Many people assume that laminate flooring and vinyl flooring are exactly the same and interchangeable in appearance and use. While this may have been true a few decades ago, the development of premium vinyl flooring has set it apart as the better, more durable flooring option. Both options are similar to each other in many ways, but there are differences in final value and durability. We can help you decide which option is right for your flooring needs.
Style and Appearance
When it comes to style and appearance, both laminate and vinyl can replicate the look and style of natural materials like wood and stone at a fraction of the cost. Both options are extremely customizable and versatile enough to fit almost any interior design needed.
Durability and Life of Flooring
Vinyl and laminate flooring are constructed in similar ways. Both have a wear layer, a photographic image, and a backing system. The two options differ in what they are made up of.
Laminate flooring is typically made from HFD (or, high-density fiberboard). HFD is made up of recycled hardwood materials. Laminate is not waterproof, so it is not recommended for high-moisture or humid areas (like bathrooms or kitchens) or places that are prone to spills, like supermarkets or in restaurants. Due to what it’s made of, exposure to moisture will cause the material to expand and contract, which is why laminate is best installed in climate-controlled areas.
Vinyl is made up of hard, closed-cell material, which is more water resistant than laminate and is ideal for high-moisture areas. Vinyl is a flexible material that does not require a sealant, though one is recommended for added protection.
One of the best aspects of premium vinyl is that it is more durable, more water resistant, and longer lasting than laminate, all while remaining at a very comparable price point. Laminate is often priced at $0.50 – $5 per square foot, with limitations on where it can be placed and it’s durability. Premium vinyl comes in at $2-$5 per square foot, and offers a higher value and can be placed anywhere. For a very similar cost, premium vinyl delivers a higher value and can be used in moisture-heavy places and is fully customizable.
While there are many flooring options available to interior design projects, premium vinyl is one of the most stable, durable, and customizable flooring options available to consumers.