Decoration, Design trends, Flooring

Vinyl vs laminate: What flooring is better? Which is cheaper? Which is easiest to install? How long do they last?

When it comes to selecting which type of flooring to have throughout your house, you certainly won’t struggle for variety. In fact, today there are many different flooring options for you to choose from. However, that doesn’t necessarily make the decision process easier. That said, in order to try and help you narrow it down, in this article we’re going to focus on vinyl and laminate flooring. Which flooring is better? Which of the two is cheaper? Which is the easiest to install? And how long do both flooring options last? Read on to find out more as we explore both flooring types in greater depth. 

What flooring is better vinyl vs laminate?

What flooring is better, vinyl or laminate? Both laminate flooring and vinyl flooring are viable options for those who are working on a DIY project and need affordable solutions for durable flooring. When shopping for a new floor however, you must consider your budget, the functionality of the flooring, and your design preferences as well. 

As for excess moisture and spills, vinyl stands up as being the strongest. That coupled with the fact that it is less expensive than laminate makes it an attractive option. However, laminate does give a far more realistic wood look which can enhance the overall design aesthetic of your home. Ultimately, it comes down to aesthetic over functionality and which is most important to you. 

Here’s a quick look at which type of flooring works best in the various rooms of a house: 

  • Kitchen: Both vinyl and laminate are suitable in the kitchen
  • Bathrooms: Typically, vinyl is better suited to a bathroom environment 
  • Bedrooms: Both vinyl and laminate are suitable in the bedroom 
  • Dining room: Both vinyl and laminate are suitable in the dining room
  • Living room: Both vinyl and laminate are suitable in the living room
  • Laundry room: Typically, vinyl is better suited to a laundry room 

Which flooring is easier to install, vinyl vs laminate?

Another important factor is which flooring is easier to install, vinyl or laminate? Laminate and vinyl installation are both fairly easy. They are each decent options for those who want to DIY the flooring installation as it isn’t all that complicated to tackle by yourself. 

  • Laminate floorboards rely on a click-and-lock installation method. This means that all of your laminate planks are fitted into the groove of the adjoining planks, and once they are locked in the seam closes. The majority of laminate installations are classified as “floating” floors, which essentially means that they can be installed over your existing flooring – thus, there is very little in the way of prep work required. Additionally, you can utilise a regular table saw in order to cut down any planks to fit your floor perfectly. 
  • Vinyl floorboards provide you with more variety when it comes to methods of installation. You can select the click-and-lock planks as mentioned above, including peel-and-stick glue down options. Sheet vinyl is however, more difficult to manage than laminate. This is because it is heavier and requires precise cutting around the various shapes and angles of the room in question. In that case, you may be better off hiring the professionals to help with installation, making laminate the easier of the two when it comes to fitting. 

Which flooring lasts the longest, vinyl vs laminate?

Now that we know more about installation, which flooring lasts the longest, vinyl or laminate? 

  • Laminate flooring is both strong and durable, though it can succumb to water damage. Additionally, when scratches appear on the top layer of laminate flooring they cannot easily be repaired. In any case, most laminate flooring options can last you a good 10 to 25 years, though that depends on how well you take care of it. 
  • Vinyl flooring is also incredibly durable and resilient. Although it is considered as being a lower quality flooring option due to it being cheaper, vinyl can still stand up rather well against high-traffic areas in your home, for at least 20 years. Again, depending on how well you care for the flooring, some vinyl options may delaminate over the years. 

Which is cheaper, vinyl vs laminate flooring?

Now for the important part: which is cheaper, vinyl or laminate flooring? 

  • Laminate flooring typically costs anywhere between $18 to $100 per square meter, excluding any installations cost (should you choose to hire the professionals)
  • Vinyl flooring on the other hand typically costs between $55 to $65 per square meter, including installation.

Overall, both of these flooring options are cheaper than hardwood. That, and you can achieve a reasonable wood appearance. Keeping the flooring clean and maintaining both is easier than wood flooring as well. And they come in a variety of different styles with the appearance of natural wood – more so laminate which is a by-product of natural wood giving it a more believable finish. 


Both vinyl and laminate flooring options are durable, pet friendly, and can stand up to heavy foot traffic. They are easy to install as well. Ultimately, the main difference between vinyl and laminate is that vinyl is 100% waterproof, whereas laminate is not. 

In that light, vinyl is arguably the better option of the two, given that it is typically cheaper as well. However, it all depends on the aesthetic. If you use laminate flooring in an area that won’t see much in the way of moisture of spillages, then the waterproof issue won’t be a problem. 

Weigh up the pros and cons of each and see which makes more sense to you and your requirements. We hope that you have found this article helpful. If you’d like to find out more about vinyl or laminate flooring, please do not hesitate to contact us today. 


About Shaun Adams

As the lead creative for Create Macarthur, you’ll be in good hands with Shaun leading your project. Skilled in design, development, business consulting and best practices.