Many options in laminate and vinyl flooring

Laminate vs. Vinyl Flooring: Is There a Difference?

Are you renovating your flooring? Or perhaps you're building a new home and looking for an economical flooring option.

You may have heard plenty about laminate vs vinyl flooring options. Both are attractive, easy to care for, and economically-friendly options. But, all this information could leave you confused about which one is right for you.

Laminate and vinyl flooring are similar in many ways. However, there are some key differences that could make one a better choice for you and your family.

This guide will help you break down the difference. Read on to make the best possible choice for your family.

What is Laminate Flooring?

Let's start by breaking down each flooring type. Laminate flooring is a synthetic flooring option meant to simulate the clean look of hardwood floors. The sleek appearance and low cost of laminate flooring make it a popular option for homeowners on a budget.

Laminate floors are typically easy to install, but durable enough to stand up to everyday wear and tear. Since laminate's invention in the 1970s, laminate has become an incredibly popular choice for any home or office.

Installing laminate flooring comes with several advantages, though there are some drawbacks to consider. Knowing each of these can help you make an informed decision.

Advantages of Laminate Flooring

Laminate Flooring comes with several advantages. Each of these advantages helps to make laminate a popular choice for homeowners. Let's break them down.


Laminate flooring is extremely durable. This makes it an excellent choice, especially for those high-traffic areas in your home or office.

Additionally, laminate floors have a strong outerwear layer. This protects your floors from scratches, wear and tear, staining, and dents. This is especially useful in homes with pets or children that can wreak havoc on your floors.

Easy to Clean, Easy to Install

Laminate flooring is an all-around easy option. From installation to maintenance, you'll find it won't take much to keep your laminate looking great. Thanks to its design, you'll never need to wax your laminate floors, so you can simply sweep or mop up messes as needed.

When it comes to installation, laminate flooring is a breeze. Because it is designed to be installed as a floating floor, you don't need to anchor it to the ground underneath. Instead, laminate's interlocking design fits tightly over your home's ground surface.

High-Quality Appearance for Less

Obviously, laminate floors are an economically friendly option. If you want the look and feel of real hardwood floors, but are looking to spare the costs, laminate is a great choice. Laminate floors come in many different styles to fit your aesthetic needs.

Whether you want hand-scraped hardwood, distressed hardwood, embossed wood, textured or smooth floors, laminate has you covered. Additionally, laminate never dips in quality. This means a consistent look across every piece of your flooring, unlike hardwood.

Disadvantages of Laminate

There are a few drawbacks to selecting laminate flooring. You should keep these in mind when making your decision.

Not Very Water-Resistant

Laminate flooring does come in some water-resistant options, but it is still not a great choice for heavy moisture. Standing pools of water won't do well on laminate flooring and could lead to bubbling.

Laminate's water resistance works from top to bottom, unlike vinyl flooring. This means that laminate floors are not a great option for bathrooms or basements. Since these areas are more prone to leaks or flooding, it's better to seek out a more water-resistant option.

What is Vinyl Flooring?

Vinyl flooring is another synthetic flooring option that is meant to resemble natural materials such as wood or stone. It comes in many different varieties, offering you a lot of different options.

Luxury vinyl has become increasingly popular, with new appearance options that make it look more realistic than ever. Again, there are many benefits and drawbacks to choosing vinyl flooring. Let's dive in.

Advantages of Vinyl

From easy installation to the virtually zero maintenance involved with vinyl, there are lots of benefits to this type of flooring. These include:

Realistic Appearance

Once upon a time, vinyl got a bad rap for its appearance. But now, luxury options mean vinyl flooring looks more realistic than ever. Additionally, vinyl floors are incredibly consistent in quality and appearance, unlike hardwood.

Easy Installation and Maintenance

Much like laminate floors, vinyl flooring is installed with interlocking planks over your ground surface. This "floating" installation makes it an easy DIY project. It's also a relatively quick process.

In addition, maintenance is a breeze with vinyl. Even easier than laminate in a lot of cases, as vinyl is able to hold up to pretty much any moisture. A quick sweep or vacuum on occasion is all you'll need.

Super Resilient

Vinyl can stand up to pretty much anything. It's just as resilient as tile, but with a much more comfortable underfoot feel. It's also 100 percent waterproof, which means it's perfect for bathrooms or basements.

Beware of low-quality planks, however. These can become damaged much more easily. Super cheap options won't hold up to everyday wear and tear.

Disadvantages of Vinyl

There are a couple of drawbacks to consider with vinyl flooring. These include:

Feels "Fake"

Vinyl floors won't feel like real wood. For some homeowners, that can be an important distinction. If the feel is important to you, laminate may be the better option

Can Get Pricey

Low-quality vinyl is super economical, but as mentioned, it won't hold up. The more waterproof, luxury vinyl options can get more expensive. If you need an extremely economical, but durable option, look to laminate.

Laminate Vs. Vinyl: Which is Right for Me?

Making the choice between laminate vs vinyl all depends on the needs of your home. If you want comfort and economy, laminate might be your best option. But if you're looking for a waterproof, attractive option then you might want to go with vinyl.

Either way, you can have beautiful flooring at economical prices. Browse both our luxury vinyl and laminate options to find exactly the right fit for your home.