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Laminate Flooring vs. Vinyl Flooring Comparison

by Bestlaminate
Published: Updated: 27 comments 5 minutes read

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. Keep reading to learn more about each type of flooring!

 Laminate FlooringVinyl Plank Flooring
FadingFade ResistantFade Resistant
WearWill not wear through. Cannot be refinishedWill not wear through. Cannot be refinished
StainsWill not stainWill not stain
Dent/Scratch ResistanceDent, scratch and chip resistantDent, scratch and chip resistant. Use caution with sharp objects as they can puncture the surface
MoistureMoisture resistant100% waterproof
CareEasy care, surface does not hold dirt and no polish or refinishing is ever neededEasy care, surface does not hold dirt and no polish or refinishing is ever needed
InstallationDIY Friendly – Click locking systemDIY Friendly – Click locking system, loose lay, or glue-down

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 minor flooding, vinyl flooring can typically 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. As far as looks, they both can offer an extremely realistic design. You may even question if it’s real hardwood or not!

Vinyl Flooring

Laminate Flooring

As you can see, there is really no visible aesthetic difference between laminate and vinyl! Both types offer various styles of wood-looks. The chocie is up to you.

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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Bonnie Parsons January 27, 2019 - 8:38 pm

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?

Alana Kane January 31, 2019 - 2:38 pm

Hi Bonnie, thanks for your question. I would recommend going with a laminate or a hybrid vinyl that has an AC rating (Armstrong Pryzm). A laminate will be the most scratch resistant. Be sure to look for an AC4 or higher wear layer for an extra strong surface. You can check out our laminate options here: https://www.bestlaminate.com/laminate-flooring/

lee A Flanders May 18, 2018 - 8:37 pm

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 May 22, 2018 - 12:53 pm

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!

Madelyn October 16, 2017 - 12:22 am

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?

Alana Kane October 16, 2017 - 10:58 am

Hi Madelyn, thanks for your question! With most vinyls, it is not recommended to use an underlayment. We would recommend a vapor barrier film that would go between the subfloor and vinyl. You can find the product here: https://www.bestlaminate.com/visqueen-vapor-block-pe-film-flooring-underlayment/. If your flooring is over 4mm, you can opt for a vinyl specific underlayment, but it may void your warranty. Here is one we would recommend: https://www.bestlaminate.com/floor-muffler-lvt-ultraseal-1mm-underlayment/. Hope this helps!

Laura March 18, 2017 - 2:31 am

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 March 20, 2017 - 9:42 am

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!

bev November 25, 2013 - 6:55 am

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

Bestlaminate November 25, 2013 - 1:11 pm

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

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