Vinyl vs. Laminate: the Big Flooring Battle

One of the most common home improvements is to change the style of flooring in a room, even in a whole house. Living rooms, kitchens and bedrooms receive the most traffic as you might expect and as a result the materials laid down on the floor are prone to wearing out. Carpet is one of the most popular options for a floor, in any room, thanks to the variety offered in terms of colour that enables it to fit in with the existing theme in a home or room, and also the benefits in terms of maintaining warmth.


However, there are two other contenders for the title of King of Flooring, in the form of vinyl and laminate. The two are regularly installed in modern homes because they both require little or no maintenance, just a quick once-over with a mop or hoover, and any stains or spillages can be wiped away quickly and easily when a carpet would need to be replaced, often at great expense. In recent times we’ve seen the introduction of tile effect laminate flooring, showing just how far the industry has come in terms of what is available today when compared with as little as ten years ago.


As trends change and new innovations and designs are brought onto the market, the demand from the public is likely to rise – as you would expect in any industry whether it’s technology, motoring or interior design. The only question will be about which type of flooring is likely to make the most of what is now available to them and which will capture the public’s imagination over the coming years.


There is no doubt that both are particularly stylish forms of flooring and quite often it’s just down to personal preference, with some preferring the traditional chequered black and white vinyl flooring for their kitchens and others opting to have the laminate wooden flooring throughout their homes for the style.


Laminate came from nowhere essentially, catching both vinyl and carpet flooring off guard in many respects, because of just how realistic the wooden effect was and how easy it was to fit. Tongue and groove or push-fit connections have been popular the world over in other firms of DIY, and laminate flooring was essentially an extension of that for the floor. Real oak flooring was deemed to be too expensive by many homeowners and sales were declining, but the development of laminate alternatives revitalized the wooden flooring market and made it not only affordable, but ‘cool’ again.


Vinyl, on the other hand, has always been the preferred choice for those who have little or no time for cleaning the house every single day because of their busy schedules. Such a low maintenance material, vinyl can be cleaned using a damp cloth so there’s no need to get the hoover out and start to clean the whole house, or for you to pull up the carpet and splash the cash on a new one (or to cover the stains with a rug).


In the years to come, like anything that goes through a period of trends, we’re likely to see more and more new designs and styles of both laminate and vinyl flooring as the two battle for supremacy in the market. There is no doubt, however, that the two are now genuine rivals for carpet which is being comparatively left behind in terms of interior design professionals’ flooring of choice.


Ella Mason, an experienced freelance writer, wrote this article. Ella specialises in providing useful and engaging advice to small businesses. Follow her on Twitter @ellatmason


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