Vinyl Flooring vs Laminate Flooring: Which is Better?
Homeowners looking to remodel their homes often start with a nice coat of paint on the walls and then look down at their floors. Those looking for an affordable alternative to hardwood flooring should take a look at the pros and cons of vinyl flooring vs laminate flooring. While both are excellent options in terms of durability and cost, there are some differences to keep in mind before making a final purchase.
Durability of Vinyl Flooring vs Laminate Flooring
Homeowners often turn to vinyl and laminate flooring to get the look of hardwood flooring without the added maintenance and cost, and for their durability.
Vinyl flooring holds up very well under foot traffic, and unlike hardwood flooring isn’t prone to scratching from pets and children playing. Vinyl flooring is used frequently because it is waterproof (can be mopped) whereas laminate flooring cannot be mopped because of the risk of swelling and buckling. Depending on the amount of traffic you expect your flooring to receive, there are various thicknesses of vinyl flooring available to withstand whatever you can throw at it. Vinyl is a popular choice for commercial and residential properties as it can be placed in every room, including bathrooms.
Laminate flooring also stands up very well to foot traffic and resists scratching from pets and children, and mimics the look of real wood without the added cost. One of the biggest downsides to laminate flooring compared to vinyl is that it has a risk of swelling and/or buckling when exposed to water.
Cleaning & Maintenance
Cleaning and maintenance are some of the most important factors to consider when deciding between vinyl flooring vs laminate flooring. Both types of floors are much simpler to take care of compared to tile, hardwood, or carpet but they do require certain precautions to prevent damage.
Vinyl flooring requires only a mild floor cleaner and cleans up very easily. It doesn’t require waxing, and can be maintained easily with regular wet mopping and dust mopping. It is highly recommended that you do not use a steam mop on vinyl flooring because it can cause the adhesives to lose contact.
Laminate flooring maintenance is similar in its ease to clean and maintain, except for one key difference. It is highly recommended not to mop laminate floors and to clean up spills quickly to avoid moisture leaking between boards. That can cause unsightly bubbling, buckling, and swelling.
Ease of Installation
When it comes to vinyl flooring vs laminate flooring, you’re likely looking to save a bit of money and may be interested in installing yourself. Both vinyl and laminate are great options for the DIY crowd, but there is a pretty substantial difference between the two when it comes to ease of installation.
The most popular, and easiest to install, option for vinyl flooring is peel and stick vinyl flooring. Installation is about as easy as the name makes it sound. Simply remove any imperfections in the subfloor, give it a good cleaning, and peel and stick some tiles. There is some planning involved to ensure tiles are placed evenly, and some cutting will be necessary to fit tiles snuggly. But a simple box cutter can make easy work of any required trimming.
When it comes to laminate flooring installation, you trade a slightly more involved installation for a more durable flooring option. Fortunately, laminate flooring has come a long way and is much easier to install than it used to be. Most laminate flooring uses a tongue and groove system, making it easy to install as a floating floor over your subfloor. You will need a saw to make cuts in the boards, but DIY installation is still very easy compared to other options such as tile or hardwoods.
Not Sure What to Choose?
Not sure which option works best for your needs? Give us a call at 225-663-6845 or contact us today for a free consultation. If you’re not confident with the DIY route, you can always rely on STONE to help with the entire process—from product recommendations to installation.