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Flexible LVT vs Rigid Core Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring has become a very popular option for all rooms, whether at home of in commercial spaces such as bars, restaurants and offices. But there are many types. and one question that crops up a lot is what is the difference between flexible LVT vs rigid core vinyl flooring.

When you think of vinyl, often an image of traditional sheet vinyl flooring will come to mind. This consists of a PVC layer with a printed design, either in one long sheet or prercut into tiles. Recent innovations has led to the development of engineered vinyl planks, which mimic natural materials such as wood and stone. These come in different varieties – read on to see our comparison of flexible LVT vs rigid core vinyl flooirng. 


Let’s look first at flexible LVT.


What is it?

Flexible LVT (luxury vinyl tile) or LVP (luxury vinyl plank) is a step up from the traditional sheet vinyl and comes in either planks or tiles. It is constructed of different layers although less than the rigid core planks. This makes the floor thinner and hence more flexible.

Typically, flexible LVT is glued to the subfloor which does make it very stabile. However, it will show any imperfections if the subfloor is not perfect prior to installation. This is called ‘’telegraphing’’ and looks like swirls or patterns as it takes on the shape of the subfloor.

As the planks are glued down, any movement in the planks is limited. Changes in temperature can sometimes cause the planks to push against each other and create some warping.


Where can it be used?

Anywhere inside!  As with the rigid core vinyl, flexible LVT is water resistant. Plus, due to having more than one layer, it is soft under foot.  


What does it look like?

 Similarly to rigid core vinyl, flexible LVT comes in a wide range of designs and colours to suit most spaces, making it another great alternative to solid hardwood flooring.



So, how about rigid core?


What is it?  

Rigid core LVT is a hard wearing vinyl flooring with a thick and resilient core layer. It is engineered to make the planks durable without taking away from the luxurious and realistic look and feel of the flooring.


What is it made of?

Click vinyl flooring is constructed from multiple layers, although each brand will have it’s own unique structure. You should check before you buy as the different layers and their depth will all have an impact on the properties of the flooring.

The PRO-TEK™  Excel range is constructed of 7 premium layers, a market-leader in quality and performance. These include:

  • UV layer 
  • Commercial grade wear layer
  • Decor layer with a wide choice of style options
  • Luxury Vinyl top layer
  • Core WPC structure
  • Stabilising layer
  • Built-in IXPE Underlay

Excel Cross section

Where should it be used?  

There is no limit to where a rigid core vinyl can be installed!

Most luxury click vinyl planks have a 100% waterproof core so can be used throughout the home, including kitchens and bathrooms.

Also, due to superior durability, these planks can withstand a high level of footfall. With the commercial grade wear layer, this makes it a perfect choice for commercial settings such as bars, restaurants and hotels.

Installation is also quick and easy.  The click lock mechanism negates the need for glue and it can be installed directly over most floor types. 


What does it look like?

Whatever the room, whatever the decor there will be a rigid core vinyl flooring option that perfectly complements the style.

Pro-Tek™ Excel range is available in both Classic and Long Plank collections with 18 colours to choose from. There are both classic and contemporary finishes with a natural texture for authenticity.



So, with so many options, how do you decide which flooring to use? Consider the footfall of traffic, amount of preparation needed and other environmental impacts such as sunlight to ensure you have a robust floor for many years. Also look at the manufacturers warranty, this can be a good indication of predicted lifespan. If a manufacturer has faith in its products by offering a long warranty then you would be right to think the product is a good one!

Also, collect lots of samples so you can assess the quality of the planks. We offer free samples of all our products.

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