Why LVT? Should I pick Laminate or LVT? 

Design Time on WMEN TV5

September 2020

LVT ...why is it better than laminate?

With the water issues that we have had this year we have hear a lot about water proof flooring. Thank you for tuning in today for DesignTime....Kathy from Tricity Furniture and  TV5 talked today about learning more about the newer flooring that will withstand water. 

So, first explain what LVT is! 

  • LVT stands for Luxury Tile which is a solid vinyl, flexible flooring that comes from the commercial world of flooring. It is made in a couple thicknesses but what is really important to understand is the thickness of the wear-layer and what the wear-layer is made from. It is usually laid piece by piece, independent from each other, so that a single piece could be replaced easily if it was damaged.

All of us have heard of laminate flooring, so what is different with it compared to LVT? 

  • Laminate flooring was made for home use, and was designed as a click system so that it could be installed by a homeowner. Laying it is pretty easy but you need to use a saw to fit around doors and between walls.....where as LVT can be cut with a utility knife.

What about the wear layers between these two products, how do they differ and what is their durability? 

  • Laminate flooring is not much different than the laminate that has been put on counter tops for many years. As you might know, you can scratch laminate, and there is no fix to those scratches. Because it was laid with the click system and not glued, you could replace the piece by un clicking pieces till you get to the damaged piece, but that is not real easy, because it is typically out in the middle of the room and not close to the wall! Wear layers are usually urethane and can easily show scratching.

  • LVT on the other hand usually has a ceramic bead infused wear layer, which is very hard and very difficult to damage. LVT comes with different wear layer thicknesses so depending on where it is to be installed and how it will be used, thicker wear layers can be used. These wear layers range from 20 mil to 40 mil thick... think of pieces of paper as being a mil...so 20 pieces of paper to 40 pieces....the thicker it is, the better the durability.

​​Residential flooring wear layers may be 3 mil, 4 mil or 6 mil....much different than commercial. Pay the difference for the commercial. You will have less issues down the way that will save you money in repairs or replacing the flooring. 

Installation of the two styles...... know that laminate is the click, but what about the LVT? 

  • Yes laminate was designed to go over most smooth floors and it would float. There are floating LVT ‘s also, but most of them are designed to be glue down. Because the LVT was for commercial, gluing these tiles allow for lots of foot traffic which is expected in a commercial building. The great part is that it is easy to take up one piece if damaged as it is not hooked to other tiles around it. The special glue is used to reactivate when it is heated. So, picking up a tile and replacing it is very simple. LVT is still pretty easy to install, but you usually do need glue. A professional has the tools to do it correctly and efficiently.

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