top of page

Vinyl vs. Laminate Flooring: What's The Difference

Vinyl and laminate are often recommended as the go-to low-cost, low-maintenance flooring materials. They have many similarities, but important distinctions exist between these two kinds of flooring. When picking which one to put in your house, you should consider these. Use this comparison to help you decide between vinyl and laminate flooring for your home.

Most vinyl floors, unlike laminate floors, are waterproof or water-resistant, which is the fundamental distinction between the two. As a result, rooms like restrooms and kitchens aren't good candidates for laminate flooring. Think about your specific renovation goals and the demands of your property before making a final decision. This article will examine the features that set vinyl and laminate floors apart.

What is Vinyl Flooring?

When first launched in the 1970s, luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) and luxury vinyl planks (LVP) quickly became popular. Layered vinyl flooring (LVT) and sheet vinyl flooring (LVP) consists of a top wear layer, a design layer, a core, and a backing. The most well-liked kinds are tongue-and-grooved, which may be laid like a floating floor and interlocked. Wood polymer composite (WPC) and stone polymer composite (SPC) are the materials used to create LVPs.

What is a Laminated Flooring?

The plastic laminate was used initially in flooring by the Swedish business Perstorp. Its success in North America may be traced back to its origins in the European style. Laminate flooring boards have a tongue and groove cut into the core, allowing the boards to click together during installation and then be left floating over the subfloor without being fastened. It makes the ground seem to be floating. The center is constructed from MDF or HDF (high-density fiberboard). A photographic pattern of wood or another natural material is imprinted on the design layer.

Floor Covering Options: Laminate vs. Vinyl.

There are numerous similarities between vinyl and laminate flooring. Both may be found in an array of shades, prints, and patterns to complement your current furnishings. Laminate and vinyl flooring are two excellent options if you want a stylish floor that will last and that won't break the bank. Vinyl and laminate floors are comparably superior in many ways. Your home's specific requirements should be taken into account when deciding which option is best.

Design and Visual Appearance.

Laminate flooring is often of better quality in terms of look and design. The embossing is more lifelike and resembles hand-scraped hardwood. The Laminate's core is manufactured from recycled wood materials, making it warmer and softer underfoot. Embossed vinyl with a wear-resistant finish, such as no-wax polyurethane, may pass for wood. It seems more authentic when placed on vinyl flooring with a thicker core.

Water resistance.

Concerning moisture, vinyl flooring clearly triumphs over laminate. Modern vinyl flooring is often made up of 100% polymer components, making them resistant to large moisture levels. However, extended moisture exposure may cause the laminate's fiberboard core to swell or soften. The top layers may ultimately flake off because of the wet core.


Installation of laminate and vinyl flooring is often straightforward. Pieces may be trimmed to size using a standard table saw. If you're looking for installation flexibility, vinyl is your best option. Working with sheet vinyl takes a bit more effort since it is heavy and needs accurate cutting. Because of it, you may need to hire an expert to set it up. To install laminate flooring, one simply clicks together interlocking pieces. As a result, the seam is sealed when one plank is inserted into the groove of an adjacent plank and secured into place.

Keeping everything in order and working order.

Cleaning and maintaining vinyl flooring is simple. You may use a damp mop or a scrub brush with non-abrasive cleaning chemicals to remove tough stains and debris from these floors. Use a mop that is just slightly moist to the touch if you must mop. In most other respects, laminate requires little upkeep. Laminate flooring has lower moisture resistance than other flooring options, making maintenance and cleaning more delicate.


The cost of vinyl or laminate flooring is comparable to hardwood or porcelain tile, but still more. The average price per square foot for laminate flooring is $1.50 to $5.00. The cost will be determined by the kind of flooring you choose and the thickness of its components. Basic glue-down sheet vinyl flooring costs around $1 per square foot. Luxury vinyl has a thicker wear layer and a water-resistant core. Luxury vinyl planks may cost as much as $5 per square foot.

Persistence and age well.

Proper care and maintenance may extend the life of laminate flooring to the expected 10-25 year range. Vinyl flooring is inexpensive. Therefore it might be seen as a compromise in quality. Vinyl, however, can withstand heavy foot traffic for up to 20 years without showing any signs of wear. When laminate flooring is cared for correctly, it may endure for more than a decade. Laminate flooring may be damaged if you wait an excessive amount of time before mopping up a spill of water or another liquid after it has occurred. Since these floors don't need adhesive, it's crucial that they be installed properly.

Establish what you value most in a new flooring system. Which do you value more, getting waterproof flooring that appears more like genuine wood? Which aspect of your new floors—their longevity or how they make your feet feel—is more important to you? If you're trying to decide between laminate flooring and vinyl flooring, this information may help you out. Applying these guidelines, you should be able to make a wise choice that will enhance your property's aesthetics and monetary worth.

In domestic settings, vinyl and laminate flooring may be used interchangeably. The selection is driven mostly by subjective considerations, including available styles, desired textures, and budget. In contrast to laminate, vinyl flooring is not damaged by excessive moisture, making it a superior option for bathrooms and kitchens. Laminate's versatility makes it a practical choice for whole-house installs.




Recent Posts

See All