It’s no secret that everyone loves the stunning natural beauty of gorgeous hardwood floors and the inherent durability they provide throughout the home. If you’re shopping for new hard surface flooring and genuine hardwood floors are either out of your budget or a poor fit for your household, striking laminate and luxury vinyl options in wood looks can provide the trending looks and impressive performance you crave. With longer, wider plank formats and incredible manufacturing technology, these finished wood-look floors deliver exceptional realism and will serve your home admirably for years. Here is a quick breakdown of the difference between vinyl and laminate flooring, two of the most versatile flooring options on the market.
Many homeowners know laminate as a durable, more affordable alternative to hardwood floors that actually contains wood in the construction. Laminate planks are composite wood products consisting of a bottom layer for stability, middle layers of synthetic fiberboard for strength and durability, and a rigid top layer with varying finishes but often aluminum oxide.
Luxury vinyl hails from the resilient category, so it still possesses the ‘give’ of classic vinyl but features a waterproof core and a rigid top-layer for greater durability than traditional vinyl products.
Both flooring options emulate authentic wood and stone with gorgeous realistic texture and tones!
Waterproof vs Water-Resistant
Depending on the moisture protection needs within your household, a specific flooring choice may be needed. If you have an active home that experiences frequent spills, pet accidents, and a high degree of unpredictability, inherently waterproof luxury vinyl will provide the moisture resistance and protection you are looking for!
For homes that experience occasional, predictable, more minimal moisture that can easily be contained, water-resistant laminate will be more than suitable for installation.
Either flooring option offers greater moisture resistance and easier clean-up than genuine hardwood planks, which contributes to overall peace of mind!
Laminate and Vinyl Flooring Installation
When it comes to ease of installation, cost of installation, and installation versatility, both laminate and luxury vinyl bring smiles to the faces of homeowners everywhere.
Luxury vinyl offers adhesive-free, click-lock installation at any grade, and can be installed as a floating floor over almost any subfloor!
Laminate products can come in glue-down or click-lock installations, and some products will offer floating floor and below-grade installation, but all laminate products are not created for the same environments. The key to installing laminate floors is to ensure that your specific product is certified for the exact conditions of the room where it will be installed.
Cost of Laminate and Vinyl Flooring
Homeowners cherish the affordability of both laminate and luxury vinyl flooring products and the lower installation costs than hardwood floors.
On average, laminate products will cost more per square foot than luxury vinyl planks but will also typically come with greater and longer warranties. Since some laminate products require more specific installation and subfloor conditions, you may need to budget for subfloor prep and installation materials.
Luxury vinyl floors will typically be the most affordable hard surface option you can purchase with little to no additional costs involved.
Which Floor Covering Should You Choose For Your Home?
As you can see, the difference between vinyl and laminate flooring is not a matter of which option is better, but rather which option fits your specific household needs the best. Laminate and luxury vinyl floors give homeowners tremendous benefits and can help capture any preferred design scheme. When you’re ready to investigate which hard surface option will fit your spaces the best, contact our hard surface experts with any questions you have and bring your favorite ideas to receive product suggestions as well!