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Laminate Flooring vs. Vinyl Flooring Comparison

Laminate flooring vs vinyl flooring is a common comparison consumers make prior to making a flooring decision. Both laminate flooring and vinyl flooring are outstanding and affordable options for busy homes looking for a luxurious and finished look. Just like with any product, laminate flooring and vinyl flooring each have their advantages and disadvantages.

Laminate Flooring VS Vinyl Flooring Comparison

  Laminate Flooring Vinyl Plank Flooring
Fading Fade Resistant Fade Resistant
Wear Will not wear through. Cannot be refinished Will not wear through. Cannot be refinished
Stains Will not stain Will not stain
Dent/Scratch Resistance Dent, scratch and chip resistant Dent, scratch and chip resistant. Use caution with sharp objects as they can puncture the surface
Moisture Moisture resistant 100% waterproof
Care Easy care, surface does not hold dirt and no polish or refinishing is ever needed Easy care, surface does not hold dirt and no polish or refinishing is ever needed
Installation DIY Friendly – Click locking system DIY Friendly – Click locking system, loose lay, or glue-down
Price $-$$$ $-$$$

Both flooring options are very good choices. The biggest difference between the two is the waterproof feature of vinyl plank flooring. Laminate flooring can and will be damages with access moisture, where as vinyl plank flooring is 100% waterproof. In the case of flooding, vinyl flooring can be uninstalled, dried and reinstalled like new. As for price, both products can range from under a dollar to over $5 per square foot.

Both products are ideal options for busy homes with children or pets. Vinyl flooring is recommended over laminate flooring for moisture prone applications such as bathrooms or kitchens as there is no risk of moisture damage.

If you are still deciding on which flooring will be best in your home, order some free samples from Bestlaminate and compare the differences for yourself!

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24 comments

  1. Avatar

    Thinking of putting vinyl planks throughout the entire first floor of our home. However, with settlement over the years, the floor in one room is slightly bowed. Will this be an issue and is there any easy way to level the floor?

  2. Avatar

    We had vunyl plank flooring installed in our sunroom,over concrete. We don’t like the hollow, clicking sound when we walk on it. Is there anything that can be done now, after it’s already been installed, short of tearing it up and starting over?

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Lynn, thanks for your question. You can try adding some rugs for additional cushion when walking on your floors. If it’s a floating floor with over 4mm thickness, you could uninstall and add an underlayment beneath, but that would require to uninstall and re-install the floors.

  3. Avatar

    WE have 3 dogs that have scratched our engineered hardwood floor. We want to get laminate or vinyl plank flooring to install over the existing engineered hardwood flooring, Which would be best for scratching from the dogs and what thickness mm would you recommend?

  4. Avatar
    lee A Flanders

    we have a summer home that is not heated in the winter temp can go as low as -30f.is there a vynl wood plank that can be used in our home ?

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Lee, thanks for your question! All flooring is supposed to be in a temperature regulated space, however, vinyl is the least to expand and contract. Although your warranty will be void by installing it into a non-temperature regulated home, the best vinyl for this will be a COREtec brand vinyl. They have the most limited possibility of expanding and contracting with temperature. Any vinyl will work, but you may see more gaps due to temperature. Hope this helps!

  5. Avatar

    I just ordered vinyl flooring. We have lots of moisture that in the summer, we can’t open dresser draw because it swell with moisture. What kind of underlay ment you suggest. I was told foam underlayment is best. Is that true and how many mm show I get?

  6. Avatar

    I have a cement foundation and want to put vinyl plank flooring throughout the house, does the foundation need to be smooth. If so, can a plastic barrier, such as under laminate, be used under vinyl planks? I’ve shopped around and the price difference with vinyl planks really varies. Should I bite the bullet and get the one with also a cork backside added? Is there really a difference if I don’t? Really appreciate all the help you can provide.

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Laura, thanks for the question! When installing over a cement subfloor, it should be level and free of cracks, holes, etc. You can read more about subfloor preparation here: http://www.bestlaminate.com/help/subfloor-requirements-vinyl-flooring-installation/. You can use a vapor barrier film if you would like, but you can install vinyl right over the concrete. A film is a nice addition if your concrete subfloor tends to get damp in areas and the moisture can not escape, which could cause mold. If you go with a vinyl that includes a cork underlayment, you’ll get an added cushion to the flooring making it softer to walk on, as well as some acoustic dampening. Depending on your budget and needs, you can choose any option. Hope this helps!

  7. Avatar

    Hi, I’ve got 3 dogs and hate the clickety click dogs’ claws make on laminated floors. Is it the same for vinyl flooring?

    • Avatar

      Hi Bev, thank you for your question. With dogs walking on vinyl will still make some noise, not as loud but you will definitely be able to hear it. The vinyl will scratch a lot easier with dogs nails as well. I hope this helps. Good Luck! – Brittany

  8. Avatar

    what is the difference between regular vinyl flooring and Vinyl planks? You mentioned that regular vinyl requires gluing on installation but not for vinyl planks. Is there a lot of regular maintenance involved with vinyl? I really like everything about laminate except I am concerned about spills and water. Plus it is not for my kitchen but the rest of the apartment. Looking for a good wood ‘look’ thats less expensive than real wood and yet easy to care for. I am only a renter not an owner.

    • Avatar

      Hi Dana, thank you for your questions. Vinyl flooring and vinyl plank flooring are different in some ways. Vinyl flooring can usually mean a roll which will have to be glued or nailed down. 4mm Click Lock Vinyl plank flooring is an easy click lock vinyl that is installed like laminate there are no glue or nails necessary.Also there is Vinyl Plank flooring that can be glued down that comes in planks instead of a roll. You can use laminate flooring in your whole house, if water spills as long as it is not sitting there for a while your laminate will be fine. I hope this helps! Best of luck with your project – Brittany

  9. Avatar

    We are putting new flooring in our house, & we have 2 inside male dogs, & sometimes they miss the pads when we can’t let them out. Which would be a better choice for this condition, Thanks.

    • admin

      Jacob, we suggest you to use click vinyl floor since this is a waterproof solution. Laminate flooring can buckle and can be destroyed by moisture if you have repeatable incidents with your dogs.

      Click Vinyl planks have the same locking system as the laminate, installation is glueless and flooring looks like a real wood floor. You will be amazed with the results and functionality.

  10. Avatar

    Is one flooring (laminate or vinyl) colder than the other? We have a home in cold country and need a flooring for our new kitchen.

    • Avatar

      Mary, due to laminate and vinyl both being hard surfaces it really does not matter as much as to which floor that you choose as far as temperature is concerned. Laminate may be slightly warmer due to the fact that there is an underlayment between the subfloor and the laminate which can act as insulation. The underlayment is typically only 2 to 3 mm thick so it is not made to be insulation but it will provide a little insulation for you. I would have to give the slight edge to laminate overall for temperature concerns. Thanks for your question. Fred

  11. Avatar

    Vinyl plays an important role in the house. I really want to choose the best one.

    • admin

      Trishia, take your time and select the floor that will work the best for all your needs. And if you have any additional questions about laminate flooring do not hesitate to ask us:) Cheers:)

  12. Avatar

    Simply want to say your article is as astonishing. The clearness in your publish is simply great and that i can assume you are knowledgeable on this subject. Thank you one million and please carry on the gratifying work.

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