Table of Contents
Many of the benefits of Vinyl Flooring and laminate flooring are similar, including ease of DIY installation, economy, excellent appearance, and longevity. Both kinds of flooring even have a similar appearance up close.
In every category, there is no flooring type superior to the other. High-moisture regions are ideal for vinyl flooring since it’s simple to maintain. However, laminate flooring has a better resale value and gives more stylistic options.
What Is Vinyl Flooring?
Typical vinyl flooring is composed of four material layers. The backing layer is the bottommost layer, often formed of foam or cork. It is intended to act as the vinyl flooring’s underlayment, saving you from having to install another material before installing the vinyl flooring. It also serves as a sound barrier to block noise and a cushion to make floor walking more pleasant.
What Is Laminate Flooring?
Laminate flooring is synthetic, unlike natural alternatives like wood, stone, or cork. It comprises four layers bonded together during the lamination process: wear, décor, core, and backer. It is purposefully made to be both reasonably priced and long-lasting. It may mimic the appearance of more costly flooring materials like stone, tile, or wood, thanks to the décor layer, which is a printed picture.
Important distinctions between vinyl and laminate flooring
Like laminate flooring, vinyl flooring is a layered product despite its appearance as a solid, homogenous substance. Vinyl flooring is composed of at least four layers. A high-definition photographic layer is just below the transparent wear layer at the top. The flooring mainly comprises a thick core layer with a soft foam layer at the bottom.
There are four or five layers of materials that make up laminate flooring. The bottom image layer—a photographic representation of stone or wood—is shielded from damage at the top by a transparent wear layer. After the thin, impact-resistant layer in the third layer, high-density fiberboard, or HDF, makes up most of the product. Soft foam or, in the case of some laminates, a backer paper layer makes up the last and lowest layer.
|100% polymers, no organic content
|Do not use a wet mop
|Do not use a wet mop
|Water resistant, not waterproof
|Wet mop allowed
|Do not use wet mop
Which Type of Flooring Is the Best?
Comfort and Look
Above-average vinyl plank and tile flooring has a picture or photograph layer under the stern, transparent wear layer. Usually, this picture depicts a kind of wood (such as oak, maple, or hickory) or, less often, stone.
However, not every vinyl flooring looks quite as lifelike. Older and less expensive sheet and tile vinyl flooring is covered in a transparent wear layer and produced using a rotogravure technique similar to a cylindrical printing machine.
Every laminate floor replicates the appearance of genuine stone or wood by applying a high-definition photographic layer underneath the transparent wear layer.
The most notable aspect of laminate flooring is its look. Laminate flooring comes in almost every hue, species, and natural wood and stone flooring, including hand-scraped, rustic, reclaimed wood, multi-tonal, natural finish, whitewashed, multi-length, and many more.
Upkeep and Concern
It’s advisable to begin cleaning vinyl and laminate flooring using dry techniques like a vacuum, brush, broom, or dust mop. Generally, moist mopping with a neutral detergent is sufficient to remove entrenched dirt.
Wet mopping is one area where laminate flooring and vinyl flooring diverge. Sometimes, the most straightforward way to clean a floor is to use damp mopping, particularly for filthy feet. Laminate flooring cannot be wet-mopped; vinyl flooring can.
Lifespan of Vinyl Flooring
While thinner vinyl flooring lasts fewer than ten years, thick, high-quality vinyl flooring may last up to twenty-five years.
Although poorly maintained laminate flooring may only last five to ten years, laminate flooring may last up to 25 years.
Price • Vinyl Floors
At cheap retailers, vinyl flooring costs between $0.60 and $4.00 per square foot. The sheet vinyl costs range from $0.50 to $2.00 per square foot. However, the installation expense often offsets the cheap price of sheet vinyl. While sheet vinyl installation is usually best left to professionals, plank and tile vinyl installation may be completed by do-it-yourselfers.
At budget retailers, laminate flooring costs between $0.50 and $3.00 per square foot. For textured 12-mm-thick boards, name-brand laminate flooring starts at around $3.00 per square foot and goes up to about $5.00 to $8.00 per square foot.
Paying $6 or more per square foot on average is what you should budget for professionally placed branded laminate flooring.
Installation• Vinyl Flooring
Installing vinyl flooring is simple. It may be loose-laid or bonded to the subfloor. Glued vinyl flooring may be purchased as tiles or planks with a self-stick adhesive backing or as tiles bonded with liquid adhesive. Another name for loose-lay vinyl flooring is a floating floor: Planks are fastened to one another rather than the subfloor.
Laminate flooring is floating throughout. Planks attach side to side, much like vinyl flooring. It cannot move because of the floor’s weight and friction. Laminate flooring is similarly cut with a utility knife score and snap-off. This is similar to how vinyl flooring is cut.
Environment, Heat, and Water • Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl flooring is completely waterproof on all sides and from top to bottom. Water-soaked vinyl flooring may be dried out without losing its shape or size.
Heat impacts vinyl flooring just as it does on any other material. However, most vinyl floorings fulfill heat standards that are often much greater (158 degrees Fahrenheit) than expected during normal usage.
Laminate flooring is particularly brittle when water is present due to its wood-based core. If water is left to collect on the surface, it may seep into the body via exposed seams or the edges. The center will absorb the water. The center will not shrink back to its initial size after drying. A vapor barrier is also necessary for most laminate flooring laid over concrete to prevent moisture vapor from penetrating the laminate floor.
Heat usually has little effect on the high-density fiberboard core of laminate flooring. However, excessive heat might cause other layers, such as the top wear layer, to melt. However, these temperatures are far higher than in typical houses, like vinyl flooring.
Value for Resale • Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl floors have historically had a low resale value, but their stature has grown as thicker and more realistic versions have hit the market. Nevertheless, laminate flooring usually has a higher resale value than vinyl flooring.
Regarding resale value, superior laminate flooring is less valuable than engineered wood and solid hardwood. However, laminate flooring continues to fetch a higher price at auction than most vinyl flooring options.
Leading Vinyl Flooring Brands
- Dream Home
For household uses, vinyl and laminate flooring are essentially equivalent. Most deciding variables are subjective, including pricing, texture selections, and style alternatives. Water is one area where vinyl and laminate are not interchangeable. Vinyl flooring is an excellent option for bathrooms as it is a superior option in high-moisture areas compared to laminate flooring. However, since laminate gives so many options, it typically makes sense for whole-house installs.
Commonly Asked Questions
Vinyl is not as scratch-resistant as laminate, but both materials endure wear and tear well over time.
In general, laminate flooring and luxury vinyl flooring are comparable in cost throughout the country; however, vinyl costs vary based on the quality of the material utilized.
Although laminate and vinyl can both readily drain away moisture, vinyl is fully waterproof. Therefore, you should choose vinyl for areas with a lot of wetness and activity.