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  • Diana Taylor

Vinyl Plank Flooring vs Laminate Wood Flooring: A Comprehensive Comparison

Updated: Oct 4, 2023


Laminate Wood Flooring

Differences between Vinyl Plank Flooring and Laminate Wood Flooring


If you're considering new flooring, Vinyl Plank Contractors can assist you with a wide range of options that are durable and easy to clean. Laminate Wood Contractors can provide you with numerous styles that closely mimic real wood, adding value to your home.


Vinyl plank flooring and laminate wood flooring are two popular options for homeowners who want the look of wood flooring without the high cost and maintenance. While both options offer a realistic wood appearance, there are key differences between the two.

Vinyl plank flooring is made of synthetic materials and consists of four layers, including a backing layer, cushion layer, and sound barrier layer. On the other hand, laminate wood flooring has a wood fiberboard core and is made up of four layers, including a wear layer, decor layer, core layer, and backer layer.


One of the main differences is that vinyl plank flooring can be wet-mopped, making it easy to clean. In contrast, laminate wood flooring requires dry cleaning methods. This is because vinyl plank flooring is entirely waterproof, while laminate wood flooring is not. Vinyl plank flooring is especially suitable for high-moisture areas such as bathrooms, while laminate wood flooring is better suited for dry areas.


Another important distinction is the installation process. Vinyl plank flooring can be glued down or loose-laid, which makes it easier to install. On the other hand, laminate wood flooring is a floating floor that attaches side-to-side and requires more precision during installation.


When it comes to durability, both vinyl plank flooring and laminate wood flooring are known for their strength. However, vinyl plank flooring is more resistant to scratches and dents compared to laminate wood flooring. This makes it a better choice for households with pets or young children.


In terms of style and design options, both vinyl plank flooring and laminate wood flooring offer a wide range of choices. Vinyl plank flooring comes in various styles, colors, and patterns, allowing homeowners to achieve the desired look they want. Laminate wood flooring also offers a variety of wood and stone looks, providing versatility in design.

One consideration to keep in mind is the resale value of the flooring. Generally, laminate wood flooring has a higher resale value compared to vinyl plank flooring. This is because laminate wood flooring closely mimics the look of real wood, which is considered more desirable by potential buyers.


When it comes to cost, both vinyl plank flooring and laminate wood flooring offer affordable options. The price range for vinyl plank flooring is typically between $0.60 and $4.00 per square foot, depending on the quality and brand. On the other hand, laminate wood flooring ranges from $0.50 to $3.00 per square foot, with variations based on the type and brand.



Pros and Cons of Vinyl Plank Flooring


When considering vinyl plank flooring, there are several pros and cons to keep in mind. On the positive side, vinyl plank flooring is durable and long-lasting, with thick, high-quality options lasting up to 25 years. It is also entirely waterproof, making it suitable for high-moisture areas. Vinyl plank flooring is easy to clean and can be wet-mopped for easy maintenance. Additionally, it offers a realistic look, with high-quality options available, and comes in various styles, colors, and patterns to suit different preferences.


However, there are a few drawbacks to vinyl plank flooring. It generally has a lower resale value compared to laminate wood flooring. Some vinyl plank flooring products may emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can affect indoor air quality. While vinyl plank flooring can be affordable, higher-quality options can be more expensive.

Pros of Vinyl Plank Flooring:

  • Durable and long-lasting

  • Entirely waterproof

  • Easy to clean

  • Realistic look with a variety of styles, colors, and patterns

Cons of Vinyl Plank Flooring:

  • Lower resale value compared to laminate wood flooring

  • Possible emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

  • Higher-quality options can be more expensive



Pros and Cons of Laminate Wood Flooring


Laminate wood flooring also has its own set of pros and cons. On the positive side, it offers a wide variety of style choices, including different wood and stone looks. Laminate wood flooring generally has a higher resale value compared to vinyl plank flooring. It tends to be more comfortable underfoot, providing a softer feel. Additionally, laminate wood flooring is highly durable and resistant to scratches and stains.


However, there are a few drawbacks to laminate wood flooring as well. It is not fully waterproof and may be susceptible to water damage. Unlike solid hardwood flooring, laminate wood flooring cannot be repaired or refinished if damaged. It is also not recommended for rooms with a lot of moisture, such as bathrooms. Some laminate wood flooring products may contain materials that are harmful to health and emit VOCs.

Pros of Laminate Wood Flooring:

  • Wide variety of style choices

  • Higher resale value compared to vinyl plank flooring

  • Comfortable underfoot

  • Highly durable and resistant to scratches and stains

Cons of Laminate Wood Flooring:

  • Not fully waterproof and may be susceptible to water damage

  • Cannot be repaired or refinished if damaged

  • Not recommended for rooms with high moisture levels

  • Possible emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs)


Considerations when Choosing between Vinyl Plank Flooring and Laminate Wood Flooring


There are several factors to consider when deciding between vinyl plank flooring and laminate wood flooring. If you are looking for flooring for high-moisture areas, such as bathrooms, vinyl plank flooring is the better option due to its waterproof nature. However, if you prefer a wider variety of style choices and have a dry area, laminate wood flooring may be more suitable.


Another consideration is water resistance. Vinyl plank flooring is entirely waterproof and can withstand water exposure, while laminate wood flooring is not fully waterproof and may require a vapor barrier in high-moisture areas.


Installation method is another factor to think about. Vinyl plank flooring can be glued or loose-laid, making it easier to install. In contrast, laminate wood flooring is a floating floor that attaches side-to-side, requiring more precision during installation.

Budget is also an important consideration. Both vinyl plank flooring and laminate wood flooring offer a range of prices, depending on the quality and brand. It's essential to choose the option that fits your budget without compromising on quality.


When debating "Which is better Vinyl plank or laminate wood," several factors such as moisture levels, style preferences, and budget constraints should be considered. If you're concerned about the Vinyl Plank Cost per square foot, it's important to bear in mind that while it may have a lower resale value, it is entirely waterproof and more resistant to scratches and dents. On the other hand, when it comes to Laminate Wood Cost per square foot, you're investing in a flooring option that, although it cannot be repaired or refinished, offers a wide variety of styles and a realistic wood look.


In conclusion, vinyl plank flooring and laminate wood flooring each have their own unique characteristics and advantages. The choice between the two ultimately depends on factors such as the specific room's moisture levels, style preferences, water resistance needs, installation method preferences, and budget constraints. By considering these factors and weighing the pros and cons, homeowners can make an informed decision and choose the flooring option that best suits their needs and preferences.


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