Vinyl Plank Flooring vs. Laminate Flooring

One of the most common questions that come up regarding flooring is what is the difference between Vinyl Plank Flooring vs. Laminate Flooring and which one is right for my project. Although Laminate and Vinyl Plank share a lot of characteristics they have some key differences that might impact whether you choose one over the other.

What is Vinyl Plank Flooring?

Vinyl Plank Flooring or Rigid Core is a synthetic material made up of polymers ( plastic ) and gives vinyl its water and moisture resistance. The top layer is a protective layer, followed by a high resolution image, the rigid core center and foam attached underlay. Vinyl Plank ranges from 4mm up to 10mm thick.

What is Laminate Flooring?

Laminate flooring is similar to Vinyl Plank but the core is made of wood products and generally has a thicker layer of plastic on top, the protective layer, a high resolution image to give the design followed by the core. Thickness of laminate ranges from 8mm to 14mm.

Which flooring should I choose for my project?

Below is a look at both laminate and vinyl plank in each category to consider when choosing floors from appearance to durability see how these floors stack up.

Appearance

Both vinyl plank and laminate get their appearance from a high resolution picture which is laminated onto the core and backing. As vinyl plank has become more popular manufactures are making it thicker which allows for deeper embossing for more realistic textures.

Ultimately it comes down to personal preference on colour and feel, both floors have fantastic realistic wood, stone, and pattern appearance. Pro Tip: Look for high counts on pattern repeats for more realistic wood looking floors.

Water Resistance

Vinyl Plank is made of waterproof material, if there is a leak or pool of water the flooring can be wiped clean and re-installed.

Laminate floors have become better resistant to water in recent years with some manufactures offering up to 72 hours of waterproof protection. This makes laminate not ideal for areas where water is common, bathrooms, kitchens and mudrooms.

Heat Resistance

The core of laminate flooring is wood there for it can swell in high heat and high moisture environments. Vinyl Plank floors can also expand if temperatures rise and fall rapidly. Always temperature control your space with air conditioning and use proper window coverings.

Care and Cleaning

Laminate floors should be cleaned with dry mopping and spot cleaning spills. Wet mopping, steam mops and harsh chemicals are not recommended as they can cause delamination. Always follow manufacture cleaning guides to keep your warranty in good standing.

Vinyl Plank Floors can be cleaned many ways and wet mopping is generally used. Most cleaners are acceptable however it is best to check with the manufactures guide to keep warranties valid.

Durability

Both Laminate Flooring and Vinyl Plank flooring are very durable, however; both can delaminate or chip over time, the key difference is in the exposed layer underneath. With Laminate the core is made of wood products which allows water to enter lower layers eventually causing swelling, peaking and gapping. Vinyl Plank flooring if chipped or delaminating can be repaired and due to its plastic core will not absorb water causing further damage to the floor.

Maintenance

Vinyl Plank Flooring vs. Laminate Flooring in terms of maintenance are tied. Both floorings have reasonably low maintenance compared to other flooring types like Tile, Carpet and Hardwood. Keeping them clear of spills, debris, and dirt particles or sand will have your floors looking brand new for years.

Installation

Vinyl Plank and Laminate Floors both use a click locking system. Due to laminates thicker core a table saw is required for installation. Vinyl Plank can generally be cut with a utility knife using a scoring method. Both flooring command similar rates for installation depending on your area. Both require the subfloor to be level within manufactures tolerance, the thinner the product the more levelling required making Vinyl Plank installation sometimes slightly higher. Pro-Tip: Always keep a contingency fund for levelling costs, 10% of your total project for any unforeseen hiccups.

Costs

Laminate flooring has been around longer than vinyl plank therefor you can find some great deals occasionally. Newer laminates have longer water resistance but are more costly. Vinyl plank flooring is popular for home owners, commanding a slightly higher amount per square foot than laminate.

Lifespan

Both Laminates and Vinyl Plank Flooring offer lifetime residential warranties through reputable manufactures. Always check the warranty on sale items and purchase extra if the floors you are buying are being discontinued (as this is when it usually goes on sale.)

Environmental Impact

During the manufacturing process both laminate and vinyl plank produce significant amounts of off gasses, however; once cured both do not release any harmful off gasses. After its life laminate can be recycled where as the synthetic nature of vinyl makes recycling old product sometimes challenging. More manufactures are turning to recycled plastics to create sustainable vinyl plank flooring in the future.

Stain Resistance

Vinyl Plank Flooring has a protective layer like laminate that protects it from stains and spills. Laminate flooring stains generally only come from pooled water that was not cleaned up in time.

Comfort and Sound

Vinyl Floors can feel cold underfoot especially on lower levels of the home like basements. Most luxury brands are radiant heat approved. Laminate flooring can sometimes sound hollow compared to real wood, but trap in hear better for warmer feel.

Resale Value

Great looking quality Laminate or Vinyl Plank that is professionally installed will increase the value of you home. Choosing a cheaper brand of either will lead to prospective buyers having flooring on their list to replace.

Which is better Vinyl Plank flooring or Laminate Flooring?

When it comes to choosing between vinyl plank flooring vs. laminate flooring it does come down to personal preference and budget, however; bathrooms, kitchens and mudrooms vinyl plank flooring is more suited for. As vinyl plank gains more popularity manufactures are coming up with more innovative technology to increase lifespan.

Check out these Vinyl Plank and Laminate Lines we love.

Vinyl PlankLaminate Flooring
FirmFitWood 2 Premium
Ultra MaxPortraits
OmegaFloorpan
VeniceDreamfloor
Curate

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Benefits of Carpet

With so many different types of flooring on the market it can quickly become overwhelming when it comes to choosing the perfect flooring for your space. Check out these seven benefits of carpet and why you should choose carpet for your flooring renovation.

Style

Carpet is unique because of the different style themes it can achieve. Luxurious & Elegant, Causal & Comfortable, Hip & Unique, Bold & Colourful,.. the list goes on. Texture options range from short to longer, frieze, looped or piled, there is also patterned texture for a unique look with no colour variation. Multi-coloured patterned carpet can add pops of accent colours to help tie in your design or visually lead the eye to a preferred statement piece. One of my favorite things about carpet is the ability to custom dye the colour of your carpet for a 100% unique look.

Benefits of carpet

Warmth

Carpet adds an extra layer of insulation to your home. Trapping in more heat when ultimately can save you money on your heating bills. The cozy nature of carpet visually adds warmth to a room naturally.

Comfort

Nothing beats the comfort of soft carpet under foot when first getting out of bed in the morning, or afternoon. As a mother of three little kids carpet was my ( and their ) saving grace during those learning to walk years. To maximize the comfort and life of your carpet choose a quality underpad like SmartCushion by Mohawk which doubles the warranty of any Mohawk carpet and gives you warranty on stairs. Quality underpad is important for those with back or mobility issues as the impact on the body is greatly reduced when walking on quality carpet and underpad.

Benefits of carpet

Safety

Falling down stairs or up them as I do more than the latter, can be painful and dangerous. Carpet is a great option to cushion those stairs to minimize damage done during a fall. Design Tip- Use a matching hard surface flooring as the riser to your stairs and choose a complimenting carpet colour for the tread, combining style and safety.

Health

Studies have found that carpet actually traps more dust and allergens than hard surface flooring making the air quality on carpet better than hard surface products. People who suffer from allergies can benefit from hypoallergenic carpet selections that most manufactures now offer. Pro Tip- Follow manufactures guidelines on how often and what to use while cleaning your carpets.

Cost

One of the best benefits of carpet is the overall cost is lower than hard surface flooring options. Carpet can go over any subfloor and requires minimal levelling and prep work. The long term maintenance costs are lower as generally a re-stretch is all that’s required. Purchasing quality carpet and following cleaning directions will have it lasting for decades.

5 Flooring Choices that will stand the test of time that you’ll love!

Like fashion, interior design is ever changing and evolving, what was once new yesterday is now old news today. So how does one go about choosing the perfect flooring colour? I’ve picked out 5 different classic flooring options that are sure to stand the test of time! Let us know what you think by leaving a comment!

gray wooden ladder on white painted wall
Pro Tip – Timeless, unless your creating a cool funky space generally a timeless flooring colour will be your best option.

1 – Desert Hill by Monterey Flooring Vinyl Plank

Desert Hill is by far my favorite flooring colour and it has been the top selling colour through our store for the past two years and I don’t think that will ever change. The slight variations in soft wood tones mixed with light and medium shades will match most paint schemes, other wood toned furniture and can work in contemporary, farmhouse or traditional décor settings. If you haven’t seen this flooring in person yet it is a must!

Desert Hill Vinyl Plank Inner-City Flooring

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2 – Fawn Chestnut Revwood Rare Vintage Laminate Flooring by Mohawk

If a rustic farmhouse feel is your ultimate goal Fawn Chestnut is a true winner. Large distressed planks give the appearance of reclaimed wood and the advanced locking system will keep out water for longer. Say goodbye to constantly cleaning your floors, this colour is an expert dirt hider, your welcome.

Fawn Chestnut RevWood Mohawk Flooring

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3 – Massa Vinyl Tile Curate by Taiga Building Products

Carrara Tile is one of those classic looks that makes a small spaces seem larger, brighter and cleaner. You see it in entryways, bathrooms, kitchens, hallways, sometimes the entire house. Traditional Porcelain or stone tiles can be expensive, installation of grouted tile is also very expensive. Accomplish the same look with a Vinyl Tile at a fraction of the product and installation costs. Waterproof with unbeatable durability.

Massa Vinyl Tile

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4 – Homespun True Harmony Carpet by Mohawk

Homespun True Harmony by Mohawk is an entry level residential carpet choice with twisted yarn texture. The slightly off white tone is the perfect compliment to any bedroom décor and matches with any other flooring type you choose, tile, wood or unique patterned tile.

Homespun True Harmony Mohawk Residential Carpet Flooring

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5 – Classico Bari Vinyl Plank Flooring by Bella

The name says it all with this one, Classico by Bari is your classic beige and soft wood toned flooring that has been replicated in almost every flooring product on the market. My pick is Vinyl Plank, its waterproof plus every other feature other flooring types have. Make sure you have a sound plank with a good wear layer and you will have a beautiful in style flooring for years to come.

Classico Bari Vinyl Plank Flooring

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architecture, blueprint, floor plan-1857175.jpg

Being prepared for your Flooring or Renovation Appointment

Being prepared for your flooring appointment can make your renovation process the best possible experience. You have been Pinteresting your heart out for the past two or three months and now your finally ready to jump in and start visiting your local flooring store, cabinet shop or hardware store. Being prepared for your flooring appointment will ensure your jobs success. Here are some basic tips to make the experience the best possible and to make sure you can properly convey your vision to your chosen contractors. 

Know your areas that need work

Clearly define what areas need to get done vs the ones you maybe just want to get done. If you are over budget which room might be left out this time? Have those tough conversations with yourself now so you are prepared for any hiccups if they do arise. Always have a back up plan just encase.

Know Your Budget

Knowing what your comfortable with spending on a project is something only you can answer. Knowing your budget or at least a rough idea can save yourself and others lots of time. Each trade can only give you pricing based on what it is you would like done. In most hired trades there will be areas to cut costs but that usually means doing the work yourself. Removing old flooring or taking care of garbage and recycling are two ways to reduce bill costs and perhaps get you that laundry room done as well! We always suggest having a small portion of your overall budget held for emergencies or hiccups. Whether it’s unexpected levelling or a surprise leak under the toilet, don’t get caught with a maxed budget and a necessary fix to continue your project. 

Tip – When renovating small spaces choose to do them in the off seasons when most trades are slower, you get the same quality of work but for 5-25% less in some cases. Always watch for specials and promos!

Bring All The Stuff

Have floor plans from your recent home purchase? Bring them! Use a cool app to design your dream living space? Definitely bring it! Paint Samples, Fabric Samples, Tile and Backsplash samples, counter tops and cabinets, if you have already fallen in love with it and it will be used in the space your new flooring will be bring a sample or photo. 

Shop Around

Go to a few different flooring stores, shop prices and speak with their representative. Keep in mind you will be dealing with this person throughout your entire renovation process, its probably best to at least like them. If in person isn’t an option try browsing through our online gallery.

Don’t jump on the cheapest deal, make sure you are comparing apples to apples. Things to watch out for; Square Footage Amounts, Product Quality, Product thickness, Does it include Installation, are there any hidden fees. Ask these questions now and read through all estimates very carefully. If you are unsure if a service is provided ask before. 

Shop Local

When given the opportunity give your support to your local small business flooring store. It wont take long to find the hidden gem in your community. Start by asking your local Facebook community groups, search flooring in Google to get a list of local nearby stores and read through their reviews. Once you have a short list, make a quick phone call to get any quick answers you need before booking appointments. This will ensure your time is not wasted if the store can’t accommodate your requests.

Preparing for Home Flooring Renovations

Preparing for a full home renovation can be incredibly daunting, especially if you plan to organize it yourself. Anyone who has done even the smallest renovations will tell you they can become a major stressor in your life. A bunch of people you barely know come into your home and turn it, what feels like, upside down. Follow these pre-renovation tips to ensure your flooring or any renovation goes smoothly and efficiently. 

Wall Décor & Special Items

Before your flooring renovation work begins all décor items and pictures should be removed from tables, furniture and walls. Safely pack away or move it into an unrenovated room until everything is complete. This will ensure it is not accidentally damaged or become dirty from dust. (Yes, there will be dust) Also you will save yourself a lot of time on cleaning up all those items and may find the time to declutter or redecorate your new space!

Clear the Floor

It seems simple enough until you run out of places to put things! If you have a lot of furniture and are planning on redoing all your flooring it may be helpful to rent a storage or clear space in the garage. Speak with your flooring contractor about a plan for furniture shuffling if neither of these are an option. Also take this time to declutter your furniture or perhaps change your paint colour as well. 

Prepare for Dust

Did someone say dust? Yes, there will be dust. No matter what type of flooring you choose to have installed there will be dust associated but it will go away. Dust travels, on clothes, on material, on shoes and in the air. Along with removing décor items cover furniture with bed sheets to ensure a quick clean up. If you have central air, consider turning the fan off for the renovation days or block/closing the vents in the rooms being worked on. You can also set up plastic sheeting between doors to minimize dust travel between rooms as well. If you are having your renovation done during rain season you may need to provide a covered area outside for cutting purposes, we try to limit inside cutting unless it is Vinyl Plank. 

Plan Waste Removal

Some municipalities do not accept renovation waste, you will need to call in a disposal company or bin rental that deals with construction waste. Ask us about bin rentals for your flooring project or let us do the removal of your old flooring and we will dispose of it for you. If you are unsure of what to do with the waste refer to your estimate to see if it is covered or contact your flooring contractor to inquire about their procedure with waste and who is responsible for what. 

Budget for Emergencies

We always suggest having a small portion of your overall budget held for emergencies or hiccups. Whether it is unexpected levelling or a surprise leak under the toilet, don’t get caught with a maxed budget and a necessary fix to continue your project.

Scheduling 

Co-ordinating multiple contractors for a home reno can be overwhelming. Try to be flexible with your scheduling and give each trade plenty of time to complete, with extra time allotted after to fix any deficiencies or wait on material back orders. This saves you the hassle of pushing back all your other contractors and possibly incurring charges for rescheduling. 

Have a retouch up plan in place with your painting contractor to finish baseboard painting and touch ups and stair walls or scuffs. 

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