vinyl plank vs laminate flooring

Vinyl Plank vs Laminate Flooring – A Complete Guide

Homeowners looking for an affordable alternative to hardwood flooring may evaluate the pros and cons of Vinyl Plank vs Laminate flooring. Both promise to be durable, affordable, and easier to maintain than hardwood, but how do they stack up against each other? Does either type compare to more expensive flooring, or do they fall flat?

When choosing new flooring, it’s important to get the best bang for your buck. From ease of installation to care and maintenance for the long term, this guide is designed to cover it all, helping you to discover whether vinyl plank or laminate flooring is better for your home.

I’ll be discussing the durability of both vinyl planks and laminate flooring as well as the appearance and comfort of both types of flooring. Refer to the FAQ section at the bottom to find additional information on and comparison of laminate and vinyl planks.

Side-By-Side Comparison

 Vinyl PlankLaminate
DurabilityExtremely durable. Heavy furniture can cause denting. Vinyl plank can tear when dragging heavy objects. Extremely durable. It is prone to scratching over time. May also chip at the corners with extensive wear.
WaterproofYesNo
CleaningCan be cleaned using steam mops or wet mops. Non-abrasive, mild cleaners should be used. Can be cleaned with laminate-specific products or a steamp mop. Wet mops should never be used. Acetone can be used to remove difficult stains.
MaintenanceNo wax should ever be used on vinyl. No wax polishes can be used to restore shine. Laminate-specific product can be used to restore shine. Products can be used to repair scratches and chips as needed.
Pet-FriendlyYesYes
StylesAvailable in a variety of wood styles, including oak, mahogany, and cherry. Available in a variety of wood styles, including oak, mahogany, and cherry. Also available in travertine, ceramic, and stone styles.
InstallationFloating or peel-and-stickFloating
Prone to FadingMore prone to fadingLess prone to fading
SizesTypically 4-inches to 8-inches wide. Lengths typically up to 48 inches. Can be cut to size using a utility knife. Widths starting at 4 inches and can reach up to 16 inches. Lengths range from 36 to 48 inches. Can be cut to size using a handsaw or circular saw.
ColorsAvailable in many colors including white, gray, light and dark wood finishes, and blackAvailable in many colors including white, gray, light and dark wood finishes, and black
Flooring GuideVinyl Plank Flooring GuideLaminate Flooring Guide

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Durability

Consumers often turn to vinyl-plank or laminate flooring to get the look of hardwoods without the risk of scratches, dings, and other flaws that can be time-consuming (and expensive) to repair. One of the primary benefits touted by both vinyl plank and laminate flooring is durability. How do these two types of flooring hold up when put to the test?

Durability

Vinyl plank (LVP) holds up well under pressure. Unlike hardwoods, this material isn’t prone to scratching from animal claws or active children running through the house. It’s very durable, even under the heaviest traffic.

However, because vinyl plank is softer than hardwoods or laminate, it isn’t completely immune to damage. There is a risk of ripping the planks. For example, if you’re dragging furniture across the floor, planks can be torn.

Vinyl flooring is prone to damage that harder floors can withstand. It can dent over time, particularly in areas under heavy furniture. While it is quite durable, it’s important for anyone planning to purchase this type of flooring to know it’s not completely immune to damage, and is vulnerable to the same flaws as traditional vinyl flooring.

Laminate flooring, like vinyl plank, is also extremely durable and is a good choice for homes with children and pets. It is extremely resistant to damage and will not have to be refinished over time like traditional hardwoods.

However, it is possible to scratch or chip laminate flooring. Very heavy wear over the years can result in minor scratches on the flooring. Luckily, laminate repair kits are available online and at home improvement stores to improve the appearance of chips and scratches.

Laminate flooring is superior in terms of fading. While laminate can fade when exposed to sunlight over long periods of time, it is more resistant to fading than vinyl flooring. With both types of flooring, shades or blinds should be used in rooms with a lot of sunlight, and area rugs can also be used in brighter spots that may be more apt to fade.

Is Laminate Or Vinyl Better For Dogs & Cats?

While both types of flooring can withstand daily use, kids, pets, and heavy traffic, laminate is superior. Although scratches and chips can occur over time, its high resistance to fading and overall durability makes it the top choice for anyone looking for flooring that can last for years to come.

Laminate may also provide better traction for your dog or cat on the flooring’s surface, depending on what brand and product line you choose. If this is important to you, be sure to look for a laminate with a textured surface.

Will Pet Accidents Damage Your Vinyl Planks Or Laminate?

Yes, dog or cat urine may damage your LVP or laminate floors if left for a long period of time. Just as you would with hardwood, be sure to clean up any accidents or spills as quickly as possible. Not doing so could lead to mold, mildew, or other damage to your flooring.

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Resistance To Water

One of the drawbacks of hardwood is that it can’t get wet or it will be completely ruined. Vinyl-plank flooring and laminate both offer the look of hardwood, but how do they compare when exposed to water?

Vinyl plank has grown in popularity because it is resistant to water. This means it can be installed in bathrooms, kitchens, or other areas where there’s moisture without the worry of warping or buckling. It is completely waterproof and will not succumb to damage, provided you have installed it correctly.

On the other hand, you should not expose laminate to water. Standing water or high moisture levels in a room can lead to buckling, gapping, separating, and warping.

While not a common complaint, some laminate owners have experienced mold and mildew, which was almost always because of exposure to moisture. This is not a concern with vinyl plank unless you installed it in a home that had this problem prior to installation.

Because vinyl is virtually waterproof, it is the clear winner in comparison to laminate in terms of water resistance.

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Ease Of Installation

Many homeowners choose to tackle flooring installation themselves in order to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on installation costs. With the right tools and a little know-how, homeowners can install both vinyl plank flooring and laminate, but which is easiest?

Ease Of Installation

There are two ways to install vinyl plank flooring, depending on the type that you purchase. LVP flooring with a tongue-and-groove design easily clicks together. Because vinyl is a softer material, you can cut and score pieces by simply using a utility knife.

The other type of vinyl plank flooring is peel-and-stick. As the name suggests, this floor has a backing that is peeled off to expose adhesive and each plank is then applied to the prepared subfloor underneath. You can easily cut planks with a utility knife for the perfect fit.

Like vinyl plank, homeowners who like to tackle DIY projects can install laminate flooring. However, the installation of this flooring requires more tools, including a hand saw or circular saw to cut each piece. If you are going to install the laminate below-ground, such as in a basement, you will also need a vapor barrier to protect against moisture.

Before installing laminate, underlayment will need to be applied over the subfloor. This is a type of padding that is used to not only fix any minor deviations in the subfloor but to also improve acoustics. Some laminate comes with the underlayment already attached.

Similar to vinyl plank flooring, laminate has a tongue-and-groove design so that you can install it as a “floating floor” without the need for glue or nails. Installation can be time-consuming, but most homeowners can tackle a room in just one day.

When comparing vinyl plank to laminate, it’s a close race as to which is easier to install. However, the installation of vinyl plank requires fewer tools and steps, so it’s the superior choice in this category. Installing peel-and-stick vinyl plank flooring is easier than tongue-and-groove flooring, and even beginners can tackle this DIY project.

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Care & Maintenance

Many consumers opt for vinyl or laminate flooring because care and maintenance is so simple. After all, they don’t have to tackle refinishing (which is usually best left to the professionals) or take special precautions when cleaning the floor the way they would with hardwoods or other types of flooring.

Vinyl plank flooring is one of the easiest floors to clean. A wet mop can be used, but it’s important to note that pouring water or otherwise drenching the floor isn’t recommended on peel-and-stick planks because the water can get underneath seams and edges and break down the adhesive.

Harsh cleansers aren’t needed to clean vinyl planks. A mild cleanser will sufficiently clean up even the biggest messes. A traditional mop and/or a dust mop (but not a steam mop) can be used to effectively clean vinyl flooring.

Vinyl floors also don’t require waxing, as using wax will result in a buildup that requires stripping. While regular cleaning will help vinyl flooring retain its shine, you can easily restore floors that appear dull by using a polish or product designed for no-wax floors.

The biggest concern with vinyl flooring is dents caused by heavy furniture. You can purchase Floor protectors online or from a local big box home improvement store to prevent dents and damage to the floor. It’s also important to remember never to drag furniture or appliances, and instead lift when able or use plywood sheeting to prevent scuffs or scratches.

Laminate flooring is also easy to clean and maintain, but there are a few precautions to take to avoid damaging these floors.

For daily cleaning, a broom, dust mop, or vacuum cleaner designed for use on laminate floors can tackle everyday messes. You should always wipe up any water or other spills immediately.

You should never use a wet mop on laminate. Only use soap-free cleansers. In addition, always use products designed for laminate flooring. You can spray these on the surface and wipe them off with a cloth or dry mop. Note: Steam mops are generally NOT safe for use on laminate, with few exceptions.

You can tackle tough spots like oil, paint, markers, or inks using acetone or nail polish remover. These are generally safe for use on laminate, but consult with the manufacturer if you’re unsure.

Laminate flooring does not require waxing. It generally retains its beauty and shine over time. However, you can restore floors that look dull using products specific to laminate. You can also repair scratches and chips using specialty markers, putties, and other products.

Although both types of flooring are easy to care for, vinyl plank has the edge when it comes to ease of care and maintenance. You don’t need specialty cleaners. You can also wet-mop the floor. That makes it the easier flooring to care for when compared against laminate.

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Sizes & Styles

The great thing about vinyl plank and laminate is that both types of flooring aren’t “one-size-fits-all.” There are a variety of colors, styles, and sizes available for installation. However, there are a few notable differences between the two.

Vinyl-plank flooring is available in multiple lengths and widths. Planks are generally four to eight inches wide and between 36 and 48 inches long. Because it is soft vinyl, you can easily cut it into smaller sizes using a utility knife.

In terms of styles and colors, vinyl plank offers something for everyone. From whitewashed oak for the shabby chic interior, cherry or mahogany for a classic look, or even black for modern rooms, there is no shortage of styles and colors to choose from.

Laminate offers widths of about 4’’-16’’. Lengths vary from 36 to over 48 inches. Like vinyl plank, you can also cut laminate to size but because it is wood, it is not quite as easy to cut.

Where laminate offers a big advantage over vinyl plank is the styles and colors available. While various colors and types of wood are available, laminate goes beyond just wood. Laminate designed to mimic the look of travertine, ceramic tile, and stone are also options with this type of flooring.

Because there are so many different choices of wood and other materials, laminate offers a more comprehensive selection of styles and colors when compared to vinyl plank.

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Appearance

Consumers who purchase vinyl plank or laminate flooring are looking for a product that’s comparable to hardwood without the hassle. The most important thing to many of these consumers is the appearance of the flooring. Does it mimic the look of wood, or does it fall flat as just a cheap imitation?

Appearance

Vinyl planks are plastic. The creation of vinyl planks does not involve wood. However, manufacturers have used the latest technology to give a realistic look to vinyl. This includes color variations, textures, and patterns that replicate the appearance of wood at a fraction of the cost and with all of the benefits previously covered.

However, some vinyl planks have few variations and the texture seems a bit off, so it’s easier to distinguish that these planks are not real wood. Anyone considering this type of flooring will need to shop around to ensure they buy a quality product that doesn’t fall flat in terms of appearance.

Laminate is wood but its design is on top of it, on a photographic layer. Most laminate manufacturers utilize modern printing techniques to give their products a more realistic look and texture.

While both types of flooring can come very close to the appearance of wood, laminate is the superior option. Not only do modern printing techniques give a wide range of color variations and textures, but because it is wood and not soft vinyl, it feels more realistic as well. Laminate also contributes to the resale value of a home, whereas vinyl plank likely will not.

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Comfort

Anyone who has stood on bare flooring for hours knows just how tough it can be on the legs, knees, and back. When installing new flooring, it’s important to consider just how comfortable the flooring will be.

Because you install vinyl flooring directly on a concrete subfloor, it’s often not the most comfortable flooring. It can also feel cold because there is no insulation underneath.

Laminate flooring, on the other hand, is traditionally more comfortable. It is much thicker than vinyl, immediately making it more comfortable. Using a foam underlayment underneath can also add to the comfort level.

All bare flooring can get cold depending on the temperature of the room, but laminate – especially flooring installed with a thick underlayment – is warmer than vinyl. Underfloor heating systems can also be installed for an additional cost to further warm up these floors.

When comparing the two types of flooring, laminate is the winner when it comes to comfort.

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Where To Purchase Laminate And Vinyl Flooring

One of the most popular places to buy laminate or vinyl flooring is Home Depot. Lowe’s is also a popular vendor for these types of flooring. But keep in mind that  online vendors may not have the variety of styles and colors you’re looking for. That’s why it’s always best to find a brand you love and see if you can order directly from the company’s website.

Ordering vinyl or laminate planks online is easier because your product will be shipped directly to your door. Although you may have to pay for shipping fees, Check to see if the retailer you pick offers free shipping.

If you want to inspect the color and quality of your flooring before purchasing, then we recommend visiting a Home Depot or Lowes near you.

Visiting a physical retail store to buy either vinyl or laminate flooring has its advantages. If you’re not sure which brand to pick, a sales representative may be able to help you pick the right flooring based on durability, styles, and installation type.

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Best Laminate Flooring Brands

There are many laminate flooring brands on the market but the three most popular ones are Shaw, Mannington, and Mohawk. Since these laminate floor brands are so popular it’s easy to find their products on any interior decor online store.

You’ll love Mannington laminate flooring if you’re looking for rustic planks for entertainment areas or if you want to create a rustic chic aesthetic in your living room. There are plenty of designs to pick from and the finishes are incredibly realistic.

Mohawk has been in the flooring industry for many years so you can buy carpets, tiles, and laminate flooring from the company. This brand sells elegant natural wood colors and finishes that work well in any part of your home.

Shaw is another company that offers various types of flooring. This brand’s laminate planks are durable and the company has many rustic and elegant designs to pick from.

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Best Vinyl Flooring Brands

The top three vinyl plank brands on the market are LifeProof, Armstrong, and Mohawk. All three brands offer plenty of widths, thicknesses, colors, and designs for you to pick from. Vinyl planks from all three of these brands are waterproof and suitable for high-traffic areas.

Among the three brands, LifeProof offers the most affordable vinyl plank flooring, and you can buy these planks from Home Depot. Additionally, Shaw also sells vinyl flooring but these planks are more expensive.

Mohawk offers three vinyl flooring ranges that are also cost effective. You can expect to pay $1 per square foot so you can cover all your floors with Mohawk vinyl planks without breaking the bank.

Armstrong provides vinyl flooring that are highly scratch- and stain-resistant. These planks also come in a range of hardnesses. On the other hand, Armstrong vinyl plank flooring is expensive, starting at $3.65 per square foot.

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Laminate Flooring Pros And Cons

Pros

  • Fade resistant
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Effortless installation
  • Comes in a variety of designs and colors
  • Provides the feeling of real hardwood floors
  • Perfect for living and dining rooms

Cons

  • Not scratch resistant
  • Needs special cleaning tools for maintenance

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Vinyl Flooring Pros And Cons

Pros

  • Scratch resistant
  • Waterproof
  • Suitable for high traffic areas
  • Cost-effective
  • Low maintenance
  • Has a natural wood aesthetic

Cons

  • Prone to fading
  • Doesn’t have many design options

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FAQs

Is Vinyl Plank Flooring Better Than Laminate?

Vinyl plank flooring is considered the superior choice because of its durability. Since vinyl planks are made with 100% plastic, they are moisture resistant. Therefore vinyl flooring is ideal to install in bathrooms, kitchens, and basements.

Another aspect to remember is that there are three types of vinyl flooring: WPC flooring, rigid core, and standard vinyl. The WPC is a wood plastic and polymer composite. Rigid core planks are made with limestone powder, stabilizer, and polyvinyl chloride. The rigid core planks are more robust and are suitable for outdoor decking.

On the other hand, laminate flooring is not suitable for outdoor areas and isn’t as durable as vinyl. That said, homeowners tend to pick laminate flooring because they’re more aesthetically pleasing and come in more colors and designs.

You’ll also love how easy it is to maintain vinyl flooring. You can use steam mops, brooms, and any type of mop when cleaning your vinyl floors. Laminate flooring requires special cleaning aids and tools to keep the surface clean.

Which Is More Durable: Laminate Or Vinyl Flooring?

Vinyl plank flooring has a longer lifespan than laminate flooring and is less prone to getting scratched over time. This is ideal if you have pets with long claws. Additionally, vinyl floors hold up well under pressure so they won’t crack or split under heavy furniture.

You’ll appreciate how well vinyl holds up in areas with heavy foot traffic. Since vinyl is not affected by water you can install them anywhere in your home and they won’t warp or snap. The way you install your vinyl floors will have a major impact on durability, so ensure that you follow the instructions carefully.

Laminate flooring is also durable but the surface scratches easily. That’s why it’s important to select quality laminate planks from reputable brands such as Shaw or Mohawk. Some brands offer laminate flooring that has a high scratch-resistance rating.

Which Costs More: Laminate Or Vinyl?

Laminate flooring is more expensive than vinyl planks. You can expect to pay between $1 and $6 per square foot for laminate flooring. High-quality laminate planks may cost as much as $7 per square foot. This excludes installation costs, which will set you back an extra $5 per square foot if you’re hiring professionals. Vinyl planks can cost between $1.50 and $2 per square foot.

Is Laminate More Scratch-Resistant Than Vinyl?

No, laminate flooring is not more scratch-resistant than vinyl. That’s why you need special cleaning tools and detergents to clean laminate floors– because the surface of the planks tend to scratch easily. You have to use microfiber mops and non-abrasive cleaning aids on laminate flooring.

One upside to laminate flooring is that they don’t fade as much as vinyl can. However, laminate may be more prone to fading when exposed to UV rays. So make sure you install your laminate floors in a room that doesn’t get a lot of sunlight.

Is Laminate Or Vinyl Better For Dogs?

Vinyl flooring is better for dog owners because these planks are highly scratch-resistant. So if your dog has long nails, you can rest assured that they won’t damage the surface of your vinyl planks.

Are Vinyl And Laminate Floating Or Stick-Down Flooring?

Vinyl flooring comes in both floating and peel-and-stick installation types. Laminate flooring requires floating installation. Floating floors mean that the planks fit and lock together, similar to how puzzle pieces fit together. This prevents moisture from getting under the floorboards. This installation type is sturdier and creates an even surface. Peel-and-stick vinyl flooring comes with adhesive backing that allows you to simply stick your planks down. Most people don’t use peel-and-stick flooring because it’s difficult to remove when it’s time to renovate or replace your vinyl flooring.

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The Verdict

Vinyl planks and laminate each have their benefits and drawbacks. They are both also a cost-efficient alternative to hardwood and other types of flooring.

Laminate has a more realistic appearance. It comes in many styles and colors to perfectly complement any home. It is extremely durable. It will retain its beauty for many years when properly maintained. Overall, consumers will find it’s the superior choice for most rooms.

However, in some cases, vinyl planks may be the best choice. These are best in bathrooms or other rooms where moisture accumulates. Beginners looking to tackle an easy DIY home improvement project will also find that it’s easier to work with vinyl planks.

Overall, though, laminate is the best option between the two for most homeowners. It works for almost any room, has superior durability, and provides a more comfortable and stylish flooring option for any home.

So which flooring do you think is better based on today’s article? Would you pick vinyl or laminate flooring for your home? Let us know what you think of these types of floors by leaving a comment below. And if you have vinyl or laminate flooring, tell us how much it cost you to install the planks, and if they’re difficult to maintain. By commenting you may be able to help other readers with their purchasing decisions.

Nikki Seppala

About Nikki Seppala

Nikki is an experienced writer and editor and has worked in industries that range from home improvement to entrepreneurship. For over 10 years, she's used her unique talent and love of the written word to uncover the stories that people want to read.

48 thoughts on “Vinyl Plank vs Laminate Flooring – A Complete Guide”

  1. Avatar

    We just purchased a new home in Florida. Two of the bedrooms have carpeting. I wish I could keep it, but we have 2 senior dogs who still have minds of their own. We’ve been looking at “waterproof” laminate (vinyl planks don’t do it or me). After reading this article and the reviews, I’m concerned about the laminate. Before I moved down here from NY I had installed porcelain wood-style planks in the kitchen.. I don’t love the “you drop it, you break it” fact of life with those tiles, but I’m more likely to drop pillows than plates in the bedroom. If anyone can tell me a miracle has occurred with waterproof laminate now that we’ve arrived at 2021, please tell me. Decision will be made first week of March!

  2. Avatar

    I have vinyl flooring in my quilt room. I have a Bissell Crosswave Cordless Max. Can I use this on that floor and what kind of cleaning product should I use?

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    Sir
    I am looking installing luxury vinyl plank in a basement floor
    Will a cold cement floor in the basement cause it to pop up
    I places. Do I need something under the lip to insulate it from. Cold
    Jack

    1. Avatar

      I had LVP installed on a basement floor with glue down. It looked good and wore well but was COLD in the winter. I had to put rugs down. Summer was fine.

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    My husband and I are deciding between vinyl or laminate. We are replacing several floors in our house including kitchen. My dad lives with us and uses a walker to get around and we will be putting up my husbands pool table. I want vinyl, but am concerned about the walker and the pool table damaging the vinyl. Thoughts?

    1. Avatar

      U most definitely would be better off with laminate flooring instead of vinyl,the weight of the pool table with damage the vinyl and most kitchen table furniture is heavy enough to do it as well. In my experience years of installing laminate and vinyl flooring 90% of customers in your situation would go laminate flooring. Hope this helps you and your husband out on deciding which to choose from!!!

  5. Avatar

    Following up more specifically on my 5/24 post: The apartment my partner’s looking at has LifeProof Vinyl Plank Flooring. She has serious environmental sensitivities and is concerned about it containing PVC, which is toxic and outgasses; and that it would have biocides and fungicides that are likely toxic. Could Nikki, or someone with cogent knowledge, address these concerns? Thanks!

  6. Avatar

    Hello Nikki, my partner has pretty acute environmental sensitivities and is wondering if Pergo vinyl flooring is specifically non-toxic. She says that vinyl flooring can be very toxic (made with reprocessed plastic) and can outgas for years.

    Thanks!

  7. Avatar

    I like that you said vinyl plank flooring is extremely hardwearing, waterproof, and pet-friendly. I think this would be a good flooring for the new house I am building for my family. Since we have three kids below ten years old, two dogs, and a cat, we need flooring that could withstand the mess we could all make. Perhaps I’ll have this type of flooring installed since it’s also super easy to clean. Thanks!

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      I hope you have not proceeded with this purchase. I have had Tegola luxury vinyl flooring through my whole downstairs. It has been down for 18 months and is scratched and impossible to clean. I have two small dogs and grandchildren who visit. This flooring is not hardwearing. I am in a dispute with Carpetright about it who are very dismissive. Apparently I cannot hoover, scrub or steam clean it just sweep and a damp mop. This is despite my telling them I needed to be able to deep clean due to animals and children.

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    I want to put vinyl planking in my bathroom. Currently the floor has 1″ tile on it. I plan on using an underlayment for a more comfortable feel. But should I remove all those tiles first? Or are there thicker underlayments that can be used right over the tiles?

    1. Avatar

      Much depends on the thickness of the floor if you leave the tile in place. Will there be sufficient space below any doors to allow them to open or close? If not you will have to remove them and trim the bottoms. Also consider the height of the floor outside the bathroom as you will have find a transition piece that will compensate for the height differences. Removing the tile is a major project as it is no easy task to remove the grout and get the surface prepped and smooth.

    2. Avatar

      If seen where underlayment caused the edges of the planks to break . The underlayment is designed for a sound deadening. Vinyl planks are not noisy when walked on . I would use floor leveler compound on the ceramic tile to fill the grouting . JMO

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    The article gives good info but be sure to check installation/ warranty. I was planning on entire first floor installation but fount that at least 14 transitions would be required, some in very visible places esp. in hallway/foyer. Many installers will disagree but this voids the warranty.

  10. Avatar

    We are about to put vinyl wood like flooring in our kitchen. We just replaced all the kitchen cabinets with hickory cabinets and we are going with a little dark vinyl floor. Thanks for all the information and feedback on the pros and cons of both vinyl and laminate.

  11. Avatar

    We have had our cortec vinyl flooring for a few years. The mil you choose is the key. If corse you will pay much more. But trust me it’s worth it. I drAg furniture on mine all the time with no damage at all. It indestructible. You get what you pay for. A contractor friend who builds high end homes actually thought it was engineered hardwood. Very warm and easy on the feet. This article needs updating. Many choices on the market now.

  12. Avatar

    A friend of mine had very expensive, waterPROOF laminate installed throughout her house. As careful as she could be, her little dogs still destroyed it within 3 weeks
    I don’t agree that there is such a thing as WayerPROOF LAMINATE.

    1. Avatar

      I have laminate floor for well over 20 years-it is waterproof but has to be dried-does not dry on own and it leaves spots.The problem I had was expanding and shrinking of the seams seasonally. I am replacing my floor not because of wear as it wore fantastically but the seams are now ugly. It’s so old that we had to glue it together not tongue & grove. Been searching for new floor and against all odds I’ve decided the laminate will be my next floor! I also have a floor underneath that turned brown immediately (mannington) so that is my base on a cement floor. I also washed with a wet mop-no problem as the shine is still there! It’s not hard on my feet as underneath is a form type pad that cushions everything and overall easy to install diy, just patience needed. Bought mine at Home depot years ago & now there are other choices in design and stores- Overall I’d say I am pleased with the floor except for the shrinkage at seams & with tongue and groove that may no longer be an issue I hope

      1. Avatar

        I put laminate in my salon in fall 2011, I really thought wet winter boots/shoes dripping would have damaged it long ago, along with everyday traffic, not the case! I purchased it on sale at Rona and it is just starting to look a bit weathered in 2020, wear and tear on some edges around certain stylist chairs,,,and 2 seams that had boots drippings for years are showing signs of wear. I will be replacing with something new in the next year, I was very pleased with it and a professional installer looked at it a week ago and was surprised how well it held up!! I will go laminate again, as we stand all day and it isn’t as hard as tiles.

  13. Avatar

    As someone has already mentioned, this article have some significant inaccuracies.
    1. Vinyl Planks (aka Luxury Vinyl Planks or LVP flooring) DOES come as Travertine, Ceramic and other Tile looks and I have been shopping for flooring for few months and haven’t seen any Laminate that looks like any tile.
    2. Unless you go for Rigid LVPs, LVPs are softer to walk on and easy on feets. It’s also a little better if you have children form injury perspective. One more thing is LVP are are much quieter to walk on and doesn’t squeak.
    3. There are few waterproof and quite a few water-resistant laminates available in market. So far I have seen more variety of Laminate flooring than LVPs in wood look.
    4. Real wood isn’t much more expensive, depending on wood, then other flooring types although they require a little more work to install and hence higher installation cost, but so does tiles.
    Thanks.

  14. Avatar

    We recently had the Mannington Adura Flex Vinyl tile installed in our newly remodeled kitchen. It is the only part of the kitchen that I am disappointed with. It shows every footprint, even from slippers. It always looks dirty, even after using their recommended “Mannington Floor Cleaner”. It is very hard and has no give when you walk on it. I had to buy gel mats just so my back wouldn’t hurt while working in the kitchen. I would not recommend this product at all!

  15. Avatar

    Being that this article was written in just a bit over a year ago, I’m disappointed I found a few things not completely accurate about this type of flooring. Both types of flooring have been around for quite some time, so more research should have been done.

    There is a difference between water-resistant and waterproof. Water-resistant is a product that can resist water up to a point before its damaged. Waterproof is a product that can resist water completely and not damage the product. Mfg has both vinyl and laminate flooring that is water-resistant and some that are 100% waterproof out on the market…and have for quite some time. You just have to do research to find out if the flooring you plan to use is waterproof or not. The laminate flooring that I plan to use in my whole house is 100% Waterproof.

    As far as the installation of laminate, you can also use a jigsaw as well as a laminate floor cutter which is actually the easiest. I’ve seen someone use a utility knife, but it’s a little tricker and not worth even trying (even tho the mfg said you can).

    Now the laminate flooring I do plan to purchase, specifically states NOT to use steam on the flooring. I would not use steam on anything except tiles like porcelain or ceramic. But still, check with the mfg on either to be sure. This flooring mfg also says rotating brushes, floor scrubbers, buffers or jet mops are not to be used either. As far as wiping up spills, the article says to wipe up immediately for laminate. Laminate or vinyl that is 100% waterproof does not need to be wiped up immediately. Water-resistant flooring should be wiped up within a certain amount of time. Check with the mfg on that specific time frame.

    Underlayment is per mfg instructions. The flooring I plan to use, states if I get the model that has an attached underlayment I will void the warranty if I add more underlayment. If it doesnt have an attached underlayment, then you need to add it. I am putting this down on concrete flooring and I am a little confused as to if I can put a moisture barrier under the one model that has the attached underlayment. I do believe the wording states for concrete you have to add it, but I will be asking for clarification before installation.

    Although I did find some things not quite right w/this article, I did learn a few things and thats why I read it in the first place…to learn.

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      Hi. I’m interested to know who manufactures waterproof laminate? Could you share the name of what you are using? I did not think that waterproof laminate existed! We want to lay laminate in our new residential building but I am being told by several people to go with vinyl for it’s water resistance, but everything I’ve seen in vinyl so far is so ugly! Would greatly appreciate any insight into a more durable laminate. Thank you!

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      Quite a few years ago we installed a high quality laminate in a church foyer in the far north, approximately 70 feet by 30 feet. During periods of warm winter or spring weather, we would mop up over 3 gallons of water each service. Never did we have any problems with the floors. We have had laminate floors in both northern Canada and southern Arizona, we wash them regularly with water and a floor cleaner. All laminate floors we have had have worked well being washed as you would any floor.

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    Elaine Zenthoefer

    My husband and I recently purchased a new home where laminate in the great room and halls was the only choice. We also have a rental units. In one we put a tile looking laminate product and the other vinyl plank. The laminate is not the best for a rental as tenants don’t always comply with the recommended cleaning products. The other rental with vinyl plank looks great after 6 years. This tenant has cats and dogs.

    The care is certainly easier with vinyl. It also looks like a rich medium stained oak floor. My tenant is extremely happy with this product. Meanwhile 2 month old wood looking laminate has several chips in it which didn’t require much to damage the surface. It is under warranty so we are considering replacement with vinyl plank. I would appreciate other comments on this.

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      We had vinyl is our first house, which we’ve rented out for the last 5 years. It’s held up amazingly. I loved it so much that we also installed vinyl in our new house. Both have withstood cats and lots of guests as well as furniture dragging, and the vinyl in our current house has held up admirably against our extremely messy toddler. I dropped a burning hookah coal on the laminate in our old house once. It was on the floor for a good 15 seconds and there wasn’t so much as a mark. I’d like to see laminate stand up to that.

      As for the authors opinion on resale value, I disagree. Within the next decade vinyl plank will become ever more popular and I believe it will overtake laminate. Especially for people with children. They’re always spilling something. I’m pretty sure my daughter would have massacred laminate floors if we had them.

      Laminate has a poor reputation for a reason. While it has improved in recent years, if you’re buying a home that had it installed more than 5 years ago you will know because unless it was really high end it will look terrible.

      Personally, I’d recommend just about any flooring over laminate.

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        Kevin L Bigoness

        Wow. A hot coal puts a hole in a wood laminate floor after 15 seconds on the floor, but the same thing happens to a vinyl laminate floor and nothing happened. I find that hard to believe. I would think a hot coal would melt the plastic and rubber strange.

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        15 years ago i put la.inated in my 3 bedrooms , they were on sale for 1.99 regular price 2.99. There is not one scratch. It os amazing. Of course they are in rooms. The warranty was 30 years. My living room and kitchen have tiles. Is time to change. I recommended laminate for bedrooms.

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      Tina Stout Stout

      My in-laws put wood look vinyl in their mobile home over five years ago. When they first got it, I was like yep that’s what we are putting on our floors eventually. It looked good and was waterproof. I have since changed my mind. Not a good product at all. It scratches easily and takes the color right off. The dark vinyl kept having white spots appearing. My FIL kept saying something had spilled on it. Nope, it was the color coming off the planks. Then later when a family member moved in for a while, he had to get around in a rolling office chair. He further scratched the color off the kitchen floor rolling the chair over the floor.

      We also put this same flooring in one of our rental properties. The renters moved out about a month ago and my hubby said we have to have it replaced as the renters didn’t take care of it at all (even though I put in the contract that furniture had to have protectors under it and how to properly clean the floor). It’s now ruined.

      We currently have laminate planks in our house. We put it in 12 years ago. I wouldn’t get this stuff again as it’s not waterproof or scratch resistant. This time we are going with 100% waterproof laminate flooring. People have had this in their house for years w/out any issues with pets and kids.
      This article was written a little over a year ago. This waterproof laminate flooring didn’t just come out last year. The writer didn’t do her homework. I’m making a new post regarding that as well.

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        I think the same could be said of vinyl plank. Some are water resistant, others waterproof. Both laminate and vinyl have a wide range of quality, Anything in the under $2/sqft in either type is less durable and more prone to scratching. You see this in the product reviews for specific levels of either product. We are going with a waterproof higher end vinyl plank, hoping it is as durable as the reviews we have seen. Bottom line, nothing is totally bullet proof and you never know exactly how people in reviews are treating or caring for their floors.

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        Tina, I’m a little confused.. you said “ We currently have laminate planks in our house. We put it in 12 years ago. I wouldn’t get this stuff again as it’s not waterproof or scratch resistant. This time we are going with 100% waterproof laminate flooring“ – are you saying you are going to still do laminate but a different brand type?

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    Excellent article Nikki! We have had laminate for almost 20 years in our kitchen and it holds up pretty well but has a few chips. Water is not your friend with laminate though… had a sink leak and it did damage the planks. Also, the builder “cleaned” the construction dust off of the floor using a floor polisher… big mistake! Ruined thousands worth of flooring that all had to be redone. Anyway, I’m thinking of going with vinyl planks in a 3rd car garage that we use as an office. Sounds easier for a DIY install with the ability to cut with a utility knife.

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    Both sound good. Would like to use vinyl but worry about fading in our west facing home. Does the vinyl really fade a lot?

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      I’d personally read the mfg info about their particular flooring. Many mfg are also active on facebook and can answer questions about the flooring right there.

      I’ve heard the waterproof laminate is fade-resistant, but havent read anything lately on the vinyl flooring. It’s definitely not scratch resistant…at least not the one my in-laws purchased over 12 years ago. Within a few years, the color was coming off and a family member scratched it up even more w/a chair. They may have made the flooring better since then.

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    The contractor only had a few last planks to cut to complete the install. So disappointing there are several exposed sharp chips that are appearing on the edges of a few of the planks; Some planks have more than one chip. What is happening? We may have gotten a defective box/boxes? A few of the chips are in the middle of my kitchen floor. Please respond ASAP. Thank you.

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      Great article, thank you. Now I’m sort of torn between the two like reader Shannon mentioned. But wonder living a few blocks from the beach with constant moisture and humidity, plus having a dog that I never know when it will pee on the floor next, I’m thinking Vinyl wins. Am I right in that assumption?

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        Yes, you are right. As an Interior Designer, I have used many floor products. Vinyl planks are superior in performance and looks in the environment you described. I personally use it in my home because of those wonderful dog companions who accidentally surprise us from time to time. Also had an ice machine malfunction with no permanent damage to the vinyl planks.

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          Can you tell me what brand you like to use? My head is spinning, as vinyl seems to be the best option for us, but I feel that based on what I read, quality of the flooring is the bottom line…
          Thanks!

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    Thank you, Ant. I’m torn at the moment between laminate or luxury vinyl on our fixer-upper home but with a budget in mind, two small children, and the amount of floor I have to cover, I really think I’ll be going with vinyl.

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    I don’t know what vinyl flooring you sampled from. But the ones I purchased from Lumber liquidators “luxury vinyl plank” are much thinker than regular laminates. Also both products require padding underneath when using over concrete.

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      I agree, but I have seen some vinyl on the market still like my inlaws put in their trailer 12 years ago. It’s very thin and it bends. I think it was peel and stick. The vinyl you’d use now days is about 7mm thick and does require some sort of moisture barrier if being used on concrete.

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