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There was a reference to installing LVP or LVT in a basement a previous QA. These seem to come up a fair bit on this site. However, I haven't seen them defined anywhere on here. Other places give circular/tautological definitions.

The tag wiki for says:

Laminate Flooring is a synthetic flooring product that is often used instead of more expensive natural floor products.

and goes on to quote Wikipedia; but the WP page does not mention LVP and LVT and there are no tags for LVP or LVT themselves. There is no tag wiki for .

As someone who has heard of laminates and vinyl and may even have some kind of laminate or vinyl flooring in his home but doesn't know much about either of them: what the heck are LVP and LVT and how do they differ from regular laminate?

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    In practice though, isn't part of the goal of this place and others in depth, well researched expert answers - what makes luxury luxury compared to rigid? What's the difference between a tile and a plank? Form factor? Materials? I think there's a little more to this than a quick search, and it would be good if a quick search led here and a deeper answer ;) Mar 19 at 12:23
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    @crip659 Yes, but where does the L come from? Why would you choose either one? What are their properties? What makes them different to laminate in general? The point is: there's a very good opportunity here for someone familiar with laminate products to educate people who haven't heard of these as to what they are, how they differ, in what circumstances they are good etc. That sort of QA could be used in the future to direct querents to (and be _search destination for people doing a 'fast search'), without having to repeat it in every single answer that comes up on the site about laminate
    – bertieb
    Mar 19 at 12:27
  • @crip659 but aren't we talking flooring? "Laminate" would be a layered flooring, not a countertop finish. (Although I suppose you could argue that LVP/T is laminate, since it's also layered. But I guess because they're newer they're called LVP/T to distinguish them from traditional laminate.)
    – Huesmann
    Mar 19 at 13:24
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    For context: I had never heard of the terms LVP and LVT until yesterday. While the trivial definition of the acronym is easy to find, it doesn't really explain much to someone unfamiliar with them and how they differ from (regular?) vinyl/laminate. For a site that deals in hundreds of questions about these types of flooring, I thought it would be helpful to have a reference QA with some explanations. The only answerer at time of writing has indicated they are unwilling to expand on a simple definition (fair enough), in a comment that said I am illiterate and accused another user of being a bot
    – bertieb
    Mar 19 at 13:27
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    A good answer would do what high-quality answers on the SE network do best: interpret the question, & address underlying concepts in a way that illuminates & educates not just the querent, but future users who might also want to educate themselves on the matter- remember SE is a search destination, pointing people to the existence of Google is self-defeating at best. It is easy to call someone a lazy whiner; writing good answers that account for differing knowledge to one's own is a practice-able skill. Lastly: remember that per xkcd- not 'everyone' knows 'everything'
    – bertieb
    Mar 19 at 13:35

1 Answer 1

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LVP and LVT are Luxury Vinyl Plank, and Tile, respectively. They differ from standard vinyl flooring in that they're unit installations. Standard vinyl sheet has a repeating pattern. For LVP and LVT, each unit is usually printed with a "picture" to basically mimic a tile or wood (usually) plank, and any patterning is produced by laying out the units.

Traditional laminate flooring products and LVP/T are very similar. The base materials are slightly different though—regular laminate has a high-density fiberboard (HDF) core, whereas LV products are generally built on a polymerized core. Both have finish layers with a protective wear layer, so one could probably call them all laminated products. But since LV products are newer, they're likely called something else to differentiate them from traditional laminate flooring.

LVP/T is typically preferred over traditional laminate in areas that are subject to moisture and wetness, which tends to warp an HDF core. They can also be used where traditional tile may be too cold—vinyl tends to feel warmer (thermal conductivity difference).

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  • Good answer, but the whole rigid vs. not rigid thing is worth addressing. They're apparently two distinct categories. The Pergo Extreme I recently installed is marketed as a rigid product, while most "luxury" products are not. The what and why of that are critical to any selection, I think.
    – isherwood
    Mar 19 at 15:53
  • @isherwood possibly—there's a certain amount of semantics involved. Personally, I'd consider flexible LVP to be pretty much the same as regular vinyl tiles. (Everything is flexible to one degree or another.) AFAIK flexible needs to be glued down, whereas most rigid can be floated (although it can also be glued down).
    – Huesmann
    Mar 20 at 13:49

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