Flooring is one of the key points of any room renovation, and also one of the most expensive to take on. LVP has proved invaluable in new homes and with homeowners looking to remodel, but there’s more to this flooring than meets the eye. Luxury vinyl is just one form of this versatile product and something that’s commonly confused with other styles of vinyl flooring.
LVP is short for luxury vinyl planks, which is a form of luxury vinyl flooring. In this category, you’ll also find luxury vinyl tile, which is called LVT along with a few unique variations on the product. Luxury vinyl flooring may look like hardwood flooring or stone but is actually constructed from several different layers. While LVP’s closest competitors are made from completely different materials, it’s a good idea to know a bit more about vinyl flooring itself.
There are several major differences between standard vinyl planks and luxury vinyl planks, but the key ones are thickness and pricing. You’ll find that even the most budget-friendly boards in the luxury class are thicker than traditional vinyl planks.
LVP isn’t as flexible as standard vinyl, but it is more resilient against damage and heavy foot traffic. These floors come with thicker wear layers and are more stable underfoot than classic vinyl flooring. Manufacturing techniques also mean LVP is far more realistic, as high-end planks can closely mimic the look of natural wood or stone.
Luxury Vinyl Flooring vs. the Competition
LVP is one of the best synthetic options for homeowners today, but a handful of other materials are close in looks and price. Engineered hardwood is considered the next step up in many cases, but rigid core vinyl flooring has shortened the gap. Laminate is also an option, however, which is why we’re going to see how these contenders stack up against LVP.
LVP vs. Engineered Hardwood
Engineered hardwood flooring is often the best choice for homeowners that love the look of solid hardwood, but aren’t partial to the price or method of installation. Engineered hardwood is much easier to install throughout a home, but it’s made using a measure of wooden material. While the veneer gives it a unique look, it’s more prone to damage from moisture.
Luxury vinyl is PVC flooring, so moisture isn’t a concern although you won’t mistake it for engineered hardwood unless it’s at a distance. It’s easier to install and more flexible unless it’s a hybrid product like EVP with a rigid core. On average, luxury vinyl flooring is cheaper by the square foot although the price difference is minimal with some brands and their premium collections.
LVP vs. Laminate Flooring
Laminate and luxury vinyl flooring both have the same kind of construction, so they are made up of multiple layers with a core, design, and wear layer. The biggest difference between these products is in the middle of each plank, as laminate flooring is made from wood and LVP is essentially synthetic plastic flooring.
As with engineered hardwood, water resistance is the biggest difference between these types of flooring. The exception is waterproof and water-resistant laminate, which is designed specifically to keep moisture at bay. Both products can be highly realistic, but laminate is considerably thicker than LVP which makes it firmer underfoot. It’s more affordable although not as widely available or quite as easy for homeowners to install.
Luxury Vinyl Flooring Pros and Cons
Keeping pros and cons in mind before going into any home improvement project is important, but even more so with flooring. It’s not something that’s simple to replace, and a mistake can be expensive given the price of material and the cost of a professional installation. With LVP, there are a few negatives you’ll need to know, but it’s one of the top-selling floors for a reason.
Luxury vinyl planks are resistant to moisture but designed to handle medium to heavy foot traffic with relative ease. They are ideal for use in damp areas like bathrooms, kitchens, and hallways although versatile enough for use anywhere in a home. Whether you want to find LVP for a bedroom, laundry area, or living room, there is a style and color for you.
Do you have pets? LVP is considered pet-friendly considering it doesn’t scratch easily and is resistant to stains left behind by our furry friends. As mentioned, it’s one of the easier styles for homeowners to install themselves and comes with a reasonable price point that ranges from $2.99 to $4.99 per square foot.
There are only a few negatives to remember with LVP and the first one would be location. Vinyl products can be damaged by UV rays when placed in direct sunlight over long periods of time. Some brands are more resistant to this than others, but it’s something to keep in mind when planning your layout.
You’ll also want to look for luxury vinyl planks that are listed with low-VOCs. Synthetic materials like flooring can off-gas for days or years inside a home, which will affect the indoor air quality. Depending on the plasticizers and other materials used, that could potentially be harmful to your health or aggravate asthma or other respiratory conditions.
Luxury vinyl planks and luxury vinyl tiles are two types of flooring we highly recommend due to their versatility and are one of the best forms of hard synthetic flooring available today. If you’re torn between LVP and engineered hardwood, you may want to consider a rigid core product like SPC or WPC vinyl flooring.