Vinyl or Laminate: Which One is Best for Waterproof Flooring

Vinyl or Laminate: Which One is Best for Waterproof Flooring?

Vinyl is made out of a material called polyvinyl chloride or PVC mixed with other compounds to create hardness, flexibility, and sheen. The main ingredient in the mixture is the vinyl sheet which, when heated, fuses the compounds into a pliable material.

With a laminate wood, four different materials are getting pressed into a panel. Apart from wood, you have the wear layer, the inner core, underlayment, and backing.

It’s the backing process that allows manufacturers to claim that they sell laminated waterproof flooring.

Which is the Better Choice for Your Waterproof Flooring?

For a long time, laminate has become the best choice for homeowners who couldn’t afford the cost of installing hardwood flooring.

Although both vinyl and laminate are the more economical choice, the latter featured a more natural look compared to the PVC material. In terms of embossing, rigidity, and thickness, laminate used to be superior compared to vinyl.

However, that’s no longer true with the introduction of luxury vinyl flooring. The gaps in aesthetics between vinyl and laminate narrowed, especially with products that come with the prefabricated underlayment.

Their difference lies in their ability to withstand moisture. This resistance to water is what gives vinyl an edge over laminate. That’s not to say that laminate flooring is not waterproof; it only means that polyvinyl chloride flooring performs better.

For instance, it’s not a good idea to install laminates on your bathroom floor. And you may even be courting danger if you install laminate flooring in your kitchen.

In contrast, vinyl sheets are specifically designed for kitchen and bathroom installations.

Types of Luxury Vinyl Waterproof Flooring

When it comes to vinyl waterproof flooring, you have three products to choose from:

  1. Luxury Vinyl sheet — This sheet is an ideal choice to install in areas where you can expect high levels of moisture. So, that usually means the kitchen and the bathroom. The length of each sheet can be from 6 to 12 feet. You won’t find any seams when they are installed, and they look a lot like natural hardwood or tile.
  2. Luxury Vinyl Tile — This product mimics the aesthetics and feel of stone or hardwood. They often feature intricate patterns and ideally suit basements, the bathroom, or a kitchen.
  3. Luxury Vinyl Planks — Luxury vinyl planks are specially designed to look like hardwood. They are ideally installed in living rooms or bedrooms.

Is Vinyl Waterproof Flooring Immune to Flooding?

Unfortunately, vinyl flooring does not tolerate too much moisture. You still have to take care of your floors. Waterproof, in this case, means that your vinyl flooring can ward off surface water so that it doesn’t cause long-term damage to the material.

So what can you do in case of flooding? The first step is to clean as much as you can. However, floodwater seeps in between the planks and probably sitting underneath.

You might need to bring in professionals to take out the planks and let them dry out. The subsurface area must also be thoroughly dried before reinstalling the vinyl planks again.


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