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The Differences Between Laminate & Vinyl Flooring

January 11, 2023

Many homeowners find themselves struggling with the choice between laminate and vinyl flooring because the two appear very similar. Both are created to imitate the look of hardwood for a fraction of the cost. For the most part, they’re easy to install and work well in high-traffic and water-prone areas. However, the slight differences may help you choose one over the other. Let’s explore these differences to help you determine which flooring option will work best for you!

Composition

Vinyl flooring is completely plastic, while laminate has a particle board layer composed of wood. Luxury vinyl has a fiberglass core, which contributes to its rigidity and hardwood-plank appearance. Since it’s entirely composed of man-made materials, vinyl is a great option for bathrooms and water-prone basements.  

Laminate has a particleboard core, so it is not as water resistant as vinyl. It is water resistant for up to 72 hours on most products, so it can withstand minor spills better than a natural hardwood. Its particle board core also allows it to mimic natural materials like vinyl.

Ease of Installation

Laminate planks can be installed using a click-and-lock method where the planks securely fit together with a tongue and groove. This also allows the planks to be installed above existing flooring, which can reduce your cost because you avoid tearing up old flooring. Our installation experts are certified and will install your new flooring with care and precision.

Vinyl planks can also be installed using the same methods, but some vinyl sheets need to be glued down to the subfloor. This means that your current flooring must be removed before the sheets can be installed.

Appearance

Both vinyl and laminate have a printed image layer to determine what they ultimately look like.  They also allow for a deep embossing to help make both appear more realistic. The protection layer on the vinyl flooring includes an additional UV protection layer, which means that it can withstand direct sunlight.

Both flooring options offer amazing benefits, but overall, luxury vinyl works best in areas with expected water exposure, such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, and basements that could potentially flood. Laminate is more scratch resistant, but both are good choices for high-traffic areas and are easy to care for.

Let our flooring experts help you decide which type of flooring will work best in your home. Call Dalton Floor Tailor today!

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