Category :


Posted On :

Share This :

Vinyl or laminate flooring?

Vinyl or laminate flooring? Vinyl flooring and laminate flooring provide numerous similar benefits such as durability, aesthetic appeal, cost-effectiveness, and straightforward self-installation. From a distance, these two types of flooring even exhibit a resemblance. Neither type of flooring holds superiority over the other in all aspects. Vinyl flooring excels in areas with high moisture levels and is effortless to maintain. Conversely, laminate flooring presents a broader range of style options and boasts a higher resale value.

Besides vinyl or laminate flooring, there are also other flooring options that you can read about here.

What Is Vinyl Flooring?

In order to know which one is better, vinyl or laminate flooring, we must first know their definition. Standard vinyl flooring typically comprises four layers of materials. The initial layer, known as the backing layer, is commonly crafted from cork or foam. Its purpose is to function as the underlayment for the vinyl flooring, eliminating the need for an additional installation step. Moreover, it serves as a cushion for enhanced walking comfort and a sound insulator.

What Is Laminate Flooring?

In contrast to natural flooring materials like wood, stone, or cork, laminate flooring is a synthetic product. It consists of four distinct layers—wear, décor, core, and backer—that are fused together during the lamination process. The design aims to achieve durability alongside affordability. Through the décor layer, featuring a printed image, laminate flooring can replicate the appearance of pricier flooring options such as wood, tile, or stone.

Key differences: Vinyl or laminate flooring

Vinyl flooring

Vinyl flooring, although it may appear as a solid material, is actually a layered product similar to laminate flooring. It comprises a minimum of four layers, with a clear wear layer on top and a high-definition photographic layer underneath. The core layer constitutes the main body of the flooring, while a soft foam layer rests at the bottom. So vinyl or laminate flooring? What is the difference?

Laminate flooring

Laminate flooring consists of four or five layers of materials. The top layer is a clear wear layer that safeguards the lower image layer—depicting wood or stone through a photographic image. Following this is a thin, impact-resistant layer, succeeded by the primary component: High-density fiberboard (HDF). The final layer, situated at the bottom, is a soft foam layer or, in certain cases, a backer paper layer.

Vinyl or laminate flooring? Which flooring is best?

Appearance and comfort

  • Vinyl flooring

The superior quality of vinyl plank and tile flooring is evident through the use of an image or photo layer beneath the hard, transparent wear layer. Typically, this image portrays various wood species like oak, maple, or hickory, and occasionally stone. While not all vinyl flooring possesses this authentic appearance, older and more affordable sheet and tile vinyl flooring are printed using a rotogravure method and coated with a clear wear layer.

  • Laminate flooring

All laminate floors integrate a high-definition photographic layer beneath the clear wear layer to emulate the look of genuine wood or stone. One of the key attributes of laminate flooring is its visual appeal, as it encompasses a wide array of natural wood and stone flooring options in terms of color, species, and design variations: Hand-scraped, rustic, reclaimed wood, multi-tonal, natural finish, whitewashed, multi-length, and more.

Maintenance and Care

Commencing the cleaning process with dry techniques like utilizing a vacuum, brush, broom, or dust mop is recommended for both vinyl flooring and laminate flooring. Employing a neutral detergent for damp mopping is typically sufficient to eliminate embedded dirt.

A point of divergence between vinyl flooring and laminate flooring lies in wet mopping. For floors with substantial grime, wet mopping can be the most efficient cleaning method. While vinyl flooring can withstand wet mopping, laminate flooring is not suitable for this practice.


  • Vinyl Flooring

High-quality, thick vinyl flooring has the potential to endure for up to 25 years, whereas thinner vinyl flooring is generally limited to a lifespan of less than 10 years.

  • Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring can persist for a span ranging from 15 to 25 years; nevertheless, improperly maintained laminate flooring may only last between five to 10 years.


  • Vinyl Flooring

Although sheet vinyl is cost-effective, the expenses associated with installation often balance out. While plank and tile vinyl can be installed by individuals, sheet vinyl typically necessitates professional installation.

  • Laminate Flooring

The cost of laminate sheets increases with thickness.


  • Vinyl Flooring

Installation of vinyl flooring is straightforward, as it can be either glued to the subfloor or laid loosely. Glued vinyl flooring is available in the form of tiles or planks that are affixed using liquid adhesive or self-stick adhesive backing. Loose-lay vinyl flooring is also known as a floating floor, where planks connect side-to-side but not to the subfloor.

  • Laminate Flooring

All laminate floors are designed as floating floors, with planks attaching side-to-side. Due to the floor’s weight and friction, shifting is prevented. vinyl or laminate flooring both of them can be easily trimmed by scoring with a utility knife and snapping them off.

Water, Heat, and Environment

  • Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring exhibits complete waterproof properties, encompassing the top, bottom, and edges. In cases where vinyl flooring is soaked in water, it can be dried and will maintain its original dimensions and appearance. Similar to other plastics, vinyl flooring can be impacted by heat; however, the heat thresholds met by most vinyl floorings are typically significantly higher (158 Fahrenheit) than those encountered in daily use.

  • Laminate Flooring

Due to its wood-based core, laminate flooring is particularly vulnerable to water exposure. Water pooling near open seams or edges can penetrate into the core, causing it to absorb the water. Once dried, the core will not revert to its initial dimensions. Additionally, a vapor barrier is often necessary for laminate flooring installed on concrete to prevent moisture vapor from permeating the floor. The high-density fiberboard core of laminate flooring is generally resilient to heat; nevertheless, other layers like the top wear layer may melt under excessive heat. Despite this, the temperatures required for such melting far surpass those typically experienced in residential settings.

Resale Value

  • Vinyl Flooring

Historically known for its limited resale value, vinyl flooring has experienced a surge in reputation in recent times due to the emergence of thicker and more authentic products in the market. Nevertheless, it is important to note that vinyl flooring generally yields a lower resale value compared to laminate flooring.

  • Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring of high quality is considered to have a resale value lower than that of solid hardwood and engineered wood. Despite this, laminate flooring still maintains a higher resale value in comparison to the majority of vinyl flooring types.

Now it is possible to reach the answer to the question that vinyl or laminate flooring? which one is better?


In a general context, residential applications often view vinyl and laminate flooring as interchangeable. The decision-making process vinyl or laminate flooring is largely influenced by personal preferences such as style choices, textures, and expenses. An exception to the interchangeable nature of vinyl and laminate flooring arises when considering water resistance. Notably, vinyl flooring is superior in high-moisture environments, making it a suitable option for bathrooms. Conversely, for comprehensive household installations, laminate flooring frequently emerges as a practical choice due to its extensive variety.