Laminate Flooring vs Luxury Vinyl Flooring: The Buyer Guide 

With a detailed laminate flooring vs luxury vinyl flooring comparison making your purchase decisions could be made relatively easier.

Among other things, gaining an increased understanding of the differences between vinyl flooring and laminate flooring will help you to save money where possible. 

When it comes to flooring the home, a lot of additions and subtractions are put into thoughts by the homeowners. That’s so as not to make the mistake of choosing the wrong flooring type for the home.

If you’re not really neck-deep into home interiors, you won’t know what’s going on and that’s why this article is here.

We will be taking a look at some of the basic things you need to understand about this duo. Also, we shall take a close look at vinyl vs laminate flooring pros and cons.

Related: Full Kitchen Remodel Cost Estimation Guidelines 

Laminate Flooring vs Luxury Vinyl Flooring

Laminate Flooring

When talking about laminate flooring, we tend to consider the kind of floor that makes you think you are walking on a wood floor.

Sometime in the 1970s, human beings began to make a replica of natural wood in the form of a floor. When this happened, it took a lot of time and a series of explanations before some people could finally believe that it was indeed a floor.

Laminate floors became one of the first to give way to some other flooring options that have the exact look of natural wood. Today, we have some of the best laminate floorings in different home maintenance stores all over the world.

Different layers of laminate flooring

There are four (4) main layers of the laminate flooring which can easily vary according to the producer. Laminate flooring layers include:

  • Backing layer
  • Base layer
  • Print layer
  • Wear layer.

Pros of Laminate Flooring

  • Resistant to scratch: the wear layer of the laminate flooring is so tough that it does well to prevent the floor from scratch.
  • Affordable: People who seek better hardwood floor options always go for laminate flooring. When comparing laminate vs vinyl cost, it’s often agreed that laminate flooring tops in this category.
  • Durable: laminate flooring lasts long and can stand the test of time. This is the reason why a lot of people will always choose.
  • It’s very easy to clean and maintain laminate flooring.
  • Fast and easy installation: getting the laminate flooring In your home doesn’t require much stress just like some other types of flooring.
  • Very comfortable to step on.
  • Laminate flooring allows being installed on heating systems.
  • Water-resistant: there is some water laminate flooring that can easily stand moisture and prevents it from getting into floor planks.

Cons of Laminate Flooring

  • The flooring tends to exhibit poor sounds if it’s not installed properly.
  • Poor water-resistant abilities: Unlike vinyl flooring, laminate flooring has a little tendency of resisting water.
  • Without proper underlayment, it’s totally useless in bathrooms and basements.

Vinyl Flooring

Just like the laminate flooring, vinyl floorings were also made by humans some years back in a bid to imitate natural wood material. Vinyl flooring comes in different types and categories which includes some of the best vinyl plank flooring.

Although laminate flooring gained prominence first, vinyl flooring is beginning to also own the center stage. It very much looks like a real plank and has the potential to be ahead of laminate flooring soon.

Different layers of vinyl flooring

Vinyl flooring is also made with 4 variety layers which help to sustain the flooring and they are very much similar to those of laminate flooring. They include:

  • Backing layer
  • Solid vinyl core
  • Print vinyl layer
  • Wear layer.

Pros of Vinyl Flooring

  • It’s easy to clean: unlike some other types of flooring, vinyl flooring is very easy when it amounts to wiping off dirt from the floor.
  • Can be easily installed: there are a lot of DIY options for everyone who wants to install vinyl flooring.
  • Has a more realistic look of woods and stones: several manufacturers are beginning to put in their all in ensuring that vinyl flooring comes with a natural look.
  • They are highly resistant to water: most vinyl floorings come with good quality and are laced with the ability to resist water from gradually seeping into its planks.
  • Gives your feet comfortability while you’re standing: Vinyl tiles and planks offer your feet a great sense of comfortability. This can not easily be said for some other types of flooring.
  • Requires little or no maintenance: the Material used for the production of vinyl floorings are always different. So, they require that you input less maintenance into its care.    

Cons of Vinyl Flooring

  • The planks tend to get scratched.
  • Doesn’t have the best feel of natural wood.

Types of Vinyl Flooring 

There are two major types of vinyl flooring and they include:

Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP):

The luxury vinyl plank is almost a replica of the hardwood floors as seen in the early days.

They have the ability to float, can be tied down with glue, and can be snapped together. Luxury vinyl planks can easily take the shape of some other flooring materials if it’s shaped to mimic them.

Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT): 

Luxury vinyl tile is a type of vinyl flooring that is always identified because of its very attractive look.

Oftentimes, it comes in the form of concrete, stone, and granite, and can also be turned to look like wood tiles as well as rectangles.

Floating, peel, and stick are the top qualities of the luxury vinyl tiles. They can also be glued down most times to ensure that they are installed.

Related: Homeowners Guide To Bathroom Flooring Installation 

What flooring option is best for you?

Laminate and luxury vinyl flooring are both great fits for the bathroom as you can clearly see from their pros.

As regards pets and kids, vinyl flooring with pets and kids work perfectly together. This is because they offer one of the most comfortable surfaces for a perfect playtime.

Most times, it’s difficult to choose which is better between the two as many buyers will always have their opinions and conclusions at the end of the day.

For now, vinyl has a wide range of flooring that it’s currently offering its consumers and they are said to be more expensive than its laminate flooring.

Again, there’s no major waterproof laminate flooring In the laminate range but it’s included in vinyl floorings and that goes to explain why it’s pricier.

Laminate Flooring vs Luxury Vinyl: The  FAQs

Q1: Which is a better floor, laminate, or vinyl?

Laminate and vinyl flooring both possess the quality of durability and as such, can last for a very long period of time when properly managed.

If you have a home that’s filled with children and pets, laminate and vinyl flooring can make a great fit as children will be able to play comfortably on their surface.

However, laminate flooring can resist the effects of sunlight more than vinyl plank flooring.

Q2: What is the difference between luxury vinyl and laminate?

Laminate flooring is made using the by-products from wood while luxury vinyl is usually in the form of planks or what is sometimes called tiles.

The vinyl tiles are often placed closest to each other during installation to create an illusion of a floating floor. Aside from those, they both possess the same look and are both installed using the same method of installation.

Q3: What are the disadvantages of vinyl plank flooring?

Vinyl plank flooring has some disadvantages and they include: 

  • Hardness during removal. This often happens as adhesives are used to install them.
  • When spoilt, it’s usually difficult to repair.
  • Adds little to the resale value of a home. 
  • Unlike wood floors, they spoil faster.
  • It has volatile organic compounds.

Q4: What are the disadvantages of laminate flooring?

A: It’s difficult to refinish and sand laminate flooring. When it’s worn out or looks terribly old, you would be needing a replacement for it.

This is not the same for some other type of flooring where you can easily buy some materials and make corrections and some touch-ups to renew and give it a new feel.

Q5: What lasts longer vinyl or laminate?

The lifespan. Vinyl planks and laminate flooring are very durable and have a high capability of lasting for a long. If properly installed, both can last up to 30 years and more. Also, you need to care for and maintain the tiles to be able to achieve the life span.

Q6: Do I need a moisture barrier under vinyl plank flooring?

A: vinyl floorings are built with the ability to resist much water. This means that you won’t be needing to worry too much about creating a moisture barrier for your vinyl floors. However, underlayment is often needed to properly ensure that poor sounds aren’t emitted from the tiles. 


This article provides clear information about laminate flooring vs luxury vinyl flooring. Everyone new to flooring and trying to decide the best to choose among the two can benefit from this guide.

The info here will serve as a guide to help you make this decision. If you have been looking for a flooring installation guide, here you have it. 

With the information provided here, you should be able to ask clear and precise questions when you are ready to engage flooring installation companies in your area.

Don’t forget to check the licensing of the flooring installation contractors you may want to hire for the job.

Related: Best Types of Kitchen Flooring To Consider

Related: The Homeowner’s Guide To Plumbing Cost Estimation

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