There is no easy answer when it comes to choosing between vinyl and laminate flooring. Depending on what you’re looking for, both flooring options come equipped with their own set of benefits. Both vinyl and laminate are easy to install, are reasonably priced, and both do wonders in accentuating the beauty of your residential or commercial property. While they may overlap in many areas, there are differences that may impact your purchasing decisions. As a provider of flooring solutions in PA, Tabla Supply is your one-stop shop for DIY projects and much more. Today, we will be evaluating vinyl vs laminate flooring: which is better?
Vinyl flooring is a synthetic material. It comes in standard sheets or tiles, with the base being made of fiberglass, which is then coated in PVC vinyl and a plasticizer. Once this is completed, the resulting sheet will be printed and embossed with a surface print layer. Multiple wear layers are applied afterwards, and this is paired with a layer of no-wax polyurethane. Not all plank vinyl flooring has a built-in underlayment. With vinyl plank flooring, the core layer is a thick, multi-layer PVC vinyl. Luxury vinyl flooring will come in either planks or tiles that interlock to form a floating floor. In terms of the thickness, vinyl flooring can range from 1.5 mm for sheets to 5 mm for luxury planks.
Now that we’ve discussed how vinyl is created and applied, let’s address what everyone wants to know when evaluating flooring solutions in PA. What stands out from its appearance, and why should you invest in it? Here is a breakdown of why vinyl is an enticing option for many consumers.
- Looks very realistic; can embody the appearance of wood (if you opt for a thick, solid core flooring option).
- Made of 100% waterproof materials
- Easy DIY installation for most homeowners
- Extremely durable and can last for decades
Since its inception in the 70s, laminate flooring was one of the first alternatives to hardwood floors. It’s a viable option for homeowners who appreciate the appearance of hardwood floors, but aren’t looking to break the bank when purchasing flooring materials (with budget being a driving force for a variety of customers). The thick composition of laminate flooring makes it comfortable to walk on, making it a great piece in hallways or living areas. Just like vinyl, laminate is also made up of synthetic materials, is layered, has an inner core board that is layered with a decorative photo image, and lastly, it’s topped off with the wear layer or “overlay” that protects your floors. Seems like a great choice, right? Even though laminate flooring can be advantageous, it’s not water-resistant like vinyl, meaning it can sustain damage from long periods of water exposure. So if you have kids, pets, or both, you’ll need to think this over as regular wear and tear can take away from the functionality of the floor.
Which One Should I Get?
Now that we’ve covered the basics of both vinyl vs laminate flooring, you are that much closer to making a decision! Tabla Supply will always recommend that you thoroughly compare your options when deciding on flooring solutions in PA. If you are very visual and want to see what either solution could look like in your home, we recommended using our floor pattern tool. We discussed earlier how there are many parallels between vinyl and laminate, but they also have characteristics that make them diverse. When getting closer to a final decision, it could be helpful to evaluate the following elements:
Appearance And Design
As it relates to appearance and design, laminate flooring will usually be of higher quality. It comes equipped with a more realistic embossing that is closer in appearance to that of hand-scraped hardwood. Vinyl can look like wood with its embossing techniques, but it will look superior when it’s on a thicker core flooring. Since laminate tends to be a little thicker than vinyl, the added warmth and softness when standing or walking may be a huge selling point for consumers.
Water-resistant materials are a force to be reckoned with. If you have a busy household with a lot of foot traffic from family members and friends, the chances of spills are always there. In this respect, vinyl is the clear winner. Most vinyl flooring solutions are made of 100% polymer materials, meaning they can withstand heavy amounts of water. Additionally, vinyl sheets allow users to install a single sheet for an entire room, so there won’t be any seams for water to penetrate. Laminate has a limited moisture resistance. This is because fiberboard core is embedded in most products. The material is known to swell or soften if it’s exposed to moisture for long durations of time. This can cause the top layers to peel away. So if you are in a high-moisture environment, you may want to think twice about using laminate.
Installation for these materials is fairly simple. These can be good choices for those who decide to make it a DIY project. Laminate flooring will use a click and lock installation. Click and lock means that planks are fitted into the groove of adjoining planks, and once it’s locked in, it closes the seam. Laminate can be installed over existing flooring, and it’s easy to cut down pieces to fit the floor. Vinyl may have a little more variety for installation options, but it’s more precise in terms of fitting the shapes and angles onto the floor.
Cost And Longevity
Both flooring solutions in PA are very similar in cost. They are less expensive than other flooring materials like hardwood or porcelain, but this will obviously vary depending on if you seek out luxury options. Durability is consistent for both, as well. Laminate can last up to 10-25 years, while vinyl can last up to 20.
Vinyl vs Laminate Flooring: Top-Tier Flooring Solutions In PA
Tabla Supply is proud to offer the latest and greatest in flooring solutions in PA for DIY projects, home improvement projects, or for commercial projects. The possibilities are endless when you purchase from our storefront. To get started on your next project, contact us today!