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Laminate and Vinyl Flooring: Everything You Need to Know

laminate and vinyl flooring

When it comes to budget-friendly and durable flooring options, people will likely suggest installing laminate and vinyl flooring for residential or commercial spaces. While they have similarities, they also have a few differences.

So, in this blog post, we categorised them based on their look, price, durability, maintenance, and ideal installation location. This way, you can weigh your options properly before making that all-or-nothing buying decision.

About Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is popular because it’s a cheap alternative to hardwood flooring while still promising stable performance. Laminate floors originated in Sweden, invented by Perstorp in 1977.

The first laminate flooring was sold in 1980, and this was introduced to the European market in 1984 under the brand name “Pergo.” And before being adapted for flooring surface materials, Pergo was primarily used in kitchen countertops.

Layers of Laminate Flooring

Laminate floors typically consist of multiple synthetic materials:

  • Wear layer. This is made up of a rigid sheet of melamine that guarantees laminate floors’ durability and aluminium oxide to resist ultraviolet rays’ effects.
  • Picture film or “image design” layer. This gives distinctive surface colour and appearance, typically mimicking standard wood, stone, or metal.
  • Core layer. This layer is composed of a high-density board that protects floors from dents and moisture.
  • Bottom or backing layer. This is made up of polymer, forming the laminate floorboard’s base and resisting moisture subfloor penetration.

Characteristics of Laminate Flooring

Look

The appearance of laminate flooring is unique, and it is available in various colours, sizes, and design options. Innovative manufacturing processes constantly improve its look, adding style to your home or workspace.

Cost

When you compare it with other flooring types, especially solid timber, laminate flooring is the most affordable floor solution in the market. However, the price will still vary depending on the style, thickness, water-resistance tiers, and abrasion ratings.

Its price may also differ based on the materials used and the installation fee. In Sydney, laminate flooring materials range from $20 to 50 per square metre, while the installation costs between $20 to 30 per square metre.

Durability

Laminate flooring is not only stylish but also tough. Although you can’t refinish laminate flooring, it is still highly durable and in demand because it can withstand heavy foot traffic and scrapes. You will not have wear and tear problems with this flooring choice, and your floors’ new look will last.

Installation and maintenance

Laminate flooring is a practical choice for many homeowners because it can be easily installed. Also, compared to other flooring products, laminate flooring is considered an easy-care flooring solution for home and commercial owners. This is because it doesn’t require high maintenance since you only need regular sweeping and wiping should food and beverage spills come in contact with your floors.

Ideal installation location

Many manufacturers aim to make laminate flooring an “install anywhere” flooring choice. So, you can install it in almost any part of the house or office. But ideally, they should be installed in home living areas that are not subject to excessive moisture, such as bedrooms, family rooms, hallways, and dining areas.

About Vinyl Flooring

Meanwhile, vinyl flooring, often called “resilient vinyl flooring,” is famous for its luxurious appearance and durability. This has become a valuable option for architects and interior designers, specifically for commercial projects. Its prices vary according to the style the consumer wants.

Even though chemist Eugen Baumann created vinyl in 1872, resilient vinyl flooring wasn’t wholly transformed into a tile until the 1930s. And when the vinyl composition tile was introduced during the 1933 Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago, it became a massive hit to the public.

Since it was released to the market in the late 1940s, vinyl flooring has become the top choice for literally any hard-surface application.

Layers of Vinyl Flooring

Just like laminate flooring, vinyl flooring is composed of several layers of materials:

  • Top coat. This protects the wear layer and adds lustre to the flooring surface.
  • Wear layer. This protects the pattern layer.
  • Pattern layer. This provides the sheet colour and appearance and features a high-resolution printed image of your choice.
  • Backing layer. This is generally made of cork or foam that acts as an underlayment, so you don’t have to install another material before vinyl flooring installation.

Characteristics of Vinyl Flooring

Look

The design or pattern layer can feature printed images resembling wood, marble, stone, and other high-end materials. Vinyl flooring is also categorised into sheet vinyl, luxury vinyl plank (LVP) and engineered vinyl click (EVC), available for commercial or residential use.

Today’s vinyl floors lean on aesthetics to add beauty to a room space. So, when you choose to install them on your property, you’ll be provided with plenty of style options.

Cost

Vinyl flooring is more affordable than traditional materials since it has an average cost of $0.50 and $2 per square foot. Vinyl sheets cost around 75 cents to $4 per square foot, while tiles cost $1 to $8 per square foot.

Lastly, planks start with $5 per square foot. Like laminate flooring, vinyl flooring installation costs an extra, generally $36 to $45 an hour on average.

Durability

Vinyl flooring is made from 100 per cent plastic, so it is 100 per cent water-resistant, making it a very durable flooring option! This is perfect for high-traffic spaces since it can tolerate more wear and tear than floors made from traditional materials.

Installation and maintenance

This flooring material is relatively easy to install, so you’ll not have a hard time depending on technical instructions upon installation.

Ideal installation location

Vinyl flooring is convenient to install in several rooms, including bedrooms, living rooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens.

In terms of toughness and durability, vinyl flooring won’t disappoint. However, its longevity will heavily depend on where it is installed. Experts do not recommend using it in outdoor spaces since the colours will likely fade.

Which Is Good for Me: Laminate or Vinyl Flooring?

There’s nothing more soothing than seeing beautiful and sturdy flooring at home or the office. With a durable and appealing flooring product, you’ll be at ease moving around your space and conducting your everyday activities with your pets, toddlers, or employees.

Both laminate and vinyl flooring are durable and come at competitive prices. In choosing from either, factor in the installation areas and your intended budget.

Realise Your Flooring Vision with Total Flooring’s Quality Laminate and Vinyl Flooring

Some might say that you can’t have it all. However, at Total Flooring, we get how vital it is to have a pretty and secure flooring system.

Total Flooring hasn’t been in the flooring market for over 20 years for nothing. Our online store has everything you are looking for in laminate or vinyl flooring, quality- and appearance-wise.

Sometimes, your flooring transformation starts with an email. So, consult us today by messaging sales@totalflooring.com.au, and realise your flooring dream with us!

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