At a glance, the differences between laminate vs luxury vinyl plank flooring are barely noticeable. Both come in styles designed to mimic the look of real wood or stone. These two floors are available in a click-and-lock installation method, and both are less expensive than the natural materials they imitate.
To help you determine which of these products is best suited for your home’s unique environment, we decided to weigh the potential pros and cons of each based on cost, performance, and overall ease of maintenance.
Cost of Laminate vs Luxury Vinyl
The potential cost of installing luxury vinyl flooring or laminate in your home boils down to three main factors:
- Quality of the product
- Whether you intend to do the work yourself
- The tools and trim needed
On average, a good-quality laminate product runs $6-$14 per square foot (not including all the extras). The cost of luxury vinyl flooring is approximately $5-$12 per square foot, with additional charges for installation. Expect to pay an additional cost of $5-$10 per square foot to cover installation costs and transition or trim pieces.
Comparison: LVT/LVP and Laminate are EVEN with the cost category
Flooring manufacturers use high-density fiberboard (a combination of resin and wood byproducts) to create the core of laminate. Then, they attach a photo of real wood covered with a wear layer. Lastly, they add a coating of aluminum oxide for protection. Laminate is popular with many homeowners because it is scratch-resistant and cost-efficient.
As a wood-based product, laminate flooring is not recommended for areas of the home with excessive moisture or humidity. Over time, high humidity is likely to cause buckling or gapping in laminate floors. If you need flooring that can withstand heavy foot traffic laminate flooring may suit your needs.
Luxury vinyl is available in two styles: tile, better known as LVT; and plank, better known as LVP. LVT mimics the appearance of stone, marble, and slate. Whereas luxury vinyl plank mimics the appearance of hardwood. Depending on the style and product you choose, there are two methods for installing luxury vinyl products. The “floating method” is when the planks or tiles interlock but do not attach to the subfloor. There is also the “glue-down method” which is when the product is glued to the substrate.
Luxury vinyl’s molecular structure makes it durable, dimensionally stable, and impervious to moisture. If you need new flooring in your basement, bathroom, or kitchen, luxury vinyl is a smart choice.
Comparison: Luxury Vinyl wins performance
Ease of Maintenance
Laminate and luxury vinyl flooring’s smooth surface makes it easy to clean. A microfiber duster or a broom is sufficient to remove any crumbs, dirt, or dust. Unfortunately, using a wet mop on laminate flooring will eventually lead to buckling, swelling, and chipping of the planks. Luxury vinyl flooring takes the lead in this category of our comparison because of its moisture-resistant properties.
Comparison: Luxury Vinyl wins ease of maintenance
If you live in Southeast Michigan and would like additional information on luxury vinyl, laminate, hardwood, or carpet, schedule a free in-home estimate from The Carpet Guys. You can also call us at 855-4-MY-GUYS (855-469-4897). We have knowledgeable Design Consultants that will help you decide which flooring type will be best for your home and budget. And, The Carpet Guys employ the best installation teams in the industry. So feel confident that every aspect of your flooring will be top of the line!