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Difference between laminate & vinyl flooring

Updated February 21, 2017

Two of the more popular forms of flooring are laminate and vinyl flooring. Both have distinct advantages and disadvantages and they are very different from each other. However, both are relatively easy to install in an afternoon.

Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring is made from vinyl and is relatively inexpensive. It works well in any room of the house and is very durable and easy to clean.

Individual Vinyl Tiles

Individual vinyl tiles are 12-inch (30 cm) squares that have a glue backing. To stick the tile to the floor you simply peel the backing off and place the tile on the floor. These are easy to install for any homeowner.

Roll Vinyl Tile

Rolled vinyl tile is 3 feet (90 cms) across and comes in 10- to 15-foot rolls (3 to 4.5 m). It has no backing and must be glued to the floor. To install this type of vinyl tile, you must glue it down. This increases the amount of work involved. These also must be rolled after they have been put down to keep them flat.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Vinyl

Vinyl tile is easy for the homeowner to put down and can be done in an afternoon. It is waterproof and stands up to traffic well. However, it will fade and on occasion pull up from the subfloor.

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is a combination of a particle board or fiberboard with a wood veneer. The wood veneer is glued to the top of the fiberboard and is 1/8 inch thick (30 mm).

Installing Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring links into itself without the use of glues or nails. This is called a floating floor. The reason for this is to allow for expansion of the floorboards due to weather conditions. It is a relatively easy installation that most homeowners can do by themselves. The only items needed are a mitre saw and tape measure.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Laminate flooring can be put down in an afternoon and used in most rooms in a house. It is not recommended for areas where there will be large amounts of moisture. This will cause them to warp if the water gets underneath them. They can also become very slick if water is spilt on them.

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About the Author

Philip Powe started writing in 1987 for St. Louis area newspapers. He has since written for "St. Clair County Historical Society Journal" and the "American Association of State and Local Historians Journal." Concentrations are in home and garden, philosophy and history. Powe holds a Master of Arts in intellectual history from Southern Illinois University.