What is the Difference Between Luxury Vinyl vs. Laminate Flooring?

In regards to luxury vinyl vs. laminate, how do the two differentiate and which is of the highest quality?

If you’ve been exploring the different types of flooring for a home renovation project, you probably keep stumbling upon laminate flooring and vinyl flooring. Laminate flooring is one of the most economical alternatives to hardwood flooring, despite luxury vinyl gaining popularity.

Laminate Flooring

First it is a relatively inexpensive flooring, which comes in an assortment of styles that replicates real wood. Its durability is derived from its layered structure. The four layers are fused together to create a unique and appealing flooring.

At the base, laminate has a moisture barrier that preserves the synthetic wood and prevents warping. Laminate also has an inner core of high-density fiberboard, which is a stable and moisture resistant layer made from wood fibers fused with resin. The design layer presents the aesthetic of the flooring, it creates a remarkably detailed likeness to wood, topped off with the clear finish that helps protect against staining and fading.

Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

Luxury vinyl flooring has changed drastically from the traditional vinyl flooring. It is favored among commercial contractors and designers due to its durability, elegance, and moisture resistant nature.

Today’s luxury vinyl is composed of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) which is what produces the firmness and the elasticity of the synthetic wood. Much like laminate flooring, luxury vinyl consists of layers. The base layer is a backing material that provides structural tenacity and durability. The wood portrayal is finished with a clear urethane wear layer, which is then textured with 3D printing. This further intensifies the natural depiction and feel of the vinyl by adding depth. It has a protective finish that prevents scuffs, scratches, and general wear and tear.

Luxury Vinyl and Laminate

In design and appearance, luxury vinyl and laminate flooring are extremely similar, as well as their installation (both are relatively easy to do.) Both depict a genuine representation of natural hardwood flooring and cost considerably less than hardwood.

Above all, the deciding factor is where the flooring will be install. The most significant difference between the two is that luxury vinyl is much more water resistant. Some varieties of vinyl even have a 100% waterproof rating. Hence, when installing new flooring in a bathroom, kitchen or any area where the floor could come into contact with moisture, luxury vinyl would be the most advantageous choice due to its durability.