Laminate / LVT / Vinyl: A Breakdown of Engineered Floor Options

If you’re tackling a flooring project you have probably realized that there are endless options aside from real hardwood and natural stone floors. Technology advancements in recent years have allowed manufacturers to completely redesign artificial flooring and the choices have become a little overwhelming. What is luxury vinyl flooring? And is it the same as laminate flooring? It would probably be helpful to have someone just break down the options for you, while keeping it simple, right? Let’s do just that and see if we can’t help with your decision-making and lead you to make a well informed and educated decision.


Laminate flooring is probably what you’re most accustomed to hearing referenced when it comes to engineered flooring. Laminate is flooring made up of multiple layers fused together. The core, or primary layer, is a high-density fiberboard that gives the flooring its strength. This layer is adhered over a moisture resistant layer and completed with a high-resolution print of a photograph. These images are most often of hardwood, stone, tile, or even brick. This top layer, although responsible for providing the aesthetic component to the floor, is also responsible for the floor’s durability. It protects the laminate from scratches and stains, making it durable and an excellent choice for high traffic areas. Laminate flooring is often installed by piecing or clicking together the panels or tiles. It is commonly installed as a do-it-yourself project and will last for years, so you don’t need to worry about replacing it frequently.

Luxury Vinyl Tile

Luxury vinyl tile is similar to laminate in some ways, but also has its differences. It, like laminate, is made in layers; however, its primary layer is made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) instead of fiberboard like in laminate flooring. This PVC makes vinyl flooring stable, but also allows flexibility. Unlike laminate, LVT is typically installed by a glue-down method, although there are other methods of installation available (such as a floating system, in some cases). One of the main differences to note between laminate and vinyl flooring is that laminate typically comes in one complete sheet whereas vinyl flooring comes in individual planks or tiles. This makes LVT flooring even more realistic than laminate, and a top competitor to hardwood and natural stone tiles. Despite being separate pieces, LVT is actually more moisture resistant than laminate flooring and can be installed in any room, including basements, laundry rooms, or bathrooms.

Sheet Vinyl Flooring

Sheet vinyl flooring provides similar benefits to laminate and LVT, such as a variety of style options, durability, and ease of maintenance. With technology today, the images printed onto sheet vinyl flooring are so realistic even this easy to install flooring is comparable in style to natural hardwood or tile flooring. Hopefully this helps make your engineered flooring options a little more simple and easy to understand. Deciding what flooring is right for your home can be an overwhelming decision no matter how much research you do on your own. If you find that you’re still unsure why not get help from the flooring experts at The Floor Shop? Give the showroom a call to book an appointment or simply drop in and we would be more than happy to help.