Laminate vs. Vinyl Flooring: What’s the Difference?

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Laminate vs. Vinyl Flooring: What’s the Difference?

Laminate and vinyl floors may look relatively similar, but they’re drastically different. If you’re trying to make a decision for new flooring in your home and cannot decide between these two, use our guide to understand the differences between them. Once you learn what sets these two types of flooring apart, you’ll be better equipped to make the best choice for your home and family.


Laminate flooring is durable and strong—until it comes to water and moisture, that is. Scratches can appear on the top layer, and these cannot be repaired over time. However, laminate floors can last anywhere from 10 to 25 years if you take good care of them.

People often consider vinyl low quality because of its price, but it’s extremely durable and resilient to water, scuffs, and scratches. This floor can last around 20 years depending on how well you maintain it.


The appearance of your floors is important. The core material in laminate is made from wood byproducts, with resin to seal it together. This high-quality floor goes through embossing to give the look and feel of natural wood.

On the other hand, vinyl is entirely made up of synthetic materials. It can still appear like natural hardwood, but it’s thinner than the laminate, meaning it could be slightly less comfortable to walk on.

Water and Spill Resistance

Spills and messes are inevitable, but you can prevent damage by understanding how your specific type of floor will react to water and moisture. Laminate isn’t completely resistant to moisture—it will soften and expand when exposed to water. Do not place this flooring in the bathroom, laundry room, or any other space where moisture can accumulate.

Vinyl is unique when it comes to water resistance because it can handle heavy amounts of water due to the fact that it’s synthetic and made from polymer materials. Additionally, you can install vinyl in a single sheet, which eliminates gaps that water can leak into.


Maintenance for both laminate and vinyl floors is easy, but there’s one key difference. You should use only dry-mopping for laminate floors and use only minimal water if you need to do a deeper clean. You can use water to clean vinyl, but you can also scrub with cleaning products for trickier stains and messes.

Contact Portland Floor if you have any questions regarding our flooring options and which ones might be best for your home. Our flooring contractors in Portland would be happy to answer any additional questions and install your flooring correctly.

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