Laminate flooring is quite similar in appearance, performance, and affordability to vinyl but, as you will find out at the store, there are subtle differences that affect installation.

While some are more technical, it is mostly a matter of debate and personal preference, since they're tied on so many levels.

For example, many say one or the other has deeper embossing to make the product more realistic. They both have similar durability factors with a tough top clear plastic wear sheet that protects against scratches and scuffs.

The one big difference

Vinyl flooring is completely impervious to liquid. Laminate is highly water-resistant but is made from wood byproducts. Since wood can be damaged by excess water, it’s best to avoid installation in the bathroom or any other high moisture areas.

A little softer and less rigid

Laminate is truly a hard surface. Planks fall in the middle, not quite hard, but not soft like carpet.

But (and there’s always a “but” after this debate) some will get vinyl flooring with the SPC (stone plastic composite) core, which makes the material thicker and more rigid, with a feeling similar laminate flooring.

Whether it’s vinyl plank flooring or laminate…

Go into the store and you'll see the same style and savings. To make a plank, vinyl is cut into strips and then mounted on boards to mimic wood. Digital photography makes the images clear, accurate and vibrant.

Embossing is available to give it wire-brushed, hand scraped, weathered or antiqued looks. You can get it in matte or glossy finishes

Both are also:
●Budget-friendly. It’s not even close to the price of real wood.
●Kid and pet-friendly. They're both recommended for these households.
●Easy to clean with just a daily sweep and a periodic mopping.
●Simple to install. They’re even DIY-friendly. Both can be, with a few exceptions, placed directly over existing flooring and the pieces either click together or you can glue it down.

For more information, and to learn about our free in-home measuring and design consultation, visit the Diverse Flooring showroom in Maple Ridge, BC, Canada. We service Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Walnut Grove/Langley North, and the Tri-Cities Area.