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LVP vs Laminate Flooring: What’s the Difference?


Friday, July 28, 2023 2:09 PM

When it comes to choosing the right flooring for your home or office, there are numerous options available in the market. Two of the most popular choices today include luxury vinyl plank (LVP) and laminate flooring. But what’s the difference between LVP vs laminate?

Both offer a cost-effective alternative to hardwood flooring. They provide a similar look and aesthetic appeal while providing durability. However, there are some significant distinctions between the two. We’ll take a look at those key differences and explore the pros and cons of each. That way, you’ll be better able to make an informed decision for your next flooring project.

LVP Flooring
Luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring is a synthetic product designed to mimic the look and feel of real hardwood. Made primarily from PVC (polyvinyl chloride) composites, LVP offers numerous advantages:

LVP is highly resistant to scratches, stains, and dents. This makes it ideal for high-traffic areas and households with pets and children. Its protective wear layer ensures it will endure for years to come. It also means easy routine maintenance.

Water Resistance
One of the standout features of LVP is its exceptional water resistance. More than almost any other flooring choice, LVP can withstand moisture, spills, and even damp environments without warping or swelling. That makes it a great choice for areas like bathrooms and finished basements.

LVP comes in a wide variety of styles, colors, and textures. It allows you to achieve the look of different varieties of hardwood, and even stone or tile. Advanced printing and embossing technologies make it difficult to tell LVP apart from “the real thing.”

Comfort and Noise Reduction
LVP flooring often features an integrated underlayment. This underlayment provides cushioning underfoot and also reduces noise transmission. The latter makes it an excellent choice for multi-level buildings or apartments.

Despite its numerous advantages, LVP flooring does have a few cons:

Environmental Concerns
Some LVP products may contain PVC, which isn't considered environmentally friendly. However, there are available eco-conscious options that use recycled or alternative materials.

It’s Not Great in Direct Sunlight
Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause fading or discoloration in some LVP flooring options. Using curtains or blinds can help make this less of a problem.

Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring is a synthetic product also. It consists of several layers bonded together through a lamination process. Typically, it’s made up of a fiberboard core topped with a high-resolution photographic image. A protective wear layer covers the image to make it more durable. Laminate has several strong advantages as a flooring choice:

Laminate flooring is often more budget-friendly compared to LVP or hardwood flooring. It offers a cost-effective way to get the look of natural materials without the price tag.

Wide Range of Styles
Like LVP, laminate flooring has no shortage of design options. From wood grain patterns to stone and tile, laminate offers various looks to suit almost any interior.

Easy Installation
Laminate flooring utilizes a click-and-lock installation system. This allows for a straightforward and relatively hassle-free installation process. It is also a suitable option for DIY enthusiasts.

Scratch/Fading Resistance
Laminate flooring tends to be more scratch resistant than other options. It’s also generally resistant to fading caused by sunlight exposure. This makes it a good choice for homes with dogs, kids, or rooms with large windows.

However, laminate flooring also has a few drawbacks to consider:

It’s More Sensitive to Moisture
Unlike LVP, laminate flooring is not inherently waterproof. While it can withstand occasional spills and splashes, excessive moisture can cause swelling. Over time, this will damage the fiberboard core.

Limited Repair Options
In case of damage, it can be challenging to repair laminate flooring. Because individual planks are not easily replaceable, you might have to replace larger sections of floor to hide the damage. In some cases, the entire floor must be replaced.

LVP vs Laminate: How to Choose Between the Two
When deciding between luxury vinyl plank and laminate flooring, it's essential to consider your specific needs. LVP offers exceptional durability, water resistance, and a wide range of styles. That means it’s ideal for high-traffic areas and moisture-prone environments. On the other hand, laminate flooring offers affordability, easy installation, and resistance to fading, while requiring precautions against excessive moisture.

Ultimately, the choice between LVP vs laminate flooring depends on factors such as budget, lifestyle, and design preferences. If you have questions, feel free to reach out to the flooring professionals at Bridgeport Carpets. We’ll be happy to walk you through the benefits and drawbacks of each flooring type so that you can make the best possible choice for your needs.