Laminate vs. Luxury Vinyl Plank: An Honest Review

Are you trying to choose between laminate and luxury vinyl plank? If you are, you’ve likely realized by now just how time-consuming that is. You have endless options in color, style, and look. It’s easy to become overwhelmed. It makes it even more difficult when you are choosing between two very similar products!

Here at Flooring Solutions, we don’t want you going back and forth between the two, not really sure which one will be best for you. We want you to have facts about both flooring types that clearly explain the differences in cost, performance, and durability.

We are here to help you understand that the difference between laminate and Luxury vinyl plank goes beyond just how they look. After all, flooring is a significant investment. After this article, you’ll feel confident knowing you’re making the right choice in flooring!

What Is Luxury Vinyl Plank?

Luxury vinyl plank is a special kind of flooring that’s made by combining different materials. These materials work together to create a strong and durable base, as well as a protective top layer. You might recognize one of the materials used called PVC, which stands for polyvinyl chloride. The materials are carefully put together and connected to either a PVC, WPC (wood polymer core), or SPC (stone polymer core) layer. This unique combination makes luxury vinyl plank flooring sturdy and long-lasting.

Depending on what the core is made from, can determine the rigidness, or stiffness, of the material. SPC, or stone polymer core, tends to be the more rigid of the three core types. You may also find Luxury vinyl plank referenced as “LVP” as it becomes a very popular flooring choice today.

Top 3 Advantages of Using Vinyl

1. Waterproof on the surface

Let’s say you install luxury vinyl plank in the laundry room. You’re transferring clothes from the washer to the dryer, and water is dripping from the clothes onto your floor. There are no concerns about whether you will damage the floor even if you don’t wipe it up. If your dog is a messy drinker, likely every time they go to drink, water splashes everywhere. You don’t have to worry about warping, discoloration, or any water damage.

2. Ease of installation

Often times you can float LVP on top of your existing floor. There are certain floors you would not want to do that on top of, such as engineered hardwood or solid hardwood. This could pose future problems for how well your vinyl performs. If you are curious about a list of flooring types you can and cannot float LVP over, we’ve covered that too!

3. Maintenance and performance

Doesn’t easy maintenance just make you happy? A huge appeal to LVP is that it does not have to be maintained by a professional cleaning company. You can easily maintain this floor with a damp mop or regular household cleaning products.

What Can You Clean Vinyl Floors With?

  1. Good-ole soap & water – the easiest method!
  2. Swiffer Wet-jet – be sure the wet solution is safe for hard surfaces.
  3. Bona Solid Surface cleaner.
  4. Rejuvenate – which is an eco-friendly option.

When Moisture Could Be A Concern for Luxury Vinyl Plank

Just like with any product, if there are advantages, there are also disadvantages. Though water is rarely an issue, it can be. If your dishwasher water supply line leaks and moisture gets underneath the floating surface of your vinyl – mold, and mildew growth could occur due to moisture being trapped below the surface. This could result in an expensive mess. It’s best to call a water mitigation company and consult with a professional flooring company immediately if you have a large leak.

What is Laminate Flooring?

Laminate is similar to vinyl in this sense, as it is also made up of a combination of materials. There are several layers that are bonded together through a lamination process, with its core typically consisting of HDF, more commonly known as particle board. has a laminated wear layer – It gives the appearance of real wood through the use of a photographic wear layer. On top of that, there is a clear, protected laminated layer, which is what aids in its extreme durability.

Top 3 Advantages of using Laminate

1. Impact resistant.

The dense material of laminate makes it durable enough to withstand higher impact. If you have a little one who drops toys often, or you accidentally drop dishes and pots & pans in the kitchen. It also withstands heavy furniture like dressers and large couches.

2. Scratch resistant.

The laminated wear layer is hard to scratch. That’s what you want out of a floor if you have animals with sharp claws, children with sharp toys, or if you wear high heels and don’t want them digging in.

3. Look and feel of natural hardwood.

Let’s face it, real hardwood can tend to get pricey. This makes laminate an ideal choice if you want the look & feel of real hardwood, at a price that fits nicely into your budget.

What Can You Clean Laminate Floors With?

  1. Damp mop – be sure to ring your mop out extremely well.
  2. Swiffer – we don’t recommend the wet jet for laminate, as it is too much liquid.
  3. Bona Solid Surface cleaner – you can use a terry cloth mop and lightly spray onto your laminate surface.

Disadvantages of Using Laminate

Are you like most homeowners who like to steam-mop your floors? Unfortunately, we do not recommend using a steam mop on laminate flooring. The heat from the steam mop can cause the adhesives that bond the multiple layers together to release.