Which Is More Expensive Vinyl Or Laminate Flooring - From active kids to furry friends, busy lifestyles mean homeowners are looking for durable yet stylish flooring that can hold up. With this in mind, laminate and vinyl flooring are popular choices—affordable alternatives to some of the more sought-after wood and tile looks on the market today.
To determine which one is right for your home between these two synthetic surfaces, we cover all the features and differences that can help one or the other work better in your space.
Which Is More Expensive Vinyl Or Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring was one of the first synthetic alternatives to natural hardwood, and each plank has a high-density fiber core made from natural wood product sources. This natural composition reduces the environmental impact of laminate manufacturing. However, it also results in a product that is waterproof but not completely waterproof.
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Laminate flooring tends to be 6 to 12 millimeters thick on average, providing a cushioned feel that's comfortable enough underfoot to be installed in high-traffic living areas and hallways. .
Vinyl flooring comes in many forms, including sheet vinyl, LVP (luxury vinyl plank), LVT (luxury vinyl tile), WPC (wood plastic composite), and SPC (stone plastic composite). All have a solid core made of 100% synthetic material. In most products, this allows for a fully waterproof construction.
You will find vinyl from hard and stiff to flexible and comfortable, depending on the material used for the core. Most luxury vinyl planks and tiles average about 5 millimeters thick. Vinyl is an ideal floor for wet rooms, such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and mudrooms.
"We prefer to use luxury vinyl flooring in most of our bathroom renovations," says Bill Samuel, licensed general contractor and owner of Blue Ladder Development in Chicago, IL. "It's durable and most options are 100% waterproof too."
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At first glance, laminate and vinyl flooring may look very similar. Both are hard surfaces designed to resemble natural materials, such as solid hardwood, stone, or ceramic tile. Each consists of several layers of synthetic material, including a stabilizing support layer, a photo-realistic layer, and surface layer that protects against scratches and stains.
So what distinguishes these two categories? The difference is mainly in the heart of each product. Vinyl flooring is a fully waterproof option that is best suited to wet rooms or homes with pets, while laminate tends to be more comfortable underfoot and offers a higher-end look.
Even once you are familiar with the key features of both laminate and vinyl flooring, it can still be difficult to know which is the best option for your home improvement project. To help you decide, we've broken down how each floor performs on a variety of parameters.
Both laminate and vinyl can visually imitate any type of wood, tile, or stone. You can choose from a wide variety of style options, down to the species of wood, and match your floor with any decoration style or color palette.
Difference Luxury Vinyl Plank And Laminate Flooring
Both floor types also offer realistic, three-dimensional relief to mimic the natural texture of wood grain and style options, such as hand scraped, distressed wood, and more. These textures look and feel better on thicker frames, giving edges to the laminate, unless you choose a vinyl product with a thicker core.
When it comes to investing in a new floor, you want to choose a surface that will still look new for many years after installation. Both laminate and vinyl are very durable, lasting anywhere from 10 to 25 years with proper care and maintenance. They are both resistant to scratches and stains, thanks to their respective top layers.
The main difference, again, is that laminate flooring is not waterproof. If moisture enters the seams between the plates, you will experience irreparable swelling and deformation. We do not recommend installing laminate flooring in rooms that tend to have a lot of moisture, such as bathrooms, kitchens and basements. Otherwise, vinyl and laminate are roughly equal in durability.
Laminate usually uses a click and lock method where the plates snap together with adjacent tongues and grooves on the edges. Most laminate is installed as a floating floor over an existing floor or subflooring. A regular table saw can be used to cut frames to fit wherever they need to go.
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Vinyl flooring is similar, but offers more variety for installation methods depending on the product you choose. Vinyl sheet, for example, is a more complex adhesive product that requires adhesive and precise cutting. Luxury vinyl planks and tiles are most commonly click and lock floating floors that can be cut with regular saws or utility knives.
Click-and-lock floors are very easy to DIY, but unless you have previous experience, you can hire a local professional floor installer to make sure the job is done right. Improperly installed floors of any kind can lead to damage and poor performance on the road.
With Laminate, it is best to use only cleaning products approved by the manufacturer to preserve its longevity, as harsh cleaning products can remove the protective layer. Avoid using scrubbing and scrubbing cleaning pads, which can scratch the floor. Also, clean up puddles as soon as possible because the laminate is not waterproof.
For vinyl flooring, you can use dish soap solution or vinegar solution to clean it safely. If you prefer commercial cleaners, use those labeled "vinyl safe." Ammonia or solvent-based cleaning products can damage the protective coating.
Flexible Vs. Rigid Core Luxury Vinyl Flooring
We understand that laminate and vinyl flooring are synthetic plastic surface layers, not made from natural materials that can be decomposed or recycled.
According to the Environmental Working Group, these types of synthetic floors may contain hazardous materials such as PVC and emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), chemicals that can pollute your home's air.
When it comes to new flooring options, one of the biggest deciding factors for many homeowners is budget. You will find that vinyl and laminate are roughly comparable in price to the more affordable flooring alternatives of natural solid flooring and engineered hardwood.
Laminate flooring starts around $1 per square foot for 7mm boards, increasing to $5 per square foot for thicker 12mm boards. Vinyl flooring tends to be more expensive than laminate, but its performance and cost vary dramatically depending on the type of vinyl product you choose.
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Plain sheet vinyl adhesive looks and feels less like natural wood or tile, but is also the most affordable option at $1 per square foot. Prices for luxury vinyl tiles or vinyl plank flooring can range from $2.50 to $7 per square foot, depending on the thickness of the layer laid.
Floors tend to experience more wear and tear if you have pets, especially dogs or cats. From scratches and water dishes to house training incidents, you need flooring that can handle the daily wear and tear of your furry friends.
Laminate and vinyl flooring are both scratch resistant. Pet hair and dander are easy to sweep from any type of face. However, since laminate is not 100% waterproof, vinyl flooring is considered the best floor protection against pets. Be sure to choose a vinyl product with a thick wear layer.
Floor renovation with these two types of flooring can help increase home value, especially if you're replacing existing laminate or vinyl. On the other hand, they don't have the high ROI value of regular hardwood floors or natural stone floors.
Glue Down Vinyl Flooring Planks Vs. Floating
Laminate and vinyl flooring offer many similar features, so deciding between them will likely come down to your budget and style preferences. As you shop and compare your options, you may also want to see how vinyl and laminate stack up against other flooring options.
Both vinyl and laminate are attractive and affordable alternatives to natural materials such as hardwood flooring. But even though it is more expensive and difficult to install, hardwood has a higher resale value and the ability to refinish the surface over time.
Use the chart below to help determine whether laminate or vinyl is the best flooring for your home. Once you decide on a type, you can consult a local laminate or vinyl floor installer to review a variety of options. Learn the difference between vinyl and laminate flooring, the pros and cons of each and how to make the best decision for your home with our Laminate vs. Vinyl Flooring showdown.
It's true, if you're not in the flooring industry or really up to date on home and home projects, you probably won't be able to choose laminate or vinyl flooring in one line. That is, tiles, wood, even cork ... it is easy to choose from a crowd, but the new options of the next wood-look floor are more delicate and often not well understood.
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Laminate flooring is starting to make a name for itself, but poor vinyl is the misunderstood red-headed boy who is secretly bright, tough and beautiful. Okay, so if they both look like wood and not wood, then what is the difference between vinyl and laminate flooring?
The video below covers laminate vs. vinyl flooring in depth, but if you're a reader, stick with me! I will explain how laminate and vinyl are constructed, go over their strengths and weaknesses and give you all the information you need to make your decision easier.
Laminate flooring is a synthetic (man-made) flooring that has made a splash on it
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