Is Vinyl Flooring Better Than Laminate? The Laminate vs. Vinyl Flooring Debate

Vinyl flooring and laminate are both inexpensive, and they are both designed to look like high-end flooring.  So which one wins in the laminate vs. vinyl flooring debate?

After all, choosing the right flooring is just as important as the paint you put on your walls, the appliances you install, and the finish on the cabinets you choose.  Pick the wrong flooring, and your house will never look “right”.

If you need to choose between the two, vinyl flooring is better than laminate.  Here’s why:

–          Variety

Vinyl flooring comes in sheets, planks, and tiles.  Laminate only comes in sheets.  If you want a tiled look, you are simply out of luck with laminate.

–          Easier installation

Lots of vinyl flooring comes pre-glued, so it is much easier to install.  All you have to do is peel off the backing, and stick it wherever you want!  Laminate doesn’t offer that option.

Plus, tiles and planks are much easier to install yourself than sheets.  After all, sheets are big and cumbersome.  Installing them in definitely a two-person job!  If you’re a flooring beginner who wants to install everything yourself, tiles and planks are much easier to deal with.  But since laminate only comes in sheets, you’ll wind up with a struggle if you choose it over vinyl flooring.

–          Durability

This is where vinyl flooring beats laminate, hands down.  Vinyl flooring can withstand water and heat; laminate can’t.  Vinyl flooring is a perfect choice for kitchens, bathrooms, and garages.  Laminate isn’t.  In fact, flooring experts suggest not using laminate in entryways because of the dirt and water that gets tracked in.  Vinyl flooring, however, can go anywhere.

Plus, laminate has a tendency to “peak” over time – meaning that it rises up along the corners.  With the right installation, vinyl flooring stays firmly in place for as long as you need it.

–          Kids and pets

Because it doesn’t do well with liquid, laminate is not a good choice if you have kids and pets.  Any spills or “accidents” can make laminate swell and warp if they aren’t cleaned up immediately.  But vinyl flooring is the perfect match for kids and pets, because it can take virtually anything they throw at it!

–          The slip factor

Laminate is covered by a thin layer of a plastic-like substance, so it’s easy to slip and fall on.  However, lots of vinyl is specifically designed to be “no slip”.