for Luxury Vinyl Plank and LVT stands for Luxury Vinyl Tile. As the name implies, Luxury Vinyl Planks look like planks of hardwood floors; and Luxury Vinyl Tile looks like Tile (or natural stone). They are individual pieces of vinyl (not sheet vinyl), so they look very similar to the real thing.

  • There are different qualities of LVT or LVP.

  • Planks or Tiles can have different durability ratings from a 4 to 40. Imagine this as being 4 regular pieces of  copy paper  vs 40 sheets. If your kids wear their roller blades in the house, they could likely, easily scratch through 4 sheets but if it was the thickness of 40 sheets, your design elements of the plank or tile would not be touched. Or say you have been shut in your home for awhile, unable to take your dog to the groomer. Think of those nails and the damage they could do to your finish. This example happen in my friend's home...a rock was caught in a shoe and worn throughout the entire home and I can see every step that was taken due to that small sharp rock! The quality in the product is very important. We recommend you have at least a 20mil layer on your LVT products which is considered commercial grade. 

  • Laminate is made from a high-density fiberboard , whereas LVT is given more flexibility with the use of PVC vinyl. Laminate flooring is never permanently attached to the floor underneath. Instead, it is fitted with a ‘floating’ system of interlocking panels. Some LVTs also float  above the subfloor vs being glued down.  

  • Also, because the LVt boards are flexible, they will lay down on uneven floor easily vs fiberboards that are very ridged. You would need to adjust subfloor to use the fiberboards. A self level composite could also be used to help level a floor. 

  • LVT flooring is ideal for bathrooms, kitchens and areas that could experience water issues, because of benefits like easy installation methods, extreme durability, and being 100-percent waterproof. LVT is vinyl where laminate is fibrous (wood products) and will take on moisture. LVT can even be submerged in water for days and still be usable.

  • ​Though they’re similar in appearance, radiant heating, and installation, Luxury Vinyl has a slight advantage in most of the other categories. 

    • Laminate is Better ForCost Cutters maybe, made from wood & ???

    • Luxury Vinyl is Better For…the environment, Repairs, Maintenance, Durability, Water/Moisture, Care & Resale Value


We have been talking about water issues and flooring. Hard surfaces that are made of wood are resistant to water to a point… A little water on the top will not hurt it, but if your dishwasher overflowed,

your wood floor could be saturated and damaged beyond repair! Wood will absorb moisture so that is why most wood products use a polyurethane to seal the wood top! The issues comes when a lot of water comes to the area and gets on the sides and bottom where there is no protective sealant! Below is a wood floor that has gotten wet and the edges are curling up.


Bathrooms are another area that wood products could be an issue if too much moisture gets to the wood! Many people have looked to a Laminate floor as a good option in these types of installations. The problem with laminate is that it is a wood core, and if moisture is soaked into it, the product will swell and many times I have seen the top layer separate from the base and bubble!

This is laminate that has been wet had the boards have warped pulling apart in all of the seams. Many times the top layer will separate from the wood core when there has been too much moisture. It will look bubbled. If you know you could have water issues. If you want something that is easy to maintain and gives a beautiful look, come and talk to us and we will find the exact product for you that fits your lifestyle, your home and your budget. 

flooding midland.jpg

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