It’s time to tackle laminate and vinyl!
Generally speaking, laminate is a high-resolution photograph of wood that’s adhered to a fiberboard backing and finished with a clear top layer. While the caliber of the image has certainly improved with advancements in technology, higher-quality products will definitely have a higher price point (although still less expensive than wood).
Laminate is sold in planks and is relatively easy to install – it usually just clicks together. It can even be installed on top of some types of existing flooring (not carpet, obviously). If this is the case, it has the potential to expedite the process by eliminating the need to tear out your existing floor.
It’s also easy to keep clean and quite durable! However, if it does wear in certain spots, those areas will need to be replaced as it is not possible to refinish laminate.
One of the most important factors to keep in mind when considering laminate is that it’s very adverse to water. It’s not a good candidate for moist areas like bathrooms and laundry rooms, and similar to traditional wood floors, traditional mopping is not appropriate.
Now let’s move on to vinyl.
Does the word “vinyl” may make you think of sheet vinyl on your grandma’s kitchen floor? Never fear! Luxury vinyl planks (LVP) actually look so much like real wood, it’s often difficult to tell the difference. Similar to laminate, LVP snaps together pretty easily, and depending on what the existing floor is like, vinyl planks can sometimes be floated on top instead of glued down.
The greatest benefits of LVP are its durability and the fact that it’s waterproof – a great option for kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and other generally moist environments.
Laminate and LVP are both great options to consider if you’re looking for something less costly than real or engineered wood. Keep in mind, as with most things in life, you get what you pay for! You can find both products in almost any big box store, but it’s recommended to do some research on brands first, rather than simply choosing based on price alone.
But what about carpet, you ask? That’s the subject of the final piece in our flooring series – so stayed tuned!
If you missed the last installment of our flooring series (hardwood versus engineered hardwood), make sure to check out the Wood You Rather? post for lots of useful information related to wood floors.