Laminate vs Vinyl Flooring

Laminate vs Vinyl Flooring: Key Differences + Pros & Cons

Both vinyl and laminate flooring present a range of attractive benefits, including resilience, aesthetic appeal, cost-effectiveness, and user-friendly installation. At a glance, the two types of flooring can even appear almost identical.

However, it’s important to note that neither flooring type is categorically superior to the other. The ideal choice depends on your specific needs and circumstances. In this article, Deerfoot Carpet & Flooring will examine the major differences between laminate flooring and vinyl flooring.

Key Differences

Vinyl flooring – while this appears to be a single, unified material, it is actually a layered composition similar to laminate flooring. This flooring type typically consists of a minimum of four layers. The topmost layer is a transparent wear layer, followed by a high-definition photographic layer beneath it. The bulk of the flooring comprises a substantial core layer, and at the very bottom, there is a gentle foam layer.

Laminate flooring – is comprised of four to five layers of various materials. It features a transparent wear layer at the top, protecting the photographic image layer beneath, miming the look of wood or stone. Following this is a slim, impact-resistant layer. The primary bulk of the laminate flooring is the high-density fiberboard or HDF. The final layer at the bottom consists of soft foam or, in some laminate options, a backer paper layer.

Durability

Laminate flooring is quite durable and resistant to scratches, making it suitable for areas with heavy foot traffic. However, it is susceptible to moisture damage and not ideal for areas with high humidity or potential water spills, like bathrooms or basements.

Vinyl flooring is highly durable and provides excellent moisture and water damage resistance. This makes vinyl suitable for wet areas like kitchens, bathrooms, and basements.

Appearance and Comfort

Vinyl Flooring – Superior grade vinyl plank and tile flooring typically employ an image or photo layer beneath the rigid, clear wear layer. This image commonly replicates the appearance of different wood types such as oak, maple, or hickory, and, less frequently, stone.

Laminate flooring – universally features a high-definition photographic layer beneath its clear wear layer to emulate the look of genuine wood or stone.

Pros & Cons

Vinyl Flooring Pros:

  • Water Resistance
  • Comfort
  • Versatility
  • Low Maintenance

Cons:

  • Environmental Impact
  • Susceptible to Damage
  • Lower Resale Value

Laminate Flooring Pros:

  • Appearance
  • Durability
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Susceptibility to Moisture
  • Lack of Repairability
  • May Feel Artificial

The Right Flooring For Your Specific Needs

The decision between laminate and vinyl flooring depends largely on your specific needs, aesthetic preference, and budget. Remember, it’s not just about the appearance of the flooring but also the functionality and durability in your particular space.

If you have further questions, contact us at Deerfoot Carpet & Flooring, or visit our showroom in Calgary today!

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