Laminate and vinyl “LVT” floors both offer cost and maintenance advantages over many natural materials such as hardwood, ceramic and marble. Both flooring materials also boast durability and truly amazing aesthetic appeal. They have comparable prices and they may look alike in photographs, but they’ve got quite a few major differences when closely compared. If you are wondering which affordable flooring type is right for your home, the Flack’s Flooring experts can help you know the difference and decide which is right for you.
All About Indoor Laminate
These days you may occasionally hear designers referring to laminate as “floating wood tile.” This name mainly refers to the quick and easy installation method. The name “laminate,” on the other hand, refers to the manufacturing process which involves laminating together layers of fiber board and cosmetic boards. The end product is quite a bit more rigid than vinyl. While that does mean it’s a durable product, the gaps between the layers and the subfloor too make it slightly sensitive to moisture and humidity. Laminate, like LVT, has come a long way and benefitted tremendously from printing advances that can make it look just like hardwood, stone or tile.
A Closer Look at Luxury Vinyl
Luxury vinyl flooring is an innovative and incredibly resilient flooring option made of sturdy yet elastic polyvinyl chloride. On top of being a bit squishy and bendable in its rawest form, luxury vinyl floors are protected by a durable “wear layer.” In the end this means they suffer less from any moisture issues than their laminate counterparts. Luxury vinyl is nothing like the traditional vinyl floors of yesteryear. They almost completely warp-proof and color-safe which provides dramatically improved durability over other home flooring materials as well as easy maintenance. Best of all, LVTs made with revolutionary printing techniques are practically indistinguishable from wood, ceramic, or stone – but cheaper, longer lasting and easier to maintain.
The Final Verdict
When it comes to affordability and good looks, laminate and LVT are neck and neck. Both flooring materials are also easily installed and easily repaired if something goes wrong, as only one plank or tile needs to be removed. One big contrast is their reaction to moisture. While LVT, a fairly new industry innovation, is 100% waterproof, decades-old laminate is extremely susceptible to water damage. Perhaps the only advantage laminate flooring has over luxury vinyl is a slightly lower upfront cost. However, laminate typically comes with a shorter warranty than luxury vinyl flooring which may be warrantied at 20 years or more. Truthfully, there is no longer any reason to buy laminate flooring. Luxury vinyl flooring is less hazardous with double the lifespan and warranty. While these two materials seem similar in cost, appearance and maintenance, luxury vinyl flooring has several perks that make it the clear winner of this flooring face-off!