Laminate vs Vinyl Flooring: In Depth Comparison Guide

Laminate Vs. Vinyl Flooring 2022 Comparison Guide

A million-dollar question for homeowners, laminate vs. vinyl flooring, which one should they choose? Which is best for you? All this and much more will be covered in this piece of writing.

When it comes to installing new flooring, we all want an economical and durable one that lasts for longer.

Talking about the vinyl and laminate flooring, both not only adds value but are also durable. With time, the manufacturers of both floorings have upgraded their material resulting in the best flooring options for the clients.

If you want to renovate your house anytime soon and can’t decide which flooring you should pick, this guide is for you.

In this article, we will make a comparison of both floorings, including their cost, installation method, and other features that will make a choice easy for you.

Let’s begin the guide.

What is Laminate Flooring?

Before heading towards their difference or comparison, let’s talk briefly about laminate floors. Laminate flooring was first used by the Swedish company Perstorp and later it became the talk of the town.

It is highly used in high-traffic areas because they are durable and last for a long. It is not real wood but it surely gives you real hardwood flooring vibes.

Laminate Flooring

Those who can’t afford real hardwood flooring but love to install them at home prefer this type of flooring. The laminate wood flooring prices are quite budget-friendly.

Laminate Flooring Layers

Layer Usage
Core layer The main body of the floor is composed of extremely compressed wood fiber
Built-in underlayment Soft layer assists with uneven subfloors
Wear layer Clear aluminum oxide layer to safeguard the floor against scratches
Print layer The look or image of the flooring

Talking about the layers, the laminate plank flooring contains 4 layers including:

  • A vinyl backing core that is composed of medium-density and high-density fiber mode
  • The design layer is made of the photographic wood pattern
  • The transparent and durable wear layer

What is Vinyl Flooring?

For many years only 2 types of vinyl floors were available on the market including sheet vinyl and vinyl composite tiles.

With time, the market expands and today there are numerous options to make from. They are easy to install as you only need to glue them down after cutting the planks in equal measurement.

Vinyl Flooring

They might be similar to hardwood floors but they can’t stand as much as real wood floors. Moreover, they resist water and heat and can be installed anywhere without thinking twice.

Vinyl flooring is one of the best options to avail of. You also have various stylish outdoor vinyl flooring options to upgrade your home.

Vinyl Flooring Layers

Layers Usage
Image or print layer The image or look of the flooring
Wear layer Protects against scratches
UV acrylic coating Protects floor from damage due to sun
PVC layer Provides support and stability
Built-in underlayment Soft layer assists with uneven subfloors
Core The main body of the floor made of PVC

Vinyl & Laminate Flooring: A Comparison

The best thing about both floorings is the lot of similarities both have. They both are easy to install and pretty affordable, so the choice would be tough. Amazingly, both have numerous designs and color options, among which you can choose according to your choice and requirement.

Let’s start with a vinyl vs. laminate flooring comparison with the significant difference so that you can find a better choice for your house.

MaterialMaterial


Picking the suitable material for your house is one of the essential factors that you should always choose wisely. Talking about the material of vinyl and laminate flooring, they do have a difference.

Vinyl flooring is made of 100% synthetic material. The multiple layers of vinyl flooring are made of different materials that are attached together to make a strong and durable material.

On the other hand, laminate is synthetic multi-layer flooring that gives you the feel of real wood.

The core layer is made of fiberboard material, while to make the top layer look like natural wood, the imprinted texture is used. If you want a hardwood floor at a reasonable rate, laminate flooring is the best option.

AppearanceAppearance


If we talk about the design and appearance of both flooring, they have a slight difference. Laminate flooring is made of a high-quality design as compared to vinyl flooring.

The design of the laminate is realistic; that seems that it is scraped with hands. It is made with recycled wood, so if you can’t afford the real hardwood floors because of being too expensive, you can go for laminate flooring.

Appearance of vinyl

Vinyl flooring has eye-catchy visual effects and is a man-made plastic material. You might find it more realistic as it can be produced with real wood photographic images.

If we make a comparison, laminate tops the chart because they provide you with more warmth and give you a comfortable feeling.

Water and Heat ResistanceWater and Heat Resistance


Laminate floors use fiberboard core, due to which it starts swelling if over-exposed to heat and water.

It doesn’t matter how durable the flooring is; if you flood the floor with too much water, it will become damaged, and the same is the case with laminate floors.

The floor planks start to bend and scratch when met with too much water. Unfortunately, you can’t repair the planks that are damaged by water, so you need to replace them.

Hence, it is better to install these floors in fewer moisture areas. On the other hand, vinyl flooring is made of polymer that can withstand more water than laminate.

However, they are installed with glue, and if the floors remain in water or heat for too long, the glue will start melting. Hence, you can install vinyl floors in watery areas as well, including laundry rooms and bathrooms.

Now the question is, which one is better in terms of water and heat resistance? It depends on the place where you want to install it.

If you want to do flooring in your bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room, better go for vinyl flooring. It is more resistant to heat and water.

Cleaning and CareCleaning and Care


Let’s talk about the comparison of both floorings in terms of cleaning and care. Laminate floors should not be exposed too much to water and heat so a dry mop or a cloth is enough to clean these floors.

If you found any hard stains on these floors, use top-quality laminate floor cleaners or a damp mop and they will vanish.

Cleaning and Care of Laminate Vs. Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring cleaning can be done with a  wet mop and is quite easy as compared to laminate floors. You do not need to apply extra effort to cleaning vinyl floors.

Moreover, you can also apply any cleaning detergent in order to scrub the tough stains on vinyl floors.

Hence, in terms of cleaning, vinyl floors stand out as they are easy to maintain and cleaning is done in the least possible time.

MaintenanceMaintenance


We all know that both floors are highly durable and one can’t doubt their durability and strength. Vinyl flooring is highly durable that can last for approximately 10 or 20 years if you properly take care of it.

It also holds heavy traffic and can also be installed in commercial areas. The tough stains on vinyl floors are also easy to remove with a wet mop.

On the other hand, you need to take care of laminate floors as they should not be flooded with water much.

They need proper maintenance and if the top layer starts swelling, you need to replace the floor with a new one. Hence, vinyl floors are more durable and easy to maintain as compared to laminate floors.

Installation MethodInstallation Method


Next comes the installation method of both flooring. You can learn in-depth about laying laminate floors in this guide.

In short, for laminate floors, you do not need to glue down or use too many tools and instruments.

Recommended Installation Areas Laminate Floor Vinyl Floor
Mudroom No Yes
Kitchen Can be used Yes
Bedroom Yes Yes
Home office Yes Yes
Powder room Can be used Yes
Living room Yes Yes
Dining room Yes Yes
Bathroom, partial or full No Yes

You only need to cut the vinyl planks which could be done with a circular saw or a hand saw. The planks are kept jointly and burst into the surrounding board’s groove, sealing the seam.

Installation Method of Laminate

On the other hand, vinyl floors can be installed with glue but mostly you need a professional for this purpose. The material used in the vinyl is sometimes heavy so it might be difficult to deal with it.

However, if you can afford the extra cost of a professional, go ahead with it. Remember to choose the ideal underlayment for vinyl floors when installing these floors.

CostCost


Here comes the most important point which many people are curious about. So which one is the least expensive either it is vinyl or laminate?

The 1 square foot laminate floor costs you $1 with 7mm thick planks. If you want the thickness level to exceed 12mm, it would cost $5.

On the other hand, the per square foot price of vinyl flooring is $1 for glue-down and thin versions. However, if you want luxury vinyl planks, it would cost $5.

It means both are equal in prices. So which one to go for? you can consider any because vinyl and laminate both are considered one of the cheapest floorings as compared to others.

Vinyl Vs. Laminate Flooring: Major Differences

Factors Laminate Flooring  Vinyl Flooring
Materials Mostly high-density fiberboard is made from wood No organic content, 100% polymers
Moisture Not waterproof but water resistant Completely waterproof
Core Wood byproduct Plastic
Cleaning Never use a wet mop The wet mop can be used
Laminate Vs. Vinyl Flooring

Talking about the first and the major difference in this battle of laminate vs. vinyl flooring is material. The vinyl flooring has synthetic material used that is 100% pure.

Multiple layers are attached together in order to make it durable. Hence, it uses quality material that is worth using. The thickness of the vinyl floor starts from 1.5 mm.

The top surface of the laminate floor is surely hard but the wear layer is composed of plastic that tends to damage earlier as compared to vinyl floors.

The laminate plank’s thickness begins from 6mm. You can’t install laminate floors anywhere as you have to be selective but vinyl floors can be installed anywhere.

Similarities of Vinyl & Laminate Flooring

After the differences between laminate vs vinyl flooring, let’s talk about a few similarities between both floorings:

  • The installation method of both floorings is similar as they can be installed in the same way.
  • Both floorings are the real depiction of stone, wood, and other materials. With time, it is becoming more eye-catchy.
  • You can enhance the lifespan of both floorings by taking proper care.
  • The cost of both vinyl and laminate flooring is almost similar.
  • Both serve no value in house resale.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Here comes the most asked questions regarding lvp vs. laminate that I tried to cover in this guide for your better understanding.

Are Vinyl Floors Better than Laminate?

Both have their own advantages so we can’t name one flooring but in terms of durability and lifespan, vinyl flooring is one step ahead.

This guide about laminate vs vinyl flooring will clearly depict whether you should go for laminate or stick to vinyl flooring.

Is Laminate or Vinyl Flooring Better for The Living Room?

Your living room is mostly full of foot traffic for which you should go for that type of flooring that is durable and protect floors from scratches and damage.

Hence, for this purpose, I would recommend you install vinyl flooring. It bears heavy traffic and protects the floor from scratches. It is also pet-friendly.

What Are the Disadvantages of Vinyl Plank Flooring?

You can’t repair vinyl floors. Though they don’t get easily damaged once they are damaged, you can’t repair them instead you need to replace them.

Moreover, they don’t have any home resale value like real hardwood floors. Other than that, they can’t be recycled like hardwood floors.

What Lasts Longer Vinyl or Laminate?

Vinyl lasts longer if you properly take care. Laminate floors need special maintenance because they should not be overexposed to water and heat.

What Costs More Laminate or Vinyl?

There is no major difference in terms of cost in fact both floorings are said to be the cheapest as compared to other types.

Conclusion

This guide covered every possible aspect of laminate vs. vinyl flooring. Vinyl and laminate flooring are growing in the market for good reasons.

They have numerous features and advantages that make them worth installing. However, if you want to choose between both, the comparison becomes tough.

In order to solve this confusion, we have come up with a guide that will make things clear.

In this detailed article, we have listed which flooring is one step ahead in terms of cost, installation method, water resistance, material, quality, design, etc.

Undoubtedly, both are good in their own way as both are durable and have a long time span if you properly maintain them and clean them.

In the end, you have to install only one flooring. So, I would suggest going for vinyl floors because they have numerous advantages and are a bit better than laminate.

They are more durable and use high-quality material as well. Moreover, they are easy to maintain and clean so cleaning will be easy for you.

I hope this article will help you decide which flooring is ideal for you so that you can clearly make the final decision.

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