Vinyl flooring vs. laminate

Wood parquet boards and laminate have been compared more than once, and the main differences between them are already known. Wooden flooring is more suitable for people who appreciate naturalness, while laminate is suitable for practical people. But who are vinyl floors suitable for?

If we compare laminate with a vinyl flooring (or otherwise a PVC flooring), it is likely that we will have to face a dilemma – what is the better choice. This question arises naturally, as both manufacturers advertise their products as exceptional – solid, cost-effective and easy-to-install.

And the similarities end here 🙂 The material, thickness, comfort, resistance to moisture differs between the floorings. Essentially, the basic materials that make up the vinyl or laminate flooring are different.

We will discuss each floor separately:

The vinyl flooring is made of PVC plastic using all of the latest technologies. The vinyl is made of 8 different layers, two of which are layers of glass fibre, that ensure an even better stability of the boards. This also means that this flooring is 100% resistant to moisture. You can immerse the flooring in water, keep it this way for several days and nothing would happen.

The technologies are highly advanced, so forget about the unattractive PVC flooring from 20 years ago. Today, the vinyl flooring is not a roll, but in the form of a board or tile, and there is a “click” system across all the edges. This allows a solid flooring connection. Improved wood stamp embossing technology allows it to compete even with wooden parquet boards, since the boards do not only have a wood pattern, but it is also possible to feel it when touching.

Laminate usually consists of three layers. The first layer is what we see – resin-processed cellulose with a drawing, and it is protected against wear by another protective layer of transparent resin. The middle layer is a layer of wood fibre. Base layer is a stabilizing layer. This layer is made of an impregnated paper, plywood plastic or other materials. Due to this composition, laminate is not resistant to moisture. If the boards are connected correctly, low moisture will not have a significant effect, but in the case of flooding, e.g. if a pipe of a dishwasher or a washing machine breaks and a large amount of water gets on the flooring, it is most likely to rise up or “bubbles” might appear.

To this day, laminate is the most common and is often laid at home, but only because it was the first easy-to-install flooring, which looks very similar to wooden parquet boards; however, technologies do not stand still. They are constantly improving, while more and more new kinds of floorings emerge.

So, when setting up a home, it is possible to combine the two floorings together: laying laminate in the rooms, and PVC flooring in the bathroom, kitchen (where the probability of water and moisture is higher). But why bother so much? The vinyl flooring is well ahead of the laminate, because moisture does not affect it, it can be laid around the whole house and create a unifying style.

Easy to install

Today’s vinyl flooring, that comes to your home in the form of tiles or a boards, is very easy to install. As mentioned above, boards have a “click” connection across all four edges, so this flooring can be installed in a “floating” way, which means that the flooring does not need to be glued to the base and can be laid down by yourself. Only if You want to, of course 🙂 Secondly, the vinyl board is very easy to cut. You will not need any special tools, just a stationary knife and a ruler. Cut the top layer of the PVC flooring and break it. The flooring breaks easily, so You will complete the row by cutting the boards without a hassle. The flooring is flexible, easy to install under pipes or other hard-to-reach areas.

The laminate is laid very similarly to the vinyl flooring, as it also has a “click” system. The only drawback is that the flooring is thicker, so a simple knife will not be enough for you to cut the boards. They will need to be cut with a saw which means that it will get dusty. As the flooring is thicker, it is not flexible, and it will be more difficult to install it nicely in hard-to-reach places, under the patio windows, pipes, etc.

To summarize, both floorings are really easy to install yourself, precisely because of the “click” system, which allows the flooring to be laid in a “floating” way.

Preparation of the foundation

Because of the manufacturing technology, the vinyl flooring is thinner and should be thoroughly prepared, especially if you choose a “dry back” (glue down) option. When choosing a “click” option, just like a laminate, just a mat will be enough. Of course, in all cases, there should be no major unevenness in the foundation.

Appearance and home usage possibilities

Even though, formerly, the majority of people often chose laminate while laying vinyl flooring only in the bathroom, now the situation has changed. More and more people choose a vinyl flooring because it is elastic, which means that the floor will not crack if a heavy object falls on it, as it can be the case with laminate. The second reason – vinyl isolates the sound very well in any room, the flooring does not patter. And the last reason, which is especially important for parents – the vinyl flooring is softer than laminate, therefore children are less likely to get injured while playing.

Resistance to moisture

And here, of course, the vinyl flooring is irreplaceable.

The vinyl flooring is 100% water-resistant because of its material, since it is a PVC material, and joints that prevent water from deeper penetration. Thus, the vinyl can be installed in any room of the house. PVC flooring is probably the only flooring that can actually be considered “water-resistant” because it does not get affected by a water even if it has been sitting in the area for a long time.

Laminate can only be referred to as partially “water-resistant” because this flooring is not recommended to be placed in areas of high risk, such as a bath or a cellar.

Laminate manufacturers expected this flooring to be water-resistant, but for the time being, the idea shall remain only in their dreams 🙂

Friendly environment

For a long time, the vinyl flooring was presented as the least environmentally friendly flooring available on the market. But that’s a thing of the past. Currently, vinyl flooring is made from 50% recycled materials, which are bio-degradable. And our factory, from which we supply vinyl, complies with the most stringent EU air and water pollution policies. The vinyl flooring is friendly to the environment, not only because of the manufacturing technologies, but also in a practical way, since its maintenance does not require strong chemical cleaning agents. Products also have heat insulation properties which reduces heating costs.

The production of laminate is also improving since more natural raw materials are chosen, and the latest technologies are used. This flooring can have a Blue Angel – friendly to nature – certificate, which means that the flooring does not emit toxic substances.

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