Ask the Flooring Expert – Scott MacDougall

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For bathrooms, I would pick vinyl flooring because it matches laminate in cost, looks, and DIY-friendly installation. But the deciding factor is water: it beats laminate hands-down in its performance in wet places. Even in better homes where you wouldn’t expect to find a lot of vinyl flooring, exceptions are made for bathrooms.

In other rooms, laminate flooring provides better looks and greater comfort.

The kitchen can go either way. You don’t expect water to pool on the floor (as you would expect next to showers or tubs).

But some key areas, such as around the sink and dishwasher, can experience enough water to cause laminate to swell up over time.

Looks and Resale Value

Winner: Laminate Flooring

Vinyl flooring’s stature has been creeping upward in recent years, especially with the introduction of luxury vinyl tiles and planks (LVT and LVP).

While not having the resale value approaching solid or engineered wood flooring, laminate does have moderately good value and usually will not put off home buyers. If anything, laminate flooring has had a few years’ headstart over vinyl in terms of introducing features that consumers like, such as deeper embossing, better imaging, and improved click systems.

Moisture Resistance

Winner: Vinyl Flooring

It’s hard to beat vinyl flooring in the area of moisture resistance. Sheet vinyl flooring is 100% impervious to moisture, even standing water, because it can have as few as zero seams. Thus, vinyl can be installed in any room of the house. Vinyl is one of the few types of flooring that you can call truly water-proof, not just water-resistant.

Laminate is only moderately water resistant and not recommended for bathrooms or basements that experience even the slightest moisture infiltration.

Comfort

Winner: Laminate Flooring

Vinyl flooring, if installed directly on a subfloor or concrete, is hard and cold. But adding an underlayment of recycled rubber or polyurethane foam will make the flooring softer to the step.

Because laminate is thicker than vinyl and incorporates wood content, it is easier to walk on and warmer to the touch than vinyl.

Both are good choices, it all depends on your comfort level and what you want out of your floor. Both cost about the same, you can get cheaper, mid-range and high end in both LVP and laminate.

Come in and take a look at our selection of both vinyl flooring and laminate. Our Experts® will help you choose the correct floor for you!