Dublin homeowners are increasingly looking for flooring options that are versatile, attractive, economical, easy to clean, and high performance. Laminate and luxury vinyl flooring both fit the bill. Both laminate and luxury vinyl plank offer options for inexpensive floors that imitate more expensive materials, and their longevity and durability make them an excellent choice. But what are the salient differences between laminate and luxury vinyl flooring and which is the better choice for your home?
Laminate and luxury vinyl flooring both do an excellent job of imitating more expensive flooring materials such as hardwood and tile, giving you a premium look for less. In fact, this is one of the biggest drawcards for luxury vinyl and laminate floors. The newer luxury vinyl plank floors incorporate more advanced technology for a highly realistic look and texture, that can’t be picked even by a trained eye. Of course, appearance of the flooring depends on quality, and this will vary, so inspect both your laminate or luxury vinyl flooring in person before installing.
While old vinyl was soft and flexible with a previously lower score for durability, newer luxury vinyl planks and tiles have multiple wear layers and are just as durable as laminate. Both laminate and luxury vinyl planks consist of a wear layer, photographic image, and a backing material. Laminate is still thicker than vinyl planks, because of the materials it is composed of, but it is also harder than luxury vinyl planks or tiles. This hardness can make laminate floors more susceptible to physical damage (which cannot be repaired) so it’s better suited to low traffic, whereas luxury vinyl is suitable for all flooring applications, including commercial.
The material that laminate and luxury vinyl tiles are predominantly made of is the most significant difference between the two flooring types. Luxury vinyl planks and tiles are 100% plastic, which makes them durable and completely resistant to water. Laminate on the other hand is 99% wood product, usually high-density fiberboard, which is made up of recycled hardwood. This means it is not water resistant and can swell and warp with excess moisture exposure.
As mentioned above, due to the composition materials of laminate, it is not suitable for use in rooms with exposure to excess water or moisture, such as bathrooms or areas prone to flooding. On the other hand, luxury vinyl tiles and planks can be submerged in water for days with no ill effects.
The costs of laminate and luxury vinyl tiles in Dublin, CA are very similar, with prices varying depending on the quality and design of the flooring.
Because vinyl flooring is slightly softer and more flexible, it can be more comfortable than harder laminate and less noisy to walk on. However, this also really depends on the subfloor. Luxury vinyl tile and plank can be installed directly on a concrete subfloor, making it harder and colder than laminate which can be installed on a foam underlay.
Old vinyl flooring previously had a bad reputation for toxins and VOCs (volatile organic compounds. However, new innovations have allowed flooring manufacturers to produce vinyl flooring that achieves a LEED credit EQ4.3 for Low-Emitting Material, one of the best possible ratings. Laminate flooring, which uses recycled hardwood qualifies for LEED MR4 (Recycled Content) status.
Choosing the right flooring for your home involves weighing up the different attributes and benefits of each type of flooring. One of the easiest ways to do this is to visit a flooring warehouse and talk with a flooring expert about the right flooring for your needs.