In a 2019 study, Floor Covering News called luxury vinyl one of flooring’s fastest growing product categories, citing design, performance, and price as major factors behind that growth. Still, the Google search rate for “vinyl vs linoleum” has remained steady since 2006 while the search for “luxury vinyl tile vs luxury vinyl plank” has increased steadily since 2015. In other words, if you’re unsure of the differences, you’re not alone.
“Vinyl and linoleum share historical roots,” says Ed Sanchez, Vice President of Product Management for Mohawk Industries. “They’re both associated with low-cost flooring, but they’re very different.”
So how exactly is vinyl different from linoleum? And what is the distinction between luxury vinyl tile flooring and luxury vinyl plank flooring?
The Rise and Fall of Linoleum
The 1860s invention of linoleum was a revolutionary moment in building history. By combining cotton scrim, linseed oil, and cork dust for coloring, linoleum emerged as a unique flooring solution – it was waterproof, durable, versatile, and became immediately popular.
Advertisements proudly claimed that linoleum could rival the more expensive natural materials in appearance, which further increased its popularity. Over time, however, linoleum flooring became a victim of its own advertising, over-promising and under-delivering on its aesthetic appeal. Eventually, it became known as cheap, tacky, and overused flooring.
A Vinyl Victory
The rise of linoleum showed a strong market demand for affordable, yet beautiful and durable flooring. As linoleum’s popularity declined, sheet vinyl emerged to take its place as an easy-to-install and attractive solution with simulated wood, stone, and ceramic patterns. Vinyl flooring offered many of the same positives as linoleum with durability, affordability, and versatility as key features. Through technological advancements, vinyl moved further into the luxury category as it became known for enhanced performance, detailed embossing, and quality aesthetics.
The Luxury Vinyl Experience: LVT vs. LVP
As vinyl gained a reputation for luxury flooring, the terms “luxury vinyl tile” (LVT) and “luxury vinyl plank” (LVP) became popular. Though these terms are often used synonymously, there are differences between the two. Put simply, they are defined as:
LVP– refers to the long, narrow shape of the vinyl flooring pieces.
LVT– often mimics the look of natural stone flooring. LVT comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, but tends to replicate tile shapes.
Both terms apply to luxury vinyl and its ability to meet the highest standards for resiliency, performance, and design at affordable prices.
Standing Out In the Market
With increasing competition in the luxury vinyl market, it can be challenging to detect which brands truly stand by their products and offer the best flooring solutions. The top luxury vinyl collections will feel personalized, timeless, versatile, and confident. When evaluating your options, consider:
- Personalization: Do the designs help achieve your goals? Do they reflect your style and preferences?
- Endurance: Will the designs stand the test of time? Do they offer options that represent global and domestic trends?
- Versatility: Is the collection versatile, featuring various materials and grain types?
- Confidence: Is the vinyl backed by protections and warranties?
SolidTech Plus, for instance, is an industry-leading LVT collection that combines top performance, personalized options, high-design, and affordability. Made in the US, SolidTech Plus is waterproof, features enhanced visuals in natural wood and stone patterns, provides a no gap guarantee, and includes an all pet protection warranty against stains, spills, and accidents. Combining decades of research and industry experience gives SolidTech Plus the perfect durability for all walks of life.
Vinyl has undergone a remarkable evolution since its earliest years. Today, luxury vinyl rivals all other flooring types in terms of innovation, versatility, and performance. Luxury vinyl features the richness and texture of expensive natural materials at affordable prices. While linoleum initially revealed a demand for such flooring, luxury vinyl finally met that demand. The result is a premier flooring experience that delivers the traditional look and feel of nature while providing enhanced performance, easy installation, affordable prices, and reliable comfort as a whole flooring package.