Laminate Vs Vinyl Flooring Comparison Guide | What to Choose

Laminate Vs Vinyl Flooring Comparison; Which One To Go For?

We all are the most likely to experience genuine indecisiveness for getting a flooring treatment for our places. Apart from aesthetics, structural stability and sustainability are the major concerns to look for, as well.

With that said, what we are up to compare today are the two popular choices of floorings, i.e. Laminate Flooring and Vinyl Flooring. Since both have their own distinctive dimensions of perks and pros, settling for one is quite a demanding decision to come up with.

However, by the end of this comparative analysis, we’ve got potentially high hopes for this case to be well-rested. Let’s begin!

What Is Vinyl Flooring?

Vinyl Flooring is an entirely synthetic floor treatment that comes as large-sized, constant and flexible sheets. The highly enduring structure of Vinyl Flooring features multiple layers, which comprise different materials. 

Vinyl Flooring has been quite a modern concept of floor treatment and the option with the high-grade resistance.

For Detailed Overview: Vinyl Flooring Buying Guide

Construction

  • Beginning with the base layer of Vinyl Flooring, it’s made of fiberglass.

  • This fiberglass layer is made to coat in PVC vinyl (heated and flat rolled Vinyl Powder). 

  • Often there is a plasticizer included as well, followed by the embossment of a print layer atop the surface of the resultant layer.

  • The film (image) topping the Vinyl Layer, including the topmost wear layer, is then cut into sheets. 

Major Pros And Cons 

There are multiple factors which get to make Vinyl Flooring worth the choice and an entirely favorable dimension to invest in. 

And of course, on the flip side, there are several such aspects too, which are likely to restrain you from the very decision of getting the Vinyl Flooring treatment.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Vinyl Flooring 

Pros Cons
Vinyl Flooring is quite a convenient treatment to deal with (easy-to-install) It is susceptible to emitting harmful VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds)
The appearance is versatile enough to get well along with most of the modern interiorsIt’s technically impossible to repair this flooring and the removal is really difficult, too.
Vinyl flooring is extremely low-cost and low-effort in terms of maintenance
It has a considerable resistance to water and there is no chance of color fading, too.
This super functional flooring can easily withstand up to 20 years of usage 

Suitable Areas Of Application

Vinyl Flooring is a way too versatile flooring treatment and you can expect to benefit from it in a vast majority of areas. Besides, it’s a specifically good choice for moisture prone areas like bathrooms, basements, kitchens and outdoors, as well. 

Vinyl Flooring works wonders for all sorts of residential spaces, even those with higher extents of foot fall. Last but not least, is the fact that this is also a commercially favorable flooring, too. 

These are a few potential spaces to flaunt and enhance with Vinyl Flooring

  • Restaurants, Cafes, Bars, Cassinos

  • Walkways, Pathways and moderately crowded places

  • Homes with pets and children

  • Commercial spaces with moderate to high foot traffic

What Is Laminate Flooring?

Laminate flooring is also considered a hybrid floor treatment, due to the fact that it features multiple layers within its structure. This flooring comes within the form of planks that have been treated with a lamination process and a sturdy core comprising different materials. 

Laminate Flooring is a wonderfully aesthetic choice as it can resemble literally any flooring regarding its appearance.

For Detailed Overview: Laminate Flooring Buying Guide

Construction

  • The core layer of Laminate Flooring is made up of fiberboard materials along with melamine resin (Formaldehyde compound).

  • There is a photographic applique layer known as the design layer, which gives off all the styled motifs.

  • The clear protective wear layer features a lamination process and is constructed from aluminum oxide.

  • Laminate Flooring comes with a back layer too, which is there to serve as a protective barrier between the flooring and the subfloor and also prevents moisture damage, too. 

Major Pros And Cons 

You’re the most likely to find Laminate Flooring as your ultimate go-to option due to a number of different factors. And undoubtedly Laminate Flooring is one of the most serviceable treatments, too. 

However, it does fail at certain points and several users don’t claim it to be a really sturdy element. As for the rest of the comparison, take a look ahead. 

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Laminate Flooring 

ProsCons
Laminate Flooring is quite a sturdy and at the same time very heavy-duty floor treatmentThere is no way to refinish or sand down a Laminate Flooring
The installation is really easy as a DIY project and the same goes for the overall handling, too.It is likely to seem noisy and slippery at times
It comes with finer levels of resistance against moisture and usage damage
The surfacing remains perfectly hygienic and is a safe choice for all families
The lifelike and vivid design of Laminate Flooring can ideally mimic even the most high-end floor designs too. 

Suitable Areas Of Application

By all means, you can consider a number of spaces as the potential areas of application of Laminate Flooring and this goes the same for both residential and commercial ones. The functionality won’t disappoint you for years on end. 

Laminate flooring works wonders for areas both above and below the ground level and with any given type of subfloor such as concrete or plywood. It’s made with an intention of “install anywhere” and so you can benefit from it in innumerable ways such as 

  • Within commercial-grade and home offices

  • At receptions, meeting spaces and public interaction areas

  • Within your kitchens and bathrooms (with the condition of limited exposure to water)

  • Within personal spaces such as bedrooms, living rooms, guest rooms, etc.

Laminate Vs Vinyl Flooring; Key Differences And Deciding Factors 

Let’s get to analyze those aspects that can help us settle for a relatively more favorable choice.

Design And Appearance

We do opt for a new flooring, in search of a change within our interior and more of an aesthetic upgrade. 

A floor treatment, of course, is the ultimate best and most sustainable way to transform the way your place appears and in most of the cases., it’s really easy to pair up a new flooring with that of an existing decor. 

Laminate Flooring

Laminate Flooring is the kind of treatment that provides you with a huge design versatility. The vastest styling freedom of this classy flooring can resemble the look of any and every flooring of your choice. 

  • While in general, it’s a hardwood look that’s mostly depicted by Laminate Flooring, still you can always get those that look like tiles, if you find satisfaction within tiled floors. 

  • Since Laminate Flooring features a picture (film that goes on the design layer), it’s more than easy to achieve the most realistic version of any type of floor, such as stone, wood or tile. 

Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl Flooring, as well, is a great visually aesthetic choice and there are a number of high-end and high-quality versions available, in order to acquire various decorative finishes. Mostly it’s the wooden look that is achieved by Vinyl Flooring or often the continuous patterns. 

  • Luxury Vinyl, for instance, looks like a highly appealing wood floor with its rectangular-shaped planks/strips within a design containing realistic seams.

  • Vinyl Flooring features the photographic images of the very flooring that has to be depicted and therefore succeeds in appearing a lot more vivid, rather than a cheap-looking plastic-look.

Best Appearance and Design Choice

It’s actually quite demanding to come up with a winner-declaring verdict when it comes to vinyl vs laminate flooring comparison, since both have got their own ornamental significance. Besides, many renowned experts claim it to be a tie when the concern is about a more aesthetic choice amongst laminate and Vinyl Flooring. 

Yet, based upon the vividness of the appearance, Laminate Flooring is the option that stands out more notably.

Heat And Water Resistance

Moisture and high temperature are the factors that are experienced the most during the usage. 

Moving to the functionality side, one given flooring must have the tendency to be tough against these two factors. And both heat and water resistance level of any under consideration flooring are judged by its build quality in the first place. 

Laminate Flooring

Laminate Flooring comes with a reasonable and most practical resistance against moisture and is a mildly combustible choice. It isn’t technically waterproof, under the traditional build quality. However, there are multiple contemporary versions available that are almost water-resistant.

  • Laminate Flooring, due to being slightly combustible, is quite a safe choice against fire hazards. Moreover, it’s an excellent conductor of radiant heating, as well.

  • Laminate Flooring is not something to be used in highly moisture-prone areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, or basements. Besides, it isn’t recommended if the subfloor has extreme moisture issues. 

Vinyl Flooring

Laminate Floors are highly heat resistant and retardant at the same time. Besides, it’s a 100% waterproof option across its entire structure, since it comprises wholly of Vinyl. However, there is a major and crucial requirement for a correct installation, and a likelihood of moisture-damage causing seems otherwise.

  • Vinyl Flooring is the safest flooring choice when it comes to fire hazards, because of its extremely heat-retardant profile. Besides, it conducts radiant heating really well, too.

  • Vinyl flooring is the most excellent waterproof floor treatment, which makes it ideally suitable for the usage within the spaces of kitchens, basements and bathrooms. Also, the moisture coming from within isn’t a major concern, as well. 

Most Resistant Choice

Vinyl Flooring is the legit winner when it comes to water and heat resistant, since it ensures the highest levels of both. 

This makes Vinyl Flooring the most appropriate choice for the usage within both residential and commercial spaces. And specifically for those that are susceptible to fire hazards, too.

Maintenance And Cleaning

Flooring, like any other home element, does require well-managed maintenance. 

This does imply the suggestion to not go for a choice which you won’t be able to take care of the right way. And of course, the very lifespan of a given flooring also depends on the way in which it is treated and sustained. 

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is quite a low-maintenance flooring choice and the one that’s not very costly in terms of maintenance, too. 

Even the most minimalist look after, such as mild sweeping or vacuuming, works pretty enough for Laminate Flooring, in order to not let excessive buildup take place. 

Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl Floors too, are really easy to take care of and the maintenance procedures are entirely low cost, too. 

Vacuuming or sweeping on a daily basis perfectly makes Vinyl Flooring okay to go with, and even when there are certain staining issues experienced, they can be totally fixed with the easiest home remedies. 

Best Low-Maintenance Choice

Vinyl Floor is a more effortless and low-cost choice when the concern is about convenient maintenance. 

That’s probably also because Laminate flooring requires a more conscious and critically delicate cleaning, as it is not waterproof in nature. 

Durability

While getting a flooring upgrade might not be an ornamental concern for you, it definitely will be a matter of more enhanced durability, in every way. 

Durability or a decently long lifespan is meant to be the first and foremost factor that everyone is likely to look forward to when opting for a flooring upgrade. So prior to investing in a certain flooring, it’s crucial to get to know about the odds of favorability. 

Laminate Flooring

Laminate Flooring is an undeniably durable choice with a standard lifespan of 15 years to 25 years. Since it comes with a higher resistance against scratches, dents and scuff marks, therefore is meant to last longer, too. 

Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl Floors are indeed the perfectly durable dimension to invest in, with the average lifespan of more than two decades. And what makes Vinyl Flooring the most hard-wearing and thus very sustainable choice is its waterproof structure. 

Flooring With The Longest Lifespan

Vinyl Flooring is a more suitable choice under the very criteria of durability. 

This is because the water-retardant structure of Vinyl Flooring makes it endure all the usage circumstances, the most common of which is exposure to moisture, something Laminate Flooring fails at. 

Ease Of Installation

This very factor is what will decide whether you’ll need to seek professional services for the purpose of installation. 

At this point, it is needless to say that an easy-to-install flooring will save you on the installation expenses, making the flooring upgrade project a lot easier for you to go for.

Laminate Flooring

Laminate Flooring features the quickest and easiest fitting mechanisms and often fitting it is a really convenient DIY project. That’s because Laminate is a floating floor and thus you don’t really need to attach it to the subfloor through any adhesive or holding elements (nails/staples/glue).

Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring, with its super practical versions such as the Luxury Vinyl (Vinyl Plank Flooring) is quite a simple-to-install floor treatment. Besides, often there is no need to cut or glue down the flooring and you only need to put it down on the subfloor. This is then followed by securing (snapping) the pieces together in either an edge-to-edge or end-to-end style. 

Best DIY Friendly Flooring

Both Laminate and Vinyl Flooring come with an easy installation and, except for certain really critical situations, there is no need to spend on hiring professionals to do the job. However, there does lie a difference when it comes to time consumption during the installation of these floor systems. 

Laminate Flooring is more of a quickly installing flooring as laying it atop the subfloor neither is much time-consuming nor requires a lot of effort.

Cost-Effectivity

By all means, you’d want your next flooring to return all of your investment well and to remain functional for long. Getting flooring installed within your place is certainly one of the greatest and most influential decisions, so this has to be the most favorable one as well. 

Laminate Flooring

Laminate Flooring is a highly cost-effective and more of a smart choice of floor treatment. That’s because it lets you enjoy the aesthetics of otherwise very costly floorings, that too, on a budget. Besides, the promising resistance, effective durability and low-cost maintenance also make it worth the choice. 

Learn more about Laminate Flooring Cost

Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl as well is the kind of approach that’s guaranteed to give you the best value for your investment in the long run. It’s more of a budget-friendly choice to let you achieve high-end aesthetic and functional advantages. The maintenance is super convenient and the heavy-duty resistance adds to the worth of the decision.

Learn more about Vinyl Flooring Cost

Best Cost-Effective Choice

Though both Laminate and Vinyl Flooring come in hand at the similar pricing extent and the working outcomes go pretty much parallel too, there does exist somewhat of a favorability difference. 

Laminate Flooring is a more affordable choice, which makes it easy to acquire a similar set of benefits on a budget. 

Environmental Considerations 

Going all green is what’s the legit rage of today’s world and honestly, it’s a really considerate approach to choose those surrounding elements that aren’t, in any way, a hazard to nature.

Moreover, the good news in this regard is that you can also have entirely green floorings, the ones that are renewable and sustainable. And can treat your places in an eco-friendly manner.

Laminate Flooring

Laminate Flooring, as a matter of fact, is a greatly low-impact flooring product regarding ecology, since it mostly features wood pulp and fibers in its construction. Wood, in turn, is a renewable and totally sustainable source, so you can absolutely have the satisfaction of settling for an environmentally friendly choice. 

Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl Flooring has its significance in being an entirely recyclable choice and most importantly, it’s the one with a low carbon footprint. These factors make Vinyl Flooring a really sustainable floor treatment to go for. Even after the prolonged lifespan, the materials of Vinyl Flooring can still be consumed and revived. 

Best Environmental-Friendly Flooring

Laminate Flooring is the one defeating the other, regarding the very concern of a safe usage (not causing health/allergy/breathing issues), more than sustainability. 

That’s because Vinyl Flooring contains a lot of toxins and chemicals such as ethylene dichloride and vinyl chloride, which, when emitted, are not only harmful for the environment, but can also give rise to certain health problems. Laminate Flooring on the flip side does not feature any of such hazardous chemicals. 

Stain Resistance

The residential usage of a flooring is particularly the one that involves staining the most. Therefore, this does imply the crucial need for a flooring that’s more tough against staining as well as against other kinds of damages as well, such as the foot traffic, weathering, wear and tear, etc. 

Laminate Flooring

Laminate Flooring not only is highly stain-resistant but also it comes with a reasonable warranty against stain and moisture damage for the most extended periods of time. Besides, it’s greatly fade-resistant too, which makes it an effectively suitable choice for homes with kids and pets. 

Vinyl Flooring

The wear layer of Vinyl Flooring works as a protective barrier for it against all the staining damage. This goes the same for scratching as well and you can find a number of Vinyl Flooring products literally featuring a wear layer (stain-resistance) warranties of up to a good 15 years. 

Best Stain-Resistant Flooring

In the first place, this is more of a tying matter of Vinyl and Laminate Flooring since both come with excellent levels of resistance against staining. The aluminum oxide topmost layer of Laminate Flooring gives rise to its extreme stain resistance. As for Vinyl Flooring, this particular aspect is ensured by the transparent urethane wear layer.

Nevertheless, Vinyl Flooring is worthy to be given some additional credit for having a fool-proof toughness against staining, thanks to its heavy-duty wear layer. 

Resale Significance 

Resale value is something that’s considered somewhat of an upcoming or future plan. And even if it isn’t (one of) your concerns at the time of flooring purchase, it definitely is a factor worth-considering, for the long-term. 

Over and above, when you get to spend a lot on treating the floors of your place, you obviously expect the decision to benefit you in the time to come. 

Laminate Flooring

Laminate Flooring can be a suitable choice as long as you want to fix some really damaged or defiled floors of your place. As it is a relatively low-to-mid-range choice for homes, it’s pretty clear that investing on Laminate Flooring with an intention of increasing the resale value of your home isn’t a really helpful idea. 

Besides, if you really look forward to the purpose of enhancing your property’s resale value, you should better invest in either tile flooring or in a certain version of Hardwood flooring.

Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl Flooring can serve as an absolute asset for your property as its majority versions add to the resale value. One particular example in this regard is the Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring. Vinyl Flooring is a perfect alternative to wood floors within both the looks and feel and thus can totally be a property value perk for you in the long run. 

Best Resale Value Flooring

The only way in which you can enhance the resale value of your place with Laminate Flooring is by going for the most luxury versions of it (which is not everyone’s cup of tea, for sure!).

Therefore, Vinyl Flooring is the ultimate winner choice, when it comes to offering the best resale value, as it’s the most likely to entice potential buyers to your place, due to both the functionality and the aesthetics. 

A Quick Summary To Keep In Mind

Selection Criteria Winner 
Appearance and DesignLaminate Flooring 
Heat And Water ResistanceVinyl Flooring
Maintenance Vinyl Flooring
Longevity Vinyl Flooring
InstallationLaminate Flooring
Cost-Effectivity Laminate Flooring
Environmental-friendlinessLaminate Flooring 
Stain Resistance Vinyl Flooring 
Resale Value Vinyl Flooring 

Which Flooring To Choose?

In the light of the above-mentioned appearance, structural and usage criteria, Vinyl Flooring is the ultimate show stealer. 

That’s due to Vinyl Flooring being a really practically favorable, highly versatile, multi-purpose and long-term beneficial floor treatment. 

  • In addition to that, you can also look for an up to the mark choice amongst the multiple available versions of Vinyl flooring, according to your usage scenario. 

  • From Vinyl Plank flooring to the luxury Vinyl Tile flooring, there are entirely purposeful characteristics offered by every single type.

Best Brand Recommendations 2022

These are the most top-rated brands for you to consider, for the next time (or a current moment!) when you decide/feel the need to get a flooring upgrade for your surroundings. 

Hoping for your purchase to be the most win-win situation for you!

Brands For Laminate Flooring 

Brands For Vinyl Flooring

FAQs | Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Best Flooring For A House?

Vinyl is a significantly more long-lasting option to consider and the one that’s more resilient in nature, as well. However, if an aesthetic uplifting is the major factor that you look forward to, laminate flooring is just the right thing in this regard, due to the fact that it gives off a more realistic appearance. 

Does Vinyl Flooring Scratch Easily?

Vinyl flooring is the ultimate resilient choice if the usage involves a lot of scratching, such as pets or children being around. Besides, a reasonable resistance against scratching, scuffing and denting, Vinyl flooring is also really easy to take care of. A mild sweeping or vacuuming done on a daily basis works really fine in terms of the maintenance of Vinyl Flooring. 

How Long Do Laminate Floors Last?

15 years to 25 years is the average lifespan that can be initially expected from Laminate Flooring. The build quality of the flooring decides its longevity. And it can, of course, always be extended by carrying out an appropriate maintenance of the floors and by avoiding the utilization of very harsh cleaning substances and procedures. 

Can You Leave Laminate Flooring Outside?

It is quite okay to leave laminate flooring outside before you begin the installation. However, that very space needs to be well-covered in order to keep any possible damage at bay. This prevents the exposure of the planks from a direct exposure to extreme temperature and humidity. If laminate flooring is left outside uncovered and for really long, it’s the most likely to end up being warped.

Do You Need A Pad Under Laminate Flooring?

Laminate Flooring, according to its structural emphasis, is a floating floor and therefore padding is totally crucial beneath it. Underlayment or padding not only ensures the most even distribution of the Laminate flooring atop the subfloor, but also gets to increase its acoustic protecting ability a lot. Other benefits of padding include enhanced comfort provision, stability, insulation and protection from moisture damage. 

What Flooring Is Best For The Kitchen?

Kitchen usage, for sure, involves a lot of moisture and therefore the flooring that is to be installed there must have the tendency to resist water. Vinyl flooring, by all means, is the ideal choice in this regard, which not only is highly moisture-resistant but also really durable in nature. It remains highly functional with even the minimalist maintenance, as well. 

Which Is Quieter Laminate Or Vinyl?

Laminate Flooring turns out to be more comfortable as compared to the Vinyl flooring and the primary reason for this is the addition of underlayment. Besides, Laminate Planks generally have a softer profile, which is highly absorbent too, because of the padding. Thus it tends to absorb noise production more efficiently than Vinyl Flooring. 

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