What's the difference?

Vinyl vs Laminate Flooring

Are you deciding between vinyl vs laminate flooring? This article is for you. We have gathered all the information you need. First, we tell you what laminate flooring is, its advantages and disadvantages. Then, we will do the same for vinyl flooring. This way you can understand the main differences. Then we compare these two products (vinyl vs laminate flooring). When it comes to appearance, installation, maintenance. As well as durability and environmental factors. In the end, you will be able to decide which one is best for you. Always thinking about your needs.

Vinyl vs laminate flooring

What is laminate flooring?

Laminate flooring has a core of resins and wood by-products. This is one of the main differences with vinyl flooring. Also, this floor is between 6mm and 12mm thick. And it’s top or wear layer is made of clear plastic. Plus, with resins that cover the design.

Vinyl vs laminate flooring

Protective layer: It is the upper layer of the floor. Also called the wear layer. Because it is what gives your floor its durability. It is made of melanin and aluminum oxide.

Decorative layer: This is where the design of your floor is displayed. That’s why this layer allows the visual choice of the floor. It also makes them similar to wood and stone.

Core: This is the central layer of the floor. It contains wood and resins. As we know, wood is not very resistant to water. Therefore, laminate flooring is water-resistant. But they are not waterproof. This layer can be either high-density fiberboard -HDF- or medium-density fiberboard -MDF-. HDF floors are of better quality and better water resistance.

Backing layer: This layer is the base of the laminate floor. It may have an anti-acoustic base attached. You may also need to include it before installation.

Laminate flooring pros and cons

According to the layers and materials of laminate flooring. These have advantages and disadvantages in their uses.

Pros and cons


Water Resistant: Modern laminate flooring offers a better level of water resistance. Compared to solid wood floors. However, they are still more prone to damage than other flooring options.

Scratch-resistant: Due to its wear layer made of melanin. The resistance of these floors to scratches is high. Besides, there are products to polish the scratches of your laminates.

Designs and styles: The similarity of laminate flooring to wood. It is what has given it its popularity. Besides, when it comes to its designs, they are wide. That is why you can find the one that suits your taste and decoration. Also, you can find them with aged style, hand scraped, textures, or smooth.

Durable: They are one of the hardest floors on the market. Because of this, you can install them in high traffic areas.

Cleaning and maintenance: These floors are cleaned and maintained with little effort. Therefore, you only need to sweep and mop frequently.

Comfort: They are comfortable floors and are kept warm underfoot. This property increases if you install them with an underlayment.

Installation: Because it is a floating floor, its installation is truly simple. Besides, it does not require glue. 


Not waterproof: Compared to vinyl flooring. Laminate floors are not water-resistant for long periods. Besides, the damage can be irreversible.

Use limitation: Laminate flooring is not recommended for full bathrooms. They are also not widely used in basements and garages. Because they are water-resistant in their upper layers. But not very water-resistant in its lower layers.

Acoustics: If the laminate floors are not properly installed. It can generate a vacuum sound. Also, it is recommended to install an underlayment.

What is vinyl flooring?

Vinyl flooring does not contain wood in its manufacture. Because they are made entirely of synthetic materials. Besides, its base layer is made of fiberglass, covered with PVC vinyl. Likewise, multiple layers are applied to the design layer. To finish with a layer of polyurethane that is the one under your feet.

Vinyl vs laminate flooring

Wear layer: As in the laminate floor. This layer provides the durability of the floor. Also, its materials are aluminum oxide.

Decorative layer: This layer is the one with the floor design. It not only resembles wood. It also has variety in tiles, leather, stone, and more.

Core: This layer is the major difference between laminate and vinyl. Because vinyl flooring does not contain wood. They are constructed of vinyl materials. This makes them waterproof floors.

Backing layer: It is also the base of the floor. It is the layer that is installed on the underlayment.

Vinyl flooring pros and cons

According to the layers and materials of vinyl flooring. These have advantages and disadvantages in their uses.

Pros and cons


Waterproof: Vinyl flooring is not only water-resistant. They are also waterproof. That’s why they can resist spills without being damaged.

Appearance: Vinyl flooring designs are getting better and better. Because printing technologies have advanced in recent years. Therefore, you will find a wide range of vinyl flooring designs. With the appearance of wood, stone, tiles…

Durable: Vinyl flooring is especially durable. Due to its construction materials.

Cleaning and maintenance: Vinyl flooring care is simple. It only requires occasional vacuuming. Besides, you won’t have to watch out for spills.

Installation: The installation of vinyl flooring can also be a good project. Because it is a floating floor, just like the laminate. You only need a few tools and your project will be simple.

Uses: Being waterproof, vinyl flooring is ideal for any space in your home. Therefore, they have no limitations in uses in bathrooms or garages.


Comfort: Vinyl floors are usually cold underfoot. Therefore, compared to laminate flooring, they are less comfortable. However, compared to ceramic floors, they are much more comfortable. 

Resistance: Vinyl flooring is not as dent resistant. Therefore, they can become deformed. Particularly with heavy furniture.

Vinyl vs laminate flooring

Now we do. We will compare these two excellent products. We cannot say, that one is better than the other. But we can show you what each one is better at. The choice will depend on your needs.

Recommended Installation Areas

Vinyl vs laminate flooring: Appearance and comfort

Laminate flooring

Laminate and vinyl flooring are similar to wood. However, in appearance, the laminates, although with less variety are the best. In terms of comfort, laminate floors are also more comfortable. You should also consider that laminates can be noisier than vinyl flooring.

Vinyl flooring

Luxury vinyl flooring is very realistic. Besides, they allow deep relief. In terms of comfort, vinyl floors can be cold underfoot. And not keep the warmth of your home. Because of their synthetic materials.

Best for appearance and comfort: Laminate flooring

Although vinyl flooring has improved in appearance. They still have a way to go compared to laminates.

Allergy friendly flooring

Vinyl vs laminate flooring: Installation

Laminate flooring

Both floors can be easily installed. However, the laminate is always a floating floor. This makes it very easy to install. Also, keep in mind that you need a hand saw or circular saw. So that you can cut your laminate to size.

Vinyl flooring

On the other hand, there are other types of installations in vinyl flooring. For example, peel and stick. Therefore, it can become more difficult to install. Also, when it comes to tools, you only need a hand knife. It will be enough to cut your floor to size.

Best for installation: Vinyl flooring

If we take into account the tools for installation. Vinyl flooring has an advantage over laminates. However, in its process, we could have a tie.

SPC flooring

Vinyl vs laminate flooring: Cleaning and maintenance

Laminate flooring

The care of laminate flooring is greater than that of vinyl flooring. Because they are not water-resistant. They need to be cleaned with a dry broom and a slightly damp mop.

Vinyl flooring

On the other hand, vinyl floors can be easily maintained. Only by sweeping and occasional vacuuming. Therefore, when it comes to cleaning and maintenance, vinyl floors may be a better option.

Best for cleaning and maintenance: Vinyl flooring

The time spent on cleaning and maintaining vinyl floors. Makes them winners in this category. However, it doesn’t mean that cleaning your laminates is complicated.


Vinyl vs laminate flooring: Applications

Laminate flooring

As mentioned, laminate flooring has limitations in its uses. This is not the case with vinyl flooring. Because laminates are not waterproof. Therefore, they are not recommended in bathrooms or basements. Also, because their water-resistance is in the upper layers.

Vinyl flooring

You can install vinyl flooring in any space in your home. Even in bathrooms, kitchens, and garages. Besides, there are luxury vinyl floors that are completely waterproof.

Best for applications: Vinyl flooring

In conclusion, in this field, vinyl floors are better. They do not have limitations in their uses concerning humid places. However, laminates look beautiful in your living rooms and bedrooms.

Vinyl vs laminate flooring: Durability

Laminate flooring

In this category, we find that both are durable floors. The laminates can last between 15 and 20 years. The layers and materials make them scratch and dent resistant.

Vinyl flooring

The durability of vinyl flooring is similar to that of laminates. However, if they are self-adhesive tiles. Over time, they can come off. So, if you’re going to choose a durable floor. We recommend you consider luxury vinyl flooring. You can have them for a long time.

Best for durability: Both

It seems that in this aspect there is a tie. Because each can be a durable floor. That will give you your properties for a long time.

Vinyl vs Laminate Flooring

Vinyl vs laminate flooring: Eco-friendly

Laminate flooring

Laminate flooring is more environmentally friendly. Because of the materials, they are built with. Besides, some manufacturers use recycled materials.

Vinyl flooring

Vinyl flooring materials are synthetic. Because of this, they are not recyclable. It is worth saying that, vinyl flooring is getting better and better at this.

Best for eco-friendly: Laminate flooring

If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly floor. You’ll probably be leaning towards laminates.

Vinyl vs laminate flooring: Which is the best?

Considering the above-mentioned aspects. The choice between laminate and vinyl flooring depends on your project. If you are looking for a water-resistant floor, choose vinyl. If you want comfort and warmth, you’d better go with laminate. Likewise, if you are interested in installing it yourself, you can choose either one. Also, either one offers durability. Also, designs similar to wood or natural stone.

To make the right decision. Take these tips and elements as part of your decision. However, always keep in mind what your needs are.

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