The Battle of Luxury Vinyl vs. Laminate
Luxury vinyl and laminate have a handful of similarities. They are both affordable, available in endless colors and styles, and are known for their durability. Despite these similarities, the two flooring options also have a lot of differences. Understanding what materials make up each of these flooring options and their benefits will help you decide which flooring is right for you and your home.
The Variables behind Vinyl
Vinyl is an entirely synthetic material made from melted down polyvinyl chloride resins (PVC). The PVC is combined with other elements such as stabilizers and fungicides, which create this durable and resilient material. These materials are combined to make luxury vinyl planks and tiles, which are composed of four layers. The first layer is the backing, which is waterproof, keeping the floor resistant to mold and mildew. The second layer is called the core, which is durable and flexible, making up most of the volume of the plank. The third layer is a high-resolution digital image that gives the flooring its look and texture, which often mimics wood or stone. Last, a wear layer is applied on top, a transparent layer that protects the vinyl flooring. The thickness of vinyl can range from 1.5 mm to 5 mm thick.
Learning about Laminate
Like vinyl, laminate is constructed in a series of layers. In contrast to vinyl, these layers are made from wood byproducts that are bonded together with resins. The bottom layer is responsible for protecting the plank against moisture and balances the floor. Next is the core layer, which accounts for most of the floor’s thickness. This layer is composed of compressed woodchips, making the floor durable and dense. Next up is the design layer that uses a high-resolution digital image to create the look and feel of the flooring, which is most commonly a wood look-alike. Finally, the wear layer is a transparent layer made of aluminum oxide that protects against fading, stains, and surface burns. Laminate ranges from 6 mm to 12 mm thick.
How to Choose
When it comes to choosing between luxury vinyl or laminate, it can be challenging. The best tactic is to determine what features are most important to you and see which flooring type performs better in that category. Luxury vinyl and laminate cost about the same—they are both easy to install and are equally stain resistant. Laminate takes the cake for best-looking flooring because it does a better job of mimicking other materials such as stone or wood, and it is softer underfoot. On the other hand, luxury vinyl performs better in durability, heat resistance, and water resistance. This is because luxury vinyl is not just water-resistant but waterproof. Plus, it can withstand all types of cleaning methods.
What type of underlayment should you use? How many inches thick? How do you install it? And how do you avoid damaging your floors in the process?
When you work with Factory Flooring, you don’t have to worry about these questions. Our team of professional flooring installers will handle all the heavy lifting for you — literally. All you have to do is relax and enjoy the savings on your energy bill.
Need to get more flooring ideas first? Our design blog has dozens of articles to help you get started. Whenever you’re ready to tackle your insulation project, we’ll be here to help. Contact us online to get started, or call Factory Flooring at 469-583-7053