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July 2017

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Deciding Between Luxury Vinyl and Laminate for Your Home Flooring

Are you shopping for the perfect flooring for your home and debating between luxury vinyl and laminate?

Both are incredibly versatile in colour to the point that they can pass off as everything from stone to hardwood. Both materials are significantly less costly than natural materials such as hardwood and tile and yet offer durability.

But while both materials do have their similarities, luxury vinyl and laminate do have differences that may sway your decision towards one or the other. Here is a more detailed look at the two flooring products you can find at local home centres in Saskatoon:

Luxury Vinyl Flooring

Luxury vinyl flooring is different from standard vinyl flooring for its ability to mimic the look of natural elements such as stone or wood. This look is achieved by using a realistic photo-created image as a surface layer. That combined with textures results in a product that very closely resembles the real thing.

But beyond its appearance, the flooring handles moisture well and can even handle being completely submerged in liquid – a characteristic unique to luxury vinyl flooring. Additionally, it has a layer of urethane that offers maximum protection from high foot traffic.

And because luxury vinyl flooring comes with all these benefits, expect to pay more for this material.

Laminate Flooring

Today’s advancements in printing technologies have enabled manufacturers to create a wide variety of laminate visuals that are so close to the real thing that it surprises many to realize it’s actually laminate.

Laminate is constructed in layers. Compared to luxury vinyl flooring, laminate is more rigid because of its main layer that is made of high-density fiberboard. But unlike luxury vinyl flooring, laminate does not handle moisture well at all. Moisture and humidity can cause severe damage to laminate floors. And remember that Saskatoon has its share of hot weather and high humidity days.

A benefit of laminate flooring is that the installation process is easy because of its click and lock assembly that does not need to be glued or nailed to the subfloor.

Luxury Vinyl vs. Laminate

Ultimately, laminate’s biggest advantage is that it’s cheaper than luxury vinyl. You’ll pay less upfront. However, the lifespan of laminate is approximately 10 years, and you’ll find yourself needing to replace them. Luxury vinyl, on the other hand, can last you about 20 years.

And in terms of warranty, laminate is warrantied for 5 – 10 years while luxury vinyl comes with a warranty of 15 years or more.

However, if despite laminate’s limited warranty and short lifespan, you are still considering it because it costs less, do know that recent studies have revealed that laminate floors produce formaldehyde emissions, a dangerous carcinogen that if inhaled daily, could be potentially hazardous to anyone living in the home.

So while both flooring materials are similar in cost and appearance, it’s clear that luxury vinyl is the better choice for being safer, warrantied for longer, and having a longer lifespan.