This article focuses on examining the difference between LVP and EVP. They are both types of vinyl planks that look similar.
Both of them mimic hardwood flooring in appearance, but they are different.
LVP stands for Luxury Vinyl Plank and EVP for Engineered Vinyl Plank. In this article, we will stick to their acronyms. But first, what is a vinyl plank?
Vinyl plank is a type of flooring made of synthetic material (PVC) designed to look like a hardwood floor.
The materials are thick in texture, bounce just like real wood, and comprise three different layers- the core, pattern, and surface layer- which are ideal because of their durability and functionality.
The core layers provide the foundation and underfoot feel. Just as its name infers, the pattern gives the vinyl plank a natural woody look.
They come in a wide range of designs with realistic textures that mimic the look and feel of real wood.
The surface layer protects the vinyl plank from any kind of damage, including UV fading.
One key characteristic of vinyl plank that endears it to many people is that, unlike wood, it is water-resistant, stain-resistant, and easy to maintain.
These make a luxury vinyl plank and engineered vinyl plank a great choice for high-traffic areas prone to wear and tear.
Even though both LVP and EVP are types of vinyl plank that look alike, they have certain differences.
Read on as we examine the difference between these vinyl planks.
Difference Between LVP and EVP
1. Difference in Core Materials
A key difference between LVP and EVP is in their core materials. Since they look alike physically, one may not notice their difference at a glance, even though the lower layers of these vinyl planks differ.
Their structure comprises a decor layer, a transparent wear layer, and an optional structural base layer. EVP has a superior core material compared to LVP.
The core materials of EVP comprise high, medium-density fiberboard (WPC) or limestone (SPC) pressed together to form a rigid layer, making it excellent for areas with minor irregularities in the subfloor.
WPC and SPC are acronyms for Wood Polymer Composite (WPC) and Stone Polymer Composite (SPC), respectively.
These materials account for why EVP is also called a rigid-core vinyl plank.
The materials of EVP also have a bottom layer of cork used for added comfort, cushioning, and sound absorption.
While EVP has a rigid core, LVP, on the other hand, has a flexible core. LVP comprises several materials, including polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resins.
The core material that makes up these vinyl planks means that LVP is lightweight while EVP is heavyweight.
2. Difference in Installation
Another way one can differentiate between these vinyl planks is in their installation. LVP requires glue in its installation, whereas EVP interlock easily like laminate floors.
EVP does not require messy glue works as the planks fit perfectly together.
It clicks together like a jigsaw puzzle using the friction of its connections to stay in place and rests on top of the subfloor.
Besides, even if someone needs the glue, it will not be as substantial as LVP installation. The heavyweight of EVP also accounts for why it is easier to fix.
This is because the heavyweight core material makes EVP stable on the floor compared to the lightweight LVP.
Another difference in their installation is that engineered vinyl plank does not match uneven floors, unlike luxury vinyl plank flooring.
For the best result when using EVP, first work on your floor if it is uneven.
3. Difference in Durability
Another difference between LVP and EVP is in their durability. LVP is made of less durable vinyl material, whereas EVP is highly durable because of the SPC and WPC material. Hence, EVP last longer.
The engineered vinyl plank has both the vinyl and rigid core layers, which miss out on the luxury vinyl plank flooring.
Due to EVP’s hard plastic wear layer and topcoat, it is superior and long-lasting than even the most durable wood flooring, which cannot be said of LVP.
4. Difference in Water Resistance Level
Another noteworthy difference between LVP and EVP is their water resistance level.
Since EVP and LVP are products of vinyl – a waterproof material that does not allow water to seep through- it means that LVP and EVP are waterproof.
But then, both products have a differing water-resistant level. EVP handles any water on its floor because it is thoroughly waterproof (has a plastic protective covering) and doesn’t allow any water to seep into the core material.
Apart from the protective covering, the snap-lock installation of EVP also helps keep water from getting between the seams of your planks.
LVP, on the other hand, tolerates water in small quantities. I.e., LVP has a lower degree of water tolerance than EVP.
5. Difference in Appearance and Aesthetics
EVP and LVP look alike, so telling their difference by their look alone can be daunting since both mimic hardwood flooring.
Moreover, the feel of EVP and LVP under the feet can be the same, but the core material isn’t similar. While EVP has a wear topcoat, LVP is the top layer type.
Nevertheless, there is a difference between LVP and EVP regarding appearance and aesthetics.
While the former comes with a variety of images with a wide selection, the latter has a significant visual effect with a wider selection.
In fact, EVP can mimic any wood floor designs or tile patterns you can imagine so that even seasoned professionals can have difficulty differentiating EVP flooring from actual wood.
6. Maintenance and Repair Difference
As we established earlier, engineered vinyl plank tolerates water better than the luxury vinyl plank, which translates to its maintenance and repair.
Hence, EVP requires little maintenance compared to LVP since prolonged exposure to water will not damage the floor.
More so, EVP also impacts resistance. It can withstand the impacts of colossal traffic, which makes them a great choice for public places like offices and shopping areas. Overall, EVP is easier to maintain and repair than LVP.
7. Difference in Level of Heat Insulation
Another difference between these vinyl planks is in the level of heat insulation.
LVP is a Poor heat insulator, whereas EVP is a great heat insulator. There is a difference in warmth when one steps on a vinyl floor.
Engineered vinyl plank is warmer than the luxury vinyl plank, thus a better heat insulator.
This is because EVP flooring consists of high and medium-density boards, among other materials, while LVP contains polymer vinyl material.
This Polymer vinyl in LVP is a poor insulator, while the high and medium-density material insulates heat effectively.
8. Cost Difference
When it comes to pricing, quality is the fundamental determinant. Here, EVP is more expensive than LVP because of its high-quality and durable material.
Besides, EVP also has a higher resale rating when it comes to home reselling.
A home with EVP will sell at quite a higher price than one with LVP. The reason is plausible, as EVP is expensive.
More so, durability and the fact that EVP material is highly resistant and not sensitive to temperatures are other factors responsible for the high cost.
Cost is also a difference between LVP and EVP.