Laminate or Vinyl Flooring?

Should you use laminate or vinyl flooring?

This is a question our customers often ask us. They want our advice on which is the best type of flooring for their home, and we are happy to help them to make a decision based on what they want from their flooring.

It can be hard to decide between laminate and vinyl flooring; at first glance they can look fairly similar and so without knowing the differences between the two products you can’t make an informed decision.

Here are some points to consider when deciding between laminate and vinyl flooring for your home:

  • Laminate flooring is around 99% wood with a laminate coating, whereas vinyl flooring is 100% plastic. This is important to bear in mind as obviously, wood can swell when wet but vinyl has a much better resistance to water and will not soak it up in the way that laminate flooring can – so vinyl may be a better choice for areas such as a bathroom which is likely to get wet.
  • Laminate flooring can often look more natural than vinyl upon closer inspection, so if you are looking for a more natural, realistic wood flooring look laminate will be the better choice.
  • When it comes to cost, vinyl and laminate flooring tend to be comparable. Both come in a reasonably wide price bracket so that there is something for every budget.
  • If you are thinking about installing the flooring yourself, laminate will probably be easier to deal with. Vinyl flooring comes on large rolls and must be carefully cut to shape, whereas laminate comes in planks which usually fit together with tongue-and-groove fixtures. That said, both can be tricky when it comes to things like cutting around pipework or strangely shaped corners. It can be easier to have a professional fit your flooring for you to avoid both stress and disasters.
  • Flooring plays an important role in insulating and maintaining temperature. If this is a consideration for you, laminate may be the better choice. As a general rule, vinyl is thinner – where as laminate will usually have an underlay sheet as well as reasonably thick wooden boards meaning it provides better insulation and is more comfortable to walk on.
  • Many of us these days are concerned with the environment and this can be a factor in decisions around flooring. At one time vinyl flooring was considered to be non eco friendly but these days vinyl flooring is produced to a standard meaning it qualifies as a low-emitting material. Laminate flooring uses wood and because it is composite it can qualify as recycled material – so there is little difference between the two in this respect.


If you are in the process of deciding on new flooring for your home, why not pop into our showroom for some expert advice and a wide range of different flooring types.