Flooring: Vinyl v. Laminate

Hardwood floors are an attractive, timeless, and popular flooring option, but maybe it’s not the right option for you. Vinyl and laminate are increasingly popular because you can get the look of hardwood without the cost or hassle. Both options have definitely come a long way and are great to consider when remodeling. BMR Homes, your restoration and remodeling team in Homewood, AL wants to help you decide on the perfect flooring option for your renovation. So let’s do a laminate v. vinyl breakdown comparison!

First, let’s go over why laminate and vinyl may be better options than hardwood. Hardwood floors are beautiful, but they are prone to scratches, dings, and fading. Their upkeep and care can be difficult and costly. Therefore, many homeowners have opted for laminate or vinyl flooring. Both vinyl plank flooring and laminate have upped their game in recent years, so let’s see how the two stack up. We’ll look at aesthetics, water resistance, durability, upkeep, comfort, and pricing. 

Aesthetics

Both vinyl plank and laminate flooring types can perfectly match your renovation style with so many finishes, colors, and textures! We owe modern technology a great deal, because now it’s easier than ever to find a beautiful floor that looks like real wood, stone, or other materials, thanks to 3D printing. Sometimes it’s even hard to tell them apart from real wood or stone finishes!

Water Resistance

Vinyl plank is made of 100% synthetic material, which makes it waterproof (when installed correctly). On the other hand, laminate is a hard plastic with a core layer of wood byproducts. Laminate is never truly waterproof due to the wood core, although manufacturers have made water-resistant versions. If exposed to water, the core can soften and swell, essentially destroying the floor. Vinyl is a much better choice in bathrooms and other high-moisture areas.

Durability

If you have children or pets, this is an important factor when choosing your flooring. Both flooring types are very durable and resistant to damage, with only slight differences. Because vinyl expands and contracts, it makes the ideal flooring choice for the high-traffic areas in your home. You won’t have to worry about scratches from children or pets running all over it. However, it can be ripped by not being careful when moving heavy furniture.

Laminate flooring can be scratched or chipped over years of heavy use, but for the most part is also very durable. What about fading? Laminate can fade over time, but is more resistant to fading than vinyl.

Upkeep 

What can I use to clean these two different styles?

Vinyl plank flooring- steam mop or wet mop; no harsh chemicals necessary.

Laminate flooring- steam mops and laminate-specific products. NEVER use a wet mop on laminate flooring. It could damage it. 

Comfort

Laminate is often installed over a foam underlayment, so it’s the more comfortable of the two options in most cases. It’s also thicker than vinyl.   Vinyl flooring is normally installed directly over the subflooring, making it colder and harder than laminate, although it is still the quieter option.

Pricing

These two are very similar when it comes to cost, so it will most likely not be the biggest factor of your decision. According to most “big box” home improvement stores, the pricing is as follows: 

Vinyl- ranges from $1.00 to $3.00 per square foot 

Laminate- ranges from $.50 to $3.00 per square foot 

There are many factors that go into that pricing, including designer brands and type. For example, vinyl planks come in many varieties such as nail down, click, and adhesive. The kind you choose will depend on your project and budget. 

Laminate and vinyl plank flooring are very similar options with similar pricing. Making a choice really comes down to what’s more important to you or which style you love for your space. Obviously, these are not your only 2 options for flooring. There are many different styles and compositions for whatever room you are remodeling. Ultimately, you need to contact BMR Homes, your whole house remodeling company in Homewood, AL, to sit down and talk about your desires, options, and budget.