Laminate or vinyl flooring – what is the difference?
Both laminate and vinyl flooring is very popular among customers. It is therefore important to know the differences between the different variants. In order to make it easier for you to choose the ideal flooring, we have prepared a list of the most important differences. Check out the advantages and disadvantages of both solutions!
The main difference between laminate and vinyl flooring is the construction. The body of laminate flooring is HDF or MDF board, finished with a layer of embossed, laminate paper. It is possible to reproduce on it natural-looking grains and knots characteristic of wood. In order to prevent its surface from deteriorating too quickly, the paper is coated with resin substances. They not only protect the floor against moisture, scratches and the growth of micro-organisms, but also give it a glossy and attractive colour.
On the other hand, in the case of vinyl flooring, all layers of the floor are made of the same material – vinyl. The last, top layer is printed to give you an attractive interior finish. When deciding on composite (vinyl) flooring, pay special attention to ensure that no harmful materials are used. Reach for models that are PVC-free and 100% recyclable. This way you take care of nature. The Blue Angel certificate proves whether the flooring is safe for users and environmentally friendly.
A very large variety of decors and colours will be provided by both laminate and vinyl flooring. The advantages of this wide choice of flooring styles will allow you to design unique interiors. If you are looking for unusual solutions, for example flooring imitating marble floor, tiles or stones, vinyl flooring will work better for you. This material allows for application of bigger number of patterns and motifs, so you are only limited by your imagination.
Price is undoubtedly an important criterion for choosing materials when planning a renovation. Laminate flooring is usually less expensive than composite flooring. This is mainly due to the way it is made and the materials used, which are more expensive. Nevertheless, in many situations it is worth deciding on the higher price and install composite flooring. This solution will be an ideal choice in the case of unusual designs and rooms exposed to very frequent contact with water, as composite flooring is 100% waterproof and water-resistant.
Both types of flooring are a very practical choice. However, when looking for the ideal solution, it is worth paying attention to details that have a great impact on the comfort of using the floor in specific situations. Careful selection of flooring for underfloor heating is of particular importance. All vinyl flooring works well with this system and distributes heat evenly throughout the room. Even without an underfloor heating system, the composite surface is extremely warm and pleasant to the touch. The construction of the vinyl flooring also protects it from warping and deformation due to temperature changes. It also copes with moisture well. When it comes to laminate flooring, it is worth being careful – if you want to walk on a warm floor, choose flooring with a marking that guarantees its suitability for underfloor heating.
Soundproofing properties are also a very important selection criterion. In the case of vinyl flooring, you will get a guarantee of perfect sound insulation – footsteps, moving of furniture or sounds of children playing will not be heard on the floor below. In the case of laminate flooring, soundproofing underlays are necessary to achieve similar results.
The installation of flooring can be simple, regardless of the material it is made of. With regard to this aspect, the most important thing is the installation system used in the specific flooring. However, when considering which flooring to choose, it is worth taking into account the condition of the floor. Before laying the vinyl flooring, it is necessary to level the floor thoroughly. Otherwise, the flooring may be unstable and will not serve as long as we expected. In the case of an imperfect substrate that is difficult to level perfectly, laminate flooring will work better.
The main criterion that will help you decide which flooring to go for are your expectations. In areas that are exposed to intensive use and frequent contact with moisture, durability counts above all. Currently on the market you can find water-resistant flooring in both composite and laminate versions.
However, if you want the highest level of protection, go for waterproof flooring that can be in contact with standing water for up to 24 hours. In the case of laminate flooring, obtaining such a guarantee is possible thanks the use of carefully selected protections. During the production of vinyl flooring, achieving satisfactory results is even easier – its construction and the materials used give it a profiled shape that does not allow liquids to penetrate into the floor. Ceramin composite flooring is particularly noteworthy, as it guarantees waterproofness and durability of the floor in any room.
When looking for the flooring for heavily used rooms, it is also worth paying attention to its durability. In this case, the most important criterion for vinyl flooring is the abrasion class. It indicates the flooring resistance to scratches. The best solution is to choose the flooring with the abrasion class AC5 or AC6. In the case of laminate flooring, the usage class is also very important. When classifying the flooring to a specific category, its resistance to the most common damages which it will be exposed to in interiors is verified. In order to avoid unpleasant surprises and the need for a quick renovation, choose the flooring with the abrasion class of 31-33.
A common feature of high-quality flooring made of different materials is easy cleaning and beautiful appearance. Whichever option you decide on, you will enjoy a unique design in every room of your home, commercial premises or public utility building.
All flooring materials have both advantages and disadvantages. So, whether you choose vinyl or laminate flooring depends on your needs, individual preferences and the conditions in which the flooring will be installed. However, knowing the differences between the individual materials will help you make this decision fully consciously. With our advice, choosing the perfect flooring will be much easier – whichever you decide on, go for the highest quality!