It can be difficult to distinguish between vinyl plank and laminate floors. In fact, they have so many similarities, that they are often confused with each other. Both flooring options are durable, cost-effective and they even look very similar. In this article we want to show and explain some of the differences between these popular flooring options.
Laminate floors are made in large part of wood byproducts like HDF, which makes up its core and a high definition melamine print layer which goes on top. It is this top layer that gives the laminate floor its wood-like features. In most cases, the thicker the HDF core is the the more stable the product is, and the more high definition the print is, the more real (wood like) the laminate floor will look. Vinyl plank is similarly multy layered but it is made of 100% waterproof materials. In most cases the core of the plank consists of a combination of plastics, fiberglass and ceramic particles, making for a stable, durable core. This then is layered with the textured HD print melamine before a UV treatment seals and fuses all the layers and makes the product easy to clean and maintain.
Both products can be made to have the look of a limitless number of wood species and unlimited colors options.
Laminate and vinyl floors are both extremely durable, however, they do take wear-and-tear a little differently. For example, heavy furniture like pianos can cause some indentations on vinyl floors, and dragging heavy objects can still scratch some vinyls. However when it comes to normal ware and tare, both vinyl and laminate floors will do very well.
Where luxury vinyl plank does stand out is in the fact that it is 100% waterproof. In fact, when deciding between vinyl and laminate, the most important think to know before making a decision is how each of these products handles moisture. Vinyl flooring can handle moisture significantly better than laminate flooring. With laminate flooring, which is a wood byproduct the joints can swell when hit with excess moisture, causing damage to your floors. This makes vinyl floors a much better option for bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens or any place where there is a lot of moisture. Although if you’re dedicated to cleaning up the occasional water spills, laminate floors can still work in those areas.
Both vinyl and laminate floors are affordable options to give you the look of hardwood or tile floors, without added expense of the real thing. However, some people consider the lifespan of each flooring type when calculating the overall cost. Vinyl typically lasts longer than laminate floors, with a lifespan of up to 30 years. Laminate flooring on the other hand, has a average lifespan of 20 years. Their longevity is one of vinyl and laminate’s best features, and unless you’re planning on keeping the same floor for 50 years, you shouldn’t let the minor differences in longevity deter you from your favorite flooring option.
Do you know which flooring option is better for your home? If not, our flooring experts are available to answer all of your questions. Don’t forget, we also offer free consultations!