Ask a flooring expert: Laminate vs. vinyl plank

Picking the right flooring for your home is no easy decision – with so many options available it can be hard narrowing your choices. If you’re currently weighing the pros and cons of laminate and vinyl, Gerry Baron, flooring expert from Nufloors Langley, shares key points for both.

“Ultimately laminate and vinyl are both great choices for busy homes but there are a few differences that may help sway your opinion one way or the other,” Gerry says.

  1. Where are the floors being installed? If your new floors are going somewhere that’s likely to see a lot of water, such as a bathroom, vinyl is 100 per cent waterproof, making it the safer bet. That said, laminate generally has a water-resistant rating up to 72 hours, so if you’re diligent about mopping up any spills or puddles from winter boots, laminate is still a good choice for front halls and kitchens.
  2. How much traffic will they see? While vinyl is 100 per cent waterproof, laminate is more durable, making it a good option if your family tends to be hard on the flooring. Families with kids, pets or those who simply enjoy company might be better off choosing durability over waterproofing when it comes to longevity.
  3. Who’s installing them? Both laminate and vinyl are fairly easy to install for the home DIYer, but laminate does require a foam underlay and a few extra tools. Vinyl is thinner and comes with a backing attached but if it’s going over concrete, we strongly recommend putting a vapour barrier down first to prevent water from seeping up from below. While the top is waterproof, the bottom isn’t designed to come in direct contact with moisture and can be damaged by it. Ultimately vinyl usually wins out on ease of installation, Gerry says.

When comparing laminate and vinyl plank flooring, there are a few other key differences to consider, Gerry notes. Laminate flooring is typically made of compressed wood with a photographic image of wood grain on top, while vinyl plank flooring is made of PVC with a printed design layer. Both options are durable and easy to maintain, so the choice ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences. More questions? Visit us in-store and feel free to ask our experienced flooring experts!

Bonus tip from Gerry: In order to have success with your DIY install, it’s imperative that your surface is flat and level before you lay the flooring!

Learn more about Nufloors online here, email at, or call 604-533-4231. Visit them in store at 304 20771 Langley Bypass.

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