Sheet Vinyl vs. Vinyl Tile

Which is the Better Vinyl: Sheet Vinyl vs. Vinyl Tile

In many minds, vinyl is vinyl and so the ‘sheet vinyl vs. vinyl tile’ conversation is moot. However, this could not be further from the truth—at least not any more. When vinyl gained popularity around 20 years ago, producers immediately began attempting to cut cost. Quality and value were foregone for high quantity production, bargain products. Ingredients were removed from the recipe and low-quality, commodity vinyl was created. Although, because not everyone followed this trend, there grew a separation between quality tiers of vinyl. The major sect of separation was and is sheet vinyl vs. vinyl tile.

And this gap continues to be relevant today. Sheet vinyl, the easiest and cheapest to make, touts its low price while vinyl tiles and planks, especially luxury-grade, continue to advance in design, quality and overall value. So, if you’re considering vinyl for your project, read on to discover the sheet vinyl vs. vinyl tile difference.

To best illustrate the comparable characteristics of sheet vinyl vs. vinyl tile flooring, let’s break flooring down into five quantifiable qualities: Look & Style, Durability & Stability, Environmental Impact, Applications, and Cost.

Sheet Vinyl vs. Vinyl Tile

Look & Style

While the construction technology behind sheet vinyl and vinyl tile design is quite similar, its application is quite different. Both flooring solutions feature a photograph set below the wear layer. This printed layer gives the flooring its design—stone and wood, the most popular styles today, are available in both sheet and tile form. However, because of the difference in production processes, vinyl tiles and planks far exceed sheet vinyl in terms of variety, type, and nature realism.

Sheet vinyl is typically made on 6 to 15-foot wide, 3-foot diameter calendar presses. Each press is bulky, expensive, and capable of making one style of sheet vinyl. Offering a wider selection of styles and designs would be costly—defeating the purpose of creating commodity vinyl.

In addition to a greater number of styles, vinyl tiles and planks also allow for endlessly customizable designs. While vinyl sheets must be installed in one or two large pieces, vinyl tiles and planks are installed in any desired configuration. It is even possible (and quite easy) for the installer to cut individual tiles and planks to create any number of shapes, patterns and designs. Sheet vinyl has its upsides in terms of practical applications though, including healthcare where there is a need for less seems.

Sheet Vinyl

  • Each press is bulky, expensive, and capable of making one style
  • Must be installed in one or two large pieces
  • Practical applications

Vinyl Tile

  • Comes in a number of styles, vinyl tiles and plank
  • Endlessly customizable designs
  • Installed in any desired configuration

Durability & Stability

Before discussing the durability and stability of sheet vinyl vs. vinyl tile, we should define the terms, as they seem similar.

Durability: Hardness of the flooring—especially its topmost wear layer. The more durable a flooring solution is, the more use it can take.

Stability: Governed by the thickness of the whole and/or makeup of layers and quality of materials. Stable flooring material holds its shape and size against moisture and/or climate changes.

While there are ranges of quality even within the higher-quality echelon of vinyl tiles and planks, vinyl sheets are, across the board, less durable and stable than tiles and planks.

The differences in durability and stability between sheet vinyl vs. vinyl tile is due to how each is produced and what goes (or doesn’t go) into the final product.

As previously discussed, sheet vinyl is created on a large calender press in big (6’x50’-80’) rolls. In producing the vinyl this way, it is by nature, less durable and stable than vinyl tiles and planks. High speed, large quantity production means that there is less concern for precise crafting and the quality of the product suffers.

The best instance of durability and stability comes from vinyl tiles and planks made on a hot press, which is how Parterre’s LVT is manufactured. Made hands-on, the vinyl is pressed under immense heat and pressure. Unlike vinyl sheets, the process applied to vinyl tiles and planks creates well-bonded and extremely hard layers. This means that over time, vinyl tiles and planks will withstand use far better than vinyl sheets.

If your vinyl floor is damaged or stained, your option to make repairs will be limited by which type of vinyl you chose. Sheet vinyl is not nearly as easy to repair. If damaged, the vinyl sheet owner has two choices: replace the entire floor or cut the damaged section out and fit a new one in. This, however, has downsides beyond a high level of difficulty. Adding seams to a vinyl sheet floor compromises its ability to resist moisture. Vinyl tiles and planks, on the other hand, are easily replicable from your attic stock of extra pieces.

A trait that both sheet vinyl and vinyl tiles/planks share is their resistance to moisture. While no vinyl is completely impervious to moisture, it does stand up nicely to wet stress. Either sheet vinyl or tail and plank vinyl can be damaged under extreme circumstances, however. Tile and plank vinyl can get damaged at the seams if topical water is not cleaned up in a reasonable amount of time. Likewise, sheet vinyl, if left under water for long periods, can curl.

Stored in tightly-wound rolls, vinyl sheets are imbued with a memory for curling. Like a piece of paper rolled into a scroll, vinyl sheets, when unrolled and laid want to curl up. So, if seams are not properly sealed and if water compromises the adhesive, vinyl sheeting will curl causing an unsightly scene and posing a tripping risk. Vinyl tiles and planks, however, are never rolled. They are stored in a flat stack.

Sheet Vinyl

  • Less durable and stable
  • Not nearly as easy to repair
  • Stored in tightly-wound rolls resulting in curling

Vinyl Tile

  • Withstand use over time
  • Easily replicable
  • Stored in a flat stack

Environmental Impact

This point is the only one in the sheet vinyl vs. vinyl tile discussion that the two are comparable.

Vinyl flooring in general is both made from and has the potential to become recycled material. Parterre luxury vinyl flooring is comprised of recycled material and is 100% recyclable (although sheet vinyl contains less recycled material since it must be rolled). Parterre takes eco-friendly practices one step further—our LVT is made from a material (PVC) whose main component is an extremely abundant resource—salt.

It is important to note that while recycled content sounds beneficial, too much will compromise the floor’s durability and stability.

Sheet Vinyl

  • Made from and has the potential to become recycled material

Vinyl Tile

  • Made from and has the potential to become recycled material


When it comes to the application appeal of sheet vinyl vs. vinyl tile, there are two major considerations: where and how well it performs, and ease of installation.

While both types of vinyl are appropriate for most of the same applications, vinyl tiles and planks perform far better than vinyl sheets. The durability, sustainability, ease of repair and multi-faceted uses of vinyl tiles and planks make it perfect for nearly any commercial interior setting.

However, while vinyl sheets may be suitable for many of the same applications, they will not perform nearly as well—especially when it comes to repairs. In a high-traffic or commercial setting vinyl sheets perform well under normal circumstances, but with the heavy use, eventually they are bound to require repairs. The cost and time of repairs and re-installation should be carefully considered depending on your desired commercial application.

Installation is a point that too often goes overlooked. The installation process of sheet vinyl vs. vinyl tile is night and day.

Imagine hauling a 6’ roll of vinyl sheeting to a third-floor project. Elevator, stair or crane, any way you look at it there is immense hassle involved. And when you do manage to bring the vinyl into the project area, the area needs to be completely cleared out so the vinyl sheet can be rolled out and cut. The cuts must be perfect so it is not an amateur job. All of these add up to a time consuming and expensive installation.

Now imagine stacking boxes of vinyl tile and planks into the elevator, moving everything in the project area to one side and laying half the vinyl tiles. Now simply move everything onto the freshly laid vinyl tiles, flooring the rest and calling it a day. Vinyl tile and plank can be installed easily and quickly.

Sheet Vinyl

  • Application is just as easy
  • Not nearly as easy to repair
  • More difficult to transport

Vinyl Tile

  • Durabile, sustainable, ease of repair and multi-faceted use
  • Easily replicable
  • More simple to transport


The cost of sheet vinyl vs. vinyl tile is fairly comparable, with a few caveats. At around $1—$4 per square foot, vinyl sheets are cheaper than the $2—$5 per square foot vinyl tiles and planks. However, as you now know there is a lot hidden in that price gap.

Money spent on installation and repair/overhaul of vinyl sheets can raise that price tag to something much higher than vinyl tiles and planks. The added value of the reparability, durability and stability, design, and customization makes vinyl tiles and planks a far better choice.

Sheet Vinyl

  • Around $1—$4 per square foot
  • More likely to have future costs installation and repair/overhaul

Vinyl Tile

  • Around $2—$5 per square foot
  • Withstand use over time

Sheet Vinyl vs. Vinyl Tile: An Overview

Look & Style: Vinyl tiles and planks are available in far more designs and offer extensive customization options.

Durability & Stability: Vinyl sheets are far less durable and stable. It is prone to damage and irreparable if compromised.

Environmental Impact: Nearly equal. They are made from similar materials although LVT contains more recycled material.

Applications: Comparable. However, vinyl tiles and planks will perform better and last longer than vinyl sheets.

Cost: Vinyl sheets are less expensive. Planks and tiles have a higher value and greater durability.

If you found this comparison of luxury vinyl tile vs. sheet vinyl helpful, you can find more information on our blog, including a recent post entitled “Why is Vinyl Flooring The Fastest Growing Material?” We at Parterre are the leaders in modern, high-quality premium vinyl flooring. But beyond modern quality, the products we create are works of art. We would love to help you bring the vision of your next project to life.


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