What you should know before buying hybrid, laminate or vinyl flooring
As you navigate your way through the excitement of renovating, restoring or building, understanding the difference between vinyl, hybrid and laminate flooring is important. Most homeowners and builders are surprised to know these flooring options share similarities in visual appeal, durability and cost. There are few things, however, that set them apart. To make things easy, we have dissected each flooring option so you will feel empowered when looking through our huge range of floors.
What is vinyl flooring?
Also known as resilient flooring, vinyl flooring can come in tiles or sheets. It is made from synthetic materials such as fibreglass, PVC or plasticizer. Though the thought of plastic as the core material in your flooring might seem off-putting at first, there are actually a lot of benefits to this man-made material and the impact on the environment is far less than harmful single use plastics. The composition of vinyl flooring makes it flexible and extremely easy to maintain. One of the things most loved about this type of flooring is its resistance to moisture. In fact, many vinyl flooring options are water resistant, making them perfect solutions for high moisture rooms in the home like the kitchen or bathroom.
Is vinyl flooring for me?
Vinyl is an attractive choice of flooring for many reasons. It is a cost-effective material that will help you stay within budget when renovating, restoring or building. While it is more affordable than wood, stone or ceramic, it can come in those exact design options. Vinyl flooring can give you the same look, for a fraction of the cost! Additional to its water-resistant qualities, vinyl flooring is also great at resisting stains. This makes it a perfect solution for families with small children or pets where a non-stain and easy to clean floor is always appreciated.
At Back to Timber, we offer a variety of vinyl designs including wood look flooring and faux ceramic. Explore our range of vinyl flooring options here.
What is laminate flooring?
The major difference between laminate and vinyl flooring is that laminate is made from 99% wood by-products at its core with a base, design and wear layer. Sealing it off is a polyurethane coating which delivers additional resilience that vinyl may not offer. Laminate is affordable, just like vinyl and hybrid flooring, and has a beautiful and authentic appearance. In many cases, laminate can add to the resale value of a home.
Should I get laminate flooring?
There are similarities between vinyl and laminate flooring. Laminate, however, can be more prone to scratches and chipping due to its predominantly wood composition. Though it is considered more durable, it does not have the same resistance to moisture as vinyl and hybrid flooring. This can result in warping, buckling and separating of the planks. The main thing to consider when deciding to use laminate flooring is where in the home it will be installed and how much maintenance it will receive over the years. If it is well looked after, laminate has the potential to retain its genuine look and realistic feel for years to come.
What is hybrid flooring?
Hybrid flooring is exactly what it sounds like – a perfect harmony between vinyl and laminate flooring! Not only does it combine the benefits of both, it provides the look of authentic timber (without the price tag). Hybrid flooring has multiple layers, including an inside layer made from limestone composite core board. With an acoustic underlay to reduce noise and a decorative layer that mimics hardwood timber, the layers all have a function. The PVC wear layer and underlay also provide a high level of impact resistance and comfort under foot, making it a popular option for commercial spaces.
Is hybrid flooring a suitable option?
Like vinyl flooring but unlike timber, hybrid flooring is naturally waterproof and ideal in rooms like the kitchen or laundry. It is also really durable, easy to clean and relatively affordable. Our range comes in an extensive selection of different colours, textures and styles, which can be installed on almost any subfloor surface. If you are having trouble choosing between vinyl and laminate, hybrid flooring may be the perfect compromise. Read more about hybrid flooring in our dedicated article here.
Choosing the Perfect Flooring
Vinyl, hybrid and laminate flooring are all great solutions when it comes to choosing flooring for your home or commercial area. Cost effective, easy to install and relatively simple to maintain, each option will provide you with the visual appeal of genuine timber but without the extra hassle and expense. If you are looking for something closer to timber in the way of look and feel, laminate is an excellent option. However, if ongoing maintenance and appearance are more important, then vinyl may be perfect for you. For those searching for something somewhere in between, hybrid flooring combines the stunning appearance of vinyl with the durability and strength of laminate. Vinyl, hybrid and laminate flooring are all available in a wide variety of designs and finishes.
If you are having trouble deciding what flooring option is best suited to your needs, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team for help and advice.