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Laminate Vs. Vinyl Flooring: A Comprehensive Cost Guide

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Key Takeaways

Laminate Flooring Cost$4 – $14 per square foot installed
Vinyl Flooring Cost$2 – $12 per square foot installed
Luxury Vinyl Flooring Cost$4 – $16 per square foot installed (LVP / LVT)
Water ResistanceVinyl is 100% waterproof; Laminate is water-resistant
LifespanVinyl: 10–25 years (standard), 20–50 years (LVP/LVT); Laminate: 10–25 years
Environmental ImpactVinyl releases more toxins; Laminate is more environmentally friendly
Resale ValueLaminate boosts value more than standard vinyl; luxury vinyl also increases value
Room SuitabilityVinyl is better for wet areas; Laminate is best for living spaces

Laminate Vs. Vinyl Flooring

Choosing between laminate and vinyl flooring can be challenging. Both options have distinct advantages, which can suit different needs and budgets. Below, we break down costs, appearance, materials, water resistance, and more to help you decide which flooring type is best for your home.

Vinyl Vs. Laminate Flooring Comparison

FactorVinyl FlooringLaminate Flooring
Average Cost Per Square Foot Installed$2 – $12 (vinyl), $4 – $16 (LVP/LVT)$4 – $14
Average Total Cost (500-1,000 Square Feet)$1,000 – $12,000 (vinyl), $2,000 – $16,000 (LVP/LVT)$2,000 – $14,000
AppearanceSomewhat realistic look of wood or stoneRealistic look & feel of wood or stone
Material100% synthetic materialsWood byproduct layers laminated together
Water Resistance100% waterproofWater-resistant
CorePVCWood fiberboard
MaintenanceCan be wet-moppedCannot be wet-mopped
Lifespan10 – 25 years (vinyl), 20 – 50 years (LVP/LVT)10 – 25 years
Environmental ImpactMade from mostly non-renewable resources, releases toxins when burnedMade from mostly recyclable materials, releases fewer toxins
Resale ValueValue boost only with luxury optionsBoosts value

What Is Vinyl Flooring?

Vinyl flooring, made primarily from synthetic materials, is a versatile and cost-effective flooring option. It comes in various forms, including sheets, planks, and tiles, often designed to mimic the look of natural materials like wood and stone.

Vinyl Flooring Pros & Cons

* Waterproof* Made from synthetic materials
* Easy to clean* Not as realistic as laminate in look and feel
* Does not need sealing* Requires a perfectly smooth, level subfloor
* DIY-friendly (planks & tiles)* Difficult to remove
* Can mimic the look of expensive materials like stone, marble, and wood* Cannot be repaired

What Is Laminate Flooring?

Laminate flooring, composed of wood byproduct layers laminated together, offers a realistic look and feel of natural materials. It is generally more resistant to scratches and stains than vinyl flooring and is favored for its aesthetic appeal.

Laminate Flooring Pros & Cons

* Easy to install and maintain* Requires a perfectly smooth and level subfloor
* Can sometimes be installed over an existing floor* Not ideal for wet or humid spaces
* Resistant to scratches and stains* Dents easily with heavy furniture
* Wide color, texture, and style selection* Louder to walk on than vinyl
* More realistic look and feel than vinyl* Difficult to repair; cannot be refinished

Vinyl Vs. Laminate Flooring Comparison

When choosing between vinyl and laminate flooring, consider the following factors: cost, look & feel, performance & durability, installation, maintenance & repairs, lifespan, and resale value.


FactorLaminate Cost Per Square FootVinyl (Sheet / Tile) Cost Per Square FootLuxury Vinyl (LVP / LVT) Cost Per Square Foot
Materials$1 – $6$1 – $7$2 – $10
Labor & Supplies$3 – $8$1 – $5$2 – $6
Total Installed Cost$4 – $14$2 – $12$4 – $16

Look & Feel

Vinyl flooring can mimic the look of expensive materials like stone, marble, and wood, but it does not feel as realistic as laminate. Laminate flooring, on the other hand, offers a more authentic look and texture, closely resembling natural materials.

Performance & Durability

Vinyl flooring is 100% waterproof, making it suitable for wet areas like bathrooms and kitchens. Laminate is only water-resistant and not ideal for wet or humid spaces. However, laminate is generally resistant to scratches and stains and is known for its durability in high-traffic areas.


Both vinyl and laminate flooring are relatively easy to install. Vinyl planks and tiles are DIY-friendly, while laminate flooring can sometimes be installed over existing floors. However, both require a perfectly smooth and level subfloor for optimal installation.

Maintenance & Repairs

Vinyl flooring is easy to clean and can be wet-mopped, while laminate cannot be wet-mopped and requires more careful maintenance. Neither option can be refinished, but laminate may be more prone to damage from heavy furniture and is harder to repair than vinyl.


Vinyl flooring typically lasts between 10–25 years, with luxury vinyl options (LVP/LVT) lasting up to 50 years. Laminate flooring has a lifespan of 10–25 years, depending on the quality and maintenance.

Resale Value

Laminate flooring generally boosts home value more than standard vinyl. However, luxury vinyl options can also increase resale value, particularly in upscale settings.

Which Is Better, Vinyl Or Laminate Flooring?

Both vinyl and laminate flooring have their advantages and are suited for different rooms and purposes. Below, we provide recommendations based on specific room types:

RoomVinyl FlooringLaminate Flooring
Dining Room
Laundry Roomx
Living Room

Getting Estimates From Vinyl Or Laminate Flooring Installers

To get the best value for your flooring investment, it’s crucial to seek multiple estimates from professional installers.

Questions To Ask A Vinyl Or Laminate Flooring Professional

  1. What type of flooring material do you recommend for my specific needs?
  2. Can you provide a detailed estimate, including materials and labor?
  3. How long will the installation take?
  4. Do you offer any guarantees or warranties on your work?
  5. What is your experience with installing vinyl and laminate flooring?

By thoroughly comparing vinyl and laminate flooring options and consulting with experts, you can make an informed decision that meets your aesthetic preferences, performance needs, and budget.

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