Laminate and luxury vinyl are often marketed as almost the same product – and understandably so in terms of style and cost – however, there are also some notable differences to consider, especially in terms of composition. Interior Decorator and Home Beautiful stylist, Tahn Scoon discusses the pros and cons of laminate and luxury vinyl flooring…
I love all those American flipping shows. If you’re an avid viewer, you’ve probably noticed that stained old carpet is almost always swapped out with timber-look luxury vinyl. That’s because real timber (especially hardwood) is expensive – whereas timber-look vinyl is cheap. And as it’s made by printing a super high-resolution photographic image onto the vinyl, it mimics the best timber boards surprisingly well.
It’s also easy to install, easy to clean and extremely water-resistant – so perfect for wet areas, children and muddy boots and paws. The downside is it’s not super environmentally friendly and it’s not a natural product. If this is a concern for you, you may prefer laminate flooring.
Whereas vinyl is made from plastic, laminate is made almost entirely from wood product (the core is a wood chip composite). This makes it softer and warmer underfoot, though less water-resistant, so not ideal for bathrooms. When purchasing laminate flooring, ensure the wood is sustainable and the glues used to bond the wood are low VOC.
Whether you’re renovating your family home or undertaking a quick flip, when the time comes to sell, laminate will hold its value better. Though not quite as well as real or engineered timber, it’ll be close as it’s still perceived as a timber (albeit man-made timber) product.
Both products are easy to live with. Quieter than traditional hardwood floors – and without the gaps, so much easier to keep clean. And of course, there’s the undoubtable fact they look good. Add to that the comparatively low product and installation cost and you can see why they’re an increasingly popular flooring choice.