Laminate vs. Vinyl Flooring: Pros, Cons & Differences


Are your floors showing signs that ‘the end is near’? As something that sees foot traffic every day, it’s only a matter of time before they need to be replaced.

Are you unsure on whether you should get laminate or vinyl flooring? When it comes to cost and durability, the two are very comparable. Continue reading to learn more.



Resistance to Moisture


One of the main differences between the two types of flooring is their resistance to moisture. This is something you should consider when determining which areas of the house need floor replacements. Vinyl flooring is made from 100% plastic, whereas laminate flooring is 99% wood byproduct. What does this mean? If you are looking at replacing the flooring in the bathroom then Vinyl is most likely the better option, as it waterproof. Laminate flooring is typically water resistant, but not entirely waterproof. Since laminate flooring has a fiberboard core, it is likely that it will warp when constantly exposed to water.


Resistance to Sunlight


In terms of appearance and fading, laminate floors hold up better over long periods of time than vinyl flooring. Both types of flooring are susceptible to fading, so it is recommended that blinds be used in rooms with a lot of sunlight.


Home Value


If you are likely to move in the future, you should consider the impact that home flooring has on resale value. In general, if you are looking for a more cost effective flooring option, laminate typically yields a higher resale value than vinyl flooring.

Laminate flooring tend to have a higher reputation than vinyl flooring among prospective homeowners. Laminate flooring is a fraction of the cost of hardwood flooring, however the durability and look have improved significantly over the years and has made it into the homes of many.


Sound and Comfort


Laminate and Vinyl flooring have notable differences in terms of feel and sound. Many people consider vinyl flooring to feel cold at the touch. Vinyl is typically installed over concrete flooring, which can give that cold, hard feeling beneath the feet. On the other hand, laminate flooring is known to transmit more noise than vinyl flooring due to the foam layer under the flooring itself. That foam creates space between the concrete and flooring, that inevitably can lead to creaking sounds over time. You should consider these two aspects and talk with your contractor on the available options.


Environmental Impact


If you are looking for a more eco-friendly option to home flooring, laminate flooring is likely the better option. Laminate flooring is typically made of natural wood, since they have the fiberboard core. However, this is not to say that laminate flooring is an entirely eco-friendly option, as it is still coated in a plastic layer.

Vinyl flooring has become more eco-friendly over the recent years, as some manufacturers now produce vinyl flooring that achieves a LEED credit EQ4.3 for Low-Emitting Material. However, vinyl flooring is known to produce toxic chemicals during production, as it is a synthetic material. This material is not recyclable, so when it comes time to replace it ends up in landfills where it does not decompose.

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