When selecting a flooring material for your home, it’s important to consider both style and function. If you love the look of classic hardwood but are concerned about cost, maintenance, and durability, luxury vinyl and laminate present two great alternatives. Both flooring materials are extremely versatile and, thanks to embossing and 3D print technology, nearly indistinguishable from hardwood and other natural flooring materials.
Though they look similar, there are distinct differences between luxury vinyl and laminate that are important to consider before deciding which one to purchase and install. Here’s a quick overview of the pros and cons of each.
What is luxury vinyl?
Luxury vinyl flooring combines the high-end look of hardwood, stone, or slate with the durability of plastic. This makes it extremely resistant to moisture and a great choice for splash zones like the bathroom and kitchen. Luxury vinyl comes in sheets, tiles, and planks that can be arranged in different patterns to achieve your desired look. With no grout or special cleaner necessary, luxury vinyl is the easiest of all flooring types to clean. And, its superior durability makes luxury vinyl an ideal flooring material for homes with kids and pets.
What is laminate?
Laminate flooring is made of pressed wood covered in a clear plastic “wear layer.” Though it looks authentic, laminate is resistant to the scratches, stains, and fading that can happen to hardwood over time. Like luxury vinyl, laminate is moisture resistant, though not to the same degree. This makes laminate ideal for any room of the home except for the bathroom and basement, which most often experience standing water. When it comes to comfort, laminate is the clear winner. A foam moisture underlayment acts as a buffer between the planks and the subfloor, providing a softer footfall.
What are the pros and cons of each?
Now that you know the difference between luxury vinyl and laminate, here’s a look at the pros and cons of each.
Luxury Vinyl Flooring Pros
Extremely Moisture Resistant
Comes in a Variety of Colors and Designs
Easy to Clean and Maintain
Luxury Vinyl Flooring Cons
Not as Comfortable to Walk on as Laminate
Sharp Objects Can Damage the Surface
Can Be Difficult to Remove Once Installed
Laminate Flooring Pros
Comes in a Variety of Colors and Finishes
Easy to Install
Water and Moisture-resistant
Laminate Flooring Cons
Not Completely Waterproof
Requires a Special Cleaner
More Difficult to Repair Than Luxury Vinyl
Luxury vinyl or laminate – which will you choose?
Luxury vinyl and laminate flooring are durable, low-maintenance, affordable alternatives for homeowners with their hearts set on hardwood, stone, or ceramic. At Express Floors To Go, we have an impressive selection of luxury vinyl and laminate designs to choose from so you can make a perfect match to your existing décor. Give us a call at (858) 751-0333 to learn more about our products and installation services. Or, visit our showroom in San Diego to check out your options in person and speak with a design expert who can help you narrow down your top choices.