When it comes to deciding which flooring type is best for your home, it can be tricky. With so many great options boasting a range of aesthetic advantages and structural benefits, it’s sometimes hard to know what the right decision might be.

Being the North East’s largest flooring retailer, at Frank’s it’s safe to say that we have endless options when it comes to choosing the right flooring for your home. From LVT and vinyl to hardwood, laminate and carpet; we have it all.

Often though, we get asked which is better: laminate or vinyl? When making a decision it does largely come down to personal preference and the budget you have set. 

Looking for affordable yet high quality flooring will likely lead you to the two options of vinyl or laminate.  Both share similarities and the capability to act as an alternative to hardwood.

So let’s take a look at which might be better for you!

Which flooring is cheaper?

Generally speaking, when it comes to expense, vinyl is often cheaper than laminate. However, LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile) and its convincing wood finish provides a much higher level of quality and this can push the price point a little higher than laminate. 

When it comes to cost, vinyl is generally cheaper than laminate, particularly when considering sheet vinyl. On the other hand, Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) and its convincing wood finishes provide a higher level of quality, so can push the price point higher than laminate. 

Which flooring looks better?

In years gone by, vinyl was considered a cheap alternative for flooring that didn’t deliver an attractive aesthetic. However, advancements in technology have greatly improved the look of both vinyl and laminate.

The printing and detail on wood effect flooring has grown to become incredibly realistic, offering a more realistic illusion of natural wood. Greater texture can be added to thicker laminate planks, which sometimes makes the effect look more believable than vinyl.

Further advancements have meant that LVT can provide the appearance of knots or divots in wood to create further dimension and character. Both can replicate natural materials but textured LVT might just have the upper hand on this one.

Which flooring is easier to install?

Both are manufactured to have simple click-lock fittings for easy installation. This makes the flooring easy to place, lift and change in case of any mistakes. 

Laminate can be very tough to cut through, often needing a hand saw or even a power saw to achieve the right length or shape. On the other hand, LVT is slightly more manageable, sometimes only needing a knife to score, bend and cut to the desired look.

Vinyl can be peel-and-stick which makes for incredibly quick easy installation because it fixes directly to the underlay.

Underlay

Underlay is used for soundproofing, protection and shock absorption and is essential for laying any type of flooring. At Frank’s, we can’t emphasise the importance of underlay enough. Don’t skimp on it!

Unless you have chosen flooring with an underlay already attached, you will need to add it to both laminate and vinyl. Choose from damp proof underlay, thermal underlay, or soundproof underlay depending on your requirements.

Which lasts longer?

Both types of flooring are hard wearing, practical and will stand the test of time. That being said, neither laminate or vinyl is indestructible. 

If care is not taken, vinyl flooring can become dented by heavy objects and furniture while laminate can end up scratched or chipped. There are products available to repair damage to laminate, however vinyl flooring is more prone to damage that is permanent. 

Pop down to your local Frank’s and we’ll be happy to help you find the perfect  flooring for your home.

Got a question? Ask Frank!