In the past, we’ve compared laminate with hardwood flooring to see which material is better for Fishers homeowners. And while there was no decisive victor in that match-up (the “best” material really does depend on who and what is in your house), we really enjoyed putting two materials side-by-side and honestly assessing their strengths and weaknesses.
In fact, we liked doing the comparison so much that we’ve decided to do another! So without further ado, here’s another flooring showdown from the pros at Floor Coverings International of Carmel! We bring you: laminate vs. vinyl!
Introducing the Competitors
First, let’s get some definitions out of the way. Laminate uses a core made of fiberboard and resin along with a durable plastic surface layer that can be printed to very accurately mimic the look of hardwood. It’s popular because it is easy to install, looks great, and is much less expensive than solid hardwood.
Vinyl is a 100% plastic flooring material. It’s easy to install, less expensive than most other flooring materials, and completely impervious to water. A fancy version of vinyl called “Luxury vinyl tile” (LVT) is popular because the surface can be printed to closely resemble almost any material.
Round 1: Moisture Resistance
No question here: vinyl wins the round as a perfect choice for Fishers homeowners looking for a bathroom or kitchen surface that can withstand spills, splashes, and moisture. It’s 100% waterproof, resilient, and comfortable to stand on. Laminate, on the other hand, is decent when it comes to small amounts of moisture, but it’s still made of wood and has cracks that water can seep into.
Round 2: Cost
We’ll call this one a tie. Laminate and vinyl both range from $2–5 per square foot (though prices can vary depending on many factors), with laminate sometimes being slightly less expensive. Of course, the surface design and many other factors contribute to cost, so the best way to get a sense of pricing is by scheduling a visit with the our mobile showroom anywhere in the greater Carmel, Fishers, Zionsville, McCordsville, Westfield area.
Round 3: Appearance
Both laminate and vinyl can reproduce the appearance of natural materials like stone, ceramic, and solid hardwood. With both materials, the design possibilities are endless. We could also call this one a tie—however, we think laminate has a slight edge on vinyl because of the way it feels underfoot. Laminate’s hard surface will feel almost identical to real hardwood, while the illusion created by vinyl’s surface will be broken as soon as someone steps on it.
And The Winner Is…
If you’re looking for the most durable material, there’s no question: vinyl is about as versatile and low maintenance as it gets. However, if you like the idea of a floor that looks and feels like hardwood at a fraction of the cost, laminate will be the clear winner for you. To learn more, schedule a free, in-home consultation with Floor Coverings International of Carmel today!
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