Vinyl Plank Vs. Hybrid Flooring: What’s The Difference and Which Is Better?

Vinyl Plank vs Hybrid Flooring

Choosing the right type of flooring for your home is important, so you should always consider all options for your home, and which might best fit your location, and lifestyle. If you're someone who leads a busy lifestyle with children or pets, you may be on the hunt for a highly durable, yet low maintenance flooring option. Read on to find out more about Hybrid and Luxury vinyl flooring to discover which flooring is more suited to your home. 

A Structural Comparison Between Vinyl vs Hybrid Flooring

Vinyl Plank floorings are designed in individual planks that are secured to the subfloor by either glueing them down or a locking plank system. They have a flexible form and are designed to look and feel like real timber floorboards once installed. In contrast, Hybrid planks have a rigid structure, and feature a locking system similar to Laminate flooring. Here's a summary of the key differences:

  • Vinyl Plank and Hybrid Flooring both have a polyurethane PVC Wear Layer. This wear layer has been used widely in commercial settings due to its ability to resist scratches and stains. It is highly durable and long-lasting.
  • Luxury Vinyl Planks have a flexible structure, whilst hybrid flooring is completely rigid. Vinyl Plank Flooring is created with multiple layers of PVC and Fiberglass, which are pressed together for stability, while hybrid flooring contains a rigid core that offers strength and stability. 
  • Hybrid Flooring, either Stone Plastic Composite (SPC) or Wood Plastic Composite (WPC), has a rigid core combining Limestone and PVC. It features a locking mechanism integrated into the ends and sides of the boards. 
  • Both Luxury Vinyl and Hybrid ranges utilise the same design technology, involving printing a picture onto a vinyl film that sits beneath the surface protection wear later. In a highly modernised market, there are a wide range of film options available, crafted with highly advanced technology that mimic realistic timber flooring designs.
  • Vinyl Planks are crafted with an adhesive-friendly surface to ensure proper bonding to the floor. In comparison, the backing on Hybrid Floors ensure better comfort and acoustics, providing a certain amount of 'Give" in this rigid type of flooring.

The Durability Factors

  • Vinyl is predominantly PVC, which has less advanced heat stability and is more susceptible to warping under extreme heat conditions. This can be managed by employing Hard Set adhesive. By comparison, Hybrid is largely composed of Limestone - a material that is much more heat resilient- and is more likely to be unaffected by extreme temperature fluctuations.
  • Luxury Vinyl Plank and Hybrid flooring are both water resistant, making them both wet-moppable friendly, and suitable for spill-prone areas in the home. 
  • Due to the protective wear layers on both Hybrid and Luxury Vinyl flooring stain and scuff resistant, ideal for kitchen and living spaces where mess is inevitable.

Installation Comparison

Vinyl Plank Flooring is installed using either a Pressure Sensitive Adhesive or Hard Set Adhesive, which is glued directly to the floor. Pressure Sensitive Adhesive makes replacing planks easier; however, it may not be as effective in terms of controlling growth and shrinkage when temperatures fluctuate. 

This type of flooring also offers the convenience of being laid right up to the existing skirtings, so there's no need to remove and substitute or alternatively use scotia.

Hybrid Planks fit together without the need of glue, just like Laminate Flooring. However, extra attention is needed around the perimeter of the space to cover any small gaps that can occur. This can be achieved by either taking and re-fitting skirtings or adding a scotia to hide them.

Differences in Flooring Preparation 

While it is always recommended to install flooring over level floors, Vinyl Plank will adjust to fit the contours of a floor due to its flexibility, therefore is more forgiving when flooring imperfections are present. However, it is common that those irregularities in the subfloor beneath will become visible over time and be reflected in the Vinyl Planks.

Hybrid flooring must always be installed over a hard and level subfloor, therefore cannot be laid over carpet, brick or natural stone due to their uneven nature. This could result in extra stress on the joining system and premature wear on your new floor which could lead to buckling and cracking. It may involve a little more effort in terms of removing carpets or preparing bricks for laying your hybrids. However, it is an essential step if you want your flooring to last.

Where Can Vinyl Flooring be Applied?

Vinyl floors are a great option for any room in your house, but it exceeds their potential in the laundry room, basement, and kitchen. Vinyl flooring is mostly waterproof, so it can be used almost anywhere inside your home.

Where Can Hybrid Flooring be Applied?

Hybrid floors are often used in kitchens, bathrooms and laundries too due to their impressive water resistant properties. They also provide easy clean and thermal advantages making them perfect for children's play areas. The low maintenance of hybrid flooring is a common appeal in households with children, pets, or areas that experience heavy foot traffic.


Choosing a flooring that is most suitable for your home is often influenced by personal design preference. Other factors to consider for the longevity and performance of your floors are ultimately determined by lifestyle factors.

Hybrid is more durable and may be more suited to families, pets, heat exposure etc. While LVP is marginally more affordable, in some cases easier to install in existing homes due to no scotia required.

Check out both vinyl plank and hybrid flooring options from Armstrong Flooring website.

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