Vinyl vs. laminate flooring

Updated March 23, 2017

Pros and cons are associated with both vinyl and laminate flooring. It's important for the homeowner to have a good understanding of both products when making the final decision about which one to install.

Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring is made of a mixture of polyvinyl chloride and plasticisers. Vinyl flooring is both soft and flexible and is typically available in tiles (VCT) or in large sheets. It's considered to be an inexpensive type of flooring.

Why Choose Vinyl?

Even though vinyl flooring is fairly inexpensive, it is also considered to be extremely resilient. Materials can cost as much as 70 per cent less for a vinyl floor than for any other flooring type. Installation is incredibly simple compared to other flooring types, and vinyl combines low maintenance with high durability.

Reasons to Avoid Vinyl

There isn't much retail value in vinyl flooring. It's not considered to be a 50-year floor, like hardwood or tile.

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is meant to provide the look of hardwood flooring. A laminate floor is not made of wood at all, but rather consists of several materials bonded together under high pressure. Most laminate floors consist of a moisture-resistant layer with a layer of high-density fiberboard, topped off with a high-resolution photographic image of some type of natural wood flooring.

Why Choose Laminate?

Laminate flooring is less expensive than hardwood flooring, so it can be a way to achieve a hardwood look without actually paying the higher hardwood prices. Installation is often simple, requiring only basic knowledge and skills.

Reasons to Avoid Laminate

Laminate may not be a wise choice for an entryway or a high traffic area. It cannot handle a lot of moisture, so using it at the entry point of a home may mean that it will wear faster. It is also important to choose laminate flooring that is at least 8mm or thicker; otherwise the placement of heavy furniture on the floor may cause the floor to shift or buckle.

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About the Author

Based in the Midwest, Beth Lytle has been writing professionally since 2008. Working as an editor and with recent work published on eHow, LiveStrong and the Bayer Aspirin website, Lytle is a self-made freelancer. Lytle writes health-related and home-improvement articles, first beginning her writing journey while attending writing workshops and classes during childhood. Lytle has owned transcription and commercial construction companies since 2006.