Pros and Cons of Laminate Flooring vs Hardwood and Vinyl Flooring

Pros and Cons of Laminate Flooring vs Hardwood and Vinyl Flooring

Pros and Cons of Laminate Flooring vs Hardwood and Vinyl Flooring

One of the questions we get asked here at Home Flooring Pros is ‘where is the best place to install laminate flooring?’ It seems from the sales blurb that laminate is the right choice for every room, but is this really the case? In this flooring guide we’re going to re-examine the main advantages of laminate floors and take a look at the pros and cons of installing laminate instead of solid wood or vinyl flooring. This post is meant as a general guide, please consult with a reliable home flooring professional before making a final decision.

Benefits of Laminate Floors

As we make clear in our laminate flooring guides the main benefits of laminate over other types of home flooring, and the reason it is so popular, are affordability, ease of installation and low maintenance.

Laminate is cheap because it’s a largely synthetic flooring that’s easily mass produced using low cost materials. It’s easy to install because most laminate uses click and lock assembly which means no nails or glue and you can float it over most existing sub floors. And finally it’s easy to clean and care for because of the thick and clear wear layer that covers the surface of the flooring.

So why not just lay laminate floor throughout your home? Well many people do, but in certain situations its worth taking a moment to compare laminate flooring benefits with other flooring types. Laminate is a great mid-priced flooring option but there are times when a more expensive hardwood floor or a cheaper vinyl floor could be a better match for your home.

Laminate Vs Hardwood Flooring

Laminate vs hardwood flooring can be summed up pretty simply in two words price and style! We think laminate floors look great, there are some exceptional products available, but laminate doesn’t look the same as solid hardwood and that’s a fact. In a dining room or master bedroom where style is your main concern you might want to consider spending a little more on a quality hardwood floor.

Laminate wood flooring is perfect in a functional setting where practicality is your priority. In a child’s playroom, in the family den or parts of the house where you have dogs running around laminate flooring just makes sense. It’s attractive, quickly cleaned and hard wearing too. In these situations solid wood flooring seems rather impractical and expensive.

Also remember that solid hardwood can stain and is vulnerable to strong sunlight. If stains and extreme weather conditions are a part of your day to day life then laminate flooring is the smart choice. When it comes to the pros and cons of laminate flooring there are plenty of reasons to choose laminate over hardwood, but its fair to say they are of a practical rather than aesthetic nature.

Laminate Vs Vinyl Flooring

Laminate flooring does a great job of imitating more expensive surfaces like solid wood and natural stone and it’s also got a good long life span, so why would you ever consider vinyl flooring over laminate?

Pros and Cons of Laminate Flooring vs Hardwood and Vinyl Flooring

Well, please don’t lose sight of the fact that laminate floors aren’t completely waterproof. They do contain a core layer of dense fiberboard and, despite the plastic top wear layer and further protective melamine resin layer, laminate flooring will react to standing water and strong humidity in the same way as solid wood flooring. So, laminate flooring for kitchens is okay as long as you keep spills to a minimum and/or clean up immediately, but you should think twice about laminate in a damp basement or in a bathroom that regularly experiences standing water. Click here to learn more about laminate cleaning and maintenance.

In these instances vinyl flooring would be a much smarter choice. Furthermore you can now buy luxury vinyl flooring as either planks or tiles. Luxury vinyl flooring is flexible, like normal vinyl, but thicker and more robust matching the durability of laminate. And like laminate it has been manufactured to mimic real wood and stone flooring which is why it comes in planks and tiles. Of course you will need to see luxury vinyl up close and personal before you decide if it’s a good fit for your home aesthetically, but we feel it is a great looking and reasonably priced option.

Do you already have experience of installing laminate, vinyl or hardwood in different rooms of your home? Please share your experiences below and help first time homeowners to get it right first time. You can also contact us direct here .

Other Places to Get Laminate Flooring Ideas and Info

  • NALFA The North American Laminate Flooring Association is your number one source for laminate floor information and advice.
  • Kaindl — This Austrian flooring company really gets the best out of laminate. Take a look at their home laminate flooring, very cool.
  • Interiordesignipedia British Designer Hazel Yule takes a look at some great laminate floors in action!

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