Laminate vs Vinyl

October 26, 2017

I am currently doing one project right now, where my client asked me to find the more affordable option for a flooring than a natural wood.

Laminate and Vinyl are two very similar flooring types, the differences don’t jump out at you as they are subtle, but they are there. In this blog I am going to break down what they are, their effectiveness and the differences.

What are they made of?

Laminate is made up of High Density Fibreboards (HDF), small pieces of pulp compressed together to create a wood like material. Luxury vinyl tile flooring meanwhile are made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), an incredibly durable material. Vinyl probably takes this one, PVC helps make it softer and warmer underfoot, it is also a far tougher material so is likely to last a lot longer than laminate.

Durability and Water Resistance

Both materials have fantastic levels of durability and are incredibly scratch resistant. Both have a tough outer layer that can handle the stresses of everyday life and are very strong under heavy footfall and high traffic. The difference is it is very easy to recoat vinyl, whereas laminate would need replacing. If only a small area is damaged, it is possible to relay individual tiles.

They are also both water resistant to a certain extent, but laminate can be damaged by excess moisture and water sitting on the tiles for too long. On the other hand, Vinyl is incredibly waterproof, so is perfect for bathrooms or kitchens and other areas that are susceptible to moisture.

Installation Process

Laminate flooring is fitted using a click-loc system, a very simple, do it yourself process. Vinyl, on the other hand, is fitted using a gluing process. Slightly more complicated, and usually done by a fitter. So for this, laminate takes it, DIY installation is far easier, and also far more cost effective!

There are alternatives, there is plenty of cheap wood flooring on the market. Both are imitations of wood, so if you have a little bit more money to spend that could be an option. However, if the budget is limited I recommend my clients to choose from quality laminate or vinyl instead of buying cheap wood floor that might be damaged already during the installation process. 

Hopefully, this guide has helped you to decipher the difference between laminate and vinyl tiles, ultimately it is down to personal choice when making your decision, so good luck!



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