Fine flooring from the UK’s leading brands

Laminate and Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) flooring are very similar in that they both offer the authentic look of wood and other natural materials, but are more practical, hardwearing and easy to live with than the real thing. The main difference between them is their construction, which gives each its own particular benefits in specific situations.

The vinyl floor tiles are available in a wide range of realistic effects, the most popular being wood, stone and ceramic tiles. Made up of many thin layers of vinyl, LVT flooring is flexible, making it easy to install, but also highly durable, scratch resistant and waterproof, so it’s ideal for hallways, kitchens, bathrooms and other areas where foot traffic, dirt and moisture are an issue.

We supply LVT flooring from the industry’s two leading manufacturers, both based in the UK. Amtico flooring made its name in the 1960s with its famous brick patterns, unique non-repeating prints and trapped mineral effects. Karndean flooring, meanwhile, is renowned for its parquet wood-effect floors arranged in a geometric pattern, available in a wide range of tones and plank widths; it also offers striking stone, ceramic and marble effect tiles.

Like LVT, laminate flooring is a synthetic material that replicates real wood flooring. The industry has made huge advances, led by companies like Quick-Step, and modern laminates offer both greater choice and vastly improved quality compared to a few years ago. In fact, it’s easy to forget that laminate flooring contains no real wood at all. It comprises various layers of manmade materials, topped with a high-resolution photographic image of your chosen effect, which these days can be stone or tile as well as wood.

So, which to choose? Both LVT and laminate are supplied as boards that click together, and are quick and simple to install. Both are also easy to clean and maintain, especially when compared to their natural equivalents, making them ideal if you have pets. They’re available in many different styles, are warm and comfortable underfoot and are hypoallergenic.

The main considerations are wear and water. All LVT is 100% waterproof, so can be used anywhere in your home including the bathroom; laminates are generally only water-resistant (although waterproof versions, such as Quick-Step Hydroseal, are available). You can also use any LVT with underfloor heating, while not all laminates will be suitable (we can advise on this). As a rule, LVT is more durable, with some types suitable for use in commercial buildings. However, if budget is an issue, laminate flooring tends to be slightly more affordable than LVT.

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