Is Laminate Flooring or Vinyl Flooring Better? Replacing the flooring in older homes has been made easier in the last decade. Many types of vinyl and laminate flooring come easy to install with little to no prior flooring experience required.
Both are faux flooring made to look realistic depending on the finish you purchase. They mimic hardwood and stone in a variety of colors and finishes but there are differences between the two.
Deciding which one to use wholly depends on where you’re putting the flooring. Smaller spaces with little traffic don’t need as much durability as large living rooms or kitchens. Family size is another factor that should be taken into consideration when deciding between vinyl flooring and laminate flooring.
All vinyl flooring is completely synthetic and can be placed anywhere in the house or commercial space. The first layer in vinyl flooring planks is made of fiberglass that is coated in PVC vinyl afterward. Then a plasticizer a placed over the PVC coat.
Afterwards the vinyl is embossed and printed with specific prints depending on the style. This process is repeated multiple times to ensure durability and is then coated with no-wax polyurethane.
Vinyl flooring is incredibly thick and easily snaps together in planks or tiles. There are multiple ranges of thickness for vinyl maxing out at around 5mm, luxury vinyl, with the thinnest being 1.5mm.
Vinyl Flooring Pros
Vinyl as flooring is incredibly durable and can handle mass amounts of traffic. Vinyl is good for frequented rooms such as a living room, dining room, or kitchen. Hallways are another good place to have vinyl flooring.
If you have a large family or lots of kids over all the time vinyl flooring is going to hold up to all the heavy footsteps and toys being dragged across the floor. The myriad of colors and textures makes it easy to match the style of your home too.
Vinyl Flooring Cons
Despite the many layers vinyl can be easily damaged by sharp objects such as furniture being dragged. It is also not good with extremely heavy loads making it not ideal for commercial or a dance space. Vinyl fades quickly under exposure to extreme weather.
Severe sunlight can warp the pattern and damage the color after a few weeks. Vinyl floorings do not have immense detail in the pattern compared to laminate flooring. While vinyl can come in hardwood patterns laminate will look closer to the real thing in terms of texture.
Good vinyl flooring is easy to clean with a wet mop and doesn’t have any deep grooves to trap dirt in.
Laminate flooring, like vinyl, is synthetic but includes resin holding together wood-based byproducts. Laminate is installed the same way with snap-in planks or tiles with an assortment of patterns, finishes, and colors.
Laminate flooring is thicker than vinyl and has a hardtop transparent coating. The thickness in laminate flooring ranges from 6mm to 12mm. Because of the difference in thickness laminate flooring can have incredibly detailed patterns.
It is one of the reasons many people choose laminate flooring when aiming for a hardwood look. The detail in the print is 3D and textured compared to vinyl.
Laminate Flooring Cons
Due to the wood elements in laminate, it is not very good against heavy exposure to mass amounts of water for an extended time. It will swell and move out of place if it becomes submerged in water for long periods of time.
\Smaller pools of water like a spill or a mop bucket falling over won’t damage the flooring as long as it is installed correctly, but floods or burst pipes will damage it. Water can also penetrate the layers of design and warp the image completely.
Laminate Flooring Pros
Laminate flooring is among the cheapest when compared to vinyl and actual hardwood flooring. It is as durable as vinyl and doesn’t take much upkeep. Most laminate flooring is installed via click-ins located on the end of each plank making it an easy one-person job. Cleaning can be done with a vacuum or dry mop.
Laminate and vinyl flooring are similar so it comes down to where you want the flooring. For bathrooms and anywhere with standing water vinyl is the better choice, but everywhere else is up to personal style and the amount of money you’re wanting to spend.