You truly will want to be informed when making any kind of improvements when it comes to the appearance and value of your home. Let’s discuss a few tips that will help you decide if laminate or vinyl is a better choice for you.

First ask yourself about your main criteria and what is most important for your new floors. Do you want the real wood look or is it more important to get something that is waterproof? What about the lifespan or do you care more about the feel underfoot? Despite the differences, laminate and vinyl are similar in a lot of ways:

  • Ease of installation: Both laminate and vinyl come in planks that lock together as a floating floor. You may need the help of a professional if you need a foam underlayment but is easy enough for those who are DIY.

  • Maintenance: Both are easy to clean. You don’t need special products or machinery to keep these floors in good shape. Simply mop, vacuum or sweep as needed.

  • Cost: Laminate is sometimes found at a lower price but price is relatively comparable. Both are considered to be the most budget-friendly flooring options.

  • Eco-Friendly: Both types of flooring have environmentally friendly options available for purchase. If you want to go “green” look for vinyl with a LEED credit EQ4.3 or laminate that qualifies for LEED MR4c 4.1-4.2. These are Low Emitting materials with recycled content.


Laminate is a synthetic product that simulates the look of real hardwood which is why it is popular with homeowners who like the style of hardwood but want to spend less money. Some types of laminates have water-resistant properties but are not waterproof and can seriously damage your floors if water sits for any extended period of time. Laminate is also more comfortable underfoot but doesn’t last as long as vinyl.


Historically, people consider vinyl aesthetically inferior to laminate. However, vinyl has come along way with its style choices. You can now find vinyl flooring that mimics the look and feel of stone, tile and even wood floors. When considering moisture exposure vinyl is the clear winner. It also is more durable and has a longer lifespan but can be more expensive than laminate.

In summary, vinyl is a better choice when you are looking for water resistance, lifespan and durability while laminate is preferrable if you want a more stylish appearance, lower costs and a comfortable feel underfoot.