Laminate flooring is a man-made (synthetic) material and it consists of four layers. These are the wear, decorative, core, and backer layers. When these are put together in the lamination process, we get laminate wood floors with excellent durability and longevity.
What is vinyl flooring? Vinyl flooring is also an artificial (synthetic) material comprising four layers. They include backing, solid vinyl, solid vinyl core, print vinyl layer, and wear layer. These layers have much use for the betterment of the floor.
Major Differences Between Laminate and Vinyl Flooring
Let’s check out some basic and important differences between laminate and vinyl flooring.
Laminate flooring consists of four special layers of materials, making it look unique. At the top is a wear layer that protects the beautiful decorative image layer that can be made of wood or stone. The third layer is known as the core, the resistant layer, and is made of high-density fiberboard, and the last layer is known as the backer layer; it’s made up of soft foam or with some laminates.
Vinyl flooring comprises four solid layers of materials; though the materials are different, it’s a layered product, just like laminate flooring. The layer begins with a clear wear layer which protects it from Wear and tear, with a high-resolution image layer just below. The third layer is a solid core which enables durability, and the last layer is a soft foam layer.
|TYPE||LAMINATE FLOORING||VINYL FLOORING|
|CORE||Product from wood||Fully Plastic product|
|MATERIALS||Mostly made of high-density fiberboard||100% polymers, no organic content|
|CLEANING||Do not use a wet mop||Wet mops are allowed|
|MOISTURE||Water resistant, not waterproof||Completely waterproof|
Pros of Laminate Flooring
- Durability: Laminate flooring can last for a very long period. Its power of durability makes it the best choice for dense areas or homes with kids and pets.
- Anti scratch: Laminate flooring has a great wear layer that keeps the floor from Wear and tear, stains, and even scratches.
- Appearance: Laminate floor often has a natural look and wood and stone textures. Its appearance makes it stand out; nearly every colour and variation of natural wood and stone flooring can be seen in laminate flooring.
- Water resistance: There have been several improvements in laminate flooring on water resistant capabilities; while it’s still not waterproof, laminate flooring can only resist water from penetrating the planks if properly fixed.
- Radiant heating: Laminate flooring can conduct a lot of radiant heat. Moreover, this feature is rare with most hardwood flooring choices.
- Easy to clean and maintain: Laminate flooring is extremely easy to clean and maintain. All you have to do is to mop or sweep up the dirt area.
- Easy installation: The installation of laminate flooring is originally structured as a floating floor. It entails that it is not secure or best under the ground.
- Cost: The cost of laminate floors is always pocket friendly; it’s an alternative to enjoy hardwood floors.
Cons of Laminate floor
- Lack of waterproof capabilities: Laminate floors lack waterproof ability; therefore, they can’t resist a pool of water like vinyl floors. The water resistance of vinyl works from bottom to top unlike that of laminate which works in the opposite direction.
- Sound: Laminate floors can produce an empty sound if it needs to be properly installed. Endeavour to check through the installation guides with the product; after all, you could employ an expert to help you fix it properly.
- Not the best choice for moisture-prone areas: Laminate floors aren’t suitable for places like the bathroom, basement, and kitchen because this area is always liable to water.
Pros of Vinyl Flooring
- Natural wood and stone look: Vinyl flooring looks incredibly like natural materials (wood and stone), which makes them look beautiful and enticing.
- Easy DIY installation: Installing vinyl planks and tiles is often easy. You can use the installation guides that come with the product for proper installation.
- Waterproof: Vinyl floors are always 100% water resistant.
- Easy to maintain and clean: Cleaning and maintaining vinyl floors requires less stress. Since it’s waterproof, you can clean it with a wet mop and sometimes vacuum it to keep your floor sparkling.
Cons of Vinyl Flooring
- Too expensive: The cost of vinyl floors is quite expensive compared to laminate floors; more so, the comfort and luxury are different.
- Doesn’t feel like real wood: With a touch, the vinyl floor feels different from other hardwood; hence such feeling matters a lot to some homeowners.
- Low-quality planks scratch and deform easily: If you want to avoid Wear and tear, scratch kids and pets, and improve stain resistance, you need to get a high-quality plank with a thick wear layer. The cheaper choices will only last for a while.
Both floors are beautifully made, durable, and pocket friendly. With the pros and cons listed out, you can consider both and check out the one that is best for you. Another awesome part is that you can order a free sample of laminate and Vinyl, so you can compare and contrast yourself.