What Are the Differences Between Laminate and LVP?

October 21, 2020 4 min read

When considering traditional flooring alternatives, most homeowners will consider laminate flooring or tile before looking in the direction of vinyl. However, vinyl flooring has come a long way and is now a beautiful option for modern homeowners looking to avoid the headaches thathardwood flooring can bring. Laminate andLuxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) are similar in a lot of ways, and choosing between the two can be difficult. Let’s break these two options down and look at the differences between laminate and LVP. 


Key Differences: Materials & Durability

Materials

One of the main differences between laminate andLVP is the materials used in each. LVP is made from 100% synthetic materials. They have a layered structure and are composed of a backing material, usually foam, a waterproof core, a printed layer that provides the aesthetic of the floors, as well as a wear layer that ensures longevity and durability.

Laminate is also a layered structure, but instead of synthetic materials, most laminate flooring is composed of wood byproducts that are then bonded together with resins. Laminate flooring also has a printed design layer that is often embossed and textured to give the appearance of real wood and then covered in a hard plastic wear layer.

The difference between synthetic materials and wood byproducts comes down to environmental impact and durability. Vinyl planks, being made entirely of different types of plastics, will have a higher environmental impact than laminate flooring while laminate will lack the durability that vinyl planks have.


Durability

When it comes to our homes, most of us like to have a home that feels lived in and welcoming. We all want the beautiful homes we see on HGTV but with the addition oflife. Spills, dings, scratches, and dents are inevitable in a lived-in home so durability is important for our flooring. 

Here’s the deal: laminate flooring just simply isn’t as durable as LVP. Because it’s made of wood byproducts, it’s susceptible to some of the same drawbacks that you find with hardwood flooring. Spills, high moisture areas, and standing water can be a nightmare for laminate flooring. Once laminate floors see water damage, the planks need to be replaced. Its inability to withstand moisture makes it unsuitable for bathrooms, mudrooms, and kitchens - we all kick the fallen ice under the fridge, don’t lie.

LVP is the MVP, because not only is it water-resistant, it’scompletely waterproof. Feel free to kick the ice under the fridge, leave spills unattended, and have your kids splash around in the bath - it won’t affect your floors with LVP. We find that LVP comes in first again when looking at selling points such as scratch resistance and cleanliness. While both vinyl planks and laminate are better options than hardwood flooring for resistance against normal wear and tear, LVP is the obvious choice. Laminate floors can be scratched and dinged more easily due to its soft wooden core, and it needs to be cleaned using dry methods for that same reason. 

LVP can give us that polished look while providing us with the peace of mind and ease that we need in order to make a house a home. 


Similarities: Appearance, Longevity, and Comfort.

Appearance

Gone are the days of yellow and brown sheet vinyl and plastic-looking laminate. Modern technology has given us the gift of clean, modern, beautiful floors no matter which material you choose. LVP and laminate are exceptionally comparable when it comes to appearance. 

With a printed image layer to provide the aesthetic of our floors, we can have realistic looking wood floors in a variety of colors and textures. The main difference between the overall appearance of these flooring options lies in the embossing1, which is what provides the wood-like textures such as knots and grooves. Since laminate planks have a total thickness that is greater than that of LVP, the embossing in laminate tends to be a bit more realistic, but the difference is usually negligible. 


Longevity

If, when closing on a house, we’ve agreed to sign a 30-year mortgage then it would be our hopes that our floors would last nearly as long. Both LVP and laminate have warranties that last anywhere from 10-25 years. (Note: MyFlooring hasa lifetime warranty on LVP). If you are careful to maintain your laminate flooring properly, the longevity of laminate and LVP is comparable.


Comfort

The vinyl floors of yore were usually glued down to the concrete subfloor, making them 100% waterproof but significantly less comfortable and cold to the touch. The vinyl planks of today have a foam-backing that makes them quiet, comfortable, and luxurious. Laminate is similar in that the bonded wood byproducts provide a soft, quiet step. The comfort between the two is again, comparable, and not usually a deal-breaker.


So, LVP or laminate?

Flooring shouldn’t be a complicated decision, and no one should have to sacrifice beauty for durability. MyFlooring is dedicated to taking the guesswork out of flooring decisions. While laminate and LVP are comparable in appearance, price, and comfort, it is often durability and longevity that has the power to sway. If you are looking for a hardwood look that is waterproof, scratchproof, and comes with a lifetime warranty on the product and installation, LVP from MyFlooring is your answer.

 



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