Luxury Vinyl versus Tile: Which is better?

luxury vinyl plank in living room

Choosing between luxury vinyl and tile is a hard choice, but one that is a little bit easier if you know the pros and cons of these attractive floors.

 Luxury VinylPorcelain and Ceramic Tile
DurableYesYes
Easy-to-CleanYesYes (though grout may need a hard scrub)
Available in wide variety of stylesYesYes
Looks like woodYesYes
DIY ProjectYes (ask a flooring pro for LVP that snaps together for an easy install)Yes
Water-resistantYesYes
Maintenance-freeYesYes and No (may need resealing)
Soft UnderfootYesNo
Installed as floating floorYesNo
Pet-friendlyYesYes
Installed over underfloor radiant heatingYesYes

Luxury Vinyl Versus Tile

Luxury vinyl plank (LVP), sheet vinyl, and luxury vinyl tile (LVT) may be newer flooring products than tile, but they’ve been around long enough to come with some very attractive features. Porcelain and ceramic tiles are a classic home flooring known for being stylish and incredibly durable. Both floors are water-resistant, durable, and stylish, though there are a few differences between these two floors.

Water-Resistant

Luxury vinyl and tile floors can be installed in any room prone to water spills and moisture, including kitchens, laundry rooms, and bathrooms. Both floors are on the list of floors suitable for basements where moisture tends to seep through the cement slab. Some vinyl sheet floors can even withstand minor flooding without damage.

Durable

Luxury vinyl and tile are ideal floors for high-traffic areas, including busy households with pets and children, because they wear well and withstand lots of foot- and paw-traffic. For best results, luxury vinyl floors should be protected with felt pads on furniture, minimal dragging and moving of large objects (this can tear flooring), and a regular sweep or vacuum. (These luxury vinyl floor cleaning tips also keep floors looking new.)

Porcelain and ceramic tile should also be swept regularly. If there is any worry about staining, tile floors can be installed with dark-colored grout to eliminate embarrassing stains. Tile floors are durable enough for high-traffic areas (including basements), though they can be cold underfoot. This concern can be eliminated by installing tile floors over radiant heated floors. Luxury vinyl can also be installed with underfloor radiant heating, though there are some general guidelines for installing vinyl with radiant heating that should be followed.

Attractive

LVP and LVT floors come in styles that resemble wood and tile closely—so closely that guests can’t tell the difference. Its close resemblance to wood and tile makes it perfect for homeowners who want a floor more durable than wood and softer than tile.

Modern porcelain and tile floors come in a variety of styles, including tiles that look just like wood floors. Tile can be installed with a dark-colored grout for homeowners who don’t want noticeable grout lines.

Easy-to-Clean

Luxury vinyl and tile floors are two of the easiest floors to keep clean. Both floors require a regular sweep. Porcelain and ceramic tile floors may be harder to deep clean because grout requires a good scrubbing.

Do-It-Yourself

Luxury vinyl plank and tile floors are fairly easy do-it-yourself projects. Luxury vinyl plank can be installed as a floating floor without adhesive, though many LVP floors should be installed with an underlayment. Tile floors are installed with grout and over a cement backer board.

Both floors require some subfloor prep to ensure that the floor does not crack, warp, or damage after installation. Floors should be prepped according to manufacturer specifications to avoid voiding the warranty, and leveled so the floor wears well over the long-term.

Luxury vinyl tile and sheet vinyl are also a possible DIY project, though both installs are more complicated because they should be installed with adhesive. Subfloors should also be leveled before installing either of these luxury vinyl floors.

Luxury Vinyl Plank Versus Luxury Vinyl Tile Versus Sheet Vinyl

Typically, there are three type of luxury vinyl floors. All three types are soft underfoot, durable, and come in a variety of colors and styles.

Luxury Vinyl Plank is available in boards similar to a wood floor. LVP can be installed as a floating floor and many LVP products can be snapped together. (Ask a flooring pro to see LVP products that can be snapped together.)

Luxury Vinyl Tile is similar to tile and can be installed with or without adhesive.

Luxury sheet vinyl comes in sheets in long rolls. These floors are installed over adhesive and have a lower risk of water damage because they are installed without seams.

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