Luxury Vinyl Tiles vs Engineered Wood Flooring
Both luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) and engineered wooden flooring are often recommended as a more economical alternative to solid hardwood flooring but which is the better option for you?
In this article, we explain the key differences between LVT flooring and engineered wooden floors including exactly what they are as well as the pros and cons of both.
This will provide you with all the information you need to choose the right kind of flooring for your home.
What is LVT Flooring?
Luxury vinyl tile flooring is part of the next generation of vinyl flooring. Together with rigid vinyl plank (RVP) flooring it offers a modern alternative to stone flooring, solid wood flooring and engineered wooden flooring.
LVT is generally used for stone or ceramic tile effect flooring, so is a warmer, softer, less expensive alternative to stone. Luxury vinyl plank and rigid vinyl plank flooring is used in place of solid wood flooring or engineered wooden flooring.
High-quality brands of these flooring solutions such as the Lalegno RVP that we stock at
Wooden Floors UK are made of stone polymer composites which make it extremely durable.
They also include built-in underlay for ease of installation, sound absorption and added comfort.
The look and feel of real hardwood or real stone is achieved by embossing, this also enhances the non-slip properties of LVT and RVP flooring.
What is an Engineered Wood Floor?
Engineered wood flooring features an uppermost layer of real hardwood which comes in variable thicknesses. This is affixed to multiple layers of either a softer spruce wood or plywood which are bonded together to create a stronger plank than is seen in typical solid wood flooring planks. This creates a wooden floor that is more durable and less likely to warp than a solid wood floor, making it suited to areas and temperatures that would not usually be suitable for a solid wood floor.
The veneer of real hardwood means that your engineered wooden floor has the exact look and feel of solid wood because the uppermost layer of your floor IS real wood. This also means that it can be maintained in the same way as real wood, including being sanded down multiple times (depending on the thickness of the wooden veneer).
Pros and Cons of LVT and RVP Flooring Pros of LVT and RVP Flooring
- Scratch resistant.
- Shock resistant. Suitable for any room in the house.
- Water resistant and repellent - can even be used in bathrooms.
- Sound absorbing properties.
- UV resistant - won’t fade in sunlight.
- Extremely durable. Built in underlay.
- Easy to clean and maintain.
- Easy to install - no need for adhesives.
- Anti-slip surface - safer for everyone.
- Embossed to mimic natural surfaces.
- Warm under your feet.
- Flooring has give so if someone should fall it’s more gentle
- Expansion and contraction resistant even in extremes of temperature.
- Economical to buy, install and maintain.
- Can be used with underfloor heating.
- The products we stock at Wooden floors UK do not contain harmful materials.
Cons of LVT Flooring
- There may be limited options of species, colour and pattern that LVT, LVP, or RVP manufacturers currently offer.
- However similar to real wood it looks and feels it does lack some of the character of real hardwood.
- Under close scrutiny is will not be mistaken for real wooden flooring.
- Though very durable, the lifespan of LVT and RVP is around 10-20 years, this is less than a solid wood floor or an engineered wooden floor.
- Not a natural product.
Pros and Cons of an Engineered Wood Floor
Pros of an Engineered Wooden Floor
- Real solid wood top layer means all the look and feel of real wood.
- Timeless and elegant aesthetic.
- Economical alternative to solid wood flooring.
- Added durability and warp resistance through the middle, engineered layer.
- Suitable for use in areas you wouldn’t have solid wood such as conservatories.
- Suitable for use with underfloor heating.
- Can come with a 25-year guarantee.
- Can be sanded down just like a solid wood floor, the number of times it can be sanded will depend on your choice of veneer thickness.
- Comes in a variety of species and finishes.
- Comes in a variety of lengths and widths.
- Easy installation using a tongue and groove, clip system.
- Can be installed as a floating floor or glued down.
- Less hardwood being used means less trees are felled for your wooden floor.
- Easy to clean and maintain, just follow guidelines for wood flooring.
Cons of Engineered Wooden Flooring
- Limited sanding (compared to solid wood) depending on the thickness of the veneer.
- The composite layer may contain harmful chemicals (check with your supplier and always buy from a reputable brand).
- Limited species, plank width and length compared to solid wood flooring.
- Unsuitable for environments with high humidity/moisture.
- Depending on the finish your engineered wooden floor may get stained, scratched or damaged from excessive or particular spillages and hard use.
- Requires care and maintenance similar to solid wood flooring.
Vinyl Flooring or Engineered Wood Flooring? Which is Best?
There are many benefits to both engineered wooden flooring and vinyl flooring and your choice comes down to your personal preference and what suits your individual needs better.
You might even want to consider a mix of both with engineered wood flooring.
In some areas where the aesthetic is paramount such as entertaining spaces, living rooms, and hallways of your home engineered wood flooring will give the luxury look and feel of real wood. Then install a good quality vinyl floor such as RVP (rigid vinyl plank) to closely match your engineered wood in other areas. These might be areas prone to excessive moisture, wear and tear, or where you might want slightly more give underfoot, such as bathrooms, kitchens, utility rooms, and children’s playrooms.
Obtaining samples of the flooring options you are considering is a great way to get an idea of the look and feel of them and see how they might look in your home.