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Is Vinyl Flooring and Laminated Flooring the Same?

Is Vinyl Flooring and Laminated Flooring the Same

Both of these floorings are durable, attractive, and economical but are they the same flooring?  When looking at them they are easy to install, cost about the same, and look about the same. 

The question that needs to be answered is vinyl and laminated flooring the same thing?

Vinyl Flooring

This type of flooring is 100% synthetic material and comes in vinyl sheets, planks, and tiles.

The base layer is generally fiberglass and then is coated in a plasticizer and PVC vinyl. 

Then it is embossed with a surface print layer.

Over this, there will be multiple wear layers applied and a layer of no-wax polyurethane.

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If it is vinyl plank flooring, the core layer will be a multi-layer, thicker PVC vinyl. 

This is considered luxury vinyl flooring that you can get in tiles or planks that interlock side-to-side. 

This will form a floating floor. 

The overall thickness for vinyl flooring ranges from 5 mm for luxury vinyl planks and 1.5 mm for sheet vinyl.

This flooring can be installed in bathrooms, kitchen, dining room, living room, bedroom, and home office

  • Appearances:  Many of the vinyl floorings can look realistic, especially the luxury vinyl planks.  The thicker solid core will look more like wood since it is possible to do deeper embossing.
  • Water and heat resistance:  These floors are made of 100% polymer materials although some of the older floorings could have a felt or fabric backing that was not water-resistant.  The luxury vinyl flooring can be immersed totally in water for a long period of time, dried out, and then reused without being affected. 
  • Care and cleaning:  The strongest features of this type of flooring are that it is easy to clean and care for.  It can be wet-mopped and scrubbed vigorously with safe cleaning products if need be.  This is the flooring that will allow the entire span of cleaning from wet mopping to sweeping with a broom.
  • Durability and maintenance:  The lower quality of this flooring may overtime delaminate.  Over time, the self-stick flooring could loosen.  It is a tough flooring material that will stand up to the demands of high traffic.  It is super durable and very low maintenance.  This flooring can even be used in commercial applications
  • Cost:  $0,79-$5.00 per square feet
  • Installation:  It also uses a click-and-lock installation method.  You can also use a utility knife to cut the vinyl planks if necessary.  Sheet vinyl can be hard to do yourself so you should have it professionally installed.
  • Lifespan:  This flooring can last up to 20 years

Laminate Flooring

This type of flooring is similar in the method of installation and looks like luxury vinyl planks. 

The one main difference is that the core of this flooring is made of wood byproducts that are bonded with resins. 

The wear layer, which is the top surface, is made of transparent hard plastic that covers the printed design layer. 

The thickness overall of laminate flooring planks ranges from 6-12 mm.

This flooring can be used in the dining room, bedroom, living room, and home office. 

It is recommended that it not be used in the bathroom and maybe not in the kitchen.

  • Appearances:  It allows for deep, realistic three-dimensional embossing on the surfaces.  It also has accurate images of the material that is being portrayed. This flooring will most generally closely mimic ceramic, stone, hand-scraped hardwood, and other materials.
  • Water and heat resistance:  Almost all of this flooring uses a core of fiberboard.  Since this is a wood product core, if exposed to water, it will soften and swell.  After it has dried, the fiberboard core will not return to its original dimensions.  If the core has become waterlogged, the design and wear layers will sometimes peel away.  If this flooring becomes severely water-damaged it cannot be fixed and will need to be replaced.

If the laminated flooring has been installed correctly with good baseboards and tight seams it can for a short period of time tolerate pooled water. 

This flooring is a poor choice for areas where there is standing water, such as a bathroom. 

  • Care and cleaning:  To clean these floors, it best cleaned with dry methods first with a dry mop.  If you need to wet-clean these floors use a damp mop that feels almost dry when you touch it.
  • Durability and maintenance:  This is flooring that is low-maintenance and durable but eventually the many layers of this flooring may delaminate over time.  This can also happen if it is exposed too long to water.  It cannot be repaired once the top wear layer is scratched.
  • Cost:  $0.65-$5.00 per square feet
  • Installation:  This flooring uses a click-and-lock installation method.  The tongue of one plank is fitted into the groove at an angle of a plank that adjoins it.  The first plank is then folded down until it is level with other planks.  Using this method, the boards are drawn together and the seam is closed.  To cut the planks if necessary you should use a hand saw or table saw that has a fine-tooth blade.
  • Lifespan:  This flooring will last 10-25 years


  • When looking at the vinyl and laminated flooring, you can see that they are similar but the vinyl flooring can be used in more rooms than laminated flooring.
  • The life spans of both of these flooring are close
  • Laminate flooring is superior for stain resistance but vinyl flooring is also stain-resistance with both floorings having wear layers that are treated with stain resistance properties.
  • Neither vinyl nor laminate flooring is worse or better than the other one.  One of the main factors that should be used in deciding which flooring to get is where you are going to use it.
  • When looking at the different flooring options, laminated flooring offers the buyers more styling options than vinyl flooring does.
  • Both of these floorings are easy to care for, have low maintenance, and are budget-friendly