Vinyl Versus Laminate Planks: Two Popular Kitchen Flooring Choices Compared in 7 Areas

Your kitchen is often the focal point in your home and it is the hub of family life which means that you want it to look good while offering excellent functionality and durability.  You may decide to appoint kitchen remodeling contractors in order to help you achieve the professional finish you are looking for but there are a few design decisions that need to be made before they begin work, such as what type of flooring to choose.

Here is a look at the fundamental differences and pros and cons of choosing either vinyl or laminate planks so that you can decide which one might be the best option for your lifestyle and needs.

Coping with moisture

If you are looking for one headline difference between vinyl and laminate flooring it would be the ability of either one to contend with moisture.

If moisture resistance is an important factor it would be sensible to opt for vinyl flooring as it offers better protection on that score compared to laminate. That means that vinyl flooring would be the most suitable type of floor covering if you were remodelling a bathroom, where moisture levels are going to be high, but it would not be such a major issue in a kitchen area.

You will find that all types of vinyl flooring will offer superior water resistance and current versions available will cope perfectly with damp conditions.

Laminate flooring features a fiberboard core and that means that if it gets wet it might not recover, although some manufacturers do state that their product offers water resistance when installed correctly.

Doing a cost comparison

It is often the case that your remodelling decisions might be influenced by budget and you might be tempted to choose one type of material over another based on price alone, so how to vinyl and laminate planks compare?

In general terms, laminate and high-quality vinyl flooring are pretty similar in price but if you compromise a bit on quality it is likely that you will probably find a vinyl floor covering that is less expensive than laminate.

Comfort underfoot

You want your floor to look aesthetically pleasing but as well as being easy on the eye another prime consideration will be the desire to have a covering that feels comfortable to walk on.

It has to be said that vinyl floors tend to feel a bit cold on your feet, especially when you are laying the covering over a concrete base. You could invest in a denser vinyl floor that has an underlay if you are concerned about comfort and that decision should allow you to enjoy a more comfortable underfoot experience.

Laminate flooring can feel comfortable if you install a foam underlayment beneath and this could help with potential noise issues when you are walking on this type of floor.

How its made

The composition is another factor to consider it can be relevant as a point that might influence your final purchasing decision.

Vinyl flooring is often manufactured using synthetic materials and multi-layered to create the desired level of thickness.  You can get vinyl flooring that comes in planks so that it can be layed to form a floating floor.

By comparison, the laminate floor is manufactured with a core that is produced from wood byproducts that are also bonded with resins. This process helps to create a hardwearing and transparent plastic wear layer that is designed to give you a decent length of service once it has bee installed in your home.

A noticeable difference to bear in mind when it comes to composition is that the average thickness for laminate flooring planks is somewhere between 6 mm and 12 mm. In contrast, you can expect vinyl flooring to average 1.5 mm to 3 mm for sheet vinyl although you can get luxury vinyl planks that offer thickness of about 5 mm.

If you are judging by looks

It is really a matter of personal preference and perspective when it comes to deciding whether you prefer to install vinyl or laminate flooring.

Both offer the ability to mimic more expensive materials successfully and if you want to enjoy a flooring option that looks like real wood, for example, both vinyl and laminate offer you the ability to achieve this option.

As you might expect, as technology and manufacturing process have evolved in recent years it has resulted in laminate and vinyl floor coverings that look very realistic in appearance.

A genuine hardwood floor will cost you a lot more than laminate or vinyl alternative but the good news is that you can get a product that looks and even feels like the real thing without having the price tag to match.

Other considerations

There are a couple of other points to consider when you are trying to decide whether laminate or vinyl is the right type of flooring covering you want in your home.

We all have to think about the environment these days and laminate flooring scores a small victory over vinyl because of its natural wood content found in the fiberboard core.

Having said that, it is fair to say that vinyl flooring is now more eco-friendlier than in the past and some manufacturers are now able to offer customers a product that qualifies as a low-emitting material.

Finally, you might also consider whether a DIY installation will work for you and if that is the case, which option would be best to choose.

You should find that laying a laminate floor or installing a vinyl floor covering is a task that is possible if you have a reasonable level of DIY skills. However, sheet vinyl might prove a challenge as it is heavy and hard to work with.

It can often prove to be the case that if you want to get the maximum value out of your purchase with a great looking floor that is comfortable as well as looking good you might want to consider hiring a professional to get the job done, regardless of whether you decide to choose vinyl or laminate.

*Collaborative post


  1. Flooring choices are always difficult. I am forever changing my mind. Some great tips here for sure x

  2. I need to change my kitchen floor but cannot decide what to have