Carpet Roll

December 23, 2019

Vinyl tile flooring looking like a stone

We leave no stone unturned as we compare two industry giants in the world of interior design.

Once upon a time, there would’ve been zero competition between luxury vinyl and ceramic tile, with the natural beauty of ceramic a clear winner.

However, thanks to modern advances in luxury vinyl technology, it has become harder to distinguish between the two, with luxury vinyl tiles taking home the gold.

LVT/LVP’s ability to imitate the appearance of natural stone and wood has put itself straight to the topmost homeowners lists as their number one choice of flooring.

Not only does luxury vinyl look better, it also performs better and it’s cheaper.

To put this debate to rest, we lay down the key comparable qualities between luxury vinyl vs ceramic tile.

Appearance and style

Luxury Vinyl Tiles versus ceramic tiles
One flooring is ceramic, the other vinyl, can you spot which is which?


At one stage, nothing could come close to the natural style and beauty of ceramic tiles. These days, you can just about mimic the look of any natural stone with luxury vinyl. 

Although enthusiasts would argue the authenticity and look of ceramic tiles are timeless, some would say this would be its biggest downfall. 

Trends are changing constantly. Ceramic tile flooring is permanent. If you wanted to keep up with trends or change the look of your bathroom, it’s going to be a very messy, time-consuming and costly renovation. 

Not only do you need to remove old tiles and grout, new tiles may need to be professionally cut and regrouted. 

Luxury vinyl tiles on the other hand, is extremely easy to install, shape and fit. It’s also far easier to replace damaged vinyl tiles compared to ceramic tiles, which need regrouting.

LVT comes in a wide range of designs and styles, including marble, slate, quartz, limestone, porcelain and ceramic. 

 

Durability and longevity

If we’re to focus on durability — hardness of flooring —  for a moment then ceramic tiles is the obvious winner, and if taken care of, ceramic tiles can essentially last a lifetime.

It’s also highly resistant to moisture, making it a suitable flooring option for many applications both residential and commercial including, hospitality, schools and healthcare facilities.

However, its hardness can also be its largest disadvantage. Although ceramic is a durable material, there are many circumstances which can cause significant damage, such as dropping a heavy item. 

Another factor that can affect its durability and longevity is improper mortar or incorrect grouting, which can cause tiles to separate, come loose and crack.

Although LVT is much softer than ceramic, it’s still extremely durable and hard based thanks to its wear layer and flexible nature. 

What makes it suited to almost any application is the cushioning it offers, which absorbs and dissipates the force applied when heavy objects are dropped, rather than cracking.

 

Ease of installation

Luxury vinyl is the easiest flooring option to install out of the two. 

Installation of ceramic tiles is a laborious job that requires grout, mortar and professional cutting tools to shape, size and fit tiles into particular areas. Attempting to DIY can be risky and costly, with tiles not being cut straight or laid correctly.

Depending on the installation style of vinyl tiles, glue-down, loose lay vinyl or click locking-system, can be installed quickly and with ease. There isn’t the need for grout or mortar, so you can forget about loose or cracked tiles.

Vinyl is easily cut using a utility knife and does not require professional cutting tools, making it an easy DIY job if desired. 

One of LVT’s largest benefits is the fact that it can be installed on top of virtually any floor type, providing the correct preparation is followed. 

 

Applications

Ceramic tiles are extremely durable, hard and highly resistant to moisture, making it the perfect choice for industries with heavy foot traffic or prone to spills, including hospitality and retail.

The issue with ceramic tiles is the need for damaged tiles to be replaced straight away. Cracked tiles, jagged edges or loose tiles run the risk of allowing moisture and other foregin materials underneath the tiles. It also becomes a tripping or falling hazard.

Removing damaged tiles and installing new ones is time-consuming, messy and can take days to replace, with cleanup taking weeks, even if its only one or two tiles. It’s going to require hammers, chisels and power tools, as well as mixing and setting mortar and grout.

Wet tiles are also a slipping hazard, however, this can be combated by applying a non-slip coating on the surface layer. 

The functionality of luxury vinyl makes it a clear winner in all applications. Not only can it withstand heavy foot traffic, it’s highly water resistant and non-slip properties means it can be installed in restaurants, healthcare facilities, offices, retail, and education. 

It’s soft underfoot, making it comfortable to walk on, unlike ceramics, and best of all it’s far easier to install, remove, repair, clean and maintain. 

With access to a vast range of styles and designs which mimic the authenticity of natural stone, LVT is the most obvious choice of flooring suited to all applications. 

 

Cost

These prices may vary based on your location, how much preparation is involved and the complexity of the job. Cost is also affected by the size, colour and quality of the tiles. 

Luxury Vinyl Tiles Cost

  • $55 – $65+ per square metre for high-quality vinyl tiles 
  • $55 – $60+ per square metre for high vinyl tile 
  • $18 – $30 per square metre for budget vinyl flooring
  • $35 – $45 per square metre for standard quality

Ceramic Tiles Cost

  • $50 – $100 per square metre for high-quality porcelain tiles
  • $90 – $150+ per square metre for ceramic tiles
  • $90 – $125 per square metre for quarry tiles
  • $80 – $130 per square metre for high-quality natural stone tiles

 

If you still can’t decide or need some flooring advice, ask a member of our teams