When choosing a new type of flooring for your home, you may look at laminate and vinyl and think they’re the same thing. Though they may look similar, they actually have some important differences that set them apart from each other. This might confuse you at first, but once you know their defining factors, you’ll know which one suits your home. Before you make your decision, learn the differences between luxury vinyl vs. laminate and which is better.
The main appeal of laminate is the low price range. Many brands of laminate use recycled wood to create the fiberboard that makes up the main layer of each plank. While this is good for the environment, it also means that once liquid seeps through the top layers, it can damage the flooring and cause bubbling, staining, or cracking. Excessive heat can also cause gaps.
You should note that laminate flooring has a photographic layer that provides its appearance. Unfortunately, this means that once the top layer wears out and damages the image, the intended effect of the floor no longer exists. Once the image wears out, there’s nothing you can do but replace it.
Traits of laminate floors: Environmentally friendly, cost-effective, not good against humidity, not easy to repair.
Luxury Vinyl Flooring
The defining element of vinyl flooring is the variety of different textures. Because vinyl is one solid plank rather than a fiberboard with an image, many brands offer textures from weathered wood to stone tile. While these may sound like luxurious, high-priced options, they’re still affordable alternatives to authentic wood or stone. Plus, they don’t cost much more than laminate.
This solid composition also means that vinyl flooring can handle humidity and spills better than laminate. You won’t need to worry about the appearance of vinyl fading—and you can protect it by refinishing it with layers of urethane. It can typically last just as long—if not longer—than laminate due to the ability to refinish it.
However, vinyl’s PVC composition does come at a price to the environment—it’s difficult to recycle PVC flooring. New recycling methods are on the horizon though, so this may not be the case in the future.
Traits of luxury vinyl flooring: Resilience, texture mimicry, refinishing quality, slightly higher price point, difficult to recycle.
When deciding between luxury vinyl vs. laminate and figuring out which is better, it ultimately comes down to your intent for the property. If you want to raise or maintain the property value without opting for more expensive flooring types, luxury vinyl is better. But if you want to save room in the budget for other things, laminate could prove beneficial. No matter which type of floor you decide on, Floors 55 has a wide selection of laminate and vinyl flooring in Portland, Oregon for you to choose. Visit us or view our convenient online showrooms today.