If you need new flooring and want something that looks great while going easy on your budget, laminate or vinyl are the two materials you’re likely considering. Although they are quite similar, they have some key differences that are important to know before making your purchase. Let’s explore the main differences between vinyl flooring vs laminate so you can determine which is best for your home, budget, and lifestyle.
What Is Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring is ideal for those who want a product that looks almost identical to real hardwood but without the high price of hardwood. If you’re wondering what laminate flooring is made of, it’s composed of wood byproducts and resins within the core and a transparent plastic coating that’s placed on top of the printed design on the surface layer. This gives it a realistic wood appearance. It also has a thicker composition compared to vinyl which adds to the more authentic look and feel. When you walk across it, it’ll feel slightly softer and will be warmer on your feet, making it a comfortable material to have on your floors too.
- Can realistically mimic wood, ceramic, stone, and other materials
- More comfortable to walk on
- Quite durable
- More affordable
- Easy to install
- Doesn’t require old-growth trees to be cut down
- Easy to maintain
- Susceptible to moisture damage
- It can’t be refinished once it’s worn out
- Can contain chemicals and VOCs (though you can find LEED qualified laminate with recycled content that’s a lower-emitting material)
- Can be cheaper to purchase than vinyl
Areas where laminate flooring is recommended:
- Living Room
- Dining Room
- Home Office
What Is Vinyl Flooring
Unlike laminate flooring that’s composed of a few different materials, vinyl is completely manufactured from plastic. As a result, it is very durable and can hold up well to lots of wear and tear, including moisture. It’s also scratch-resistant, making it an excellent choice for those with kids or pets. It can be more rigid compared to laminate, so it won’t be as comfortable to walk on. Though laminate takes the cake for appearance, vinyl still offers a very realistic look that is similar to other materials like stone or wood while costing a fraction of what you’d pay for the real deal.
- Certain types of vinyl are completely waterproof
- Easy to maintain and clean
- Very durable
- Can be tough to remove
- Can have inconsistent quality
- Less environmentally friendly
- Can be more expensive than laminate
Areas where vinyl flooring is recommended:
- Living room
- Dining room
Which is best for your needs:
If you’re looking to place down flooring along with specific areas of your home that have high foot traffic, then vinyl will be your best bet. Though it may cost a little more upfront, especially when choosing luxury vinyl planks, it will last twice as long and require little maintenance to keep it looking nice. However, if you just want to replace flooring in one or two rooms like the bedroom or if you don’t have pets or children, then laminate could be ideal, especially if you want something that is more budget-friendly.
Whether you’re set on what you want or need more guidance on the best material for your home or business in Ottawa, our flooring experts will be more than happy to answer any of your questions on laminate or vinyl flooring and offer their recommendations. Contact us today!