Vinyl and Laminate are two very popular flooring options if you are not looking for wooden flooring or tile flooring. Both of these have a lot of properties that make them a very useful replacement. But to decide which one is better between these two and which one is right for you? Is something that makes a lot of people confused. This is because both of these floors have somewhat similar properties, such as highly durable, long-lasting ability, easy availability, and installation. To know the answer to this question, you must know what are the pros and cons of both flooring options so that you can decide better. Let’s first know what is the difference between these two types of flooring options.
What’s the Difference?
The main difference between these two is that the vinyl floors are made using PVC or polyvinyl chloride, while laminate flooring is made using multiple layers of synthetic fiberboard, and melanin resins. Both of these are made from separate types of materials, so they have a different touch and feel. Apart from this, the vinyl flooring is 100% waterproof, as the PVC is a waterproof material, while the laminate floors are not completely waterproof. This means that vinyl floors can be used in any part of the house, while the laminate floors can only be used in the places where they are protected from moisture or water.
The main component of the vinyl flooring is PVC. It is a synthetic material that can repel the water completely. This makes vinyl flooring suitable for almost any kind of flooring, even in places with higher humidity, or water spills. Also, vinyl flooring comes in multiple types, such as vinyl flooring sheets, vinyl plank flooring, and vinyl tile flooring. The sheet vinyl floors are composed of just a PVC sheet that can be installed very easily, just by peeling off the protection and applying it over your floor. The lower part of this sheet is sticky and it sticks to any kind of floor, including wooden, concrete, or tiles. Below are some major pros and cons of Vinyl flooring to help you decide better about choosing it or not.
Pros of Vinyl Flooring
- Completely Waterproof: PVC is a synthetic material that has 100% water-proofing or water-resistant ability. Meaning that it does not absorb water at all. This property of Vinyl floors makes it one of the most suitable floors for almost any part of the house. You can install it in your bathroom, kitchen, your basements, and any other part. It will remain unharmed by any kind of water or moisture-related damages. This property of these Vinyl floors makes it a better choice over any other kind of floor. So, if you are a person who is looking forward to having a completely waterproof floor, the only option you have is Vinyl flooring.
- Easy-to-Clean: The surface of these floors is very smooth and fine; this makes them easy to clean. Even the planks and tiles of Vinyl do not have any kind of beveled edges. The smoothness of the surface and no beveled edges do not allow the floor to trap any kind of pollutant, dust, or bacteria. You can just mop the entire floor, or clean the entire floor with water. As this floor is waterproof, so there will be no damage on the surface even if you clean it with water. This easy-to-clean nature of the vinyl floors makes them a better choice if you are looking forward to having an easy-to-clean floor.
- Easy-to-Maintain: Maintenance of a floor is a very time-consuming job, and a lot of floors require more frequent maintenance and also cost a lot more in terms of maintenance costs. But the Vinyl flooring is not one of those flooring options. It is very easy to maintain and costs less in terms of maintenance costs as well. This helps you save a lot of time and money that you otherwise would have spent on the floor maintenance. They are easy to maintain because vinyl floors do not require any repair, if any part of the floor is damaged, you can easily take that plank off and replace it with the new plank.
- Highly Durable: PVC material is a highly durable and long-lasting material, and vinyl floor planks, sheets, and tiles are made from this material. So, this also makes these tiles, planks, and sheets durable. These floors can sustain heavy pressures, avoid scratches over the surface, and resist water. These properties combined make Vinyl floors even more durable. So, if you are looking forward to having an easy to maintain, highly durable flooring option, the floor is one of the best choices.
- Easy-to-Install: Apart from it being easy to maintain, or clean, vinyl flooring is also easy to install. This is because all three major types of vinyl floors require almost no work, or experience to install. These are DIY-type floors. For vinyl sheets, you just need to remove the protected layer spread and stick the sheet to the base floor. Same for the planks and tiles, they either have puzzle-type connecting edges on all sides, or they have holes that enable them to be nailed to the base floor. This is why these floors are very to install. So, if you are looking forward to having a floor that is easy to install, vinyl flooring is one of the best options that you have.
- Longer lifespan: Vinyl floors last longer if you properly take care of your floor and maintain it. As this type of floor is protected from water, scratches, and other common causes of damages, this helps ensure a longer lifespan for the vinyl floor. Vinyl sheet floors can last up to 10 years, while the vinyl floor tiles and planks can last even longer than this. Some luxury vinyl floors that are expensive, provide an even better lifespan. So, if you are looking forward to having a floor that has a longer lifespan, vinyl flooring is one of the options that you have.
- Low-Cost flooring solution: Vinyl flooring is also a low-cost flooring solution. As this is made from PVC materials that are abundantly synthesized and are easily available, the prices of these floors are very low. Some luxury options in Vinyl flooring might cost you an extra amount, but apart from those, all other vinyl options are very affordable. Apart from their price, the cost of maintenance and overall repairs of the vinyl floors for the long term is very low in comparison to Laminate floors. This is one of the most affordable flooring solutions if you are looking forward to having a cheaper floor that lasts longer and requires fewer repairs.
- Can be used in any part of the house: Another benefit of vinyl floors is that these floors can be installed in any part of your house. Laminate and other floors cannot be installed in places such as basements, bathrooms, and places with higher humidity and moisture, but the vinyl floors due to their water-proofing ability can be installed in those parts of the house as well.
Cons of Vinyl Flooring
Here are some of the cons of vinyl flooring.
- Bad for the environment: PVC materials are synthetic materials, meaning that these are not found in nature and are created using different chemical reactions. A lot of harmful materials are used in the production of these floor types, and also a lot of byproducts form during the process that is harmful to the environment. Also, the vinyl floors themselves are not good for the environment as well.
- May not be very comfortable: Vinyl floors do not feel as comfortable as the wooden floors do; this is because these floors are made from a different material. These floors have very low friction, which can sometimes cause slipping. Also, depending upon the temperature of the surrounding, these floors change their temperature as well, so during the winter, you might feel a little cold floor, while in the summer you will feel a cold floor under your feet.
- Low resale value: Vinyl floors are considered a cheaper flooring option, that is why they do not add any value to your property. Buyers look for properties with high-end flooring options instead of cheaper floors, that is why they most tend to ignore the houses with vinyl floors. Some luxury vinyl floors may add some value to your property but still, most vinyl floors do not. That is something you must keep in mind if you are looking forward to selling your property in near future.
- Unrealistic Look: Vinyl floors have an exquisite appearance and look similar to the tiles, or wooden planks, but still, they do not look like a real flooring material. The film coating of vinyl floors shines too much, creating a non-realistic look as all other materials do not shine that much.
Laminate floors are made using wooden particles based on boredom, and a shiny surface that is layered above that board to give a specific look. It is one of the best economical flooring options that you have for your home. The upper layer of the floor contains a protective layer that protects it from water, scratches, fire, and pests. You can use these floors in most parts of your home, including high traffic areas, kitchen, and living rooms. Below are some of the pros and cons of laminate flooring that would help you decide better if it is the right type of flooring for you or not.
Pros of Laminate Flooring
Here are some of the pros of laminate flooring.
- Scratch-resistant: Laminate floors are better protected from scratches as their surface is made from a very hard-coated film/layer. This layer of protected material helps avoid scratches for a long time. This type of floor can resist scratches from different types of objects, such as nails of pets, hard heels, pointy objects, movements of heavy objects and furniture. This extra protection from scratches makes it a perfect flooring choice.
- Impact-resistant: The hard surface layer of the laminate flooring protects it from impacts. This helps avoid dents over the surface of your floor. Dents over the surface of floors are a serious problem that damages the look of your floor. So, if you are looking forward to having a floor that is economical, but also has a similar impact resistance as many solid hardwood floors, this is one of the best floors that you have.
- Kids and Pet-Friendly: Laminate floors are both pet and kids-friendly. If you are a parent or have pets inside the home, scratches will be a huge problem as the pets scratch the entire floor using their nails, and teeth. That is why you must choose a floor that has protection against scratches so that you will not have to worry about this problem.
- Highly Durable: Laminate floors are also highly durable and long-lasting. The upper layer of these floors protects them from damages, scratches, and water spills. This increased protection makes these floors highly durable and long-lasting. Some of these floors can easily last more than a decade with proper care. To make these floors last even longer, you may have to protect them from water damages and moisture, this will further enhance the overall lifespan of these floors.
- Easy Cleaning and Maintenance: Similar to the Vinyl floors, these laminate floors are also easy to clean and maintain. They also cost a lot less in terms of maintenance as compared to any other type of floor. So, if you are looking forward to having a long-lasting, and easy-to-clean, and maintain floor, laminate flooring is also a great choice.
- Affordable Flooring: Another benefit of the laminate floors is that these floors are very affordable. These provide all the features that a wooden floor has but still, they cost a fraction of the amount that a wooden floor would cost. This makes them a suitable choice if you are looking for affordable flooring for your home.
- Variety: The upper layer or the surface of these laminate floors is made using a photographic film. That allows you to create multiple flooring colors, shades, and patterns that you like. You can select the one that matches your needs or is similar to your interior decor. This enhanced variety is also a reason that you should consider laminate flooring while choosing an economical flooring option.
Cons of Laminate Flooring
Here are some of the cons of laminate flooring.
- Cannot be Refinished: This is one of the biggest drawbacks of laminate floors that they cannot be repaired completely or refinished. This is because these floors have a very fine thin layer of protection that covers their upper surface. Once this surface is damaged, scratched, or exposed, the only thing that you can do is to entirely cover that part of the floor. You cannot refinish it as you can do to the wooden floors. This is something to keep in mind if you are looking forward to choosing laminate flooring.
- Not Moisture Proof: The upper layer of the laminate floors has a little protection against the water and moisture, but once that protection is breached, the inner coating of materials has almost no protection against the water or moisture. This means as soon as your upper layer gets damaged, your floor will have zero protection against water damaged. The inner layer of the floor will swell and create a bad shape in the floor, and will also obstruct the cleaning process. This is something you must consider before making the final selection about laminate flooring.
- Hard and Noisy Underfoot: This is another problem with the laminate floors that these floors are noisy and hard underfoot. In comparison to vinyl floors, these floors produce more sound when you are walking over them. Also, the hard surface of these floors changes its temperature according to the environmental temperatures, so you might feel warm during summer and cold during winter. So, if you are looking for a floor that is comfortable, and provides a softer and warmer feel all the time, it is not the best flooring option that you have.
- Some Harmful Chemicals are Present: Laminate floors are made from a wooden base, but they also contain some chemicals, such as formaldehyde. This chemical is considered very bad for human health. Although a lot of flooring companies make sure that these floors are safe, there is a chance that cheaper floors are not that safer. Keep this fact in mind before making a selection towards the laminate flooring.
Which one is right for you?
Both of these floors have their pros and cons, and to select the perfect floor for your home, you must know your priorities, and select the one that suits most to your requirement. For parents, and pet owners, laminate flooring is one of the best options, while for places where water damages are common vinyl flooring is better. So, before deciding, you should compare your requirements, with the pros and cons of each of these floor types and select the one that has properties that you’re looking for.