Luxury Vinyl vs. Laminate Flooring – What’s the Difference?
When it comes to luxury vinyl vs. laminate, what is the difference between the two and which is the best?
If you’ve been looking into new flooring for a home improvement project, you probably keep coming across information on laminate flooring and luxury vinyl flooring. Laminate flooring is currently one of the cheapest alternatives to hardwood flooring. Another options, luxury vinyl is gaining popularity. It comes in planks and tiles. Planks simulating natural wood and the tiles simulating stone. It’s the planks that are giving laminate a bit of competition.
Laminate is an affordable flooring available in a variety of styles that realistically simulate wood. Laminate’s durability comes from its layered construction. There are four layers which are fused together to create long lasting, beautiful flooring.
At its base, laminate has a backing layer which is a moisture barrier that protects against warping.
Next, there is an inner core of high-density fiberboard made from wood fibers fused with resin. This provides the laminate with stability and adds another layer of moisture resistance.
The design layer provides the look of genuine wood with a high resolution, extremely detailed photographic image. This is topped off with clear finish layer which protects against staining and fading.
Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring
Luxury vinyl flooring has come a long way from traditional vinyl. Popular among commercial contractors and designers for not only for its extreme durability but for its beauty, it is fast becoming another great alternative to hardwood flooring.
Today’s luxury vinyl is constructed using PVC or polyvinyl chloride to give it a firm but elastic quality. Like laminate flooring which is also composed of layers, the base layer is a backing material that provides structural strength and durability.
The design layer consists of a photographic image that realistically mimics natural wood planks. This is topped off with a clear urethane wear layer that has been textured with 3D printing.
This further enhances the natural look and feel of the vinyl plank by adding depth. It also gives it a protective finish that resists scuffs, scratches, and general wear as well as aiding with orthopedic comfort.
Luxury Vinyl vs. Laminate
In composition and appearance, luxury vinyl and laminate flooring are similar. Their installation process doesn’t vary much either with both being relatively easy to do. Both present a very realistic representation of natural hardwood flooring and cost significantly less than hardwood, though luxury vinyl can be slightly more expensive than laminate.
With luxury vinyl vs. laminate, the deciding factor would most likely be where you are going to install it. The reason is because the biggest difference between the two is their ability to resist moisture. In that category, luxury vinyl comes out ahead.
With laminate flooring, the joints can swell and pucker due to moisture, but this doesn’t happen with luxury vinyl. As a result, when installing new flooring in a bathroom, kitchen or any area where there is a lot of moisture, luxury vinyl will probably be the best choice. It will provide the beauty wood flooring with exceptional durability.
In addition to moisture resistance, luxury vinyl doesn’t require any padding or underlayment when installing it. Nor do you need a saw to cut it, just score it with a razor knife and snap. It’s quick, easy and dust-free unlike laminate, which you will need to saw, creating dust.
So with the question of luxury vinyl vs. laminate, both are durable and affordable options to hardwood that provide the look of natural wood with less maintenance. Luxury vinyl is simply a better moisture-resistant option.
Still undecided about which flooring option to choose? Ferma Flooring would be happy to help you select the perfect flooring for your home improvement project. With 14 years experience and a diversified line of products, we design, manufacture, import and distribute a variety of flooring products.
Currently serving more than 1,000 flooring retail stores nationwide from our distribution warehouse located in Edison, New Jersey. We believe your success is truly our success. Contact us and learn how we can assist you in growing your business.