Vinyl vs Laminate Flooring Pros and Cons

Homeowners desiring to get affordable hardwood options must weigh the strengths and weaknesses of Vinyl vs Laminate flooring. The options have features that make them promise you some excellent in covering your surfaces. But what exactly makes you gravitate towards one and forget the other? Do the products compare in any way or are they evenly falling out?

Of course, when looking for new flooring, getting the best worth your buck, in the long run, is vital. This article covers all the pros and cons of the materials to help you to find out which is perfect for your home.

Vinyl Flooring Pros & Cons

  1. Durability

Consumers often prefer flooring products that have no risk of getting scratches or any other defects that are time-consuming and costly to repair. Both vinyl and laminate flooring are hyped within the market for being durable and so work well under pressure.

Vinyl, unlike hardwoods, resists scratches from animals or active kids. Even if the house experiences very heavy traffic it is safe from damages. However, pulling furniture around the room is a threat to tearing the plank. What other tougher floors can hold out to can dent this product over time. Well, it is moderately durable, but when planning to buy it is vital to know its flaws.

Laminate flooring, on the other side, is durable. So, it is an ideal choice for households having kids and pets. Its resistant damages without the need for being refinished after some years. However, the material can potentially scratch or even chip. As usual heavy wears can cause minor marks on this flooring. Fortunately, home improvement stores have repair kits. So, you can recover its appearance in case any damages occur.

Additionally, laminate flooring is excellent when it comes to fading. While its color can disappear after long times of exposure to sunlight, it is highly resistant in comparison to vinyl flooring. Both types, therefore, need shades or blinds in rooms that are brighter and can fade.


  1. Water Resistance

Hardwoods tend to have one weakness. Yes, it should not be wet or else it becomes totally ruined. Both vinyl and laminate flooring have the woody look so react if uncovered from water.

Vinyl flooring has remained popular due to its water-resistant property. This makes it suitable for installation in the bathroom or kitchen areas. Even though the rooms are exposed to moisture you will have no worry about possible warping. The product is waterproof so will never give in to any damage. Although it must be correctly installed to be sure of the safety. The concern about mildew will not be evident with vinyl planks unless you install the product in a home with this problem before the installation.

On the other side, you need to avoid exposing laminate flooring to water. High moisture amounts or standing water from spills in an area leads to buckling, splitting, and warping. Sometimes the rooms tend to have mildew growth because of wetness.


iii. Ease of Installation

Completing a flooring installation sometimes costs hundreds to thousands of dollars. Many homeowners, therefore, choose to handle this to save on the costs. All you need is a little knowledge and the right tools, and you are good to go. This may not be easy always as the materials require different methods.

Vinyl flooring can be installed in two ways depending on the one you buy. The type created with a tongue-and-groove click to another easily. Luckily, the material is softer, you can use a knife to cut the pieces to a perfect fit. Alternatively, the peel-and-stick type is designed with an easy to peel backing.  Simply expose the adhesive and apply each plank on the ready subfloor below.

Laminate flooring is also tackled as other DIY projects. But this installation involves extra tools, like a saw either hand or circular type for cutting the pieces. If it is to be installed below-grade, vapor barriers are required. This will protect the floor against moisture. The subfloor also needs an underlayment to fix possible deviations and increase sound quality. This is attached to some laminates already at times.

Its tongue-and-groove design makes it be installed like other floating floors. What is more, glue or even nails are not necessary. The process tends to be longer, however, homeowners can do it within a day.


  1. Care and Maintenance

Caring for and maintaining both vinyl and laminate flooring is simple. As it is, most homeowners leave the pros to handle refinishing tasks or cautiously clean the floors.

Vinyl planks are easy to clean. Only some wet mop is enough for use. It is worth noting that too much water will flood the material so pouring water is not ideal. The reason is that if the water gets below the planks layers and edges will break the adhesive.

Harsh cleaners are not required to clean up this flooring. Mild ones sufficiently work even on major messes. Besides an old-style mop, dust, or steam mop will effectively help here. Waxing is not necessary since this results in the backlog that needs stripping. With regular cleaning you can retain the floors shine and restore the dull appearances.

With the concern about dents being common, purchasing floor protectors is a big bet. This is the best way to prevent damages although avoiding dragging furniture is key. Lifting when possible or using plywood cover prevents scratches.

Laminate flooring on the other side is easily cleaned and maintained. But to get the best out of the material you must carefully work to prevent damages to the floor. Tackle daily messes using specifically designed brooms, dust mops, or vacuum cleaners for laminate floors. All the spills or water should be wiped up immediately.

Avoid using wet mops but only soap-free cleaners. Additionally, the products intended for this flooring should be used. Spray the surface then wipe off using a dry cloth or mop. Also, steam mops are safe to be used. Tackle tough stains including paint, oil, or inks using safe products as acetone or polish remover. Generally, these need consultation from the manufacturer to be sure.

Waxing is not required for laminated floors. It retains the original beauty and gloss after years. But you may restore the dull looking floor with specially made products for this. Also repairing scratches or chips is possible with specialty markers and putties.


  1. Sizes and Designs

The market offers many wood choices and materials with complete design selection. One good thing about both vinyl and laminate flooring types is that they do not come in one size to fit all. Various colors, sizes, and styles are available for your installation needs.

Vinyl planks are available in many widths and lengths. Mostly ranging from 4 to 8 inches and 36 to 48 inches respectively. The softness makes it easy to cut into smaller units with just a knife.

The option has something that suits everyone following its styles and color ranges. You will not run out of preferences for any indoor décor. Whitewashed oak is available for chic interiors, cherry for a standard look, and black for up-to-date rooms.

Laminate also has widths ranging from 4 to 16 inches. Its lengths differ from 36 to above 48 inches. Because the material is wood, it is not easy to cut to the desired size.

The biggest advantage is that it has various styles and colors ranges. Laminate is designed with the looks of ceramic tile, travertine, and stone.


  1. Appearance

Homeowners often look to purchase flooring products other than hardwood to cut on the hassle. One vital thing to various consumers comes on appearance. Perhaps something that mimics wood so much will be fit for the purpose.

Vinyl is made from plastic and no wood is included. But manufacturers currently use technology to provide a real look to this material. The applications bring the best of a product in various colors, textures, and patterns. All these imitate the looks of wood and come at a part of its cost with all the benefits. Some, however, have limited variations and unattractive textures. So, when considering this flooring it is essential to shop to buy quality products.

Laminate Flooring Pros and Cons

Laminate flooring is wood designed on the top photographic layer. Manufacturers use the latest printing methods to give the products a realistic look. It is nearly close to wood thus a superior option in feels as well. The material adds hugely to a home’s resale value.


vii. Comfort

If you have stood on a bare floor for some time then you must be understanding how tough it is for the back, legs, and knees. As you install flooring, considering the level of comfort it provides is essential.

Vinyl flooring is often installed directly to a concrete subfloor. This means it is not very comfortable in the home. It feels cold due to the absence of underneath insulation.

Laminate flooring, alternatively, is conventionally comfier. The thickness contributes to the ease of using it. Adding the recommended foam underlayment can increase its comfort levels. Of course, bare flooring is prone to being cold although the temperature of the room determines this. Laminate is especially warmer even without heating systems.

viii. Sound

All types of vinyl floors either feel hard or cold to the feet. This is felt especially if installed on a concrete or even an existing tile floor. Even better, thicker ones that come with an underlayment attached are slightly very quiet.

Laminate flooring feels to some extent dull underfoot. This does not bring the desired wood floor imitation as expected. The material transfers noise, although together with an underlayment under this flooring reduces the hollow mood and noise aspect.

viii. Environmental Factors

People who give importance to the use of green materials when building will count it pure blessing here. Laminate flooring offers a slight advantage, because of the added natural wood. Some companies provide laminates that meet the requirements for LEED MR4 position.

On the other side, Vinyl flooring manufacturers have improved the green standing in latest years. The produced flooring now attains a LEED status EQ4.3 as a Low-Emitting product. Both materials are not eco-friendly in comparison to natural wood floor coverings.


Finally, both vinyl flooring and laminate flooring are durable, cost-effective, and attractive covering for the home. The two options lead in the market with the key points that make them better choices. Hopefully, this helps you get out the confusing process of product selection. So, consider what will serve you for years without collapsing.


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