What is the Difference Between Vinyl and Laminate?
Laminate flooring is made up of 99% byproducts of wood also referred to as composite. It has several layers of high-density fiberboards that have been combined to form planks. The resin layer depicts the type of material you desire for your floor, which can be either wood or stone. Vinyl flooring is made up of several layers of resilient PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and comes in planks or tiles. The top layer of vinyl is coated with urethane to create a finished look.
How to Choose Between Vinyl and Laminate
- Durability and Stability
Durability refers to the hardness of the topmost wear layer of the flooring while stability is determined by the thickness of the layers and quality of materials. Stable flooring material can take more use and holds its shape and size against climate changes or moisture. Laminate flooring is made up of high-density fiberboard, which is comprised of recycled hardwood. Unlike vinyl, laminate is not waterproof and should not be installed in areas with high moisture. On the other hand, vinyl is highly durable and can withstand areas with constant moisture. Although it does not require a sealant, it is still recommended because it adds a layer of protection for high-moisture areas.
- Look and Style
Vinyl and laminate are pretty even when it comes to the integrity of their design. Each of these flooring options can replicate the look and style of wood and stone as they are designed using a 3D printing technology but at a fraction of the cost. Both laminate and vinyl offer the needed versatility to complete an interior design project. They are limitlessly designable and customizable so you can never go wrong with the choice of style.
Laminate flooring can fall within or above the price of vinyl tile depending on the color, size, and quality of the tiles. Vinyl flooring is a cost-effective option to laminate flooring and offers a higher value making it an ideal choice for people working with a limited budget. The choice may seem like a no brainer with such similar prices and differences in quality. However, vinyl can be your most preferred choice if you factor in the flexibility it offers in terms of design and application.
Laminate is considered an inferior flooring option to vinyl due to its susceptibility to climate changes, moisture, and physical damage. Premium vinyl flooring offers a cross-purpose functionality compared to laminate when you consider the differences between their durability and stability. Therefore, laminate flooring is not ideal for areas that are prone to spills and exposure to constant moisture. If you are only limited to using laminate, then it is important to apply a quality sealant to protect it from serious damage.
Which Flooring Option is Better?
Although vinyl and laminate may be similar in terms of appearance, installation, and radiant heating, premium vinyl offers a slight advantage compared to laminate in most of the other categories. However, both materials remain to be excellent choices for homeowners who are looking for affordable wood alternatives for their flooring. If you are looking for an environment-friendly option and want to cut down on costs then laminate may be ideal for you. However, if you are looking for something durable and can withstand constant moisture in a humid environment then you can go with vinyl. While vinyl flooring seems to have more benefits than laminate, it does not mean that it is perfect since both options have their benefits and downsides.
It is important to consider the pros and cons of both vinyl and flooring to help you determine which option is ideal for your home environment. Manufacturing techniques of both vinyl and laminate have advanced over the years to allow detailed textures besides looking smooth and shiny. Whatever choice you make, it is important to commit yourself to regular cleaning and maintenance if you want your floors to serve you for a long time.