Laminate vs. Luxury Vinyl: Which floor is right for your home?

laminate vs vinyl flooringOur “aha!” moment came when we got fed up with the last food stain on the off-white carpet under our dining room table. While we’re sure that the carpeting worked great for the last homeowner, it wasn’t working for us. We were tired of carpet cleaning, sick of worrying about spills, and just done. That spring, the decision to remove the carpet was made, and a new decision presented itself: what was the best flooring option for our space? We knew right away that real hardwood flooring was not the right flooring for our space, because we didn’t want to worry about water or maintenance.

At Y’s Way, we see other homeowners who have to make that decision every day. They want the look of wood without being concerned about water or upkeep. The answer: laminate or luxury vinyl flooring. So what’s the difference between these two types of flooring? And what’s the right floor for your home: laminate or luxury vinyl flooring?

Laminate Flooring Pros

Price. Laminate flooring prices can’t be beat in price per square foot. Have a large amount of square footage that needs flooring? Laminate is beyond affordable, even for the largest spaces.

Durability. Whatever you throw at laminate floors, they can take: high foot traffic, pets, absolute craziness. These floors are built to last in even the most high-traffic areas of your home (even in commercial applications!).

DIY Installation. If you want or need to install laminate flooring, you can. Laminate flooring can easily be installed with the right equipment and a short tutorial. Because laminate flooring is a floating floor, no glue or adhesives are needed.

Easy to clean. With regular sweeping and felt pads on all your furniture, laminate flooring is easy to clean and maintain. Laminate flooring does not require any upkeep or maintenance.

Laminate Flooring Cons

Water can warp your laminate flooring. Water can be your laminate floor’s worst enemy; if water sits on the floor for an extended period of time, the spill can warp the floor. To minimize the risk, use rugs in any entryways and high-risk areas.

Scratches. Even with the strength of laminate floors, they can get scratched. To prevent scratches, add felt pads to the bottom of all your furniture and keep gravel, small stones, and sharp objects cleaned up.

Luxury Vinyl Flooring Pros

wood and vinyl floor
Can you tell which sample is vinyl?

Indestructible. Luxury vinyl flooring is durable and tough, making it ideal for homes with pets and kids. Because it’s so tough, luxury vinyl floors can be installed in high traffic rooms such as living rooms, family rooms, kitchens, mud rooms, foyers…the sky is the limit with vinyl floors.

Affordable. Luxury vinyl flooring is one of the most affordable flooring products in the market, especially when compare to real wood floors. Make sure you do your research when selecting the vinyl product right for your home; there are many different levels of vinyl flooring, or ask the experts.

DIY Installation option. Many luxury vinyl plank products snap together, making it suitable for DIYers who want new, durable flooring they can install themselves. Luxury vinyl flooring can also be glued or installed with grout.

Easy to clean. Have a spill or pet puddle? Wipe up your luxury vinyl flooring with a rag, and mop your messes away. These floors require literally no maintenance. As a bonus, luxury vinyl flooring can handle any kind of water spills, and has even been known to withstand some minor flooding.

Works in a basement. Because luxury vinyl flooring can handle water, such as the water seeping through your basement concrete and humidity, luxury vinyl flooring can be installed in the basement (perfect option for a man cave!).

Luxury Vinyl Flooring Cons

Price (compared to laminate wood floors). Luxury vinyl flooring is more expensive than laminate flooring.

Scratches. Just as with laminate, there is a small chance that luxury vinyl flooring may scratch.

If you have any questions about vinyl and wood floors, ask us via email or on Facebook. Or experience the difference between wood and vinyl for yourself at any Y’s Way Flooring in Watertown, Oconomowoc and Lake Mills. The good news is that no matter what flooring you choose, wood or vinyl, your flooring is going to perform well, and look even better.

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