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Vinyl vs Laminate Flooring: Which is Right for You?

Do your floors need a face-lift but aren’t sure which material to choose between vinyl vs laminate flooring? Rest easy—we’re here to help. As far as flooring products go, vinyl and laminate flooring are both cost effective, durable, and attractive options. Homeowners often choose these types of flooring when they are trying to capture the beauty of hardwood without the price tag. But which is right for you? Here is a side-by-side comparison of vinyl vs laminate flooring.


Waterproof


Since vinyl is 100% plastic, all types of vinyl flooring are waterproof. This means they can be installed in bathrooms, kitchens and more. Provided that the flooring is installed correctly, you will never have to worry about your vinyl flooring buckling or warping due to moisture.


Laminate flooring nowadays is also waterproof. At Floor Concepts, we carry Mohawk’s RevWood and RevWood Plus laminate flooring. Laminate floors used to only be moisture-resistant since it was made from a fiberboard core, which is a wood product. Due to this, laminate flooring would soften and swell when exposed to water. After it dried, the fiberboard core would not return to its original shape and would buckle or warp.


Now, RevWood Plus products are fully waterproof, allowing for a care-free lifestyle and easy cleaning. First, the edges of each RevWood Plus plank are coated with a hydrophobic coating called HydrosealTM. This coating repels water from entering the wood core. Second, The Uniclic technology developed by Mohawk is a revolutionary glueless locking system. The boards snap together creating tight seams that keep water on the surface. Finally, RevWood Plus planks have GenuEdge where the laminate’s surface and protective coating can wrap over the laminate’s edge. With this technology, you now can enjoy the beauty of wood in any room of your home.


Durability


When comparing vinyl vs laminate flooring, both can withstand pets, kids, and heavy traffic. However, vinyl is softer and thus more susceptible to damage, like scratches and dents. The biggest concern with vinyl flooring is heavy furniture that can cause dents in the planks. Planks can be torn if heavy furniture or appliances are dragged across vinyl flooring. To mitigate this risk, vinyl protectors can be purchased.


Although more resistant to wear and generally more durable than vinyl flooring, it is still possible to damage laminate flooring. Laminate will look better longer, as it more resistant to fading. The great thing about these two materials is that if either type of floor is damaged, vinyl and laminate repair kits are available.


Maintenance


While both vinyl and laminate flooring are easy to maintain, vinyl flooring has a bit of an edge since it is waterproof. Refinishing won’t be needed for either type of flooring. Generally, no special care is needed as compared to hardwood floors.


The best maintenance routine for vinyl flooring is a wet mop with mild cleanser, dust mop, or steam mop. A regular cleaning schedule will keep your floors looking shiny. No harsh cleaners are needed. Wax should not be used on vinyl flooring, but no-wax polish can be used to easily restore vinyl flooring.


There are a few precautions when maintaining laminate flooring. A broom, dust mop, or vacuum cleaner that is laminate friendly can be used daily. Any spills should be wiped up immediately to prevent damage. Wet mops should not be used on laminate. Instead, only use soap-free cleansers or products designed specifically for laminate flooring. Steam mops can be used. Like vinyl, laminate floors do not need to be waxed. Laminate floors will retain their luster longer than vinyl, but laminate-specific products can be used to restore flooring if necessary.


Installation


Installation is similar for both vinyl plank and laminate flooring. For vinyl, tongue-and-groove flooring easily clicks together. Since vinyl is soft, a utility knife can be used to easily cut any edge pieces to size.


Laminate flooring installation is also easy but involves more tools and extra steps during installation. A hand or circular saw is needed to cut each piece of laminate. Before installing laminate, underlayment needs to be applied to the sub-floor to fix deviations and improve acoustics. Some types of laminate come with underlayment attached. Laminate is only available in a tongue-and-groove design.


Appearance


While both types of flooring mimic the beauty of hardwood, which looks better when comparing vinyl vs laminate flooring? As stated above, vinyl is made from plastic. Manufacturers use the latest technology to mimic hardwood. Color variations, texture, and different patterns are all used to give vinyl flooring a realistic look.


Laminate is made from wood, but a photographic layer is applied on top of the wood with a wood design. Like vinyl flooring, laminate manufacturers use modern printing techniques to capture wood’s natural beauty. However, laminate is going to feel closer to wood since it is not made from softer plastic.


When choosing between vinyl vs laminate flooring, let the experts help. With comprehensive flooring services, Floor Concepts can help you decide what flooring is best for your home. After all, we’ve been proudly serving the greater Pittsburgh area for the last 50 years! Contact us today to get started.


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