Comparison of Vinyl Plank & Laminate Plank Flooring

Written by brian vaughan
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Comparison of Vinyl Plank & Laminate Plank Flooring
Laminate floors are a low-cost alternative to real wood. (floor image by Einar Bog from Fotolia.com)

Plank flooring offers easy installation, which can help you save money when buying a new floor. Once you have decided you want to go with planks, there are different materials to choose from. Vinyl and laminate are two of the least expensive choices, though each material has its own advantages and disadvantages. Make sure that the plank flooring you choose meets the needs of the room it will be covering.

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Durability

Both vinyl and laminate plank floors deal well with moisture, though low-grade laminate can warp slightly under too much water. Laminate floors are better at absorbing the impact of dropped items, and they are resistant to scuffs and scratches. Vinyl plank floors run the risk of accumulating tears and rips. They can also dent if you drop something on them. Laminate floors are easier to maintain, because vinyl planks have grout lines that require extra effort.

Aesthetics

Vinyl plank floors are softer on the feet and joints than laminate. Vinyl floors are also quieter to walk on than laminate floors, and they hurt less if you fall on them. Be careful during laminate installation to avoid a hollow sound that can get particularly unnerving if your have pets. Vinyl floors are available in any colour or design you want, while laminate plank floors are made to mimic natural wood, stone or tile.

Cost

Vinyl plank flooring is among the least expensive flooring materials on the market, while laminate falls in the middle range. Both flooring types are lightweight, and planks are relatively easy to install without costly professional help. Vinyl plank floors typically last 15 years at the longest, while laminate floors can last twice that long if well maintained. Laminate floors add a bit of value to a home, while vinyl is less likely to allow you to sell your home for more.

Rooms

Vinyl floors are typically reserved for kitchens and bathrooms, though bathroom are the better choice since they are a lower-traffic areas. Laminate floors work well for any room, though they work best in bedrooms and living rooms since they are hard to damage. Since laminate floors can have trouble with large quantities of moisture, avoid installing them in basements if you live in an area that is susceptible to flooding.

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