Both Laminate and Vinyl Plank Flooring have a professional imitation, look alike finish to Hardwood Timber flooring, due to the 3D photo imagery. The main differences between the two are cost and durability.
It is not advisable or recommended to lay Laminate Flooring in a high moisture/wet area, such as kitchens or bathrooms, as Laminate is not completely waterproof. Although, using Laminate flooring with waxed edges helps improve the water resistance qualities, any spill should be wiped up and not left standing. Vinyl Plank Flooring however, is 100% waterproof and recommended for such areas. With correct installation, Vinyl flooring is a great option in high moisture areas.
You will find that vinyl is more costly than Laminate. This is because Vinyl outweighs laminate in durability and resilience. Laminate is more suitable for living areas with moderate foot traffic. Although, if you choose to use Laminate with an AC4 or AC5 wear rating, you will find this to be suitable for high traffic areas.
Any area where there is likely to be moisture eg. restaurants, cafes, supermarkets, hairdressers and high traffic areas i.e. commercial premises, Vinyl would be the recommended flooring choice, due to its sustainability and durability in these environments.
Laminate will also require underlay, as it can be noisier underfoot due to it being a harder product and it does require a moisture barrier between the flooring and sub floor. Vinyl is more pliable and flexible. Although underlay is not required, it may be recommended for uneven sub floors and to reduce sound even more and/or provide even more cushion underfoot.
Vinyl is far more versatile in its use, which is reflected in the fact that it is double the cost of Laminate. Laminate has limitations when it comes to high moisture areas and commercial environments, unless it comes with a high wear rating. But it has the advantage of being half the cost of Vinyl Flooring.
Both Laminate and Vinyl Plank Flooring however, have an attractive and modern look. Both are completely functional, smart looking and are an excellent cost effective choice of flooring with specific end uses for today’s renovators or builders.