How much of a difference does the word “luxury” make? Quite a bit. When you’re comparing vinyl flooring vs. luxury vinyl tile or plank flooring, you’re talking about two different kinds of materials. Yes, they’re both made with vinyl, but beyond that, they’re in different categories. Each choice has pros and cons, so get familiar with your options.
Standard vinyl flooring is much thinner than its luxury counterpart because it has fewer layers. Basic vinyl has a bottom layer of felt or fiberglass, a middle layer with the printed vinyl pattern, and a clear protective coating. Because it’s thinner, it’s less expensive and more flexible, but it will also wear down more quickly.
Luxury vinyl has six to eight layers in its makeup. On the bottom is a PVC backing layer for strength. Above that is a layer of fiberglass backing, and then foam cushioning for comfort. The vinyl with the colored pattern is sometimes 3D printed and then topped with two protective coats: one for wear and one for shine. Those additional materials make luxury vinyl thicker and more rigid than standard vinyl.
Both standard and luxury vinyl flooring have an impressive variety of colors, patterns, and themes. Increasingly, homeowners want floors that look like real hardwood or stone, and luxury vinyl tile and planks are just more convincing. At a glance, standard vinyl will give a floor the general effect you want, but it doesn’t look as impressive under closer inspection.
Luxury vinyl planks can mimic the random markings and even the wear patterns of hardwood. Guests might not even suspect it’s not the real thing. The same is true of luxury vinyl tile, which imitates the look and feel of natural stone. You can find incredible reproductions of even the most luxe marble and limestone with far less cost and maintenance.
Standard vinyl is significantly less expensive if you’re remodeling on a budget. You can find vinyl as low as 50 cents per square foot before installation, which makes it an ideal way to spruce up a room without breaking the bank. Luxury vinyl can start around $2 a square foot, going up to $7 or more, depending on the brand. That makes the investment more of a commitment.
But when you’re comparing the cost of vinyl flooring vs. luxury vinyl tile or plank flooring, don’t forget to consider the long-term picture, too. You can expect standard vinyl to last 10 to 15 years. Luxury vinyl is definitely a step up—you’ll be able to enjoy it for 25 years, and future home buyers will find it more appealing.
If you’d like to see the evidence yourself, Diamondback Flooring can bring you samples of luxury vinyl tile flooring in Phoenix, AZ, and the surrounding areas. We believe the customer should see how their new floors will look in their homes, not under showroom lights. We’re straightforward in our pricing, and we love to beautify homes with our quality products. Contact us for an in-home measure.