Is vinyl flooring better than laminate? Well, it depends on your preference and various other factors. Perhaps you intend to shop for vinyl flooring or are exploring other cost-effective, versatile, and practical options, such as laminate. Or maybe you’ve hit a snag in your search, and you’re unsure which option best suits your needs. Well, this post has you in mind. Prefer Laminate Flooring Underlay that is one of the best for your residential or commercial flooring. Acoustic Flooring is also a good option that makes your floor better.

To the avid do-it-yourselfer, installing vinyl or laminate planks is a dream. And while vinyl and laminate flooring may look similar from a distance, subtle and clear differences emerge once you compare the two materials. This write-up will look at what you can expect from either flooring type and its properties. That way, we might emerge with a clear winner; who knows? 

Vinyl Flooring

Standard vinyl planks are crafted from plastic and consist of four layers of materials. These include a backing layer (consisting of foam or cork) that provides cushioning and helps minimize noise. The other layers include a solid vinyl core, a décor layer (printed layer), and a wear layer. The types of vinyl flooring you can choose from include: 

  • WPC-wood plastic and polymer composite- vinyl
  • Rigid core vinyl- sports a rugged core
  • Vinyl planks

Laminate Flooring

If you fancy the look of a hardwood floor but can’t meet its high cost, laminate is an excellent option to consider- it mimics the look of real hardwood or stone. Although laminate consists of similar layers as vinyl, it’s crafted using different materials. 

Due to its décor layer, laminate is a great choice for a homeowner casting about for a budget-friendly yet delightful flooring design. Besides, given its thick composition, it’s easy on your feet, making it ideal for areas with high foot traffic.  

Vinyl Vs. Laminate Flooring

Laminate and vinyl are easy to install, offer aesthetic appeal, and provide an economical flooring option. So, what sets vinyl flooring apart from laminate? Let’s unveil the fundamental differences between these materials. 

Water Resistance 

Vinyl floors are 100% water-resistant, thanks to vinyl’s plastic construction. Thus, you can dip vinyl sheets in water, dry them out, and reuse them. Also, you may install a single vinyl sheet in a room, which eliminates seams that would otherwise allow water to seep through. As a result, vinyl is ideal for rooms such as kitchens, laundry rooms, and bathrooms- where exposure to high moisture doesn’t ruin the flooring.  

Conversely, laminate is water-repellent but not resistant. What does that imply? If the underlying fiberboard core in a laminate sheet is exposed to water over a prolonged period, it can swell and get damaged. Besides, if the water sits on the top layer for some time, it can peel away, exposing the décor layer. In this regard, vinyl is a clear winner, although our opponent in the other corner is just warming up.  

Appearance and Design

A side-by-side analysis of both materials shows that laminate sports more vivid embossing that closely recreates the look of hardwood or concrete. Although vinyl can mimic the wooden look, a more realistic appearance is only achievable on vinyl flooring with a thicker core. 

Vinyl’s synthetic construction implies it consists of fiberglass, PVC, a plasticizer, and a top layer of polyurethane. On the flip side, laminate flooring uses byproducts of wood and a resin seal. Generally, laminate has a thicker look and feels softer underfoot than vinyl, which is hard and cold. 


On the one hand, laminate planks fit into grooves on adjoining pieces to create a seamless look. Also, they are an ideal option if you’re thinking of installing a ‘floating’ floor over hardwood or tiled floors. On the other hand, you can install vinyl using various methods (making it a versatile option), including: 

  • Click-and-lock technique
  • Peel-and-stick installation 
  • Glue-down method
  • Loose-lay installation 

But, not all types of vinyl are easy to install. For instance, sheet vinyl is unwieldy and heavy. Plus, it would help if you had accurate measurements to ensure you make accurate cuts around the angles in your room. As a result, it’s advisable to call a professional to install such sheets. 


With proper care, laminate flooring can last between 10 and 25 years. However, laminate’s lifespan decreases to about ten years without proper maintenance. Conversely, vinyl can hold up well for up to 25 years, with the thinner variety lasting about ten years. 

While still on maintenance, vinyl tends to be easier to clean, thanks to its water resistance. However, laminate requires more delicate care to avoid delamination due to its limited moisture resistance. 

So, which flooring option is the clear winner? The jury is still out, as you’ve noticed. Perhaps, you need to consider your room’s function and design preferences to make the right choice. If you opt for vinyl, consider checking out Harper Floors’ comprehensive list of products to find a suitable and reasonably priced option that fits your budget.