What are the Differences Between Vinyl Wood Flooring and Laminate Flooring?

Laminate and vinyl flooring have a lot of the same qualities, such as their outer appearance and their affordability. However, what do they differ on? Read on to learn about the main differences between vinyl wood flooring and laminate flooring.

Appearance and Design

In terms of how they look, both vinyl and laminate flooring are similar, although laminate tends to look a bit more realistic and to be of higher quality. The two types of flooring are made of different materials, with luxury vinyl flooring being mainly synthetic and coated with wear protection such as no-wax polyurethane. Laminate flooring, however, is made of wood byproducts and has a protective top layer of plastic. Laminate flooring is generally thicker than vinyl, which can make it warmer and softer to walk on.

Water Resistance

One of the biggest differences between laminate and vinyl flooring is its water resistance. Vinyl is significantly more waterproof than laminate. Laminate is prone to swelling or softening when it is exposed to water for a long period of time, which can cause peeling. Because of this, laminate flooring is not recommended for rooms with long exposure to water such as the bathroom or laundry room.

Cleaning and Maintenance

When it comes to cleaning, vinyl flooring has a clear advantage: its water resistance. This means you can use a wet mop and cleaning products without worrying about damaging your flooring. Laminate flooring, however, needs a more delicate hand and should only really be cleaned using dry methods. Other than this, both types of flooring are relatively low-maintenance.


Both types of flooring are relatively similar in cost. Laminate flooring and vinyl flooring are both cheaper than most other flooring materials such as porcelain tile or hardwood, although luxury vinyl flooring can get significantly more expensive as it gets higher in quality.

In general, vinyl flooring starts are around $1 per square foot for the lower-quality versions such as a glue-down sheet. The higher quality you get, the more likely it is you will be paying up to around $5 per square foot for luxury vinyl flooring. However, this price is likely to get you a thicker wear level, increasing the durability of the flooring, as well as a special waterproof core.

Laminate flooring is generally sold at around $1-5 per square foot, depending on a few factors like the thickness and the design you choose.

Durability and longevity

Both laminate flooring and vinyl floorings are generally extremely durable and strong, but laminate can be particularly susceptible to water damage. In addition to this, it is difficult to repair any surface scratches. Generally, laminate flooring is expected to last 10-25 years depending on how well it is maintained. Although vinyl is typically considered a lower-quality product, it stands up well to wear and tear and is expected to last up to 20 years, dependent on the maintenance and care it receives over its lifetime.

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