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What’s the Difference Between Laminate and Vinyl Flooring?

Laminate and Vinyl. Vinyl and Laminate.

These 2 flooring options have become increasingly popular over the past decade – and with good reason! Each offers a distinct look and feel, and both come at a reasonable price point for homeowners looking to stretch their dollar. But what is it that makes laminate, laminate? And vinyl, vinyl? How are they similar? How do they differ? And which one makes the most sense for you and your home?

This blog post will outline the key differences between laminate flooring and vinyl flooring.

Care & Maintenance

Laminate flooring is a notoriously low-maintenance option, making it a popular choice for families with small children. With laminate flooring, a simple daily broom sweep, or every few days, is all that is required to keep it looking its best. You may also elect to wet mop your floor, but be sure not to over-saturate the laminate as this can cause damage.

Similarly, vinyl flooring is also an easy-to-maintain flooring option. The main difference between laminate and vinyl flooring is that vinyl can withstand water more than laminate and thus, can be wet-mopped and saturated with cleaning products.

Durability

As previously mentioned, water can severely damage and eventually delaminate your laminate flooring. On the whole, however, laminate is a durable flooring option. Over time, your laminate flooring may fall victim to scratches, but most contemporary laminate flooring has built-in scratch resistance.

Vinyl flooring is an incredibly durable flooring option. How durable your vinyl flooring is will depend on the type and brand you choose. Generally speaking, vinyl is a resilient flooring option that is able to withstand heavily trafficked areas of the home.

Cost

When it comes to cost, laminate, and vinyl flooring offer nearly identical price points. According to Thespruce.com, Laminate flooring can run anywhere from $1 to $5 for 7mm thick planks, and vinyl flooring can cost as little as $1 for glue-down flooring and $5+ for luxury vinyl planks. Prices may vary depending on location and desired brand.

Both laminate and vinyl flooring are very affordable flooring options, especially when compared to hardwood flooring or tile/stone flooring.

Lifespan

Laminate flooring can last from 15-20 years if cared for properly. Laminate that is not well maintained can deteriorate as quickly as five years, depending on traffic and overall wear.

Vinyl flooring can last up to 25 years, depending on thickness, quality, and overall maintenance. Much like laminate, vinyl flooring that is not cared for could begin to show signs of wear in as little as 5-10 years.

Installation

Laminate flooring offers ease of installation that is ideal for DIY’ers. Utilizing a click-and-lock installation process, laminate floors, generally, can be installed over your existing flooring, sometimes known as “floating” laminate. If opting for a DIY installation, you can use a saw to cut your laminate to fit the layout of your room.

Vinyl flooring is also quite simple to install, depending on the type that you choose. Offering a few installation options, including click-and-lock and peel and stick, vinyl flooring, too, is ideal for DIY projects.

Though with both flooring options, just because you could install it yourself, it doesn’t mean that you have to. Opting for a professional installation provides the best assurance that your flooring will withstand the test of time.

The Bottom Line on Laminate and Vinyl

Whether you opt for stylish and durable laminate flooring or beautiful and resilient vinyl flooring, you really can’t go wrong. Each one comes with its advantages and disadvantages, but the one thing that they have in common…they’re going to look great in your home.

Are you interested in learning more about the key differences between laminate and vinyl flooring? Contact us today, and a member of our team will get in touch with you shortly.