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Flooring Comparison

What Type of Flooring is Best?

You have many types of flooring to choose from when planning your next design project—concrete, wood, laminate, or ceramic.

And then, of course, there’s the flexibility of luxury vinyl flooring — both in terms of style and design, but also when it comes to durability and stability.

With so many factors to consider, how do you know what type of flooring is best for your next project?

Parterre’s flooring experts have researched and analyzed the comparison of flooring types — primarily focusing on how each stands up against luxury vinyl flooring products. We evaluated each flooring type using the following elements:

  • Look & Style
  • Durability & Stability
  • Applications
  • Costs

There are many other factors that come into play as well, but the key to narrowing down flooring types is selecting one that fits within your budget, lasts long and helps you achieve your desired design aesthetic within your space.

To help you select the right flooring for your project, Parterre has introduced a new series of articles comparing popular flooring types.

Flooring Types At-A-Glance

Laminate

Made using a 3D printing technology, laminate flooring can replicate the look and style of natural materials such as wood and stone, but at a fraction of the cost of hardwood, ceramics, natural stone, and other flooring materials. Laminate is also limitlessly customizable and designable. Important factors to consider:

  • Laminate is typically made from HDF or high-density fiberboard (made up of recycled hardwood).
  • Not waterproof.
  • Not ideal for industries with areas of high moisture and humidity, or areas that are prone to spills and exposure to water.

Laminate flooring certainly stacks up well against other flooring types, but pales in comparison to LVT. Read our full review – Vinyl Flooring vs. Laminate Flooring.

Hardwood

Hardwood flooring has been around a long time, so much so that it has earned the distinction as the standard in flooring material. However, while hardwood is timelessly beautiful, it’s somewhat limited when it comes to application, as it is not ideal for high traffic areas. Important factors to consider:

  • Hardwood flooring is both durable and stable.
  • Requires constant upkeep.
  • Limited in application to non-moisture-prone, low-traffic areas.
  • Suitable for sports and residential use, but can be costly.
  • Regular maintenance and treatment costs.

Hardwood may be one of the most desirable flooring types available in terms of look and feel, however Parterre’s luxury vinyl flooring can rival hardwood flooring both in design and cost. Read our comparison – Luxury Vinyl Tile vs. Hardwood Flooring.

Ceramic

Ceramic floors last forever. Moisture and environmental changes will not affect ceramic flooring — meaning it will not expand or contract. However, the stability of ceramic is also its main crux. Important factors to consider include:

  • Ceramic’s strongest characteristic is its stability.
  • Ceramic flooring is expensive, messy and time-consuming to install and remove.
  • No flex or give in ceramic flooring, far more prone to cracks and other damage.
  • Ceramic is limited by its installation, removal, customization costs and time.

Ceramic flooring may make sense for certain low-impact applications, however it is limited in versatility — especially when compared to Parterre’s luxury vinyl flooring products. Read our full comparison – Vinyl Tile vs. Ceramic Tile.

Sheet Vinyl

Sheet vinyl is commonly thought to be your run of the mill vinyl flooring product. However, it’s fair to point out that there are numerous benefits to using sheet vinyl—especially in highly critical environments like hospitals or medical facilities where installing a floor with less seams can be necessary for health reasons. But while sheet vinyl is effective in some situations, it is not the best choice for all areas. Important factors to consider include:

  • Must be installed in one or two large pieces.
  • Less durable and stable.
  • Not as easy to repair when compared to luxury vinyl tile.
  • Application is relatively easy.
  • Difficult to transport.
  • Need for future repair/overhaul may add to total cost.

Sheet vinyl is typically made on 6- to 15- foot-wide, 3-foot diameter calendar presses, and each press is bulky, expensive and capable of making one style of sheet vinyl. While sheet vinyl may be ideal for areas like highly critical hospital environments, overall luxury vinyl tile or plank is the more flexible option for most commercial and residential installations. Learn the difference – Sheet Vinyl vs. Vinyl Tile.

Vinyl Composite

VCT is a porous flooring option made up of a small amount of vinyl with limestone and other filler material. VCT is a “common” flooring solution – meaning it is somewhat confined in its design possibilities due to limited color and pattern options and the, at times, prohibitive design structure. Some important factors to keep in mind include:

  • Suitable for high traffic environments if maintained properly.
  • Requires routine wax/finish/polish application for protection.
  • Limited design and pattern options.
  • Lower upfront costs, but continual maintenance costs.

While VCT can work well in high traffic environments, it takes continued maintenance. Luxury flooring, on the other hand, is easier to clean and maintain than VCT. In addition to being more durable, the long-term maintenance costs of luxury vinyl flooring are much less. Read our full review – Luxury Vinyl Tile vs. Vinyl Composite Tile.

Concrete

Concrete has become a popular material and design look for flooring and wall spaces throughout the retail and hospitality industries—often used to add a more industrious look to a space.

Concrete can be stained or dyed to match just about any color, and if desired, textural patterns can be applied to the concrete while it’s setting. With these techniques, you can achieve different stone-like looks, or polish the concrete for a smooth look. Some important factors to keep in mind include:

  • Numerous design options (polished/stained) yet permanent.
  • Current design trend in hospitality/retail, but not suitable for industries like healthcare.
  • While rugged and sturdy, concrete’s hardness can be uncomfortable at times.
  • Pricing considerations should factor in the cost of prep work, staining and/or polishing cost or materials and labor.

The installation of luxury vinyl flooring over concrete is simple and seamless, the vinyl flooring itself is easier to maintain and offers a wider array of design choices that are sure to fit in with any interior design approach. Vinyl is also more comfortable underfoot especially with additional underlayment. Read our full review – Concrete vs. Vinyl Flooring.

Carpet

When it comes to look and style, carpet allows for an incredible amount of design versatility. With carpets, because of dying and tufting technology, you have the option for either more color choices, but less patterns to choose from, or a carpet with more pattern options, but less colors choices. Some important factors to keep in mind include:

  • Numerous design options, but with limits.
  • A popular flooring choice in hospitality/corporate.
  • Challenging to clean/maintain.
  • Expensive over time for installation and upkeep.

While carpet is a good choice for flooring, luxury vinyl flooring however is customizable, designable and can replicate the look and style of various flooring materials like concrete, stone and wood. Read our full comparison – Carpet vs. Luxury Vinyl Flooring.

Linoleum Flooring

Linoleum represents the old guard of flooring options. Made from linseed oil, linoleum was created in the 1860s and up until a few decades ago was revered for its natural qualities and affordability. Some important factors to keep in mind include:

  • Limited design options.
  • Susceptible to color change.
  • Requires additional maintenance upon installation.
  • Requires additional maintenance costs.
  • Limited to certain applications within education and healthcare industries.

These days, however, linoleum is known as a somewhat aged flooring product most commonly found in schools and hospitals. As a result, interior designers routinely rely on vinyl flooring to be a durable and design-rich flooring option in their commercial design projects. Read our full comparison – Premium Vinyl vs. Linoleum Flooring.

Parterre’s Luxury Vinyl Flooring Products

When compared to other flooring types, Parterre’s luxury vinyl flooring products are competitive in most all areas related to look and style, durability and stability, applications, and costs.

Contact a Parterre flooring representative today to learn more about our luxury vinyl flooring products. If you found the snapshots of flooring types listed above helpful, you can find more information on our blog, including our post “Why Is Vinyl Flooring The Fastest Growing Material?”

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