Engineered vs Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring: Which is Best?

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Uncover the differences between engineered vinyl plank and luxury vinyl plank flooring.

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Choosing between engineered vinyl plank (EVP) and luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring can be daunting.

While hardwood floors and tiles have been popular choices in the past, vinyl plank flooring has become increasingly popular over the years because of its cost-effectiveness, durability, and low maintenance requirements. In this blog we will discuss; what EVP flooring is, the differences between engineered vinyl plank flooring and luxury vinyl plank flooring, their benefits, and which is best for your home.

Engineered Vinyl Plank vs Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

Let’s begin our journey into the world of vinyl flooring and talk about the differences between engineered vinyl plank vs luxury vinyl plank flooring.

Vinyl flooring has been a go-to choice for homeowners because it is an economical alternative to solid hardwood flooring or ceramic tiles.

However, early forms like sheet vinyl or solid wood imitations didn’t quite hit that aesthetic sweet spot most homeowners were looking for. That changed with technological advancements paving the way for engineered vinyl plank flooring (EVP) and luxury vinyl plank (LVP).

EVP emerged as a game-changer due to its unique construction featuring four layers: wear layer, decorative/design coating, core film, and base film. This structure provides enhanced stability, making it suitable even for uneven floors and easy to install thanks to its floating design feature.

Luxury vinyl plank, on the other hand, is similar in composition but differs mainly due to less durable core material. Despite this difference, luxury vinyl floors offer greater versatility when it comes to style options, thereby allowing homeowners more freedom in achieving their preferred aesthetic without compromising on budget constraints.

modern living room with wooden flooring

What is Engineered Vinyl Plank Flooring (EVP)?

EVP is an acronym for engineered vinyl plank. This kind of vinyl flooring comes in a seemingly endless amount of different styles and patterns, typically replicating wood and stone. You might think, why would someone want a flooring that imitates these materials? Why not just get the genuine option?

The reason is EVP flooring comes with a heap of benefits that regular hardwood flooring or stone wouldn’t usually come with, the main of which is EVP is cost-effective, durable, and it is super easy to install!

EVP is a floating flooring, which means it is typically not glued to the subfloor and is instead connected through an interlocking system, like a puzzle. This is why it can be so cheap and easy to install. EVP is made from five technical layers:

  • Clear Protective Layer: Made for protecting the flooring from scratches and stains.
  • Decor Layer: The layer where the vinyl pattern and realistic 3D visuals are installed.
  • Vinyl Core Layer: The layer gives waterproof characteristics.
  • Rigid Stone-Based Core: Durable core to make EVP stable and hide subfloor imperfections.
  • Structural Back Layer: This layer increases comfort underfoot, noise reduction, and stability to the subfloor.

What is Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) Flooring?

LVP is an acronym for luxury vinyl planks. LVP flooring, just like EVP, is made of vinyl planks that mimic other materials like hardwood and stone. However, LVP is slightly thinner, which reduces their durability and waterproofing ever so slightly. Additionally, LVP is often glued to the subfloor and does not have an interlocking system.

The Difference Between EVP vs. LVP

As you may have worked out from the above, engineered vinyl plank and luxury vinyl plank are very similar, but do have slight differences.

EVP offers a slight advantage in terms of durability and ease of installation. As mentioned earlier, this is due to its thicker composition and the presence of an interlocking, glue-free installation method, unlike LVP.

But don’t be fooled by these shared traits; there are significant differences between EVP and LVP, which you should consider before making your final decision.

Where to Buy Vinyl Plank Flooring?

You can buy vinyl plank flooring from various sources, including:

  1. Home Improvement Stores: Retailers like Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Menards often carry a wide selection of vinyl plank flooring options. You can visit these stores in person or browse their websites to make a purchase.
  2. Flooring Specialty Stores: Some stores specialize in flooring materials, and they may have a broader range of vinyl plank flooring options, including high-end or unique selections.
  3. Online Retailers: Many online retailers offer a vast assortment of vinyl plank flooring. Websites like Amazon and Wayfair have a wide range of options, and you can read reviews and compare prices easily.

The Versatility of Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

If comfort underfoot matters, you’ll appreciate how luxury vinyl planks feel compared with traditional tile floors. LVP flooring’s sound-dampening features make it a great choice for busy areas where noise reduction is desired.

living room with vinyl flooring
Shop for Vinyl Flooring at Home Depot

Pros and Cons of Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

When considering luxury vinyl plank flooring, it is crucial to weigh the advantages and disadvantages. While LVP boasts captivating visuals and exceptional durability, it does come with a few drawbacks worth noting.

Some pros are that it has easy Installation. LVP flooring can be effortlessly installed using interlocking edges that fit together like puzzle pieces.

LVP surpasses expectations with its resistance to scratches, fading, and other forms of damage, and its waterproof properties make it a suitable flooring option for bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms.

As for cons, It’s important to acknowledge that LVP may be pricier compared to other flooring types. The surface of LVP can feel relatively hard underfoot when compared to alternative flooring materials. And take note that some LVP products can be slippery, hence, it is essential to select a product with a suitable slip resistance rating.

Ultimately, luxury vinyl plank flooring proves to be an exceptional choice for various areas in your home. With its captivating aesthetics, impressive durability, resistance to water, and user-friendly installation, it is a phenomenal option to consider.

Pros and Cons of Engineered Vinyl Planks

Engineered wood flooring offers a stunningly natural and authentic aesthetic, but it demands meticulous upkeep and can come with a hefty price tag.

EVP flooring is known for its durability – it has a solid core material which makes it stable enough to withstand heavy foot traffic. It also boasts waterproof properties, ideal even for moisture-prone areas like bathrooms or kitchens.

The cherry on top? Its realistic hardwood look gives any room an elegant touch without requiring the high maintenance associated with real wood floors.

Now, let’s discuss some drawbacks of EVP. One concern is that EVP is a plastic derivative, which makes it less environmentally friendly. Even though there are options available that use recycled plastics, it is important to remember that EVP is still ultimately made of plastic.

Another consideration is that EVP is prone to fading when exposed to sunlight. If you have a room that receives a lot of sunlight, it might be worth exploring alternative flooring options. Additionally, EVP cannot be refinished, which can make repairs more challenging.

Lastly, it is worth noting that some potential buyers may not be aware of the benefits of EVP and may not fully appreciate its value. As EVP is not actual hardwood or stone, it could potentially reduce the perceived value of your space to these buyers.

While EVP offers numerous advantages, it is important to consider these factors when making a decision about your flooring choice.

Choosing Between Glue Down Vinyls And Floating Engineered Vinyl Planks

You’ll want to consider a few things when choosing between glue-down vinyl and floating engineered vinyl planks for your home. It isn’t just about the aesthetic appeal of these flooring options; their installation process and how they fare in certain conditions also play crucial roles.

Advantages Of Floating Engineered Vinyl Planks

Floating engineered vinyl planks have an edge when it comes to easy installation. These types don’t require adhesive or nails – all thanks to their innovative locking system that allows each plank to connect with its neighbor securely.

Beyond this convenience factor, though, floating engineered vinyl truly shines: insulation properties and soundproofing benefits due largely to the thickness inherent within these types of luxury vinyl tile floors. This makes them perfect if noise reduction is high on your list, especially for bedrooms or home offices.

Walking around feels more comfortable since this type has a slight give, which could be appreciated by those who spend long periods standing up or walking inside their homes.

When To Choose Glue Down Luxury Vinyls

If uneven floors or low clearance spaces beneath doors/appliances present themselves as challenges during renovation, then glue-down luxury might be what you need instead, given its lower profile post-installation benefitting such scenarios better than most other alternatives out there today.

This method involves gluing the tiles directly onto subfloors, providing greater stability; particularly useful in areas that experience a great deal of foot traffic and movement. Glue-down vinyls are also more resistant to humidity, making them the ideal choice for wet areas like bathrooms and kitchens.

For those looking to save on installation costs, this method is less expensive than floating engineered vinyl planks since it does not require clicks or any other locking system. However, adhesive adds to the overall cost.

Care And Maintenance Of Your Vinyl Floors

Your luxury vinyl floors are a significant investment, and you want them to look their best for as long as possible. Whether it’s engineered vinyl planks or luxury vinyl tile flooring, an effective cleaning routine can help ensure they continue to shine in your home.

Here are some tips on how to care for luxury vinyl flooring:

Start by removing loose dirt and debris from the floor’s surface using a soft-bristle broom or a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment. This step helps prevent scratches and keeps the floor looking clean.

  • For routine cleaning us a damp mop and avoid using excessive water, as too much moisture can damage the flooring.
  • You can use a pH-neutral, vinyl-safe floor cleaner or a solution of mild dish soap and water. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning products.
  • Address spills and stains promptly to prevent them from setting in. Blot the spill with a clean, dry cloth or paper towel. If necessary, use a slightly damp cloth with a mild cleaning solution to gently scrub the area.
  • Do not use abrasive cleaners, harsh chemicals, or products containing ammonia or bleach, as they can damage the finish of the LVF. Stick to pH-neutral cleaners designed for vinyl or luxury vinyl flooring.
  • Place mats or rugs at entry points and high-traffic areas to capture dirt and prevent it from spreading onto the floor.
  • Use furniture pads or felt protectors under the legs of furniture to prevent scratching and indentation.
  • Vinyl flooring is water-resistant but not entirely waterproof. Avoid letting water stand on the floor for an extended period. Wipe up spills immediately to prevent moisture from seeping into the seams.
  • Periodically clean the floor more thoroughly by following the manufacturer’s recommendations. Some LVFs may require occasional polishing or resealing to maintain their appearance.
  • Do not use steam cleaners or excessive heat as they can damage the wear layer and/or adhesive.
  • Consider using a specialized polish or finish to protect the wear layer and enhance the shine if recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Always refer to the manufacturer’s care and maintenance instructions specific to your luxury vinyl flooring product.

Regular cleaning and proper maintenance will help keep your luxury vinyl flooring looking beautiful and extend its lifespan. Be gentle with the flooring and avoid abrasive materials and chemicals to ensure its longevity and appearance.

Luxury Vinyl Plank vs. Engineered Hardwood

Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) and Engineered Hardwood are both popular flooring options, but they have distinct differences in terms of composition, appearance, durability, maintenance, and cost.

Here’s a comparison of Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) and Engineered Hardwood:

1. Composition:

  • LVP: LVP is a synthetic flooring material made of multiple layers of PVC vinyl. It typically consists of a wear layer, a printed design layer that mimics wood or other materials, a core layer, and a backing layer.
  • Engineered Hardwood: Engineered hardwood is made of real wood. It features a top layer (veneer) of genuine hardwood, which is bonded to several layers of plywood or high-density fiberboard (HDF) for stability.

2. Appearance:

  • LVP: LVP can convincingly mimic the look of wood, stone, or tile through high-quality printing and embossing techniques. It offers a wide variety of styles, colors, and textures.
  • Engineered Hardwood: Engineered hardwood offers the authentic and natural look of real wood. It comes in various wood species, grains, and finishes, providing a classic and timeless appearance.

3. Durability:

  • LVP: LVP is highly durable and resistant to moisture, making it suitable for high-traffic areas, kitchens, and bathrooms. It is also more scratch and dent-resistant than traditional hardwood.
  • Engineered Hardwood: While engineered hardwood is more resistant to moisture than solid hardwood, it is not as waterproof as LVP. It can be susceptible to scratching and may require more care in high-traffic areas.

4. Maintenance:

  • LVP: LVP is relatively low-maintenance. It only requires regular sweeping, occasional damp mopping, and spot cleaning for spills. It doesn’t require refinishing or sanding like solid hardwood.
  • Engineered Hardwood: Engineered hardwood requires routine maintenance, including regular sweeping and mopping. It may also need refinishing over time, depending on the thickness of the top veneer layer.

5. Cost:

  • LVP: Luxury Vinyl Plank is generally more budget-friendly than engineered hardwood. It offers a cost-effective way to achieve the look of hardwood or other premium materials.
  • Engineered Hardwood: Engineered hardwood tends to be more expensive than LVP due to its use of genuine wood veneer.

LVP is an excellent option for those seeking durability, water resistance, and cost-effectiveness, while engineered hardwood offers the beauty of real wood and can add significant value to your home.

What is the difference between vinyl plank flooring and laminate flooring?

Vinyl plank flooring and laminate flooring are both popular choices for homeowners looking for affordable and versatile flooring options. While they share some similarities, they also have distinct differences in terms of composition, appearance, durability, maintenance, and cost.

Here’s is a quick comparison of vinyl plank flooring vs. laminate flooring:

Composition:

  • Vinyl Plank Flooring (LVP): LVP is made of synthetic materials, primarily PVC vinyl. It typically consists of layers, including a wear layer, a printed design layer that mimics wood or other materials, a core layer, and a backing layer. Some types of LVP also feature an attached underlayment.
  • Laminate Flooring: Laminate flooring is made of multiple layers, including a wear layer with a high-resolution photograph of solid wood, stone, or tile, a core layer typically made of high-density fiberboard (HDF), and a backing layer. It does not contain any real hardwood.

Appearance:

  • Vinyl Plank Flooring: LVP can convincingly mimic the look of real hardwood, stone, or tile through high-quality printing and embossing techniques. It offers a wide variety of styles, colors, and textures.
  • Laminate Flooring: Laminate flooring also replicates the appearance of wood, stone, or tile, but it often has a more pronounced wood grain texture due to its photographic layer. Laminate may offer a slightly more authentic wood look.

Conclusion

In conclusion, choosing between EVP and LVP flooring depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you want a more durable and long-lasting floor that replicates a hand-scraped hardwood floor, then EVP flooring is the ideal choice.

However, if you want an affordable and low-maintenance floor that mimics the look of natural materials, then LVP flooring is perfect for you.

It is important to consider the composition, durability, appearance, installation, and maintenance when choosing between EVP and LVP flooring. Regardless of your choice, vinyl plank flooring is a great investment that will increase the value of your home and last for years to come.

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