Vinyl and laminate flooring are very popular modern materials. It is a budget alternative to parquet. Both options look aesthetically pleasing and serve for a long time. Which of the two types of flooring should you choose for your kitchen? To answer this question, it is important to know well the characteristics of each of them.
Is vinyl or laminate better for the kitchen? Waterproof laminate is attractive, stylish, and easy to maintain flooring that can be used in the kitchen, vinyl flooring is still better for places with high humidity areas like kitchens. Vinyl flooring is durable, scratch-resistant, waterproof, and non-slippery. Vinyl also has high thermal insulation and anti-static properties. Vinyl is used in the kitchens far more often than laminate because it is more practical, durable and safe. That is why vinyl is definitely better for kitchen than laminate.
However, both laminate and vinyl can be used in the kitchen. Let’s look at their pros and cons and compare.
What Is Better For Kitchen – Vinyl Or Laminate?
Vinyl flooring looks like a classic floor, but it is made of polyvinyl chloride, which includes vinyl and quart. Vinyl flooring is resistant to moisture, detergents, and also resists mechanical damage, it can be used in kitchens, bathrooms, swimming pools or commercial premises. The polyvinyl floor covering is non-slip, easy to care for, and no need to lay a substrate during installation, as it is antistatic.
Another feature of this floor is that less glue is used when installing. Vinyl can be installed on a concrete or tile base, or on wood or parquet floors. Vinyl flooring can be installed on uneven surfaces. A huge plus of vinylis that it does not form gaps.
The laminate flooring consists of chipboard or fiberboard covered with acrylic resin. Its appearance imitates natural wood. Features of the laminate are its excellent design solution, durability, reasonable cost, and it is easy to install. Laminate disadvantages for kitchens include: laminate is afraid of wet rooms like kitchens, so you will have to get a waterproof laminate, which is more expensive. Cheap laminate will not last long, but an average-cost laminate will be last for 5-10 years, of course, depending on the operating conditions.
However, laminate flooring has a lower cost than vinyl and quartz vinyl. It does not require complicated maintenance. There are no stains on the laminate flooring as you can clean everything with a washcloth or mop. Laminate has a huge selection in texture and color palette. A floor covered with laminate will look aesthetically pleasing.
What lasts longer: vinyl or laminate? Vinyl lasts much longer than laminate flooring. Class 32 laminate should last 3-5 years, but if you use it at home, then the period will increase to 10-15. 33 class laminate lasts 5-6 years. While vinyl flooring lasts up to 15 years thanks to its thick, abrasion-resistant layer. This is one of the reasons why vinyl flooring is better for kitchens.
Laminate vs. Vinyl: Moisture Resistance Level
Experts say that the laminate floor is more afraid of moisture. Even a small puddle can render the coating unusable for subsequent use. If, when buying, they claim that you have a moisture-resistant laminate, then this will not be a completely correct statement. After all, this material cannot be completely non-hygroscopic, since it is made from wood, which absorbs moisture and swells fast. The presence of a lock makes the laminate even more vulnerable. This element was machined on a milling machine, albeit a modernized one. The slightest contact with water interferes with its functionality.
Such material is considered to be more resistant to moisture. This indicator is almost 100%. Therefore, it is recommended to install it in a bathroom, kitchen and other similar rooms with high humidity. However, if the glue used for the installation is of poor quality, then it can become sour when water gets through the gaps at the joints between the tiles.
But if you do not allow moisture to stagnate on the surface of the vinyl tile, wiping it with a dry cloth, then the floor will turn out to be very durable and reliable. It is also important that the vinyl does not slip, and mold does not develop at the seams. Such a floor is easy to clean and resistant to damage from household chemicals.
Laminate vs. Vinyl: Insulation Characteristics
To enhance the insulating characteristics of the laminate, which are rated as average, the developers suggest laying a quality base. Its use, with proper installation of the cover, also helps to prevent the occurrence of knocking sounds when walking.
Vinyl has excellent thermal protective properties. Moreover, vinyl is used as insulation and is also mounted on top of the “warm floor” system. The presence of composite materials in the composition of vinyl flooring provides excellent sound insulation. The researchers determined by comparing vinyl or laminate flooring that the vinyl reflected sound better. When you walk on vinyl, the noise almost does not appear.
Laminate vs. Vinyl: Wear Resistance
By this parameter, you can determine how long the material will retain its original characteristics and how long it will last in general.
This material does not have very high wear resistance, the level of which can be equal to 21-34 classes. Therefore, immediately after installation, the boards begin to wear out at the joints. Laminate is quickly pressed through, forming creases and even dips.
The wear resistance coefficient of this coating with a durable top layer corresponds to class 43. Therefore, vinyl is actively used in the arrangement of shops, hotels, restaurants and even car dealerships, let alone kitchens. The peculiarity of its structure is such that during impacts the coating does not deform, does not break or crack. Abrasion resistance is another indicator of a better vinyl floor. And after that, the laminate can no longer be called as durable as vinyl.
Laminate vs. Vinyl Price
Is vinyl or laminate more expensive? Vinyl is usually more expensive. Vinyl costs from 0.5 to 2$ per sq. ft., and luxury vinyl costs 4-6$ per sq. ft. Laminate costs 1-2$ per sq. ft. for medium quality and 3-5$ for waterproof or water-resistant laminate that is suitable for kitchens.
Laminate vs. Vinyl: Installation
The complexity and speed of its installation is important when choosing a floor covering. This is especially important for home craftsmen, who find it easier to cope with materials that are simpler in terms of installation technology.
High-quality installation of such a coating is within the power of only an experienced master. Trimming the material, fixing the base and fixing the sheets is difficult. The thickness of the laminate, averaging 8 mm, often forces the craftsman to raise the room higher than the door.
When installing vinyl, there is no need to change the position of other structures, as well as to use special glue, since the material is thin and is installed in a floating way. Such tiles can even be mounted over the old coating, which for this should be simply even, without protrusions and wide seams. Vinyl can be trimmed with a regular knife.
Laminate Flooring for Kitchen Pros and Cons:
What are the advantages of laminate flooring? The undoubted advantages of laminate flooring include: affordable price, variety of design solutions, aesthetics, originality, a wide range of products, the ability to choose the ideal option for any interior. In addition, the laminate is easy enough to fit, while a high-quality coating is stable, perfectly retains its geometry, and if used correctly, it serves for a long time.
What are the disadvantages of laminate flooring? As for the disadvantages, a lot depends on the choice of the manufacturer and the materials from which the laminate is made. Moisture resistance and strength depend on the quality of each individual layer, especially the bearing one.
A separate issue is related to environmental friendliness.
The top layer contains melamine or acrylic resins. The safest composition is an acrylic-based overlay. Its content increases the cost of the laminate, but such a coating is more environmentally friendly. Other types of laminate may contain formaldehyde, which is acutely toxic when overheated, in a fire, or if the protective layer is damaged. It is important to remember this and follow the safety rules. In the event of a fire, just like in a situation with a vinyl floor, you must urgently leave the room.
Vinyl Flooring for Kitchen Pros and Cons:
What are the advantages of vinyl flooring? The advantages of this coating include an affordable price, exceptional moisture resistance, increased wear resistance (it can withstand very high mechanical loads due to its multi-layer construction) and aesthetics. The top layer of vinyl tiles can imitate any kind of wood, stone, leather, fabric or even carpet. In modern collections, the best design solutions are presented, which are almost impossible to distinguish from elite floors made from natural materials.
In addition, the variety of vinyl flooring makes it easy to choose a convenient installation method. Vinyl flooring comes in the form of self-adhesive tiles, snap-joint tiles with adhesive tape, roll-ups and tiles that are glued to the substrate. Depending on the characteristics of the room, the optimal cost of installation and other factors, you can choose any suitable option.
What are the disadvantages of vinyl flooring? Vinyl chloride itself, from which polyvinyl chloride is obtained, is toxic and unsafe for health. But as a result of polymerization, it completely loses its harmful effect, since it is in molecular bonds. However, when using vinyl flooring, it is very important to prevent overheating, fire and damage to the protective layer in order to avoid the release of toxic substances. In case of fire, leave the premises as soon as possible.
Luxury Vinyl Plank vs Laminate Flooring – Pros & Cons Video Guide
Advantages of laminate and disadvantages of vinyl:
- A more environmentally friendly coating compared to PVC floors.
- Easy and quick installation compared to adhesive vinyl. Locking vinyl can be installed just as easily as laminate. And it is not even necessary to use a backing under the lock vinyl.
- Vinyl is not recommended to be laid in rooms with large panoramic windows, through which a lot of sunlight penetrates and the floors heat up. Since vinyl is a thermoplastic, it expands and changes size when heated. Therefore, when laying in such rooms, there may be a rise in the joints with strong heating by the sun.
Advantages of vinyl floors and disadvantages of laminate:
- High wear resistance of vinyl floors. Depending on the collections, up to 42 classes. Laminate is limited to wear class 34, and its price is already very high, even compared to vinyl class 42.
- Completely resistant to moisture and can be installed in damp rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms. Laminate can be installed in bathrooms, but only in certain collections (Meister, Faus, BerryAlloc) and provided that the water is removed from the surface within 30 minutes.
- Tactilely warm coating. Vinyl floors are pleasant to walk on with bare feet and are much warmer to the touch than laminate.
- Adhesive vinyl can be installed in different directions and can be combined with different shapes and colors of tiles. At the same time, you are not limited in design decisions. Moreover, vinyl can have shapes not only for tiles and for boards, but also of various geometric shapes: rhombuses and hexagons.
Summing up all the characteristics, it is easy to determine which to choose for your kitchen – vinyl or laminate flooring. It is obvious now that vinyl is more practical to use in the kitchen. But you can always give preference to those materials that you personally liked the most.