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Vinyl Plank Flooring vs Laminate For Your Bathroom

January 26, 2017 in  by Gainey Flooring

Bathroom Vinyl Plank Flooring vs Laminate

Flooring Options to Consider for your Next Bathroom Remodel

When looking for new flooring for your bathrooms, you may find yourself wandering the flooring aisle of your local home improvement store, lost in all the options.

Hardwood, tile, luxury vinyl plank, vinyl sheet flooring, and so many other flooring types can be overwhelming. But the two types that are often compared are luxury vinyl planks and wood laminate flooring. They are both lower in cost than traditional hardwood and mimic the look of a real hardwood.

When comparing vinyl plank flooring vs laminate for the bathroom, we look at three different considerations, durability, look and feel, and ease of installation.

Durability of Laminate and Luxury Vinyl

Laminate is made of fiberboard, which is wood pulp that has been glued together into planks. The visible portion of each plank is just a thin layer of printed material, usually in a hardwood print. So, this flooring acts like wood. It is not a great idea to use it in bathrooms. If a plumbing fixture leaks without immediate cleanup, it will warp, and unlike hardwood, will not be fixable. You can’t resurface or sand laminate without losing that decorate laminated layer and ruining it.

Luxury vinyl is another story. Luxury vinyl planks are a relatively new product, but it’s become very popular for use in many different environments. Even commercial spaces can use this flooring without fear of it needing to be replaced in a year. It’s very durable and it doesn’t react to exposure to water. It doesn’t warp or mold and for this reason, it’s an excellent choice for a bathroom.

Look and Feel

Laminate, since it’s made from wood fiber, actually feels more like wood flooring than vinyl. This might not be a good thing, though. Wood is louder, more hollow sounding, and can be annoying in some environments. Also, there are usually more options for styles in laminate, giving you more options that may be more visually appealing to you.

Vinyl is a lot quieter than laminate. The feel resembles a ceramic tile, but most people don’t notice the difference because the luxury vinyl plank looks very convincingly like wood. In a bathroom, however, where people are often barefoot, this should be a consideration.

Ease of Installation

Laminate is pretty easy to install. Like wood, you need a chop saw to cut the pieces to fit and sometimes it needs to be nailed down. You can also glue it down and some products are meant to be “floating” so, no need to glue or nail. But, since laminate is thick and rigid, the subfloor needs to be very level and smooth. If it’s not, the flooring will tilt and crack and eventually look bad.

Vinyl often comes in “click-in” planks which are meant to be installed as a floating floor. You don’t need glue or nails and, even better, it stands up to a little unevenness. However, because it’s flexible, all vinyl will eventually fall into the grooves or uneven areas in the floor, so the subfloor should be pretty smooth. Large cracks or bumps will show after some time.

Our Vote

For bathrooms, luxury vinyl is a much better option. You don’t have to worry about someone overflowing the bathtub or a pipe bursting and ruining your floor, not to mention the mold that comes when water sits on organic materials. For other areas of the home, laminate may be a better fit, but luxury vinyl planks in any print would be your superior choice for the bathroom.



Ready to being your remodel?

Starting your next flooring project with Gainey Flooring Solutions is easy, just three steps:

  1. Select your flooring materials | This includes a design consultation to discuss what materials are best for durability and cost, popular plank sizes or colors, and flooring showrooms to visit.
  2. Starting your project | The project starts with the installation quote, the job costs from floor prep to transitions. If the materials were purchased from our preferred flooring showrooms we'll deliver your materials.
  3. Project complete | We stand behind our work and offer homeowners a full 2 year warranty.

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