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Is Vinyl or Laminate Flooring Better?

Dear Bob and Betsy,
I’ve gotten several floor samples from Bestlaminate, but I’m still having a hard time deciding which type of flooring to get. Is vinyl or laminate flooring better?
– Lexie A.

Dear Lexie,

Both laminate and vinyl make high-quality, exceptional floors. Both look great, are durable, and will last you for years to come. Both are affordable. With quality, design, and price so similar, it’s time to dig into the details and determine which one is the best fit for your room.

As you try to find that perfect next floor for your home, there are a few differences between these two materials that you might want to consider.

1) Where will you install your flooring?

When it comes to durability, both can withstand scrapes, dents, and dings. One of the biggest differences between laminate and vinyl is the ability to withstand water. Vinyl is the better suited flooring option for water-prone rooms, such as the kitchen or bathroom, as it is water resistant. Laminate flooring can be put in these room, but be careful of standing water! If water seeps into the locking system, it could cause buckling or damage to your laminate floor.

2) Do you have children or pets?

This is a question we receive all the time when it comes to choosing a floor. Laminate is great for kids and pets, however, it isn’t a great option if pet accidents are common. A vinyl floor will be best suited for accidents.

Both floors have scratch resistance and will give you a soft feel under foot. If you have small children and want a softer feel on foot, we’d recommend a vinyl with attached underlayment. This will give you a softer surface and feel when you walk.

3) Will you be installing the flooring yourself?

Both laminate and vinyl are DIY friendly. However, vinyl is just slightly easier to install than laminate.

In the past, sheet vinyl made installation a burden. Now, with planks that click and lock together like laminate flooring planks, it is easier. The main difference between vinyl and laminate when it comes to installation is the underlayment. Laminate flooring requires a moisture locking underlayment barrier to protect the floors. That is not a requirement with vinyl.

With that said, vinyl is hard and cold to walk on without underlayment so it is recommended to had some recycled rubber or polyurethane foam to help soften each step. Laminate is thicker and it has the underlayment to make it softer so it is naturally more comfortable to have in your home.

Ultimately, the choice is yours. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but both are quality choices for flooring.

About Bob and Betsy

Bob and Betsy
Bob and Betsy are the dynamic duo that have all the answers for your flooring related questions! Don't hesitate to submit a question to them at support@bestlaminate.com!


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    Ralph Williams

    What type of underlay is recommended for vinyl flooring in a condominium. we recently had an owner install vinyl in a 2nd floor condo and the noise level is quite bad. The vinyl replaced carpeting in the living room and dining room areas

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