Vinyl Tile vs. Ceramic Tile: Cutting Edge Beauty is Not Set in Stone

No Competition Between Luxury Vinyl Flooring vs. Ceramic

The comparison of vinyl tile vs. ceramic tile represents yet another instance of luxury vinyl flooring’s ability to masterfully replicate the look of any other flooring system and improve on it. As the technology behind luxury vinyl flooring develops, it becomes less and less distinguishable from the real product. And often, luxury vinyl tile offers more attractive qualities than the real thing.

So, can LVT stand up to a time-tested flooring solution like ceramic? Absolutely.

To best illustrate the comparable characteristics of luxury vinyl tile vs. ceramic tile, let’s break flooring down into five quantifiable qualities: Look & Style, Durability & Stability, Environmental Impact, Applications, and Cost.

characteristics-vinyl-flooring

Look & Style

Ceramic floors last forever. While that may sound like a selling point, as a fashion-conscious designer, you may see the flaw. Fashion changes quickly. However, if you have ceramic floors, changing with fashion just isn’t an option. Ceramic flooring is expensive, messy, and time-consuming to install and remove. Conversely, luxury vinyl flooring is extremely easy to install and reinstall. And with a vast selection of looks and styles, LVT is limitlessly customizable.

As for ceramic, customizing, while possible, can easily become wasteful and expensive. Cutting ceramic tiles requires expensive tools and skills—that means costly hours for professionals. Luxury vinyl flooring, on the other hand, can be cut easily with a straight edge and utility knife. Any number of designs are possible with a well-thought floor plan and a sharp blade.

Ceramic Tile

  • Ceramic floors last forever, but fashion and design trends change quickly; ceramic flooring is expensive, messy and time-consuming to install and remove.

Luxury Vinyl Tile

  • Vast selection of designs and styles, LVT is limitlessly customizable.
  • Luxury vinyl flooring is extremely easy to install and reinstall with changing trends.

Durability & Stability

Before discussing the durability and stability of luxury vinyl tile vs. ceramic tile, we should define the terms, as they seem similar.

Durability: Hardness of the flooring—especially its topmost wear layer. The more durable a flooring solution is, the more use it can take.

Stability: Governed by the thickness of the whole and/or makeup of layers and quality of materials. Stable flooring material holds its shape and size against moisture and/or climatic changes.

Yes, ceramic, if taken care of, will last forever. However, in the all too common event that it is damaged—ceramic is quite a hassle to repair. Although ceramic is a hard, durable material, many circumstances can cause significant damage. If tiles are not installed correctly (i.e. improperly set mortar or incorrect grouting) the grouting will fail, the tiles will separate, come loose, and crack.

Ceramic’s strongest characteristic in this section is in its stability. Moisture and environmental changes will not affect the flooring. It will not expand or contract. However, the stability of ceramic is also its main crux. Because there is no flex or give in ceramic flooring, it is far more prone to cracks and other damages than luxury vinyl flooring. While LVT is extremely hard and durable—well-suited for heavy commercial use—it has a degree of flex. This flex allows it to absorb and dissipate the force from some dropped heavy object. Ceramic simply relies on being hard enough and installed properly. However, this is not always the case.

Ceramic Tile

  • Ceramic’s strongest characteristic is in its stability.
  • No flex or give in ceramic flooring, far more prone to cracks and other damage.

Luxury Vinyl Tile

  • LVT has an extremely durable wear layer and is less prone to cracking and breaking.
  • Has a degree of that absorbs and dissipates the force from heavy objects.

Environmental Impact

The impact of luxury vinyl tile vs. ceramic tile comes down to their lifecycles. The argument is simple. Because of the method used to remove ceramic tiles (smashing into pieces) this type of flooring is not recyclable. To reuse the ceramic, every speck of mortar would need to be removed—a process not worth anyone’s time. And even then, you are left with broken bits good only for fill. So ceramic is usually just thrown into a landfill. In addition, the removal of ceramic tile directly impacts the environment of the area in which it was laid. Thick clouds of toxic dust are harmful to breath and nearly impossible to prevent.

Luxury vinyl tiles are both recyclable and made from recycled material. In addition, luxury vinyl made by Parterre uses one of the most abundant materials on earth as the main ingredient: salt. In using salt, Parterre reduces ecological impact tremendously making our LVT a green choice.

Ceramic Tile

  • Ceramic is not recyclable, it is usually just thrown into a landfill.

Luxury Vinyl Tile

  • Parterre is recyclable and comprised of recycled materials.

Applications

In the likely event that a ceramic tile becomes compromised, action must be taken right away. Jagged edges threaten trips or cuts and allow moisture and other foreign material to move under and between tiles. But the cons to ceramic application do not end here.

Anyone who has ever installed or removed ceramic knows how amazingly messy it is. No amount of plastic, fans or precautions will stop the dust from penetrating every inch of a work zone. Extremely fine dust particles are created during the average project—material that makes its way into cabinets, on top of and under appliances or equipment and anywhere else you can imagine. The removal and installation takes days, but the clean up can take weeks. Even minor, one or two tile replacements require large hammers, chisels or power tools and the complicated mixing of and setting mortar and grout. A job of this magnitude would certainly hinder the use of any commercial space.

Luxury vinyl tile is exactly the opposite. Installing LVT is a simple process that requires little more than a straight edge and a utility knife. Your professional installers will have no trouble quickly and efficiently installing the flooring.

As for luxury vinyl tile flooring vs. ceramic tile functional application, there is also little competition. Whether in a high-traffic commercial setting, in-home and high moisture, fitness flooring or healthcare space luxury vinyl tile performs well. It is not loud or uncomfortable to walk unlike ceramic and has all the style you may be looking for in hassle-laden alternative. While ceramic can be used in some of the same applications as LVT like high moisture and in-home settings (although ceramic is quite slippery when wet), luxury vinyl tile offers a much higher value. Ease of installation, removal, and repair, easy groutless cleaning, lower cost, more reliable durability and a wider range of looks and design options are just a few of LVT pros that ceramic simply doesn’t offer.

Ceramic Tile

  • Ceramic is limited by its installation, removal, customization costs and time.

Luxury Vinyl Tile

  • Ease of installation, removal and repair.
  • More reliable durability and a wider range of looks and design options.

Cost

The prices of luxury vinyl tile flooring vs. ceramic tile are comparable at some levels and quite unequal at others. Depending on the size, color and quality of the tiles, ceramic falls within and far above the price of LVT.

With such high prices, you could say designers are buying ceramic for the high-end look and longevity. However, with the amazing photographic technology and durable wear layer texture printing available to luxury vinyl tile makers, LVT is nearly indistinguishable from the real thing and stands up to time as well.

Ceramic Tile

  • Depending on the size, color and quality of the tiles, ceramic falls within and far above the price of LVT.

Luxury Vinyl Tile

  • LVT is not only less expensive than ceramic, it offers a much higher value.
OVERVIEW

Look & Style

Ceramic has a very desirable look. However the inconvenience and cost involved with customizing and changing that look wanes in comparison to the endless customization available to luxury vinyl tile.

Cost

Luxury vinyl tile is not only cheaper than ceramic, it offers a much higher value.

Durability & Stability

Ceramic is so stable that it lacks durability. Luxury vinyl tile has an extremely durable wear layer and will not crack or break like ceramic.

Applications

LVT can be used nearly anywhere while ceramic is limited by its installation, removal, customization costs and time.

If you found this comparison of luxury vinyl tile vs. ceramic tile flooring helpful, you can find more information on our blog. We at Parterre are the leaders in modern, high-quality premium vinyl flooring. We want to inspire you and provide the perfect flooring for your next project.

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