Vinyl Vs Laminate Flooring | What’s the Difference?

vinyl vs laminate flooring

Despite the fact that vinyl flooring and laminate flooring have many similarities, the main difference is that they both are made from contrasting material.

When upgrading the overall interior of your house, you might wonder which flooring will be the best. There’s no doubt that both vinyl and laminate flooring are a great choice, but there are some differences that you must know before making the final purchase. 

What is Vinyl Flooring?

Vinyl flooring is made from 100% synthetic material and it’s pure waterproof. You can find it in the sheet and tiles form, but vinyl tiles are more popular for flooring. 

It is available in sloppy, flexible, semi-flexible, and rigid core planks. It is known for its durability and is the most affordable flooring option. Vinyl flooring can rationally imitate wood, marble, stone and other luxury flooring materials. 

What is Laminate Flooring?

Laminate flooring is made from the combination of wood and stone, making it a sustainable product. It contains four layers made with pressed woods with a durable plastic layer on top. 

It offers more style and colour options and is less expensive as compared to other flooring materials. Laminate flooring is also easier to install and give a shining look to the house. 

Differences Between Vinyl and Laminate Flooring

Although the main difference between vinyl and laminate flooring is the material and these two are also easy to install and look somewhat same from afar but truth be told, there are other key differences that need to be considered. 

To get the right flooring, you must focus on the important needs of the home or specific areas when having a renovation.

  • Appearance and Design
  • Water Resistance
  • Cleaning and Maintenance 
  • Easy Installation
  • Resale Value
  • Cost   

1. Appearance and Style 

appearance and style

Well, laminate and vinyl flooring are somewhat similar but there is a slight difference in appearance as well as design. 

  • Vinyl 

Vinyl flooring is known for its appearance that resembles wood and stone. It comes in many different designs and each gives a decorative look. 

When you install used or old vinyl that are lower in price, they might not be as good in appearance as the new vinyl. 

  • Laminate 

Laminate flooring has more varieties in designs and colours compared to vinyl. It is also higher in quality and gives a rustic look. People tend to install laminate flooring when they want something that is closely similar to wood in appearance. 

Cherry, maple, oak, and many more wood textures available in laminate. It can be either smooth or textured, the most popular choice is textured because it looks more appealing. 

2. Water Resistance 


Laminate and vinyl flooring part ways in similarities when it comes to water resistance. Vinyl tiles are made 100% waterproof whereas laminate is a wood product that can’t moisture well.

  • Vinyl 

Today’s modern style vinyl tiles are not only water resistant but also pure waterproof. Vinyl flooring can resist heavy loads of water easily because it’s made with 100% plastic.

Vinyl flooring causes no damage and is a great choice for water-prone areas like bathrooms, kitchens, or laundry rooms.

  • Laminate 

Laminate flooring is made with recycled wood and has a fibreboard core which results in swelled tiles after water exposure. If the core becomes swampy wet, it might discard the surface layers. 

Since laminate is not water resistant, it is not the best option for areas that tend to get watery daily, like bathrooms or kitchens. 

3. Cleaning and Maintenance 

cleaning and maintenance

Whether you clean living room carpets or floor, it calls for a proper treatment.

The first priority of homeowners with kids or pets is to look for the flooring that is easier to clean. 

Although vinyl and laminate flooring are both good in maintenance but in the cleaning process, laminate needs more care. 

  • Vinyl 

Because of vinyl’s water resistance, cleaning it has become an easy task. Daily maintenance only calls for vacuuming and sweeping for general neatness. You can also use a wet sponge if you want a healthy deep clean. 

  • Laminate 

Laminate floors require extra care and time to clean because of their limited water resistance. The best way to maintain a laminate floor is to use dry cleaning materials like dry sweeping or mopping. 

Keep the floor away from watery items and you are good to go. Laminate flooring can be a good choice for those with dust allergies as laminate doesn’t let the dust settle on the surface. 

4. Easy Installation 

easy installation

When it comes to the installation of flooring, both vinyl and laminate are a great option. If you like to DIY projects, then you can easily install vinyl or laminate with simple methods. 

  • Vinyl

Vinyl has more varieties in the installation methods as compared to laminate. It is easy to install because there are more options than click-and-lock, you can also use peel-and-stick, loose lay, or glued method. 

Remember that each method differs in difficulty, like glued method can be a bit challenging as compared to other methods. 

  • Laminate 

Laminate is easier to install with just a click-and-lock method and it does not require other materials like glue or tape. It can be a great option for those who are planning to install the floors by themselves. 

Keep in mind that if you try to install laminate on a subfloor that is rough and sloped, it might end up with a crack or even break at some point. 

5. Resale Value

resale value

Investing in a good flooring material can be a great opportunity to improve your home’s resale value.

From correct installation to the quality of a material, choosing the right material is important as the resale value depends on these two factors. 

  • Vinyl

Vinyl is able to repeat the look of natural hardwood and creates a possibility of an authentic and luxurious floor for soon-to-be homeowners. 

High quality adds more glance to the resale value, but remember vinyl with low quality might not be great in adding value to your property. 

  • Laminate

Some refined laminate flooring can boost the value of your home, but it will not do much for the resale value due to its low price tag. 

Laminate flooring that is new or kept in a good  condition for a long time can add a great resale value to your property. 

6. Cost


Vinyl and laminate flooring both are similar in price and are affordable than other floor materials like tiles, marble or hardwood. The cost may differ when it comes to premium quality laminate or vinyl flooring. 

  • Vinyl 

The average price of vinyl starts from £20 per square foot. It might cost more, depending on the quality and the size of the floor.

It may be expensive for some people, but it’s a great flooring option to invest in as it offers longevity, water resistance, and better durability. 

  • Laminate 

Laminate flooring has a slightly low price tag compared to vinyl. The starting price is £9.99 and it can go up to £10 or £14 if the thickness and quality is better. But when it comes to longevity, laminate is not the best option as it can’t resist water and offer less durability.

Final Thoughts  

Laminate and vinyl flooring can be a great budget-friendly option than other floor materials when upgrading your floor. Although they both are easy to install, each comes with different qualities and effects. 

While vinyl flooring is waterproof and more durable for water-prone and moisture areas, laminate can be a rough choice for such areas, it is best for bedroom or living room.

We hope the above mentioned differences helped you select the best flooring  for your home.

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