Vinyl vs. Laminate Flooring: Which Is Best for Your Home?

January 24, 2022 Published by Leave your thoughts

If you’re looking to upgrade your flooring to something beautiful and durable, but don’t want to break the bank, laminate and vinyl flooring are two great options to consider. While you may have poor associations with these materials, they’ve both seen great innovation in recent years and have become incredibly popular. If you’re after gorgeous wood, tile or stone flooring without the high cost of materials and installation, look no further.

How do you decide which one is right for your home? While the materials are similar, there are some differences that could make one more desirable than the other, depending on your lifestyle and aesthetic. Read on to learn the key differences in vinyl vs. laminate flooring and which is right to install in your home.

Vinyl flooring

Vinyl flooring is made up of several synthetic layers. On top is a performance wear layer, which is laid over a design layer, printed as a photograph. Under the design layer is a solid vinyl core. Vinyl flooring can be purchased in the form of vinyl planks, wood polymer composite vinyl, stone polymer composite vinyl and more, giving homeowners many options to choose from. Vinyl flooring can be glued to the sub-floor for installation, or a floating floor can be created by linking individual pieces together via a tongue and groove mechanism that is milled into each board.

Laminate flooring

Laminate is also a layered flooring option, though the materials are different. A core board made of medium- or high-density fiberboard (MDF or HDF) is layered with a high-definition photograph of the desired floor pattern, and a protective wear layer is added on top to keep the image from deteriorating. Laminate flooring snaps together via a tongue and groove mechanism that is on every board. Once linked, the flooring remains suspended over the sub-floor without being physically attached.

Pros and cons of vinyl vs. laminate flooring

The similarities between these flooring options are plentiful, but it’s the differences that will really help you decide which option is best for you:

  • Materials: Vinyl is made 100 percent of polymers, making it completely inorganic. Laminate is made primarily of wood-based fiberboard.
  • Form: Laminate is only sold in click-lock planks, while vinyl comes in many different formats, giving you more options.
  • Design: Vinyl comes in a wider range of design options, though not all design layers are super high-quality. All laminate flooring uses high-definition photographs for the design layer, meaning the quality is sometimes higher.
  • Moisture: While laminate is water-resistant, its fiberboard core is made from wood and therefore the material is more susceptible to water damage. Vinyl is completely waterproof, meaning it can safely be wet mopped.

In most homes, either of these flooring options will look great. The final decision comes down to your personal preferences in terms of style and texture, and the moisture level of the room you’re looking to renovate. If you’re hoping to discover all the options available and talk to a professional about the specifics of your upcoming project, contact The Floor Source today to schedule an appointment.

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