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Laminate vs Vinyl Flooring: How to Navigate the Options

Considering laminate flooring

Laminate flooring has grown in popularity due to its low maintenance and durability. It is an exceptionally hard-wearing man-made floor comprising a realistic wood photo layer under a clear protective coating with an engineered base. Laminates provide the warmth and good looks of real wood without the scratching, ageing, colour variations and maintenance of natural products.

Laminates are laid on underlay which acts as a dense, acoustic layer as well as a natural insulator. The underlay can also absorb small variations in the subfloor if it is not completely level.

The core of laminates usually comprises a high-density fibreboard on a moisture resistant base. Daily spills and liquids are easily maintained but make sure to select a new generation laminate with waterproof features for any installations in wet areas or hospitality and retail environments.

Laminates offer a uniform, cost-effective timber look floor without the cost and maintenance of a real hardwood floor. The installation of click together laminate planks without glues or screws is also faster, saving installation costs.

Considering vinyl flooring

In comparison, luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) or multi-layer vinyl flooring is thinner and lighter and the layers comprise various man-made cores suitable for wet areas. The choices include realistic images and textures of stone, wood and ceramics. The quality of vinyl has improved greatly and it is sold in planks and tiles rather than sheets to imitate other floorings.

LVT flooring is softer underfoot and has some insulation properties depending upon the construction. The surfaces are durable, hygienic and will not splinter or crack ensuring longevity and durability in tough environments. Most varieties can be installed over underfloor heating for further comfort.

Note that heavy sharp objects could scratch or dent either floor type and extreme temperatures may expand or contract the flooring seasonally.

View more information on Woodland Lifestyle, including contact details.
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