The question of vinyl flooring vs. laminate flooring requires some consideration. While both options are renowned for durability, there are differences that are important when deciding between the two. The following Q&A’s will help you decide on which flooring will be right for you.
WHAT IS VINYL FLOORING MADE OF?
You probably already know that vinyl plank flooring consists of layers that come together to create one amazing product. The bottom backing layer adds stability, comfort, and in many cases, resistance against moisture, mold, and mildew. The core layer is next, followed by the image layer, which is responsible for the beautiful wood-look. Finally, this material is topped off with a wear layer that protects against scratching, staining, scuffing, and fading. This wear layer is available in a variety of thicknesses and can offer more or less protection, based on the thickness you choose.
The actual ingredients that make up this floor covering include polyvinyl chloride resins, also known as PVC. This is melted and mixed with fungicides and stabilizers to add resilience, protection, and durability.
Other materials commonly added to this flooring are calcium carbonate, plasticizers, and UV stabilizers. Heat is used to combine the materials, and they are pressed into the layers that will then be used to create the primary flooring.
The wear layer is made with a polyurethane that is exceptionally resistant to most kinds of daily wear. You’ll be protected against stains and scratches for most of the 25 years these floors will last for you. The higher the wear layer, the more protection.
WHAT DETERMINES THE PRICE OF VINYL FLOORING?
The price of Vinyl Flooring can vary depending on many factors but mainly on the following
Just like with everything you buy the brand name is more than likely going to be a contributing factor. The major manufacturers seem to command a higher price as compared to a small unknown manufacture. But with saying that, the top manufacturers didn’t get where they are by offering inferior products. Just be sure to compare product specifications.
The quality & thickness is a major factor that determines the price of vinyl flooring. Thicker planks generally provide better insulation and durability, but they can also be more expensive. To determine the right thickness for your needs, consider factors such as the amount of foot traffic your floor will endure, your desired level of noise insulation, and your personal comfort preferences. The higher the wear layer is the better it will provide durability and resistance to damage, which can save you money in the long run by reducing replacement and maintenance costs. Aim for a wear layer of at least 12 mils for optimal quality without breaking the bank.
4. Installation Method
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WHERE VINYL FLOORING WOULD BE THE BEST FLOORING OPTION TO INSTALL?
You can install vinyl flooring any where in your home but the best places to install LVP or LVT would be in your bathrooms and kitchen, where you would like to have hardwood but it is not a good option because it is not water resistant. Another place is entryways where you know there is going to be heavy foot traffic.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN SHOPPING FOR VINYL FLOORING?
When comparing vinyl flooring don’t get SO caught up in all the specifications. First, make sure you love it! Then think about where it is going in your home and exactly what you need out of it. Secondly, compare the specifications, specifically the wear layer and warranties. Finally, go online and read the customer reviews on that product.
VINYL FLOORING CHOICES? (WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT LOOKS YOU CAN ACHEIVE WITH VINYL FLOORING?)
Vinyl Flooring is very versatile in terms of design, color and style. They offer contemporary and classic styles, narrow or wide tile and plank layouts, hexagon or chevron patterns, or stone or wood looks – the range of options is endless. You can even recreate a whole range of on-trend styles such as reclaimed and rustic woods, matte finishing, or wide planks, to name a few.
IMAGES OF OUR BEST SELLING VINYL FLOORING
WHAT IS LAMINATE MADE OF?
These layers are sandwiched together and fused using high heat and intense pressure. Some planks have a thicker core than others, which affects the overall durability — the thicker the product, the more rigid the floor will be. The core of the product is typically measured in millimeters and is dependent on the grade of the product and the manufacturer.
WHAT DETERMINES THE PRICE OF LAMINATE?
The price of Laminate Flooring can vary depending on the following
Of course, the square footage of your room or home will largely determine the cost of your project, with prices ranging from $3 to $11 per square foot with labor. The bigger the space, the greater the cost.
Laminate planks with a high-gloss finish cost around $3 to $4 per square foot. These planks have a higher price than average because they are typically more water-resistant than laminate flooring with a matte finish.
Your laminate flooring’s thickness can nearly double the price of the materials. Most flooring around 7mm to 8mm thick falls closer to the $1 to $2 range per square foot, while planks that are 10mm to 12mm or more tend to cost closer to the $2.50 to $3 per square foot.
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LAMINATE CHOICES? (WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT LOOKS YOU CAN ACHEIVE WITH LAMINATE?)
IMAGES OF OUR BEST SELLING LAMINATE FLOORING
VINYL FLOORING VS. LAMINATE FLOORING COMPARISON CHART
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|APPEARANCE||Luxury vinyl planks look very realistic. Its thicker solid core makes deeper embossing possible, so vinyl can resemble the look of natural materials.||Deep, realistic three-dimensional embossing with accurate images of wood, ceramic or stone.|
|WATER RESISTANCE/ DURABILITY||Tiles can loosen over time, but overall, it’s a tough floor material. Vinyl is typically made of 100 percent polymer materials. Vinyl can be fully immersed in water for long periods of time, dried out and then used again.||Generally very durable, but layers can deteriorate over time. Once the wear layer is scratched, however, it can’t be repaired. Because laminate core is made of wood, it is prone to soften and swell if exposed to water. Design layers sometimes peel away after the core has become waterlogged. Water-damaged laminate will need to be replaced.|
|INSTALLATION||Vinyl planks use click-and-lock system called a floating floor, glue down, and peel & stick.||These floors are usually installed with the click-and-lock method, also. There is a method that uses glue for installation, but this is more time-consuming and usually not preferred.|
|LIFESPAN||Warranties range up to 20 years.||Warranties range from 10 to 25 years.|
|RADIANT HEATING||Luxury vinyl is excellent at conducting heat, especially when paired with self-leveling underlayment which promotes conductivity.||Conducts radiant heat well.|
|PETS||Ease of maintenance and water-resistance make it a great option for a home with pets.||Easy cleanup, but a slick surface makes it less desirable for older dogs. Since water exposure may cause long-term damage, homeowners with puppies or older dogs may avoid placing laminate in pet areas.|
|MAINTENANCE||This flooring type is very easy to clean. You can use any cleaning method necessary. However, vinyl can’t be sanded down if too many deep scratches develop. Repairs require planks to be removed and replaced.||These floors should be cleaned first with dry methods, like a broom or dry mop. A damp mop should only be used when needed to remove deeper dirt. These floors require little maintenance unless scratched. Laminate floor repair kits are available to fix minor scratches. If a scratch is deep or the floor has been damaged by water, the affected laminate boards may need to be replaced individually.|
When comparing laminate vs. vinyl, look at the features that are more important to your home, lifestyle and budget to make the right choice. Factors to consider include appearance, water resistance, durability and lifespan. You’ll also want to think about installation. How well the floor will work with radiant heating may also be of interest to you. Pet owners should think about which flooring option will be best for their dogs or cats.