Do you plan to give your house flooring a makeover? Are you tired of covering up ugly flooring with rugs and carpets? If you plan to change your flooring, you have to choose between the two best options: vinyl or laminate flooring.
What the difference between vinyl and laminate flooring? Don’t fret, we’ll help you discern the pros and cons of each. You don’t want to purchase the first thing you find without understanding how they work and what they offer for your home.
Keep reading to learn more about vinyl vs. laminate flooring:
1. What Is Vinyl Flooring?
Before we talk about the differences between the two flooring choices, let’s focus on one first. Let’s talk about vinyl flooring and what its pros and cons are. This will also help you see how they are different from one another.
Vinyl flooring is a flooring material that’s 100% synthetic. It uses fiberglass, PVC vinyl, and plasticizer for its layers. You can get it as sheet vinyl or vinyl tiles.
There’s also the luxury vinyl flooring (LVF). This is a thicker type of vinyl flooring. Its core is a thick layer of PVC vinyl. You’ll also find that LVF often comes in either planks or tiles that you can fit interlocking side-to-side.
The thickness for vinyl flooring depends on which type you get. Sheet vinyl can be as thick as 1.5 mm. If you’re buying luxury vinyl planks, expect to be 5 mm in thickness.
Vinyl floors are ideal for areas in the house that may often be wet or moist. That includes your kitchen, laundry room, or dining area. Because of their durability, you can use vinyl for flooring in all the rooms in your home.
2. What Is Laminate Flooring?
When you look at laminate flooring, you may mistake it for LVP. However, the first difference between vinyl and laminate flooring is their material. A huge percentage of the material of laminate flooring is a wood byproduct.
This wood byproduct bonded with resins makes up the core of laminate flooring. The top surface is a hard and transparent plastic wear layer. This protects and covers the printed design layer.
The range of thickness of laminate flooring is between 6 mm and 12 mm. Some laminate flooring products are good for the environment because they’re recycled. It’s not as friendly as bamboo, linoleum, or natural wood floorings, but it’s more environment-friendly than vinyl.
3. What Is the Difference Between Vinyl and Laminate Flooring?
Finally, let’s discuss the difference between vinyl and laminate flooring options. Let’s begin with the cost.
Laminate and luxury vinyl flooring are comparable in price. Laminate flooring costs $1 per square foot for 7 mm-thick planks. If you want to get planks that are 12 mm thick, it’ll cost you $5 per square foot.
Thin, glue-down vinyl flooring can cost $1 per square foot. Luxury vinyl planks are at about $5 per square foot. If you want to get LVP from premium brands, it may cost more.
If you consider water resistance, vinyl flooring is the ideal choice. This is because the polymer materials are very water-resistant. Even if you immerse luxury vinyl flooring in water for a long time, it remains unaffected.
All laminate flooring uses fiberboard for its core. This means it can soften and swell if it gets waterlogged. Even the best laminate flooring can grow mold or mildew when exposed to water.
With that said, you wet-clean or mop laminate floors. If you must wet-clean laminate flooring, your mop can only be damp and almost dry even. The cleaning methods for laminate flooring get limited to only dry or damp methods.
Compare this to vinyl flooring that can get scrubbed, mopped, and more. Caring for and cleaning vinyl floors is easy and hassle-free. Luxury vinyl flooring may replace laminate flooring later when you consider how COVID-19 alters a home’s design.
4. What Are the Similarities Between Vinyl and Laminate Flooring?
Both have vinyl and laminate flooring to allow for appearances that look realistic. You can get prints of wood, ceramic, or stone material on both. Both can mimic are wooden surfaces.
At first, laminate flooring can better imitate hand-scraped hardwood flooring. However, luxury vinyl flooring is improving in quality. That means the difference between both in appearances is dwindling.
While vinyl is more water-resistant, it’s best to keep spills from both vinyl and laminate flooring. Accidental spills or pet urination can damage your floorings like mold and mildew. Make sure you clean up spills as soon as possible, especially if you have laminate flooring.
If you can keep up with a rigorous maintenance schedule, get laminate flooring. Laminate flooring has a lifespan of 10 to 25 years, with great care. The lifespan of luxury vinyl flooring can last up to 20 years.
5. When to Use Vinyl or Laminate Flooring
You already know the difference between vinyl and laminate flooring. By now, you likely already have an idea about where it’s best to use each flooring choice. Here, we’ll add some more information on where you may use vinyl or laminate flooring and why.
As we mentioned earlier, you can use vinyl in any area of the house. Use it for the powder room, bedroom, mudroom, or bathroom. Being water-resistant is the biggest advantage of vinyl flooring against laminate flooring.
If you have kids or pets, the better choice of flooring is laminate flooring. Over time, it may gain scratches and chips. However, its durability and resistance to fading keep your floor looking good even after decades of use.
The surface of laminate flooring also allows your dog or cat better traction. If you don’t want your pets sliding on your floors, choose laminate floors with a textured surface. However, if you want your floor to be clean of animal scratches, choose vinyl flooring instead.
Pick the Best Flooring Choice for Your Home
That’s it for our guide on the difference between vinyl and laminate flooring.
Both laminate and vinyl flooring are great choices for the home. We hope this guide helps you find the best flooring choice for your house. We hope you also understand better the pros and cons of each choice of flooring.
If you want to see more content on the various elements of the home, read our other guides now. We offer tons of related guides to give you the knowledge you seek!