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Laminate Vs. Vinyl: 4 Awesome Facts You Need To Know Before Choosing One

Which kind of flooring material should I choose for my floors? This question definitely plagues the mind of everyone when it comes to building or renovating the house. There are many options out there in the market, including wood floor board, tiles, laminate, and vinyl. However, no matter what, there is always a dilemma regarding laminate vs. vinyl.

In this article, we will be talking about laminate and vinyl floorings and comparing their advantages and disadvantages so as to help you make a better and more informed decision. 

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Let’s get started by understanding each of these floorings in detail.

Fact #1: 3 Essential Characteristics of Laminate Flooring

Durable

Laminate flooring is created as layers which then stuck together using a lamination process. The major layer of the laminate flooring is made out of high-density fiberboard. This layer gives it more rigidity and strength over vinyl flooring.

Easy To Install

Laminate flooring is easy to install. You can install it using a click and lock mechanism, also called as “floating floor” method. It does not require you to glue down or nail it to the floor. This makes it a fun activity to do for DIY lovers.

Prone To damage If Wet

One disadvantage of this flooring is that the material should never get wet. Laminate flooring can easily get damaged by humidity and moisture as water can fill up the sponge-like fiberboard layer and the aerated gaps below.

This point makes it a bad option when installing bathrooms, kitchens flooring and other areas which are more often exposed to high moisture. But it can still be used in other regions safely as long as the planks are firmly locked in together.

These are all about laminate flooring. Now, let’s have a quick look on vinyl flooring.

Fact #2: 3 Essential Characteristics of Vinyl Flooring

Resistant To Water

Vinyl flooring is made of 100 percent plastic. It is a clear advantage over laminate flooring as it is extremely resistant to damage due to water. In fact, you could leave a piece of vinyl submerged underwater for days without any effect.

Easily Customizable

Vinyl flooring has been getting a lot of attention recently due to its ability to be customized as long, narrow boards, mimicking wooden planks.

Easy To Install

They are easy to assemble, thanks to its click joinery, which allows the adjoining boards to snap together. The improved embossing technique has also led to the increased popularity of vinyl flooring.


Fact#3: Similarities Between Laminate Vs. Vinyl Flooring

Both laminate and vinyl flooring provide distinct maintenance and cost advantages over other conventional methods like hardwood and tiles. Both of these materials have higher durability, aesthetic and health advantage over conventional carpet flooring.

Another advantage that they both have in common is the high versatility and customizability when it comes to colors. With the latest 3D printing technology, it is possible to make an exact copy of hardwood or stone flooring on a laminate or vinyl flooring.

They both are also extremely easy to replace. All you need to do is removing the planks or tiles. It’s an advantage that makes them a better choice when compared to other modes of flooring or carpeting.

But this is where the similarity ends. There are very distinct differences between the two materials which give both of them distinct advantages over one another. Now let us have a deeper insight on some of the features that you should look for when choosing a flooring option and see how both the materials compare.

Fact#4: 7 Differences Between Laminate Vs. Vinyl Flooring

1

Cost

Both laminate and vinyl flooring are comparable when it comes to cost. Vinyl flooring can range from as low as $0.50 for thin vinyl squares to about $3.00 for a plank. Laminate flooring can cost anywhere from $0.50 for a 6mm oak laminate to $3.00 for a long plank of the same look.

2

Ease Of Installation

Both these materials are extremely easy to install. You can do it yourself with the help of right tools. Long gone are the days of sheet vinyl and today, vinyl plank flooring is easily available. You just need to lay the planks down when installing.

When it comes to laminate flooring, you will require foam moisture treatment. It is inexpensive and can be easily done. Laminate requires some special tools to cut and work with, so be prepared.

3

Moisture Resistance

As we have talked about this earlier, vinyl flooring has a clear advantage over laminate flooring. Laminate flooring’s extreme sensitivity to moisture and humidity makes it a bad option to use in areas like washrooms and kitchen. On the other hand, vinyl flooring is not just water resistant, it is completely waterproof.

4

Comfort

Laminate flooring takes the cake here. Laminate flooring is thicker and has wood content in them making them easier to walk on and warmer on touch when compared to vinyl. The foam underlayment adds to the comfort and warmth.

5

Thickness

Both the materials come in a wide range of thickness. Vinyl flooring can range from 1.5mm to 5mm in thickness. Laminate flooring ranges from 6mm to 12mm, making them thicker than the vinyl flooring.

6

Looks And Resale Value

Laminate flooring again wins the round. Even though vinyl flooring might be accepted by prospective buyers in the kitchen and bathrooms, they tend to be more critical about its use in the living.

7

Green Value

Both the materials are comparable when it comes to their eco-friendliness. Vinyl flooring which was often considered as a bad boy for a long time, gaining the name of the least “green” flooring product in the market, has changed since the companies have begun producing vinyl flooring of LEED credit EQ 4.3 for low-emitting material.

Conclusion

As we have seen, both laminate flooring and vinyl flooring have their own share of advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, it is important to choose your flooring material wisely, keeping many factors in mind.

The answer to the question “which flooring material to use on your floor?” is a mixed one. It is better to have a mixture of both the floor type in your house, depending on the room. Vinyl flooring is the best option out there when it comes to flooring your bathroom and kitchen, thanks to their near perfect water resistance. The laminate flooring is the best opting for the rest of your house.

​The looks and comfort of the laminate flooring cannot be easily matched by the vinyl counterpart. You can even choose vinyl flooring for your entire house, especially if you are worried about the humidity or the moisture. The wide range of customizability options of the vinyl flooring makes it ideal for almost all surfaces.

​There is also a new product in the market in the name of luxury vinyl flooring, which can even match the laminate flooring in looks and feel, but it is generally more expensive than either of the materials.

​I hope that article would have helped you in choosing the perfect flooring material for your use. In the case of any more doubts or queries, please feel free to contact us through the comments. Also, share the article so that more people can take a well-informed decision about their flooring.

Abigail Jones
 

Hi, I'm Abigail. I like spending time tearing my house apart and putting it together back again. Join me on home improvement tutorials, tips on my blog.

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