Is laminate flooring the same as vinyl flooring?

Is laminate flooring the same as vinyl flooring? We get this question asked a lot. It is easy to get confused between laminate flooring and vinyl plank flooring, since they look so similar. Laminate flooring and vinyl flooring are two entirely different products! Although they have a lot in common, including very similar looks, they share some major differences. Vinyl is 100% water resistant and made of virgin vinyl, while laminate has a HDF wooden core. Take a look at the images below, can you tell the difference between laminate and vinyl?

White Kitchen
Laminate Flooring in the kitchen
Stone Oak Vinyl
Stone Oak Vinyl Plank Flooring – Bestlaminate Customer Photo

A Comparison Between Laminate and Vinyl

  Laminate Flooring Vinyl Plank Flooring
Cost $0.65 – $5.00 /sq.ft. $0.79 – $5.00 /sq.ft.
Material Made with either an high density fiber (HDF) core or a medium density fiber (MDF) core Virgin vinyl
Thickness 6mm – 12mm 2mm – 5mm
Durability Measured with the AC Rating

  • AC3
  • AC4
  • AC5
  • AC6
Measured with the Wear Layer

  • 0.10mm or 4 mil
  • 0.15mm or 5.9 mil
  • 0.30mm or 12 mil
  • 0.50mm or 20 mil
Available Features
  • Different Edges
  • Different Textured Finishes
  • High Gloss Finish available
  • Commercial Durability
  • Attached Underlayment
  • Wax Edges
  • Different Edges
  • Different Textured Finishes
  • Smooth Finish
  • Commercial Durability
  • Waterproof
  • Clicking Locking System


Do you have additional questions we can answer? Simply post your question on the bottom of this page. We will be happy to help!

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*This post was updated from 2014 to give you a better reading experience!

About Bestlaminate

Bestlaminate’s blog is dedicated to you by making the home improvement process easier and more affordable. We hope to make your home remodeling and maintaining a more positive experience.


  1. Hi Reggie. Yes, this movement of the planks is normal. Laminate flooring planks will expand and contract – just like hardwood flooring – with moisture and temperature differences. However, this should not be happening in the middle of the room.

    The planks are probably not locked together completely and this is why there is a gap forming. We recommend uninstalling the flooring up until the problem area and inspect the planks where the gap is occurring. If you find that the problem planks have damage to the locking system, you should replace the damaged planks with new flooring planks, and reinstall the rest of the floor. Be sure to leave an expansion gap of at least 1/4″ between the last row of planks and the wall to allow for proper expansion and contraction of the flooring.

    If you need further help, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-520-0961!

  2. I have a laminated floor 8mm x20mm x120mm long, in the middle of the my floor , there is a space of 2mm about , in 5 rows ,it comes once a year and closes the space by itself, is it the weather ? Can I fix it because it is right in the middle of the floor and looks bad , specially when people comes in?reggie

  3. John, not all vinyl floors must be glued down. Luxury vinyl floors are designed to work as a floated floors providing users with much easier installation and moisture proof performance.

  4. It doesn’t seem that there are too many differences between laminate flooring and vinyl flooring. I think those who go with vinyl need to make sure they glue the flooring down the right way where as laminate you don’t have this problem. I think I’m going to install some vinyl flooring in my bathroom because it will look really good down there.

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