Vinyl Vs Laminate Flooring Pros And Cons

Laminate vs vinyl flooring is one of the controversial topics for the flooring industry in 2021! Do you know why? Though laminate flooring was invented in the ‘70s and vinyl started their business in the ‘60s, they are still fighting for the top position in the flooring market. As one of them has unique features like waterproof condition or super durable quality, another one has something else better than that.

However, today we will discuss Vinyl vs laminate flooring pros and cons along with other important aspects. We will see laminate and vinyl flooring coasting, durability, lifespan, and resale value.

Vinyl Vs Laminate Flooring Pros And Cons

Laminate vs. Vinyl Flooring

Though laminate and vinyl flooring is doing a fantastic job in the flooring market, they are not identically similar. They have their own style, and that creates the basic difference. Where one flooring is compromising its product cost, another is focusing on its design. Let’s take a look at some main differences here.

Key differences

FeaturesVinyl FlooringLaminate Flooring
Made ofPolymersWood
CleaningAllowing steam mop or wet scrubNot allowed wet scrub
WaterproofYesNo
PetExtremely durableProne to scratch
Fading proneMoreLess
Installationpeel-and-stick and click and lockclick and lock
Suitable Any roomDon’t use in bathroom, kitchen
Top brandsCOREtec Plus, Proximity Mills, and moreMohawk, Quick-Step, and more

Appearance

Apparently, the vinyl flooring is made of plastic materials, but it follows a skeuomorphic design. Skeuomorphic design is something authentic, in case you don’t know about it. On the other hand, the laminate is made of pure wooden materials. Maybe you won’t see the wooden look in there, but the material is solid. Apart from that, both floorings have a very unique and realistic look.

Cost

If you want to know the laminate vs vinyl cost comparison, it won’t disappoint you anyway. Although it seems that the price would be a little higher, it’s actually not. They have a very similar price line on their product especially compared to other floorings. The most expensive flooring is Pietra firms, and their per square meter cost is $1,000,000. In comparison, the vinyl and laminate flooring selling their product only $1 – $6 per square meter.

Installation 

When we talk about installing vinyl plank or laminate, DIY comes along. Because most people get their hands dirty to save few bucks. But the main question is which one is easier to install?

Installing vinyl planks is a piece of cake. Using the click and lock method, any beginner can do it. Simply cut the planks and make a mark. Then place a second one from the back and bend the first one. However, the sheet vinyl is a bit complicated. 

In contrast, laminate flooring uses the same method, click and lock. First, cut the plack and fit it into the rut, making an angle. Then place the second one on the first one. Level it likely and fill the seam. 

Water and Heat Resistance

Water and heat both are very unwelcoming trouble for any kind of flooring system. As we are talking about the vinyl vs. laminate flooring, they are both prone to this water and heat threat. Vinyl flooring is made of plastic, so the vinyl plank will crash if it gets excessive heat. 

Similarly, laminate is made of hardwood materials. You know that wood won’t last long when it gets wet. In the presence of water, the shape will eventually demolish & the lifespan will be shorter than average. So the user needs to be careful about this matter. 

Durability

Because of their price, people might think that they are not very durable. However, their build quality is of a high standard and very durable. The vinyl flooring has a slight issue with heat problems. Other than that, it can consume all sorts of external forces very effortlessly. It can last 20 to 30  years without any problem if it is cared for nicely.

On the other hand, laminate has an issue with water’s existence: the surface can be destroyed by it. So you really need to take good care while using it. Apart from that, you also should be careful about scratches and external forces.

Warranty

Warranty totally depends on product variants. For low-price products, the brand usually offers a 1-year warranty and maintenance service conditions. But if you are going to purchase the expensive one, then the company will provide a 15 to 25 years warranty or lifetime guarantee. Before purchase, know their warranty condition through websites.

Lifespan

Talking about lifespan, both the flooring serves long time usability. Yet, there is no compromise in maintenance. Usually, Vinyl flooring lasts more than 15 to 20  years easily. In contrast, laminate flooring has a warranty of 10-25 years.   

Stains

When it comes to stain resistance, both go neck to neck. Laminate flooring has multiple layers and is able to protect against stains. The top layer is made of aluminum oxide, solely focused on stain resistance.

Similarly, the vinyl flooring has translucent urethane coating, which helps the vinyl fight stains.

Comfort and Sound

There is no compromise between comfort and sound. Comparing both thoroughly laminate comes one step ahead. Laminate flooring offers more comfort. It has a thick layer and foam-made layer placed just under the surface. Thus it reduces sound and gives a comfortable feeling.

On the other hand, vinyl plank flooring is hard on the surface as it is made with plastic. Moreover, when you are barefooted, you can instantly feel the coolness. You need to do an additional installment to warm it up.

Pets

Vinyl vs laminate flooring with pets is another factor to look for. There is no doubt vinyl is durable yet prone to scratches. That’s why you need to clean it with a wet mop regularly. Don’t let the scratch reach the bottom. You can use a lambswool bonnet to maintain the shine over time. 

Compared to laminate flooring, it is more exposed to water damage. That’s why most of them are not pet-friendly. Perhaps using a waterproof layer beneath the surface may reduce the damage. You can also place rugs in high-traffic areas like doors. 

Cleaning

We talked about it earlier. Laminate flooring is adverse to water. Hence, the dry cleaning method is best for this type of flooring. You can do a simple dry or damp mop.

However, vinyl is very easy to clean as it is made of plastic. You can do regular wet mop alongside detergents or other cleaning products. 

Resale Value

Installing laminate or vinyl plank flooring gives your home extra resale value. Usually, luxury vinyl flooring takes the selling price way higher. Correspondingly, laminate flooring also increases the resale price. Simply install new, good-looking flooring; that’s all you need. 

Both the planks give an opportunity to impress buyers easily. Your home will look new and refreshing. Eventually, the resale value increases. 

Best Laminate Flooring Brands

Now let’s get to know the best laminate flooring brands down below:

Best OverallMohawk
Pergo Laminate
Best Waterproof LaminateAquaGuard Laminate
Best Cheap LaminateTarkett at Menards
Worst QualityTrafficMaster

Best Vinyl Flooring Brands

Now let’s get to know the best vinyl flooring brands down below:

Best OverallShaw
Most DurableShaw Floorte Plus 20 Mils
Shaw Floorte Plus 30 Mils
Best Cheap LaminateTarkett at Menards
Worst QualityVivero Good

Who wins?

To sum up, we looked at both side’s advantages and drawbacks. Therefore, the decision falls upon an individual’s choice and taste. 

Vinyl flooring is the best choice when it comes to moisture and waterproofing discussion. Moreover, it is a DIY project and beginners friendly. Anyone can easily handle it. 

On the other hand, laminate is best at appearance. It is stylish, realistic, colorful; it enhances your home’s beauty. It is a sort of elite class choice. 

Now, depending on your requirements, you can choose what best suits you.

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