Laminate vs Vinyl vs Hardwood: Which is the Best Option for Your Home?

Flooring TypesOne of the great things about modern flooring is how well it all holds up. It is difficult to find a type of flooring that is not built to last. That means all of these floorings are a good investment in your home.

The main decision in choosing a floor is deciding what you can pay. Cheaper flooring is not necessarily bad flooring so much as it is a bit less natural-looking. A less natural floor can still be beautiful and expensive looking without the huge price tag.

Comparing these three types of flooring is mostly dependent on look and price. Some are easier to repair and some are built to last but all of them make great floors. Here are a few of the differences and similarities between laminate floors, vinyl floors, and hardwood floors.

Table of Contents


Laminate Floor

There is a stigma around laminate. Lots of people seem to think it is an obviously cheap alternative to a hardwood floor. That is only a little bit true.

Laminate is a much cheaper alternative to hardwood flooring but it is not a bad type of flooring. Laminate is waterproof in a way hardwood flooring will never be so your floor will be safer from water damage. It also does not need to look bad.

The laminate flooring design options have become a very good dupe for real hardwood flooring. Laminate flooring is able to look almost exactly like hardwood without the huge price tag. It is a more durable option of flooring as well.

Sadly there are disadvantages to every type of flooring. With laminate flooring, the main disadvantage is that laminate flooring does not improve the resale value of your home as much as hardwood floors. There also is no way to buff out damage or refinish laminate flooring.

The benefits of laminate flooring really do outweigh the negatives. Especially as laminate is made to look better and be more durable. The easy install and price alone are enough to make it a competitor in flooring.


Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl is another great flooring option that gets a bad reputation for being inexpensive. The benefits of vinyl flooring are numerous and it really does not get enough credit. Vinyl flooring can be made to look incredibly similar to hardwood flooring while fixing some of the main issues.

Unlike both hardwood flooring and laminate, vinyl flooring is completely waterproof. Laminate flooring is water-resistant with newer versions becoming closer and closer to being waterproof but it still is only water-resistant. Having water-proof flooring prevents a lot of possible damage to your floors.

Vinyl flooring is almost one-hundred percent plastic. Laminate flooring is made up of about ninety-nine percent of wood. There is a stigma about plastic flooring being ugly and cheap.

The cheap part is true as vinyl flooring is very inexpensive because it is cheaper to make and maintain. Because the companies that make vinyl flooring want it to sell and have a good reputation they work very hard to make vinyl look good. If you think vinyl flooring is ugly it is likely you haven’t seen the modern versions of it or didn’t realize the floor you liked was vinyl.

Vinyl, like laminate, is not going to add much value to your home, but can still be a good option. It also will not look as natural as hardwood or even laminate flooring would look. It will be soft and will hold up over time because vinyl is built to last.


Hardwood Floor

Hardwood floors are what most people dream of. It is a beautiful choice for floors that is absolutely the most natural-looking. It can also be very expensive.

The reason that most of the people who get hardwood floors justify the price is the fact that hardwood floors add value to your home. They look wonderful, last a long time, and can make it easier to sell your home. If you do not plan on selling your home then it might be harder to justify such an expensive floor.

Hardwood is not waterproof. It is not even water-resistant. That means that your hardwood floor is going to lose all of that potential value very quickly if a pipe bursts or you are involved in a flood.

One of the great things that hardwood does that laminate and vinyl does not do is repair easily. Laminate and vinyl almost always need to be completely replaced if it is damaged. Hardwood flooring can be buffed out and refinished if it starts to look damaged.

Hardwood flooring is always going to be the most natural-looking flooring option because it is a naturally occurring resource. It is also unlikely to look as good as laminate after some damage or be as forgiving to falls or spills as vinyl is. Hardwood flooring will increase the value of your home and is easy to fix and maintain.

To Conclude

It is hard to make a wrong decision when it comes to a good flooring option. Every flooring option has different benefits and a similar look. In the end, it comes down to what you can afford and what works best for your home.

Laminate flooring is great for a durable floor that looks almost exactly like hardwood. It won’t add value but it will look great and last a long time. It is also more likely to stand up to damage than hardwood will even if it is a bit more difficult to fix.

Vinyl flooring is a softer floor that allows for more falls and spills than hardwood or laminate. It will probably look the least natural but that is not necessarily a bad thing depending on what look you are going for. Vinyl is a great cheap option that will hold up over time.

Hardwood is likely to remain the most popular flooring choice. It is a beautiful option that buffs out damage easily and adds resale value to your home. It is also the most expensive option with the least ability to bounce back from more serious damage.

In the end, whichever flooring you choose will work in your home. They all will look good and last a long time. All you have to decide is what you want to pay and how you want your floors to look.


  1. Catherine Thompson
  2. Serge

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