If you’re looking to upgrade the floors in your home, luxury vinyl plank (LVP) and luxury vinyl tile (LVT) are two popular options to consider. But what exactly is the difference between LVP and LVT, and which one is the better choice for your needs?
I’ve installed both types of vinyl flooring in my own home. In this article, I’ll compare LVP vs LVT on factors like appearance, durability, comfort, maintenance, and more. My goal is to help you decide which option is right for your lifestyle and interior design vision.
Appearance: Mimicking Wood or Stone Tiles
One of the top reasons homeowners choose LVP or LVT is for the realistic wood or stone looks available. Technology advancements in vinyl flooring mean the patterns and textures convincingly mimic natural materials at affordable prices.
When comparing LVP vs LVT visually, there are some key differences:
LVP replicates the look of solid hardwood planks with visible grains and wood knots. The long, wide planks create a cohesive, elegant look.
LVT mimics the visual effect of individual stone, ceramic, marble, or concrete tiles. The tiles have a square shape and grout lines between them.
Both LVP and LVT come in a huge variety of colors, finishes, and patterns. This allows you to match the style you’re going for whether it’s weathered barnwood, bleached pine, marble, slate, or another material.
I suggest browsing some flooring shop websites to get a sense of the many attractive LVP and LVT options out there. Then you can better envision how each might look in your home. Pay attention to the plank size too as that impacts the overall aesthetic.
Durability: LVP Holds Up Better Over Time
Durability is a crucial factor when choosing new floors since you don’t want to have to replace them again soon. This is an area where LVP floors have a leg up over LVT floors.
The multi-layer construction of luxury vinyl plank makes it more resistant to chips, dents, and scratches. The top vinyl layer provides protection while the rigid composite core offers stability. LVP stands up to dropped items, pet nails, high heels, rolling chairs, and heavy foot traffic patterns extremely well over time.
Luxury vinyl tile is still durable, but the thinner construction means it can be more vulnerable to damage. The tiles can become loose or cracked if the subfloor shifts or is uneven. Regular mopping can warp or dislodge LVT tiles over time too.
Based on first-hand experience and industry testing, LVP is longer-wearing than LVT overall. That’s important for homeowners wanting to make floors a lifetime investment for their house.
Comfort Underfoot: LVT Feels Better
You want floors that literally make you feel good when you walk across them barefoot. Luxury vinyl tile provides more comfort and warmth than most LVP planks do.
LVT floors have some give to them since the tiles are thinner and sit closer to the subfloor. Many high-quality tiles even have attached foam padding for extra cushioning. This creates a soft, enjoyable texture rather than a hard one underfoot.
In contrast, plush LVP floors are uncommon since they contradict the rigid construction. Without in-floor heating systems, most LVP has a colder, harder feel compared to LVT. For basements and laundry rooms this may not matter, but it’s something to consider for heavily trafficked areas.
If underfoot comfort is a priority, opt for a nice, thick LVT product. Just keep heavier furniture pieces off cushioned floors to prevent indentations.
Moisture Resistance: LVT Holds Up Better
You certainly don’t want moisture seeping under new flooring and causing damage. Bathrooms, kitchens, laundry areas, and basements tend to get wetter than other rooms. In these areas of the home, LVT is the wiser choice due to higher water resistance.
The layered construction and dense fiberglass backing help LVP resist large spills or flooding temporarily. However, planks should not remain wet for long periods. Prolonged moisture underneath can make LVP swell, warp, or peak at the seams.
LVT has more resilience when dealing with moisture. The vinyl wear layer prevents liquid from penetrating the tile completely while the solid plastic core stops swelling. As long as you thoroughly dry the surface of LVT tiles, minor flooding generally does not impact them.
For rooms prone to spills, storms, or plumbing leaks, LVT provides more protection and peace of mind. Just be sure your tile choice is rated as 100% waterproof, not merely water resistant.
Installation and Repairs: LVP is More DIY-Friendly
Installing new floors requires some work, but LVP proves easier for DIYers to handle than LVT. I certainly found this to be true from my own vinyl flooring projects around the house.
Many luxury vinyl plank products are designed with installation-friendly features:
- Interlocking edges click together snugly without glue
- Attached are underlayments for smoothing out the subfloor
- Loose lay options allow you to remove and reuse planks
LVP also makes repairs simpler with the ability to replace individual damaged planks. The interlocked floor won’t come completely apart.
In contrast, LVT tiles strongly adhere to the floor using vinyl adhesive. This professional style of full-spread installation is trickier for novices. Repairing means cutting tiles out and re-adhering new ones while keeping everything aligned.
Ultimately LVP offers more leeway if you want to tackle installation yourself. Just follow the product guidelines closely for the best long-term performance.
Maintenance Requirements: LVT Needs More Upkeep
All floors require some regular care and attention, but LVT needs extra maintenance to stay pristine over years of use. The grout lines easily trap dirt, spills, and grime, so frequent mopping is a must.
Vacuuming and then wet mopping LVT weekly removes surface-level soil before it becomes ingrained. Stubborn spots may need scrubbing with vinyl floor cleaner. Just take care not to let excess moisture seep between tiles or underneath.
You also need to polish LVT tiles occasionally to restore gloss and protection. Tile wax fills in microscopic scratches while strengthening the vinyl wear layer against marking.
LVP is less work to care for thanks to the seamless design. Quickly passing the vacuum and then damp mop over planks now and then keeps them fresh. Use very little liquid and immediately pick up moisture to prevent swelling. A vinyl floor deep cleanser tackles tougher marks and scuffs with powerful surfactants.
Cost Differences: LVP is Often Cheaper Than LVT
Affordability is another advantage of LVP flooring over LVT. There are a few reasons luxury vinyl plank tends to cost less:
- Streamlined production with fewer raw materials
- Mass retailer distribution channels
- Wider appeal suitable for every room
Broadloom LVP rolls also simplify installation compared to fiddly tile layouts. This reduces labor expenses if you don’t DIY.
As you browse flooring options, you’ll notice far more LVP choices priced under $3 per square foot. Even high-end LVP rarely exceeds $8 per square foot. The realistic visuals and durable construction suit buyers wanting value for money.
Quality LVT costs over $4 per square foot on average and goes up dramatically. Custom tile sizes, shapes, and decors incorporated increase material and production costs. The professional installation with floor prep, adhesive, and grout boosts spending further.
For budget kitchen, basement, or rental renovation projects, LVP provides the looks you want at more affordable pricing overall.
Making the Best Choice for You
Take your time considering all facets of LVT versus LVP flooring pertaining to your home and lifestyle. Key questions to ask yourself include:
- What rooms need new flooring and how heavily trafficked are they? Durability should be a higher priority for mudrooms, hallways, and kitchens that get more wear and tear.
- Is comfort underfoot a top concern, like for a bedroom? The extra padding and softness of LVT can make it more pleasurable to walk across barefoot.
- How skilled are you at DIY projects and repairs? LVP offers more flexibility for novices to achieve satisfactory installation results on their own.
- What amount fits your flooring budget for materials plus labor if not installing it yourself? Cost-conscious renovators can likely cover more square footage area with LVP.
Weigh your priorities and needs against the LVP and LVT pros and cons. If you’re still undecided, don’t hesitate to request more vinyl flooring samples to see and feel the differences firsthand. Comparing plank versus tile visuals and textures in your home can solidify which aesthetic you prefer too.
Get the stylish, affordable, and durable floors you deserve by selecting the best luxury vinyl format for your lifestyle. With some thoughtful consideration of the options, you won’t regret installing long-lasting LVP or LVT in your home.
Luxury vinyl continues gaining popularity for replicating premium floors at wallet-friendly prices. Both LVP and LVT offer stylish and realistic looks retaining long-term performance. As a durable, comfortable, and easy-to-install vinyl option, LVP satisfies many homeowners’ key priorities when upgrading floors affordably. For spaces needing waterproofing most, LVT is a sensible investment that provides warmth and resilience over decades.
Ultimately LVP floors make sense for cost-conscious yet style-savvy renovators. LVT floors better suit buyers who prioritize soft texture, meticulous upkeep, and robust moisture protection. Analyze your personal needs, project scope, and home layout when deciding between quality vinyl plank or tile floors. Then take advantage of accessible vinyl upgrades replicating wood or stone floors stunningly.
What’s better for bathrooms: LVP or LVT?
I’d recommend LVT over LVP for bathrooms since tile construction resists moisture better. Waterproof performance is crucial in rooms prone to splashing and humidity. Be sure to caulk the gap between walls and flooring properly too.
Which scratch-proof floors are longer: LVP or LVT?
LVP withstands scratches, gouges, and dents remarkably well over many years of use. The multi-layer build prevents damage from reaching the inner core while the vinyl coating helps hide shallow marks. Just keep pet nails trimmed and lift heavy furniture to move it.
Can you refinish LVT floors like hardwood?
No, LVT tiles are not candidates for sanding and refinishing over time like real wood. However, thorough deep cleaning, damage patching, and fresh new polish restore LVT beautifully. When tiles eventually do wear out beyond repair, replacing them comes cheaper than hardwood too.
Is DIY installation harder with LVT or LVP?
Click-lock LVP streamlines installation so beginners can tackle it themselves following the included instructions. Professional full-spread gluing of LVT tiles is trickier since perfectly smooth subfloors are crucial. Novices may struggle to get cleanly cut borders and tight seams too. Consider hiring flooring specialists for the best LVT results.
Which cleans up pet messes easier: LVP or LVT?
LVP’s attached underlayment layer gives it a slight advantage in containing pet urine accidents before seeping underneath planks. Just wipe messes promptly then disinfect with enzyme cleaner. LVT needs immediate attention too before odors or stains set between tiles. So vigilance and thoroughness in cleaning up help flooring forgive pet mishaps.