When it comes to finding a long-lasting, cost-effective, and visually appealing floor covering for your home that you can install yourself, two options usually come to mind: vinyl flooring and laminate flooring. They are also simple to set up. They are almost the same price. They’re both appealing. They appear to be the same from a distance and at first glance.
Is there a distinction? Yes. In truth, while vinyl and laminate flooring are similar in many ways, the key distinctions may impact which type of flooring you purchase and where to install it.
The Differences Between Vinyl And Laminate Flooring
The ability of any form of flooring to withstand moisture is determined by its materials. Because vinyl flooring is entirely synthetic, it may be installed anywhere. Due to limited moisture resistance, laminate flooring can only be laid in certain regions.
|Core||The floor’s primary body is made of PVC.|
|PVC Layer||Provides support and stability|
|Image Layer Or Print||The look or image of the flooring|
|Wear Layer||Protects against scratches|
|UV Acrylic Coating||Sun protection for the floor|
|Built-in Underlayment||A soft layer helps in the treatment of uneven subfloors.|
|Laminate Flooring||Print Layer||The look or image of the flooring|
|Wear Layer||Clear aluminum oxide layer protects the floor from scratches.|
|Core Layer||The floor’s primary body is constructed of extremely compressed wood fibers.|
|Built-in Underlayment||A soft layer helps in the treatment of uneven subfloors.|
Vinyl flooring is made entirely of synthetic materials. The base layer of ordinary sheet vinyl and vinyl tiles is normally fibreglass, which is then coated in PVC vinyl and a plasticizer.
A surface print layer is used to print and emboss the final sheet. Multiple wear layers are put over this, as well as a layer of no-wax polyurethane.
Although it is becoming more common, not all plank vinyl flooring has built-in underlayment.
The core layer of vinyl plank flooring is a thicker, multi-layer PVC vinyl. Luxury vinyl flooring is available in planks or tiles that interlock side by side to create a floating floor. Vinyl flooring thicknesses range from 1.5 mm for sheet vinyl to 5 mm for luxury vinyl planks.
In appearance and installation, laminate flooring is similar to luxury vinyl planks. The key distinction is that its core is comprised of wood byproducts bound with resins. The printed pattern layer is protected by a strong, clear plastic wear layer on the top surface. Laminate flooring boards range in thickness from 6 mm to 12 mm.
Built-in underlayment, like plank vinyl, is a possibility. However, it’s an option that’s becoming increasingly common on laminate floors as do-it-yourselfers elect to skip the step of putting out separate underlayment.
Resistance To Water And Heat
|Vinyl Flooring||Older types of vinyl flooring may include a non-waterproof fabric or felt backing. However, recent variations of vinyl flooring are constructed entirely of polymer elements. Luxury vinyl flooring may be totally immersed in water for extended periods of time, dried out, and reused with little damage.|
|Laminate Flooring||A fiberboard core is used in almost all laminate flooring. Because this core is made of wood, it will soften and swell when exposed to water. After drying, the fiberboard core will not return to its previous size. Furthermore, if the core has been soggy, the wear and design layers may peel away. Severely water-damaged laminate flooring must usually be replaced; it cannot be repaired.|
Pooled water can be tolerated for a short time by well fitted laminate flooring with tight seams and good baseboards or moldings. Laminate flooring is not a good choice for family bathrooms or other locations where standing water is possible. If you can realistically commit to cleaning up infrequent spills and puddles right away, laminate flooring can be used in low moisture zones.
Best Choice For Water And Heat Resistance: Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl flooring is not only water-resistant, but also waterproof. Sheet vinyl, vinyl tile, and luxury vinyl flooring are often constructed from 100% waterproof materials. Vinyl flooring materials outperform laminate materials in complete bathrooms and moist environments such as basements. Sheet vinyl in 12-foot wide rolls frequently does not require seaming, making it a fantastic choice for a totally waterproof floor, and luxury vinyl flooring is an excellent choice for basement remodels.
Cleaning and Maintenance
|Vinyl Flooring||The best thing about vinyl flooring is how simple it is to maintain and clean. Vinyl flooring in good condition can be wet-mopped and scrubbed vigorously using appropriate cleaning agents if necessary.|
|Laminate Flooring||Laminate flooring should be cleaned using dry means initially, such as a dry mop or brush. If you must wet-clean laminate flooring, just use a moist mop that is almost dry to the touch.|
Best Choice For Care And Cleaning: Vinyl Flooring
While both laminate and vinyl flooring are simple to maintain, only vinyl flooring allows for a full range of cleaning options, from sweeping with a dry broom to wet mopping.
|Vinyl Flooring||Many varieties of vinyl flooring, particularly luxury vinyl plank flooring, can appear realistic. Because deeper embossing is feasible on thicker solid core vinyl flooring, it will appear more like wood.|
|Laminate Flooring||Laminate flooring enables for deep, realistic three-dimensional embossing on its surfaces, with accurate pictures of the portrayed material—wood, ceramic, or stone.|
Most Visually Appealing Option: Laminate Flooring
While the appearance of laminate flooring and luxury vinyl flooring is generally equivalent, laminate flooring will more closely resemble hand-scraped hardwood, ceramics, stone, and other materials.
|Vinyl Flooring||Vinyl planks are also installed with a click-and-lock system. Vinyl flooring planks can also be cut using a utility knife. After making a score mark, the plank is bent back on itself and a second cut is made from the back. Sheet vinyl can be a tough material to install for do-it-yourselfers. The material is huge, hefty, and difficult to handle. Furthermore, making intricate cutouts from sheet goods might be difficult. Professional installation is frequently your best bet when it comes to sheet vinyl.|
|Laminate Flooring||Laminate flooring is installed using a click-and-lock method, in which the tongue of one plank is fitted at an angle into the groove of an adjoining plank. The first plank is then folded down until it is level with the second plank. This action joins the boards and seals the seam. To cut laminate planks, a standard circular saw or table saw with a fine-tooth blade, or even a hand saw, is utilised.|
Maintenance And Durability
|Vinyl Flooring||Some types of vinyl flooring may delaminate. Thin plank vinyl flooring withstands water better than thicker, more expensive vinyl flooring with a built-in underlayment. Because the thin flooring has no layers, it cannot delaminate: it is a single cohesive sheet of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The soft underlayment of thicker, more expensive plank vinyl flooring is the weakest link in its layering system.|
Furthermore, self-stick vinyl flooring tiles can become loose with time. Overall, vinyl flooring is a robust flooring material that can withstand heavy traffic needs.
|Laminate Flooring||Laminate flooring is long-lasting and low-maintenance. However, the multiple layers of laminate flooring may gradually delaminate over time or if exposed to water for an extended period of time. Once the top wear layer of the laminate has been scratched, it cannot be repaired.|
When delamination begins, the top layers begin to peel up, allowing water to infiltrate the lower layers.
Most Durable And Easy To Maintain: Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl flooring is extremely durable and low-maintenance, hence the industry term resilient flooring. Vinyl flooring is even employed in commercial settings where durability and upkeep are critical.
|Vinyl Flooring||Thin, glue-down vinyl flooring can be purchased for as little as $1.00 per square foot. Luxury vinyl planks cost roughly $5.00 per square foot, and premium brands cost even more.|
|Laminate Flooring||Laminate flooring costs approximately $1.00 per square foot for 7 mm thick boards and approximately $5.00 per square foot for 12 mm thick planks.|
Best For Price: Tied
Laminate and luxury vinyl flooring are fairly equivalent in price, with sheet vinyl having a little advantage. Engineered wood, Natural hardwood and many varieties of ceramic or porcelain tile are typically more expensive than laminate flooring and vinyl flooring.
|Vinyl Flooring||Vinyl flooring has become more environmentally friendly in recent years. Some vinyl flooring producers now provide products that qualify for the LEED credit EQ4.3 for Low-Emitting Material. Vinyl is a synthetic material that, when burned, emits hazardous compounds. Vinyl does not disintegrate in landfills and is usually not recyclable.|
|Laminate Flooring||Some laminate flooring manufacturers offer LEED MR4 (Recycled Content) certified products. However, laminate flooring still has a plastic surface layer, and the melamine resins used to create the core layer are not environmentally friendly because they may off-gas toxins.|
Most Environmentally Friendly Option: Laminate Flooring
If you care about utilizing environmentally friendly building materials, laminate flooring has a little edge due to the natural wood content of the fiberboard core. Nonetheless, neither of these materials is as environmentally beneficial as genuine wood, linoleum, or bamboo floor coverings.
Sound And Comfort
|Vinyl Flooring||Vinyl floors of all varieties can be chilly or hard on the feet, particularly when laid over concrete or ceramic tile floors.|
|Laminate Flooring||Though laminate flooring does not have the feel of wood, it does have a warm vibe, especially when combined with high-quality underlayment.|
Best Choice For Comfort And Sound: Laminate Flooring
When contrasted to the wood floors they are meant to imitate, laminate flooring products can feel hollow underfoot. When laminate flooring is paired with either foam or felt underlayment, it becomes quieter, softer, and more comfortable to walk on.
Value At Resale
|Vinyl Flooring||Luxury vinyl plank flooring from a major brand will add resale value to a home. Buyers will frequently perceive inferior quality vinyl flooring as a project-in-waiting once the house has sold.|
|Laminate Flooring||Premium laminate flooring can increase a home’s market value if it is relatively new and in good shape.|
Tied For Best Resale Value
High-quality laminate and vinyl flooring add equivalent value to a home. Neither has the high-end status of solid hardwood, engineered hardwood, designer ceramic tile, or natural stone floors. At the same time, high-quality laminate or vinyl flooring is unlikely to turn off potential house buyers.
Resistance To Stains
|Vinyl Flooring||A translucent urethane layer coats high-quality vinyl flooring, providing exceptional stain protection.|
|Laminate Flooring||Pressure-laminated laminate flooring has many layers, the top of which is a transparent aluminum oxide layer that is ideal for stain protection.|
Tied For Best Stain Resistance
Both high-quality, modern vinyl flooring and laminate flooring have wear layers that are coated with stain-resistant characteristics.
Flooring Brands To Buy:-
|Vinyl Flooring||Laminate Flooring|
|Shaw||Dream Home (LL Flooring / Lumber Liquidators)|
Vinyl Vs Laminate Flooring
Vinyl flooring is completely waterproof, however laminate flooring is not. Both floors are stain-resistant and have the option of underlayment, but they are constructed differently. Laminate flooring has a fiberboard core made of wood byproducts, whereas vinyl flooring is built of synthetic polymer ingredients.
Is It Simpler To Clean Vinyl Or Laminate Floors?
Both types of flooring can be swept, however vinyl floors can be wet mopped, whilst laminate flooring can only be damp cleaned using a nearly dry mop.
What Is Vinyl Flooring?
Vinyl flooring is a long-lasting, waterproof floor that is simple to install because the planks join to form a floating floor. It works well in bathrooms, kitchens, and any other room in the house.
Which Type of Flooring Should You Purchase?
There is no flooring that is uniformly better or worse than any other flooring. Vinyl flooring is ideal for mudrooms, laundry rooms, and wet bathrooms. If you are putting flooring in those spaces, you should generally go with vinyl flooring merely because it is moisture-resistant. Laminate flooring performs nicely in dry settings. Buyers will typically discover more style possibilities with laminate flooring than with vinyl flooring.