Vinyl Wood Flooring Pros And Cons – From active children to furry friends, busy lifestyles mean homeowners are looking for durable yet stylish flooring. With this in mind, laminate and vinyl flooring are popular choices – affordable alternatives to the most sought-after wood and tile looks available on the market today.
To help you decide which of these two synthetic surfaces is right for your home, we’ll go over all the features and differences that will help one or the other work better in your space.
Vinyl Wood Flooring Pros And Cons
Laminate flooring was one of the first synthetic alternatives to natural wood, and each plank features a high-density fiberboard core made from natural wood byproducts. This natural composition reduces the environmental impact of laminate production. However, it also offers a water-resistant but completely waterproof product.
Pros & Cons Of Vinyl
Laminate floorboards have an average thickness of 6 to 12 millimeters, making them convenient enough for installation in busy living areas and hallways.
Vinyl flooring comes in many forms, such as sheet vinyl, LVP (Luxury Vinyl Plank), LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile), WPC (Wood Plastic Composite) and SPC (Stone Plastic Composite). All have a solid core made of 100% synthetic material. This allows for a completely waterproof construction for most products.
Depending on the material used for the core, you’ll find vinyl that ranges from stiff and hard to flexible and flexible. Most luxury vinyl tiles and planks are on average 5 millimeters thick. Vinyl flooring is ideal for wet rooms such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms and mudrooms.
“We like to use luxury vinyl plank flooring when renovating our bathrooms,” says Bill Samuel, licensed general contractor and owner of Blue Ladder Development in Chicago, IL. “It’s durable and most options are 100% waterproof.”
Vinyl Flooring Pros And Cons: What You Need To Know
At first glance, laminate and vinyl floors look very similar. Both are hard surfaces designed to look like natural materials such as hardwood, stone or ceramic tile. Each consists of multiple layers of synthetic material, including a stabilizing backing layer, a realistic photographic layer, and a surface wear layer that protects against scratches and stains.
What differentiates these two categories? The difference lies mainly in the core of each product. Vinyl flooring is a fully waterproof option that is better suited to wet rooms or homes with pets, while laminate is more comfortable underfoot and offers a more affordable, high-quality look.
Even if you know the key features of laminate and vinyl flooring, it can be difficult to determine the best choice for your home improvement project. To make your decision easier, we’ve broken down each floor’s performance based on various metrics.
Both laminate and vinyl can visually imitate any type of wood, tile or stone. You can choose from a variety of wood species style options and customize your floors to suit any décor style or color palette.
Multi Ply Wood Engineered Flooring: Pros And Cons
Both flooring types also offer realistic, three-dimensional embossing to mimic natural wood grains and style options such as hand scrape, distressed wood and more. Unless you choose a vinyl product with a thicker core, these textures look best on thicker boards and add a special touch to the laminate.
When investing in new flooring, you want to choose a surface that will look new years after installation. Both laminate and vinyl are very durable, with laminate lasting between 10 and 30 years and vinyl lasting between 10 and 25 years with proper care and maintenance. Thanks to their respective top layers, they are both scratch and stain resistant. The bottom line is that vinyl and laminate are roughly equivalent in terms of durability.
Keep in mind that you cannot repair or refinish laminate floors with traditional hardwood. And while vinyl is waterproof, it can wear out over time. If you’re wondering whether it’s time to replace your floor, look for signs of creaks, gaps, mold, water damage, and chips.
An important difference between vinyl and laminate flooring is that laminate is not waterproof. If moisture gets into the seams between the panels, irreversible swelling and deformation occurs. We do not recommend installing laminate flooring in rooms with high humidity such as bathrooms, kitchens and basements. If you want to give your bathroom or kitchen floors a makeover, vinyl is your best choice here.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Vinyl Flooring Solutions?
If you’re looking for flooring that can withstand extreme heat, laminate or vinyl are not ideal (tile and engineered hardwoods serve this purpose best). If you don’t turn the dial up too high (no more than 30 degrees Celsius), laminate and vinyl can work with underfloor heating. So you can be happy if you decided on a warm floor in winter.
In general, vinyl plank flooring cannot withstand temperatures above 85 degrees or broken appliances such as a refrigerator. Laminate floors can contract in cold temperatures and expand in warm temperatures. If pushed too far, it may cause blistering or rising. The final takeaway is that neither option is perfect if you want your flooring to withstand extreme temperatures.
Laminate typically uses a click-and-lock method, where the planks are connected together with adjacent tongues and grooves along their edges. Most laminate floors are installed floating over existing floor coverings or subfloors. You can use a simple table saw to cut the planks to fit anywhere.
Vinyl plank flooring is similar but offers a greater variety of installation methods depending on the product you choose. Vinyl sheets, for example, are more complex adhesive products that require adhesives and precise cutting. Luxury vinyl planks and tiles are often click and lock floating floors that can be cut with regular saws or utility knives.
Pros And Cons Of Vinyl Flooring Or Pvc Flooring
Click and lock floors are very suitable for DIY, but if you have no prior experience, consider hiring a local professional floor installer to ensure the job is done well. Improperly installed floors of any kind can lead to damage and reduced performance later on.
To ensure the longevity of laminate, it is best to only use cleaning products approved by the manufacturer, as harsh cleaning products can damage the protective layer. Avoid using abrasive and abrasive cleaning sponges that can scratch the floor. Also, clean puddles as quickly as possible since laminate is not waterproof.
To safely clean vinyl floors, you can use dish soap or vinegar solutions. If you prefer commercial cleaning products, use those labeled “safe for vinyl.” Cleaners containing ammonia or solvents can damage the protective layer.
Note that laminate and vinyl floors are synthetic plastic surfaces that are not made from natural materials that are biodegradable or recyclable.
Transitions Kitchens And Baths
According to the Environmental Working Group, these types of synthetic flooring can contain harmful materials like PVC and release volatile organic compounds (VOCs), chemicals that pollute the air in your home.
When it comes to new flooring, budget is one of the most important deciding factors for most homeowners. You’ll find that both vinyl and laminate are comparable in price and represent cheaper flooring alternatives to natural solid wood floors and engineered hardwood floors.
The cost of laminate flooring starts at about $1 per square foot for 7-millimeter boards and goes up to $5 per square foot for thicker 12-millimeter boards. Vinyl flooring is more expensive than laminate, but its performance and cost can vary significantly depending on the type of vinyl product you choose.
Plain stick-on vinyl is less similar in look and feel to natural wood or tile, but is the cheapest option at $1 per square foot. Prices for luxury vinyl tile or vinyl plank flooring range from $2.50 to $7 per square foot, depending on the thickness of the wear layer.
Laminate Vs Vinyl Vs Porcelain Tiles Vs Engineered Wood Flooring
If you have pets, especially dogs or cats, floors are subject to more wear and tear. From scratches and water bowls to house training accidents, you need floors that can withstand the daily wear and tear of your furry friends.
Both laminate and vinyl floors are scratch-resistant. Pet hair and dander can be easily wiped off any surface. However, since laminate is not 100% waterproof, vinyl flooring is considered the best floor protection from pets. Be sure to choose a vinyl product with a thick wear layer.
Floor renovations with both of these flooring options can help increase the value of a home, especially if you’re replacing existing laminate or vinyl. On the other hand, it doesn’t offer the high ROI of a regular hardwood floor or even a natural stone floor.
Laminate and vinyl flooring offer many similar features, so choosing between them should depend on your budget and the styles you prefer. As you shop and compare your options, you may also want to see how vinyl and laminate compare to other flooring options.
Vinyl Plank Flooring Pros And Cons
Both vinyl and laminate are attractive and affordable alternatives to natural materials like hardwood floors. Although hardwood is more expensive and difficult to install, it has a higher resale value and can improve the finish over time.
Use the table below to decide whether laminate or vinyl is the best flooring for your home. Once you’ve decided on a type, you can turn to laminate flooring
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