Choosing the right kind of flooring for your home or commercial property takes a little bit of research if you want to be certain about your selection. At a glance, vinyl planks and laminate flooring may seem quite similar, and in many ways they are. While most people are primarily focused on things like color and cost when it comes to flooring, there is a lot of other considerations to keep in mind, especially if you’re trying to decide between vinyl and laminate for your new floor. Today, we will be guiding you through that selection process as we provide you with some key info about both laminate and vinyl flooring.
Let’s start by going over some basic information concerning synthetic vinyl floors. As the name suggests, this type of floor is made from 100% synthetic vinyl. You may have seen some other examples of vinyl floors in the past such as vinyl tiles or vinyl sheets. Unlike these examples, vinyl planks are somewhat thicker, consisting of multiple layers of PVC vinyl. Typically, the thicker the plank, the higher quality of the flooring material. For the most part, all vinyl plank floors will fit together side by side to form a floating floor, and plank thickness usually varies between 1.5mm and 5mm.
Unlike its vinyl counterpart, laminate floor planks are constructed with a wood core that is bonded together with resin. The top layer, similar to a vinyl plank, will have a printed layer that adds colour, grain, and some texture to the floor. That top layer is made using hard plastic that can stand up to natural wear and tear on the floor. Again, like vinyl flooring, a thicker plank usually indicates a higher quality material. For laminate, thickness usually ranges between 6mm and 12mm.
Vinyl Plank Floors vs Laminate Flooring
Thanks to its durability and the wide range of colours and styles this type of floor are available in, laminate floors rank among the most versatile flooring materials. Nearly 90% of a laminate floor plank’s contents happen to be natural wood materials and bonding resin. While a laminate floor is designed to resist moisture and liquids, it can still deteriorate prematurely if it is exposed to too much moisture. One place you should never install laminate flooring is in your bathroom. The concentration of moisture in this area of your home can quickly cause your laminate to become damaged.
Unlike laminate which is only partially resistant to water and moisture, vinyl planks are completely resistant to any liquids. This makes it an ideal flooring material for use anywhere in the home or commercial property, including kitchens, bathrooms, and mudrooms or entrances. New vinyl planks are made using 100% waterproof materials, so you can rest assured that this will be your best option for any room where water getting on the floor is a consideration.
2. Care and Cleaning
Because of their wood content, people may mistakenly want to polish their laminate floor as they wood a wood surface. Fortunately, the protective topcoat on laminate floors makes it easy to care for and keeps the floor looking clean. Using a wet or dry mop depending on the mess is possible with laminate. It is important to make sure any water or wet spills aren’t allowed to sit on the floor, however, as this can lead to warping and other damage.
Completely waterproof means cleaning and caring for a vinyl floor is pretty simple. It is very easy to get rid of practically any stain on a vinyl floor in a short period of time. Scuffs and marks can also be wiped off, though this can take a bit more scrubbing. The durability of a vinyl floor makes cleaning and care very simple.
3. Appearance and Installation
If you’re looking for a way to mimic the appearance and elegance of a natural hardwood, ceramic, or stone floor, but you aren’t looking to spend top dollar, you might want to consider laminate. A quality laminate floor will not only look just like ‘the real thing’, but it is also going to be significantly easier to install. Thanks to their convenient design, laminate floor planks are easy to cut and will snap together to create a smooth, seamless transition between planks.
While there are examples of vinyl floors with realistic embossing and thicker planks, for the most part, a vinyl floor will be easily identified as a vinyl floor. This is not to say that there aren’t plenty of examples of vinyl floors available in a wide range of colours and finishes. In fact, there is a huge selection of vinyl floor styles, patterns, and finishes that will suit virtually any home or design scheme. Like laminate, vinyl floors are also fairly simple to install thanks to their interlocking planks.
The average price of vinyl and laminate floors is usually significantly lower than the cost of natural hardwood, engineered wood, and some examples of ceramic and porcelain. This is also true for the installation costs associated with each type of flooring, though vinyl floors typically cost less to install than other floors including laminate.
Vinyl Floor Average Cost
Your cost per square foot will typically range between $1.00 and $5.00. Price is determined by the actual style of the vinyl floor (thin tiles vs thick planks), and the overall quality of the material. A premium vinyl plank can end up costing more than some lower-end laminate, but it will often have more to offer in terms of durability and appearance.
Laminate Floor Average Cost
Like vinyl, the actual price of the material will be determined by a few factors. For the most part, a laminate plank that is between 6mm and 8mm thick will cost around $1.00 per square foot. As the thickness and quality increase, the price can go as high as $5.00 per square foot. A laminate plank that costs as much as $5.00 per square foot should be at least 12mm thick.
Now that we have provided a solid amount of background knowledge about laminate and vinyl flooring, you should have a better idea about which type of floor will suit you best. Each one of these flooring materials has something to offer, and because they are comparable in price, performance, and appearance, your decision will likely come down to certain factors such as the appearance and application of the floor material. If you have any other questions about choosing between laminate flooring and vinyl planks, be sure to visit the flooring store in Surrey where you can compare our quality flooring materials first hand.