Vinyl Flooring vs Laminate Flooring

Vinyl Flooring VS Laminate Flooring – Which Is Better?

The vinyl flooring vs. laminate flooring duel has been going on for a while now, with both sides having their claim to the throne. Both of the two are easy to install, attractive and durable, not to forget economical. But which one is better? This is a question that many are yet to find an answer to. Today we try to solve this issue. This is the article on Vinyl Flooring VS Laminate Flooring. May the best flooring win!

Vinyl Flooring VS Laminate Flooring

The difference between vinyl flooring vs. laminate flooring lies in their materials. While vinyl flooring incorporates 100% synthetic material (plastic) in its construction, the latter uses 99% + 1% resins.

Another core difference between the two is their ability to withstand moisture. Water-resistance dictates the areas where the flooring may or may not be installed. Vinyl is fully water-resistant as opposed to laminate. With this, laminate flooring isn’t compatible for use in damp areas such as bathrooms and mudrooms.

1. Appearance

What about their appearance? Vinyl flooring looks more ‘realistic’, especially with the luxury vinyl plank flooring. Its deep embossing makes it look like wood. Laminate flooring entails deep 3D embossing on its surface. Its images are accurate whether installed on stone wood or ceramic.

While both products are appealing and pretty, laminate flooring mimics better with stone, ceramics, scraped hardwood, and other materials.

2. Water Resistance

All laminate flooring generally use fiberboard core in their construction. The core is a product of wood and will swell and soften when exposed to water.  After drying, it doesn’t resume its original dimension. Its layers may also begin to peel off after it becomes waterlogged. With severe damage, the fiberboard core needs to be replaced. It can’t be fixed. This makes laminate flooring a poor choice for damp areas.

Old traditional vinyl used non-waterproof materials in their construction. But the new iterations are made using polymer. This enables types such as luxury vinyl flooring to be fully immersed in water for prolonged periods without being utterly affected.

When it comes to water resistance, the decision is clearly obvious- vinyl flooring takes the day. All forms of vinyl flooring not only water-resistant but also waterproof. They are the choice to turn to for damp areas like kitchen, bathrooms, and basements.

3. Ease of Installation

Laminate flooring uses the click-and-lock method of installation. In this method, one plank is fitted onto an adjoining plank at a certain angle. The planks are folded till they are on the same level. The aim of doing this is to draw the boards together and close the seam. You can use a tooth blade or table saw for the process.

Vinyl flooring also uses the click-and-lock method of installation. Vinyl flooring, especially the sheet vinyl can be a little difficult to install by yourself. The sheet is normally large, unwieldy and heavy. Making perfect cutouts from the sheet can also be a hassle. Calling in for professional assistance is the best way to go for sheet vinyl.

Both vinyl flooring vs. laminate flooring are equally easy or difficult to install, excluding sheet vinyl.

4. Longevity and Maintenance

Laminate flooring requires low maintenance while at the same time being of relatively high durability. When exposed to moisture, however, its quality starts to deteriorate over time. Also, when its top layer gets scratched, it cannot be repaired and will require replacement.

The same cannot be said about vinyl.  Vinyl being water-resistant will not deteriorate when exposed to moisture. The quality of your vinyl flooring, however, plays a huge part in this. Low-quality vinyl will lose its sticking property over time. Its quality also tends to delaminate.

The vinyl flooring vs. laminate flooringdebate is a little stiff here. Although both are durable, vinyl edges over laminate. Its water-resistant property plays a huge role in this. This makes vinyl a big preference for commercial areas like malls and stores where durability and maintenance are core.

5. What about the cost

Last but not least is the cost. We will not give exact figures for each type as the cost differs from every supplier. What we will tell you is that both vinyl and laminate flooring are less costly than engineered wood, natural wood, porcelain tile, and ceramics. They are the choice to go for if you are tight on a budget yet want something relatively functional.


Has our article solved the vinyl flooring vs laminate flooring debate? We certainly hope it has. Both vinyl laminate and vinyl flooring have their pros and cons, with each dominating in their strongholds. The thing to note is that although vinyl and laminate flooring have similarities, the two are of different products. It is essential to know the pros and cons before making your purchase.

The vinyl flooring vs. laminate flooring competition doesn’t always have to end with a winner and a loser, but rather a product that is more efficient and effective for homeowners. Moreover, the decision always narrows down to your preference and budget. The choice is yours to make!