Luxury Vinyl vs. Standard Vinyl

Standard vinyl is made from a very thin layer that is printed with a design on top and covered in a protective coating. Although it looks good, it quite commonly is prone to wear and tear and most of the time is not comfortable underfoot. This is especially if layered over concrete.

As a problem that was pointed out consistently, vinyl manufacturers developed a new form of their product – luxury vinyl flooring, or LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile).

This new vinyl product consists of semi-rigid planks or tiles and is installed using the same click-lock interlocking edges that laminate flooring utilises. Although the creation of luxury vinyl was back in the 1970s, it was the 1980s that truly saw vinyl flooring take off as a popular flooring material to where it is today – the number one flooring solution on the market.

The Differences

Standard vinyl flooring is a product sold in flexible sheets or square tiles, consisting of thin backing layers of felt or fibreglass bonded with the solid vinyl.

This vinyl layer is printed with a design and then covered with a transparent coating for protection. Standard vinyl is flexible and thin, with its wear layer being 10 to 15 mil. Luxury vinyl comprises 6 to 8 layers of material – a clear top-coat level for shine, a clear wear layer for protection of the design, the printed image design layer, the cushioned foam layer, and a fibreglass backing layer and the solid PVC backing layer for the strength and rigidity.

Certain designs in luxury vinyl flooring may have additional layers, such as stone-look vinyl having ground mineral content such as pulverised limestone.

The Look

Standard vinyl has its focus on resembling ceramic and stone tiles, though they take many different design patterns and colours into their range – including those that resemble real hardwood.

Because the wear layer is smooth and solid, the simulated cracks between the planks sometimes look unconvincing to the eye. Luxury vinyl flooring planks, such as Invictus and Polyflor, are designed to specifically simulate the look of woods, with LVT designed to perfectly replicate stones and ceramics. The benefit of luxury vinyl is that the product is extremely convincing in mimicking the look of real hardwoods, with a larger range of colours and styles available.

The Decision

Luxury vinyl flooring is typically the better choice over standard vinyl when put in comparison. To weigh up further benefits, talk with a member of our team at Floorbay, the number one choice in luxury vinyl flooring supply.