Vinyl VS Laminate Flooring – Choose Your Suitable One

Selecting flooring for your house that best represents your own style and is a wise decision considering considerations like cost, durability, and aesthetics can be difficult. When considering the aforementioned aspects, vinyl flooring and laminate flooring are frequently the most popular options. They are the best option for customers even if they differ slightly and offer comparable benefits like affordability, simplicity of installation, and attractive design. Thus, begs the question, “Which flooring type is best for your needs: vinyl vs laminate?” arises. When you examine the features, advantages, and distinctions between vinyl and laminate flooring, knowing the answer to this question can help you make an informed decision.

vinyl vs laminate

Vinyl vs Laminate Flooring

To understand the differences between the two, it is important to recognize their composition.

Vinyl Flooring

Polyvinyl chloride resins (PVC), often known as vinyl resins, are thermoplastic polymers composed of 57% chloride and 43% carbon. PVC is the main element in vinyl flooring. Vinyl flooring sheets are made up of several layers of synthetic materials, including a backing layer, a core layer (which can be flexible or rigid), a design layer that simulate the performance of natural materials like wood or stone, and a layer for protection to ensure durability and corrosion resistance.

There are three types of vinyl flooring:

  • Luxury vinyl tile (LVT)
  • Luxury vinyl plank (LVP)
  • Sheet vinyl

The use of each of these three possibilities is determined by a number of criteria, including budget limits, environmental considerations, and the intended appearance output.

spc

Laminate Flooring

Produced with a high-density fiberboard (HDF) consisting of multiple layers pressed into one through high pressure and temperature. surfaced with a photographic layer that resembles the look of wood, stone, or other materials often used for flooring purposes, including a clear protective layer for erosion resistance.

Laminate flooring comes in a variety of different types:

  • Plastic laminate
  • Engineered wood laminate

The two commonly used types. Although engineered wood laminate can be more expensive than its counterpart plastic laminate, cautious care and use in appropriate areas can help to add longevity. The difference in thickness among the two is an important factor to consider when making your choice for laminate flooring as more thickness is suited for high foot traffic areas.

laminate

 

Characteristic Comparison

Appearance

Vinyl flooring

Everyone prefers to focus on color schemes and overall aesthetics when it comes to personalizing and decorating a space, therefore appearance plays a big role in the decision-making process when picking a floor.

Laminate flooring

While both vinyl and laminate sheets are excellent at simulating the look of tile, stone, or wood, laminate flooring offers a much more realistic appearance than vinyl because it contains a portion of wood, which improves its appearance and aids in the embossing of patterns on its surface. Vinyl flooring, on the other hand, lacks smoothness and a realistic outlook because it is composed of synthetic materials.Owing to the laminate sheets’ thickness, it offers a softer and warmer feel as compared to vinyl sheets which can be cold and hard to touch.

 

Pricing

While popular flooring choices like hardwood, concrete, or tiles might boost customer happiness, they can also strain a customer’s budget. Therefore, vinyl or laminate are very popular choices for customizing on a budget because of their reasonable pricing, which makes them easy on the pocketbook.

Vinyl flooring

Vinyl is the less expensive option between the two. While standard vinyl flooring can range from $1 to $5 per square foot, luxury vinyl flooring can cost anywhere from $7 to $12.

Laminate flooring

Laminate flooring, on the other hand, costs about $1.00 per square foot for boards that are 7 mm thick and about $5.00 per square foot for planks that are 12 mm thick.

Any flooring will have varying costs based on things like coatings that resist scratches and thickness..

laminate floor

 

Resistance and Durability

Vinyl flooring

Vinyl flooring has an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years; however, the thickness of the wear layer strongly affects this duration. For optimal wear and durability, consider the thickness of the sheets when making your flooring purchase.

Laminate flooring

However, laminate flooring is more impact and scratch resistant than its even more costly alternatives, like hardwood, thanks to its resin finishing, plastic finishing, and resilient outer layer. This is one of the material’s most sought-after qualities. For up to 25 years, laminate flooring can give an appearance devoid of flaws.

 

Heat and Water resistance 

Vinyl flooring

Due to its composition of synthetic materials modern vinyl sheets are 100 % waterproof which makes it the optimal choice in damp conditions such as bathroom or kitchen, however, some older versions of vinyl sheets do not perform so well in contact with water.

Exposure to high temperatures can affect vinyl sheets causing them to expand and damage the outer layer of adhesive. Vinyl is not only non-flammable, non-extinguishing, and easily extinguished, but also usually used as a material for line insulation. It can be used safely surrounding the electricity and open flames due its nonflammable.

Laminate flooring

Generally Laminate flooring consists of a fiberboard core which is a wood product, long duration of water contact causes it to swell and soften the wood which can lead to permanent damage and the only solution is to replace the affected sheets as once the sheets absorb water it does not return to original shape even after drying, which means it does not perform well in water standing conditions hence it is a less popular choice when it comes to damp conditions.

Regarding Heating resistance laminate flooring is somewhat similar to vinyl flooring. Exposure to high temperatures can cause it to expand or contract. To meet safety regulations laminate flooring is coated with fire-retardant coatings making it fireproof.

waterproof vinyl flooring

 

Installation

In the vinyl vs. laminate flooring argument, installation simplicity is a draw because both types of flooring are easy to install with a few basic tools and some experience to ensure proper fitting and minimal material waste.

Vinyl flooring

There are three ways to apply vinyl planks: peel and stick, glue-down, and click/lock. Because sheet vinyl is wide and heavy, it can be challenging for a novice installer to install.

Laminate flooring

Due to the locking mechanism that makes it easier to fit the planks and makes removal simple with an unlocking, laminate flooring is both simple to install and remove. There is no need for additional tools to cut the planks,as the planks are soft enough to cut and shape with the help of a utility knife. Prior to installation, it is important to pay attention to details like whether the subfloor is even. If it is not, the planks will not be set correctly, leading to uneven flooring.

 

Upkeep

Vinyl flooring

One of the most appealing aspects of vinyl flooring is how easy it is to keep clean; all you need to do is mop and sweep it frequently, being careful not to use any harsh chemicals that might harm the outer layer. Vinyl flooring is also easy to maintain and keeps a clean appearance without the need for special cleaning solutions. Vinyl flooring usually resists stains and wear and tear well if a wear layer is applied.

Laminate flooring

The most popular method for cleaning laminate floors to prevent water exposure or scratches is to use soft bristled mops or microfiber cleaning cloths. Although the top layer of laminate flooring is typically water-resistant, water can still seep through the cracks due to its composition, so avoiding water is essential for maintaining laminate flooring. With the proper tools for this type of surface, laminate flooring can be easily kept clean.

install laminate flooring

 

Comfort

If you are remodeling a room let’s say, a kitchen where a person needs to stand for a longer duration. Comfort provided by the floor is an important deciding factor. In this aspect, both vinyl and laminate flooring tie out each other in comfort but in sound absorption vinyl sheets are much better as they tend to absorb and dampen noise providing a more peaceful experience.

Vinyl flooring

Vinyl flooring can provide comfort to your feet while walking but if it is installed above a concrete subfloor without insulation it can feel cold barefooted. Its sound-absorbing properties help reduce sound transmission and impact noise.

Laminate flooring

Laminate flooring is more comfortable due to its thickness and slightly cushioned surface, But it can be noisy to walk on due to its hard surface. Installing underlay padding while installation can maximize sound absorption from walking or impact noise.

 

Recommended Areas for Installation

The best results and experiences come from using the appropriate flooring, thus it is critical to consider the pros and cons before choosing, because vinyl flooring is waterproof, it excels in areas where exposure to damp or water is expected. On the other hand, laminate should only be installed in dry environments for maximum lifetime, even though it is strong and resistant to scratches.

Vinyl flooring

Vinyl is ideal for installing in the kitchen, bathrooms, and basement since it is waterproof. Because of its combination of attributes, including water resistance, simplicity of cleaning, durability, and low maintenance, it is a versatile solution for a range of residential and commercial applications.

Laminate flooring

Laminated flooring is recommended in areas where high foot traffic is expected such as residential spaces or in open kitchens where day-to-day wear and tear is normal. It is an option for a living environment with children or pets because of its impact and scratch resistance. its aesthetic appeal is one of the reasons for its common applications in bedrooms, dining rooms, or hallways.

spc flooring

 

 Common Brands

Vinyl Flooring

Supremo is distinguished from other brands by its outstanding quality and design. However, a large range of high-quality luxury vinyl flooring solutions are also available at Amtico, Aolong,  Karndean, Mohawk, COREtec, Armstrong and Mannington, each with their distinct advantages.

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring consumers benefit greatly from the exceptional quality and longevity of brands like Newton Laminate Flooring and Shaw Industries. Some other brands that stand out due to their quality and durability are Pergo and Formica.

 

 

Common Problems

These two widely accepted flooring solutions have a lot of benefits, but they also have disadvantages.

Vinyl Flooring

Because of its pliable surface, vinyl flooring can be vulnerable to dents and scratches. Peeling is a fairly typical problem with vinyl flooring as it ages. When the glue wears off, you will notice loose seams, particularly around the corners, which significantly detract from the overall appearance and are only preventable by preventive maintenance; replacement is your only other option. Another major issue with vinyl flooring is the release of volatile organic compounds, which can have a substantial impact on indoor air quality and are frequently brought on by inferior vinyl goods.

Laminate Flooring

Over time, laminate flooring may develop buckling, yellowing, or warping issues. These may be brought on by prolonged exposure to sunshine, moisture exposure, or lackings in design. Laminate flooring occasionally has a hollow or plastic sensation and sound when laid without enough underlayment, which detracts from the authenticity of the wood-like feel or look.

pvc flooring

 

Resale Value

Even though hardwood, engineered wood, and ceramic tiles are more expensive than vinyl and laminate flooring, these flooring materials still add value to your home due to their comfort and attractive appearance, making them appear appealing to potential buyers.

Vinyl Flooring

In general vinyl flooring has a lower resale value,its resale value is affected by various factors, such as the difficulty of removing it if it is laid using glue and the inability to repair it after the planks are damaged.

Laminate Flooring

In comparison, laminate flooring has a superior resale value, coming in second only to more costly competitors like hardwood. because it is simple to replace and fix.

Depending on the condition it can add significant resale value accordingly.

 

Eco friendly and Environmental impact

Vinyl Flooring

When assessing the environmental impact and eco-friendliness of vinyl and laminate flooring, a number of factors are considered, such as the materials used in their production as well as their lifecycle and disposal. Vinyl flooring, often made of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, has gained popularity due to its durability and water resistance. Moreover, vinyl flooring is not biodegradable and poses significant disposal challenges. It usually ends up in landfills, where it can remain for decades and release harmful substances into the soil and groundwater.Vinyl’s total environmental impact is still an issue, despite some manufacturers’ best efforts to produce more environmentally friendly vinyl solutions through enhanced recycling processes and the utilization of recycled content.

Laminate Flooring

Conversely, laminate flooring is composed of a photographic layer that replicates the look of stone or wood, together with wood byproducts like high-density fiberboard (HDF). Furthermore, compared to vinyl, laminate flooring usually has lower levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which improves indoor air quality. The core of laminate flooring is frequently obtained from sustainable sources. Vinyl flooring is more dangerous when it comes to disposal at the end of its useful life than laminate flooring. Although not entirely biodegradable, the wood’s constituents can break down with time.

Additionally, a few manufacturers provide take-back schemes for recycling used flooring into new goods.

Laminate flooring has certain detrimental consequences on the environment even with these benefits. A significant amount of energy, adhesives, and resins that may produce formaldehyde—a recognized carcinogen—are used in the creation of HDF cores. However, many modern laminates have stringent regulations governing formaldehyde emissions, and low-emission alternatives are easily found. In addition, the wear layer of laminate flooring is frequently made of melamine resin, which is produced from formaldehyde and other chemicals. This layer increases durability and beauty, but it complicates recycling processes.

flooring resale value

 

In conclusion, both vinyl and laminate flooring have an effect on the environment; but, because laminate is made from sustainable wood sources and emits fewer volatile organic compounds overall, it tends to be a little more environmentally friendly. When searching for the greenest flooring solutions, consumers should look for goods that have certifications and use recycled materials. They should also think about the flooring’s total lifecycle and disposal options.

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