Let’s say you’ve just bought a home, or maybe you’ve had it for a while, but there’s something you’ve never gotten around to–changing the floors. You have it narrowed down to either laminate or vinyl, but you can’t decide from there.
Though you’d be reluctant to admit it, one of the major factors holding you back is that you aren’t sure what the difference is between laminate and vinyl. You know they’re both man-made, but aside from that, your mind goes blanks.
Does this sound like you? Have you gone through this before?
If you answered yes to either of those questions, this article is for you. In the paragraphs below, we’ll break down exactly what the difference is between laminate and vinyl.
It almost feels inaccurate to call laminate a synthetic material. Technically, the most synthetic thing about it is how it is produced. Laminate is 99% wood and is technically considered a byproduct.
Truth be told, the most synthetic thing about it is the fact that it’s made from recycled wood. It is then glued together in thin sheets, creating layers. It is this new, layered material that we call laminate.
While laminate is mostly wood, vinyl is totally synthetic. It’s made entirely of plastic, which comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Quite honestly, a lot of the advantages and disadvantages of vinyl and laminate have to do with where and how you plan to use it. This will be covered in more detail in the next few paragraphs.
Laminate vs. Vinyl: Pros and Cons
When it comes to laminate or vinyl, the decision can come down to personal needs. What exactly are you looking for in your floor, because each one offers its own pros and cons.
- Because it is built almost entirely from recycled wood, laminate is definitely the more natural of the two options. This makes it the more eco-friendly option, which is great if environment is a big concern.
- Laminate also tends to retain heat better than vinyl, so you’re less likely to wake up to a freezing floor on a chilly morning.
- Laminate is made of wood, so it doesn’t handle water very well. Anyone who owns a plant knows that you have to water it every day or so. This is because that plants need water to thrive, and they ‘drink’ water by absorbing it into cells. This is why wood changes shape when exposed to water. If the wood is regularly exposed to water, fungus and mold can grow, resulting in wood rot.
- Maintaining and fixing laminate is harder than maintaining and fixing vinyl.
- Being a synthetic material, vinyl has no need to absorb water, which makes it waterproof. If you’re looking to floor a place that is regularly exposed to water, or is prone to flooding, vinyl is your best option.
- Vinyl is easier to care for and repair than laminate.
- Vinyl is generally less environmentally-friendly than laminate tends to be. Though vinyl can be recycled, it’s much more difficult finding a place that recycles vinyl than finding a place that is willing to recycle laminate.
- Vinyl doesn’t absorb heat as well as laminate does, so those winter mornings might be a bit more unpleasant.
- Though usually safe, vinyl does contain a few chemicals, and if you buy from a less-than-stellar dealer who doesn’t pay much attention to regulations, things could get dangerous.
Vinyl and Laminate, What’s the Difference?
Laminate vs. vinyl may always be a debate, but it’s almost like comparing apples to oranges. What you should get depends on what you want more. If you want something warm and environmentally-friendly and aren’t planning on redoing your bathroom anytime soon, you might want to go with laminate.
However, if you want something that’s waterproof, and don’t want to worry about taking care of it too much, it’s best to go with vinyl.
If you want to know more about flooring and which might be right for you, please visit our site. We can show you a great selection of laminate flooring. We also invite you to take a look that the services we offer to see if there’s anything we can help you with.