Vinyl vs. Laminate Plank Flooring

February 5, 2014

My friends, I am up to my ears in plank flooring samples and could use some insight. We want to replace the stained Berber carpet in our studio above the garage and we’re finally ready to tackle replacing the flooring.

Originally, I thought we’d go with hardwood or engineered wood but the more we thought about it, we decided to go with a laminate or vinyl plank flooring. It’s a small studio, not used for anything other than extra storage and styling right now, but it will be occupied by a tenant in the future so we need durable good looking flooring in the bedroom/living area that flows into the kitchen (seen here), and potentially the bathroom (seen here) and a product that won’t break the bank.

I’m drawn to the weathered plank look in grayer tones, and the ones that look and feel more like wood are favored.

vinyl and laminate options

I’m really so surprised how far laminate and vinyl products have come in the past few years! So many of these really do look and feel like wood but bonus for those of us on a budget, they lack that higher price tag. Prices range from $1.50 for more basic products to $4.50 a square foot for more luxury products. We prefer to keep the price as low as possible, don’t we all :)

Thankfully these samples are all the easy click/lock together styles so the replacement doesn’t require professional installation and is simple enough for us (or any DIYer) to tackle. We will have to remove existing baseboards but it’s all very doable with an underlayment and the right supplies.

I like the feel of the laminate options, the samples I have are textured and feel more authentic given they’re a faux wood plank product. The boards are longer, the install is simple, but the price point is a little higher.

laminate flooring options

Then there are vinyl plank products, waterproof instead of water resistant so great for kitchens and bathrooms, but some of the cheaper ones are thin, lack warmth, and feel more like plastic to the touch. Will these vinyl options hold up better than the laminate?

vinyl flooring options

I’d love commentary from those of you who have installed and lived with either laminate or vinyl plank wood lookalike flooring.

How durable are yours? Are you satisfied with the look after living with the floors for a period of time? If they are laminate, how are they handling water in wet areas such as the bathroom or kitchen? Did you order from a local merchant or from an online source? Is there a brand of laminate or vinyl plank flooring or company you recommend? .

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151 Responses to “Vinyl vs. Laminate Plank Flooring”

  1. Meaghan says:

    We had textured vinyl in our last house in the entry and kitchen and it way very durable, but it as also very, very hard to keep clean. Dirt and mud catches in the texture and it impossible to get out with a regular mop cleaning. We had to scrub them on our hands and knew with a hard bristle brush. Just something to think about.

  2. Anya says:

    My husband and I installed the Dream Home Nirvana Plus Delaware Bay Driftwood laminate floor in our bedroom and we absolutely *love* it. This flooring comes with a pre-attached pad, and we purchased an additional underlayment to use. Once we got started, the installation was easy. We installed it over the course of a week in our 13×19 room, but it could easily go in a smaller room in a weekend. We purchased it from Lumber Liquidators: http://www.lumberliquidators.com/ll/c/Delaware-Bay-Driftwood-Dream-Home-Nirvana-PLUS-10DD/10029700

    While it does not get a huge amount of traffic, it seems to be wearing well and clean up is easy. I truly love the look of it, and I would highly recommend it. I would love to put it in my kitchen, too! Hope that is helpful – good luck in your search!

  3. Linda says:

    We installed laminate in 2 bathrooms about 10 years ago, and found it to be practical in these little used areas. it was also a dark, non-shiny laminate so didn’t show scratches.
    But the laminate we inherited in our rental condo was light on colour and shiny, so dirt that settled in scratches really showed up and made the laminate look shabby.
    We replaced it with self adhesive tiles that look like ceramic, and are much more practical in a kitchen than the laminate.
    However the laminate that you show in your post looks much nicer than anything I have ever seen so I hope someone comes along to give you an up tp date opinion!

  4. We have laminate on the full first floor of our house including our powder room. It has held up well but I am not sure I would want that much moisture if it had a bathtub or a messy kid dropping water on it all the time. We installed Vinyl in the two baths upstairs to get a wood look but durability. They are GREAT. They look very much like real wood and are very tough. I never worry about bathwater splashing or any messes. My friends say they look like the real deal. Installation was a breeze. We ordered ours from Lowes.

  5. Amanda says:

    We installed both in our last house. We put the vinyl planks in our bathrooms and they held up great. Super easy install, super easy to clean, and did not show any wear at all. We bought those floors from HD I believe they were by Shaw? The laminate flooring we installed throughout the rest of the house. We have 2 young kids, a dog, and a cat. My husband is also not the most, um, tender footed either. They held up wonderfully. Toys dropped and dragged, high heels, dog and cat spin outs, ride on toys, spills, you name it it happened on those floors. They looked brand new whenwe left. We got them from Menards on a super sale. Our new home needs all new flooring and we are going with laminate again. It was so easy to keep clean and looked great. We are researching a few brands and were thinking about ordering from Build Direct. Anyone have experience with them? The samples we have ordered look very nice.

  6. Tracie S says:

    We installed vinyl plank flooring throughout the entire first floor of our house (living room, dining room, bathroom, master, and kitchen) about a year ago. I really like it. I don’t have to worry too much about it with my dogs and kids. I liked that we didn’t have to put an underlayment under it. It was installed right on the subfloor. With laminate, you have to install an underlayment and if you don’t go with a more expensive one, your floors get that click clack sound when you walk on them. I like that the planks each look like a single piece of wood and that they are wide. Overall, I think we made a really good choice to go with vinyl. It was probably the cheapest non-carpet option and I like that I was able to put it throughout the first floor of the house so that everything flows together well. We got ours at Home Depot during a Black Friday sale and paid about $.99 a square foot. It is Allure brand in Oak.

  7. Christine says:

    I have both laminate and vinyl in my home, and did the installation of both on my own. The laminate is in our living room, and the install was fairly quick and it has held up pretty well. There are some nicks here and there that I notice and I’m not sure exactly what caused them. The nice thing is that the dog’s nails have not caused damage like I’m sure they would have with a real wood floor. Also, the trim and edge pieces were not as good of quality as I would have liked.
    I used vinyl planks in our main bathroom. Again, the install was super fast, they were really cheap, and overall I like the look. The problem I have is shifting. I think you need to make sure to have a really solid edge so there is nowhere for the floor to give. I have two doors into the bathroom, both with carpet, and this has allowed some of the planks to slide causing gaps in some areas. I would definitely use again for the cost effectiveness and appearance, but I would do the install differently to ensure no gaps. Hope that helps!

  8. Heather says:

    What timing! We are in the middle of our first-ever renovation and it’s installing laminate plank flooring! It’s going well so far…easy to put together (once you get past the first row!). A little tip for your selection process: laminate comes in levels or AC ratings. AC – 5 is the highest and best. It’s commercial grade. The one we went with is an AC – 4 as we couldn’t find a finish we liked. Considered the highest quality for residential areas and including a 25 year transferable warranty, the AC-4 has been good to us so far. I’ve even taken an exacto knife to it and couldn’t make a mark when trying to! Know that there aren’t as many “transition” pieces for laminate as there is for hardwood. We purchased our flooring from Home Depot and with the underpad, it came to $2.77 per square foot. The best part, we showed family and friends our sample and they didn’t believe us when we told them it was laminate!

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Some of the dealers said the same thing Heather, pay attention to those AC ratings and if you get a commercial grade, even better.

  9. Stacy says:

    We built a new home in 2013 with Adura vinyl flooring. I never thought I would have vinyl in my home, but we love this stuff! We get compliments on it all the time and most people have no idea it is vinyl. We have the Adura Dockside in Sea Shell which is a weathered grey and it is goes beautifully with our furniture that has chocolate browns, linen, and grey with espresso colored wood tones.

  10. Ashley says:

    We have vinyl planks in 1/3 of our house. The look good and have held up great…BUT we bought the thinner flexible ones, and after a few months of use these small bubbles popped up EVERYWHERE. We cut through a few of the seams to see what was happening, SINGLE pieces of sand. It is like the princess and the pea. One piece of sand is big enough that the thin flooring caves to the shape of it. We cleaned our floors by vacuum and mop before install and kept a broom on hand during install. I don’t know how we could have been any cleaner.

    Also, if any of your options leave a gap…when we bought the house they had just put in peel and stick tiles with a small fake grout that leaves a gap….it is the bain of my existence. The gap gets sooo dirty and can’t just be mopped or vacuumed, we scrape that gap clean about once a year on our hands an knees. My mom came over about a month after we had done this once and noted how bad our floors looked and tried to mop…she couldn’t believe that as much as people rave about peel and stick you basically always have a dirty floor.

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      No way Ashley! The Princess and the Pea, great analogy, and thanks for the advice on peel & stick!

  11. Ashley says:

    We have vinyl planks in 1/3 of our house. The look good and have held up great…BUT we bought the thinner flexible ones, and after a few months of use these small bubbles popped up EVERYWHERE. We cut through a few of the seams to see what was happening, SINGLE pieces of sand. It is like the princess and the pea. One piece of sand is big enough that the thin flooring caves to the shape of it. We cleaned our floors by vacuum and mop before install and kept a broom on hand during install. I don’t know how we could have been any cleaner.

    Also, if any of your options leave a gap…when we bought the house they had just put in peel and stick tiles with a small fake grout that leaves a gap….it is the bain of my existence. The gap gets sooo dirty and can’t just be mopped or vacuumed, we scrape that gap clean about once a year on our hands an knees. My mom came over about a month after we had done this once and noted how bad our floors looked and tried to mop…she couldn’t believe that as much as people rave about peel and stick you basically always have a dirty floor.

  12. CathyT from TX says:

    I went through this same dilemma during a remodel at our small vacation cabin. The contractor’s vote was laminate planks instead of the vinyl ones. I was surprised also at how nice they both looked. In my gut, I thought vinyl would be the best for easiness of care. My daughter has laminate and it shows every footprint whether barefoot or shoes. But, he was convincing and I went with the laminate.
    You should always go with your gut! They are beautiful but the cabin is almost all windows and I drive myself crazy trying to keep them looking nice with people/kids going in and out all the time. I have a friend who has the vinyl and it is just easier to keep clean. No matter what I’ve tried, after a damp (don’t use water to mop) mop or Swifter or vacuuming, there is still a haze on the floor until someone walks on it and then there are footprints. If there is not a lot of natural light in your room, the laminate may do fine. They are both good choices as far as the look is concerned. I wish I had chosen the vinyl!
    Let us know what you decide! Good luck!

  13. Jaclyn says:

    We installed Karndean vinyl wood floors on the first floor of our home and we LOVE them. My husband and I were hard to sell on them. We thought it would look cheap. Plus when people ask if they are wood floors, would we feel silly by saying they were vinyl floors. But let me tell you, vinyl floors have come such a long way.

    First off, they look like real wood but without the wear and tear. At the flooring shop my husband literally took a key and attacked the sample to see if it would scratch. Previously we had bamboo wood floors in our old home and with two 80lb dogs, our floors were DESTROYED. We were not going back there. With our vinyl, our dogs haven’t even caused a scratch in our floors. The way they were installed (attached directly to the floor) the sound that comes from walking on them is much more solid sounding. They clean incredibly easy. We have them in our half bath and laundry room and haven’t had any issue. If we didn’t have dogs, we would have had wood floors, but since I can’t live without them, vinyl will be my only option between the alternatives.

    I will say that we have ceramic wood tiles floors in our master bath. I LOVE them as well. We live up North and houses don’t do ceramic tiles throughout the house and we were thinking resale. If we live down south, I would have seriously considered doing that in our whole house.

  14. kathy says:

    We recently looked at laminate plank, but we’re told the floor needs to be completely level or you’ll wind up with pockets underneath that you’ll feel when you walk on it. Our house is quirky, so we decided on vinyl tile (laundry room), but something to keep in mind. Can’t wait to see what you choose and the final outcome!

  15. Amanda says:

    A few years ago, I worked as an inside sales/office admin assistant for a family owned flooring company. We serviced an area of the country that was heavy on beach rentals and family homes. I was trained on new products by the area sales reps and then would relay the information to our outside store sales associates.
    I recall the vinyl strips being the lowest cost per sq ft for the material itself so it was often a popular initial choice for a tight budget. However, the key with that stuff is that you really need a smooth-as-glass subfloor prep work, or every little bump, dimple, air pocket will telegraph through like a bad contact paper/shelf liner job. The adhesive at the time that was recommended for that was a bit tricky as well, for someone who may not have much skill in applying with the proper trowel notch size, too. We always seemed to have to order more floor leveler and adhesive for the DIY customers and that would add up their overall budget, as well. The material is GREAT though for easy cleanup of spills and overall durability.
    Since the laminate is a floating floor, there is no adhesive and nearly zero prepwork, unless you wanted to put down additional moisture barrier or sound proofing. It does have a slight hollow sound, but not much louder than a solid or engineered hardwood. It handles foot traffic well, but not a friend of moisture, as it buckles if exposed to moisture long term, like in a bathroom or kitchen with a leaky dishwasher.
    Hope that helps!

  16. Becky says:

    We installed HD Allure vinyl plank throughout our finished basement and I’d definately recommend it to others. We’ve had water issues in our basement before so a waterproof product was an important factor. I was worried that it would feel too cold (like a tile) but it’s actually suprisingly warm even right over our concrete subfloor. It has a little texture too it too which adds to it’s realistic touch and keeps it from feeling too plasticy.

  17. Erin Pearce says:

    My husband and I have been debating the very same thing for our basement. We installed laminate throughout our first floor (living/dining room and kitchen and entryway) and really like it as far as durability and cleanup go- we have 3 kids and a lab, and have had no issues with scratching. Our is a textured laminate from lumber liquidators. Our only issue is that we chose a dark color and everything shows! I can mop the floor, and the next day it looks dirty again.

    I wanted to ask, do you think the whole grey/weathered look will be outdated soon? Not asking to be snarky, but because we are considering the weathered look- or a lighter wood look for the basement in hopes it wouldn’t show as much dirt/footprints etc. We want something that will last a while!

  18. All beautiful choices! My family has had a flooring company for over 30 years and laminate is by far one of the top sellers. Vinyl plank is still somewhat new to the retail industry, it’s been popular and successful in commercial settings. Every manufacturer is different, but we’ve yet to find a vinyl plank flooring from any manufacturer that we’ll stand behind 100%. We’ve had call backs for the finish scratching easily, scuffing, a weird residue on that won’t clean well, and telegraphing because the product is thin. That’s just been our experience.
    As long as you have a good quality laminate (look at 9MM and above) you shouldn’t have a problem with water in a kitchen, only if you end up with a plumbing issue (dishwasher breaking, etc). We don’t typically recommend laminate in bathrooms that have showers because the flooring could warp in high moisture. Manufacturers don’t usually warrant the product if it’s installed in a bathroom, but we’ve seen people do it.

  19. Casey Marsch says:

    Hi! I follow your blog daily! I am also an interior designer who sells both products.
    I would hands down recommend the LVP, Luxury Vinyl Planks, for a million reasons.
    I sell Vinyl 10 to 1.
    Good luck!
    Casey

  20. Carmen says:

    We installed luxury vinyl in our kitchen, living room, entryway, hall and laundry room because we were told it would be a good durable option for my husband who is in a wheel chair. Hardwood would have been our preference, but cost and durability ruled it out. We chose a dark walnut color and you have to look very closely to tell that it is not hardwood. It looks beautiful and we’ve been very happy with it so far. We’ve dropped many things on the floor and it has not dinged at all, however, it does seem to scratch easily if anything is dragged across it. Luckily, the scratches are easily remedied with a wood stain pen. We were also advised not to use a vacuum with moving plastic parts on it for risk of scratching as well. Overall, we are very happy with them.

  21. I installed vinyl plank in my bathroom last year and love it. Once it’s in, it doesn’t feel plasticky, and it looks just as good as many of the laminates. I’ve been very pleased with it. I love the gray wash look you’ve got here!

  22. Melissa says:

    We used the wood-look laminate flooring in our previous house. We have two dogs, and a kid and it held up great. We lived in the house for six years and the floors looked great when we left. I dropped a platter from the top of the fridge onto the floor almost right after they were installed, and it did make a scratch / gouge in the floor where the sharp edge of the busted platter hit. I panicked – and frantically searched our basement for something that might be the same color. I found some stain that was almost an exact match – rubbed it on – wiped it off and I swear you would never know the scratch was there. We have hand scraped bamboo floors in our existing home, and full disclosure…. I miss the ease and durability of the laminate flooring. We have renters in the old house and the laminate is holding up beautifully.

  23. Mel says:

    I have both.

    Cheap laminate in the bedrooms and hallway. It has held up well other than leaving a damp cloth on it when painting, causing it to swell in that spot.

    Last year I installed Allure vinyl plank flooring in my kitchen, which was purchased at HD. It was easy to lay and has held up to a water leak, the daily abuse that a kitchen takes and I’m not all that keen on spending all of my time cleaning; the vinyl is perfect for that. I used the type that has a lip of sticky material and there has been some shifting, fortunately it was in a not too noticable spot. I plan to install the vinyl in my dining room this weekend, but this time will take the advice of the manufacturer and rent a weighted roller.

    I do like the washed wood look, but IMHO it will date itself quickly as being from the early 2010’s. Rich wood tones never go out of style.

  24. Meredith says:

    We have installed vinyl plank on our whole main floor and I LOVE it. It feels warm underfoot and looks fantastic (I also went for a weathered look) and it is indestructible. Water, kids, pets, nothing makes a mark.

    In our last home we installed laminate and while it looks great too, after only a week our cat knocked a vase off a table and when it broke on the floor it gouged it and left a mark that we could never fix. Laminate is just layers of paper and once the top layer is damaged, there is no fix. That is not the case with vinyl.

    Especially because you might rent it out, vinyl will last longer and won’t be as easily damaged.

  25. Vel says:

    I have both in my home. The vinyl we installed ourselves in the basement. Pretty easy looked great at the start but oh my, it scratches soooo easily!!!!!! And trying to remove them is such a pain! So when we renovated my kitchen, my contractor insisted on vinyl because of it’s resilience to water, but I wouldn’t budge since I showed him what my vinyl in the basement now looked like. I asked the flooring guy if he can give me a product that could easily remove the scratches I would go for the vinyl right away, but even he was shocked (scratches by the way were only from shoes!). So I ended up with laminate with my kitchen and I am very happy so far. Is it scratch-proof? No, but definitely less and definitely easily to clean. Good luck Kate!

  26. Jenna says:

    We installed laminate on our whole main floor and am so happy we did! Holds up great to three dogs and a toddler. We also installed darker floors, and I would never do that again either. Shows too much!

  27. Amanda says:

    The house we bought has laminate in the bathroom. We are looking at replacing it because it has swelled in places it has evidently gotten wet and also there are weird white filmy spots in places on the top layer. Its also splitting in places. These were Armstrong floors definitely won’t be replacing with laminate.

  28. Charade says:

    I’m not sure if there is a difference in weight in these two products, but you should definitely check on that. Quite often garages are not designed to hold as much weight on a second floor as a house is, and you might need some structural bracing (not usually too expensive) if one of the products is as heavy as a wood floor would be. Before upgrading to wood throughout (except bathrooms) our house, we had a structural engineer buy off on adding it, luckily without additional support. That same engineer had us add considerable bracing before adding a rooftop deck.

  29. Shari says:

    Oh man, I could write a book on this subject! I had laminate flooring put in 5 areas of the house we bought 4 years ago and it is probably the biggest and most expensive mistake I have ever made. I hate my laminate. Detest it! After living with it, I do not understand why laminate is so popular. Laminate is slippery and noisy (even with the quieting underlayment) to walk on. When we first had it installed, we had 3 big German Shepherds (which have now all passed). The sound of their 48 toenails constantly clicking across our laminate floors was enough to drive me and my husband crazy. It was also really hard for the dogs to walk on. In their final days, when they became less agile and more arthritic, I had to put down throw rugs in all the pathways just so they could get the traction to move from room to room. There were even a couple times I slipped and nearly fell wearing shoes with slippery soles. Now I only go barefooted or wear rubber-soled shoes around the house.

    Although my laminate was more than $4.00/sq. ft., it is basically just like layers of pressed cardboard with a pretty faux wood looking top layer. The slightest bit of moisture is Enemy #1 of my laminate. Pet urine, vomit, sloppy water bowl drinkers etc., can leave moisture on the floor that will make the laminate seams bubble, buckle and peel if not cleaned up immediately. Our cat, who has a very sensitive stomach, threw up in the foyer and I didn’t find it right away so I have bubbled seams there. I had an undetected leak under the threshold of the back door so before I knew it, the laminate started to badly bubble there and the top layer has started to peel too. I also have the laminate in my kitchen (big mistake) and there are plenty of bubbled seams from little spills around the sink, drips from wet hands or dishes, rogue ice cubes that have dropped out of the refrigerator door dispenser after we’ve walked away and weren’t picked up right away etc. Once water gets down underneath that top layer, it’s just like a cancer that eats away at it. For all the people who rave about their laminate, I would be curious to know what brands they have. Mine is Columbia Clic made by Columbia Flooring so if you go the laminate route, I would recommend you avoid that brand like the plague. I will say the non-bubbled areas look beautiful, it doesn’t scratch and it doesn’t show the dirt but beyond that, I don’t have one positive thing to say about laminate after living with it.

    On the other hand, I have Trafficmaster Allure wood-look vinyl planks (sold at Home Depot) in one bathroom and LOVE it. Allure is very budget friendly (around $2.00/sq. ft.), soft and quiet to walk on, extremely easy to care for, easy to DIY, and water resistant. (They have also come out with a waterproof version that I believe is called “Ultra.”) As soon as my budget allows, all my laminate will all be ripped out and I will be replacing it with vinyl planks.

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Wow Shari that is quite a story. I’m so sad for you for the money you spent and the loss of your sweet dogs. I really appreciate you sharing your experience, truly.
      Kate

  30. Brandi says:

    Is the CABANA brand in the top pic vinyl or laminate? Personally I know tons of people that have done laminate & loved it, and people that have not liked vinyl so much, but I find the CABANA the most aesthetically pleasing!

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      The Cabana is a commercial grade 12mm laminate Brandi, really thick and hard, but up close a teensy bit too shiny, the hunt continues ….

  31. Shari says:

    Just wanted to also mention, my laminate has a rating of AC5–the “best.” Yeah right. :(

  32. Suzan says:

    Oh STAY AWAY FROM THE VINYL – what a disaster I just went through that – ugly ugly ugly – we’re pulling it up after a month – can’t live with it!
    XXX

  33. Jenoside says:

    Our landlord put vinyl plank type stuff in our house when we moved in back in September and I am fairly certain that it’s already scratched. Don’t recommend.

  34. Amanda says:

    We installed espresso laminate flooring in wide planks in our last house- in the living room, dining, kitchen and hallways. We purchased ours from BuildDirect.com – really happy with their service, price (negotiate for a better price!), and the free samples are great. It held up perfectly everywhere, even in the kitchen! There was no damage at all from water from the dishwasher/sink, if we happened to spill a large amount obviously we’d wipe it up but never an issue. The only thing I did not like was the color – they were too dark and showed every speck of dust but that would happen with any dark floor! I like your choices you have so far, very unique!

  35. Sara says:

    We installed wide planked laminate flooring in our basement about a year ago. We have a kitchenette, full bathroom and laundry room in our basement, and it’s also the main entrance to our backyard from the house, so we needed something that would be durable and be able to withstand moisture. We got the store brand laminate that Home Depot sells, and had their contractors install it, although it clicks together so if you know how to cut it properly I’d imagine that it would be an easy DIY install. So far, it’s holding up great despite it being a high foot-traffic area, and we absolutely LOVE the way it looks. It’s very easy to keep clean, and it has a medium gloss and grain which make it look very much like hardwood.

  36. Asiyah says:

    We had laminate flooring installed in our last house and I hated it from the get go. It was difficult to keep clean and with 3 dogs the sound of their paws as they walked across the floor was slightly annoying. I grew up with real wood floors in our home and have probably over-romanticized the sound of my mom’s high heels as she got ready for church on Sundays. We are saving our pennies now to install wood plank flooring in our current house…the real stuff. Sorry to be a downer on your choices but I’d rather have exactly what I want even if it means I have to wait a little longer. Hope you come to a decision soon!

  37. Anesha says:

    My husband and I installed 12mm “hand-scrapped” laminate with the attached pad on the back. We did the installation ourselves. It is in my living room and runs down the hallway. I purchased from Lumber Liquidators at around 2.99 a square foot (on sale-this was the BEST laminate they sold at the time). When I originally went in I would not have even considered laminate, as to me I thought it would look and feel cheap. After discussing the durability (I have two younger children) and the price point, I was sold. We laid the flooring over stained concrete, with a vapor barrier. The instillation took us 2 days and I LOVE the result. We’ve lived with it for about 3 years now. Our wood tone is neither light nor too dark, so you don’t see EVERY speck of dust. The handscraped look does not look AS authentic as it does with natural wood, but I was worried that it would look like cheap laminate without it, so I think it’s a matter of preference. The only issues we’ve had at this point as been on the most trafficed area, the seams where the ends butt up against eachother (not the tounge and groove, but the width of the boards) are startign to space out. I’m not sure if it’s the exceptionally cold weather, or if we did not install it properly. I’ve not yet started to research how to fix this. So hopfully it will not be a complete pain to address, but for the price, easy maintainability, and the ‘warmth’ it has brought to my home I love it and would purchase again.

  38. Susan says:

    All of your samples are very nice! My only concern is that the room is over a garage and in the winter the floors will be very cold without the carpet or in floor heating. We built a new house with plenty of insulation and we had to install carpet over the hardwood floors in the bedroom over the garage because of how cold the floors would get. Hope this helps!

  39. anaika says:

    We have Lowe’s gray vinyl plank which ran us 1.79 per sqft. Still installing it, so I can’t comment on durability. My husband, a former gen. contractor, insisted on the adhesive planks for easy removal and replacement. We have kids + dogs, so we do anticipate eventual floor damage lol. He said even though you can replace just one plank of the click-lock stuff, you typically have to pull up more than just the affected piece to do so. Best of luck with your search!

  40. Talitha says:

    We inherited laminate in the kitchen, hallway and powder room from the previous owners. Not the nice looking kind you’re considering, but it was not in our budget to immediately replace them. Then a tiny disaster struck: without us realizing it, the toilet was leaking at the back, just a tiny bit. We didn’t notice it until the floor started to look a bit ‘wobbly’. After removing the laminate, we had to remove a big part of the floor underneath as well, completely destroyed. We replaced the laminate floor in the powder room with tile, and I can’t wait to replace the kitchen floor too!! It might just be that this was cheap or poorly laid, I don’t know. I would think twice before putting laminate floors in bathrooms!

  41. Megan says:

    We just installed laminate wood floors we purchased from home depot and replaced our carpet. We love it! Looks amazing and people don’t even realize it is not real wood. When we saw it online, I was skeptical especially for the price, but when I saw it in person…it was awesome. Hasn’t scratched yet and was easy to install. It did make the floors much colder on your feet, but it has also been an exceptionally cold winter for us this year too!

  42. We recently DIY’ed our laminate flooring on the entire main floor of our house. We love it! It did take our dog about a week to get used to walking on it, but he’s doing well now, plus we plan on adding a rug in the living room area so that will help as well (he’s just a lil guy). The only ‘complaint’ we would have is that the furniture slides around SO easily on the laminate but furniture feet grippers will remedy that. I am also a bit narotic of liquid spills on the floor but it’s subsiding. Before we bought ours I put it through every type of scratch/dent test possible and the only marks I could make on it were if I ‘stabbed’ it as hard as I could with the point of a key. My parents have also had laminate in their kitchen/dining area for over a year and love it.

    Check ours out here: http://nodaknest.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-long-awaited-floor-pictures.html

  43. Cathie says:

    I installed vinyl plank from End of the Roll on both levels of my townhouse, and I’m thrilled. (I did carpet on the stairs and upstairs hallway.) It looks and feels fantastic, and there’s no sound when my dog and cat stomp around. It’s had spills and cleans up nicely. I’m sold! After having it installed I needed new baseboards, which turned into new paint in one room, new fireplace tile and so on. :)

  44. SamW says:

    I work for a homebuilder and the trick with these floors is the underlayment. The better the underlayment, the better the sound when you walk across it, i.e. it won’t sound as hollow. This is a common complaint — that it doesn’t “sound” like real wood. Also wouldn’t recommend it for wet areas because it can warp if soaked. Spot clean instead of mop.

  45. sarah says:

    was all set to put in the HD Allure plank flooring, and then the contractor realized it was special order and we didn’t have time to wait. (this was a refresh of a sheet linoleum on a pipe burst during the cold snap down south) anyway, we had to go quickly with something else, and he picked out for me a vinyl plank that is glue down. i LOVE it–people think it’s hardwood, and yet it wears so well….the boys have run every toy on it possible. we don’t do shoes in the house, so our dirt will be more dust than dirt, and it is textured, but even so, i just wipe it right down with a damp cloth. it is Burlington Plank Metroflor. about 2.50/sq ft.

  46. Kristn says:

    We’re in the process of choosing waterproof flooring for our basement. I settled on vinyl plank, and then a contractor mentioned a newer sheet vinyl/fiberglass flooring. Sobella by Mannington. http://www.mannington.com/Residential/Sobella/
    It has cushioning and really looks like wood planks or tiles. I’m pretty sure we’ll be going with this now since I like the idea of more cushioning. I will be curious on what you decide!

  47. Erin says:

    I have laminate peel and stick in my living room that the previous owners put in. I highly recommend it, with a dog and a toddler it is super durable. The prevoius owners had a box in the attic and we found more and were able to continue the floor into a hallway and laundry room. My husband used his ab roller to help press the planks down so he got a great ab workout in the process. We’ve had a couple of planks pop up due to seepage, we dried them off and put some glue on them and they went right back down without any issues.

  48. Paula says:

    I don’t know about you but I am more confused than ever by reading all of these comments. Some love it. Some hate it. Some recommend the vinyl. Others the laminate. I guess we just have to get what we want and then LIVE with it

  49. Joyce says:

    Hi Kate! It was a year ago, we were having the same issue in making a decision with our floors connecting four rooms; of major concern being the kitchen and laundry closet at then end of our kitchen. We looked at samples, recommendations online, consumer comments, etc., we choose the vinyl (Armstrong). It looks just good as the day it was installed, easy to clean, and does excellent
    when you have a water leak. We replaced our washer and dryer with LG products two weeks after the floor was installed. The vinyl still looks perfect in that laundry closet., no warping or nothing. We could be more pleased.

    P.S. Five years ago, my husband installed the laminate flooring in our downstairs half bath, only to remove it 3 months later with a water leak when the floor buckled :-(. Hope this helps.

  50. Carolyn says:

    I installed dark laminate floors in my entryway, kitchen, den, and dining room 2 years ago (don’t remember the brand but we bought it at HD). It was my first DIY project ever and it was soooo easy! I haven’t had any problems with water/buckling. I have a toddler and 130 pound dog–spills and vomit happen, but it doesn’t show on the laminate even if I don’t take care of it right away. But we live in AZ so it’s super dry here–I think people living in more humid places may have more problems than I ever would. It scratches easier than my last bamboo floors did, but I keep Old English scratch cover handy and it works great. My husband thinks it’s too loud even with the expensive underlayment–definitely louder than the bamboo–but it’s never bothered me. The dark floors show more dog hair, so I sweep more than I did with light bamboo. My laminate looks a lot like real wood. All in all, I would do it again, especially for the price.

  51. K says:

    We have had both. We originally had vinyl plank flooring downstairs in our living room, kitchen and half bath. It was great for resisting water, looked nice and was easy to clean. My complaints are that it felt very hard, like walking on concrete, and if it is laid over anything like dirt, sand, etc. you will feel it when you walk over it. The floor underneath has to be completely smooth and free of all dirt and dust.

    We ended up putting down a laminate floor from lumber liquidators (I believe a Dream Home brand). This was softer to walk on, just as easy to clean, and it hid the bumps in the vinyl flooring. (It was laid directly on top of it) If water set for any extended period of time, yes it would bubble. I have two dogs and any accidents would need to be cleaned up immediately. I would be really hesitant to put the laminate in a bathroom and kitchen, especially with a tenant.

    Currently we have replaced the laminate downstairs with wood-look tile planks, but have kept laminate throughout the upstairs, minus bathrooms. We have had it for almost 5 years and it has held up great.

  52. Kim says:

    We installed a beachy look vinyl floor in our living room and dining a couple of years ago. I wish I could remember the brand but they were more expensive than the vinyls at HD and Lowes. What I liked about the planks is that the sticky section is only on two sides, one long and one short. So it was really like a floating floor when installed. The planks were very heavy and durable. As far as looks, nobody can believe that my floor is vinyl! Everyone asks me when we had our floors done, haha. The floor is grayish, blueish, knotty, grooved….just beautiful! I want to install in the kitchen before they discontinue them. Good luck with your decision!

  53. Shonelle says:

    For us, it’s all about lifestyle. We have a small dog. Though laminate is difficult to scratch, the vinyl planks have hidden the scratching better. This is not always the case, as you definitely get what you pay for in both categories.

    I definitely suggest a click together vinyl, (though the Karndean product mentioned earlier does hold up really well at work), for ease of DIY, and that it doesn’t gap. We find it significantly easier to install. I did hate the Allure from HD(it gaps, and if you put a piece down wrong, it doesn’t give you the ability to adjust without ruining the bonding ability), however, we went to a local flooring store, and chose a luxury vinyl plank that clicks together.

    I hands down prefer the new vinyl to anything else we’ve lived on. The ability to resist water means that it isn’t tragic if the dog comes in with snow or wet paws (as with our laminate). It’s also much quieter. We use Armstrong Once n Done to clean it, and we haven’t seen any of the “film” other people have mentioned.

  54. I have the vinyl plank gray weathered flooring in my craft room/studio and we absolutely love it!! I couldn’t believe how much they look like the real thing and mine are 100% waterproof. I paint in that space and wanted the most durable floor I could get and I went with the vinyl. I actually think you have a sample of the exact floor in your image from Build Direct. We have had no issues and its the best decision we made in the space. Good luck!

  55. Emily says:

    Kate – I love the choices you have made, both laminate and vinyl! I lived with laminate and said I wouldn’t do it again – I didn’t like the noise and it did scratch and knick. So…fast forward many years and now in a different home, I researched laminate as I thought it had probably changed a lot since I had lived with it. A flooring representative was completely honest with me, since I didn’t like the sound. She said that to get rid of the sound I would need to buy a commercial grade as well as an extra underlayment. It drove the price up to that of hand scraped hardwood! But again…the sound just happens to be my pet peeve :) I really like the vinyl, especially the sample on the left, but as with everything you have to weigh the pros and cons! Good luck – I’m completely confident of one thing – whatever choice you make it will look amazing!!

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Very kind Emily, and helpful thank you! You’re right, the commercial grade + extra underlayment does drive up the price ….

  56. Ms. Amy says:

    We installed the Allure vinyl plank flooring in our master bath 2 1/2 years ago & I love it. I intend to put it in all our bathrooms. It is economical and easy to install. We have had no problems with shifting or bubbling. I clean it with a steam mop, and it looks brand new. Highly recommend.

  57. kathleen ward says:

    My favorite is the second sample in from the left on the top row. (in the first picture). Don’t know if it’s laminate or vinyl, but it is my favorite as far as “looks”.

    We installed off the shelf laminate plank wood-look-alike flooring 8 months ago in a remodel. It was Kingston peak hickory, from Home depot. We didn’t even use a salesman, I just shopped online, then we looked at it in person at the store to make sure we liked it, then came home, ordered online, and it was delivered and unloaded to our door. It was soooooo easy to install, we put it in ourselves my husband and I and neither of us had ever done a floor before. We installed around 900 square feet, that was the dining room, kitchen, laundry room, mudroom, and side entryway. After living with it for 8 months I still love it! It takes a beating and keeps on looking great! We have regular tricycle races on it, spilled milk/water at the dinner table, muddy/wet boots by the entryway, a washer that shakes and moves a solid 6 inches to the right every cycle, and of course the water droplets that you just can’t avoid around the sink and dishwasher. With all this abuse, the floors still look like new. I have thought MANY times “Oh, that mark/stain/goop is going to be there forever… great!” just to whip out my Swiffer mop and it disappears and the floors look like new. I can’t say enough good about the laminate plank floors!

    We moved into the house 2 years ago and first thing installed vinyl tiles in this area. I don’t know how vinyl tiles compare to vinyl planks, but needless to say they were so horrible that is why we replaced them with the laminate planks. The tops peeled off like it was a piece of paper peeling off, the seams were hideous and they were so pliable that you couldn’t even mop them. You had to scrub with a sponge onhands and knees because the flat mop wouldn’t make contact with the whole piece. They were flat gross!

    I recommend the laminate planks!! They are so awesome!

  58. Jami says:

    My in-laws have Pergo laminate in there cabin. They have tons of foot traffic, dirt, snow, grandkids food spills, etc. and they still look new after 8 years. They went with a mid-tone color so it doesn’t show footprints.

  59. Christina says:

    We put high-end Armstrong laminate throughout our halls and kitchen 5-6 years ago. It was pricey, probably $4.00/sq ft, maybe a bit more, and we installed it ourselves. The dark wood-look we put in the halls I love, but it’s very noisy. The dogs’ nails click loudly on it and sneaking down the hall to check on the baby at night is next to impossible. The stone tile look we put in the kitchen has just not held up well at all. There is a huge chip near my sink from where I dropped something on it that is now a big divot as the wood pulp/paper backing has worn away. I see it every day and it drives me nuts. There are other chips in the kitchen floor as well, and the texture makes it hard to clean. The color hides most of the dirt but getting it really clean with laminate-safe cleaners is a chore. If I had to do it again, I would go with engineered or solid pre-finished hardwood in the halls and either vinyl plank or cork in the kitchen. We had planned that the kitchen floor would stay when we do a full kitchen remodel. In fact, that’s how we justified the cost of it, but it’s got to go.

  60. Bernie says:

    We put in a high quality Shaw laminate in our entry, kitchen, family room and hall about 10 years ago. We also put in the highest quality under-layment which made a big difference in not having that hollow”clicking” sound. We have some damage (bubbling) from a leaking cooler, and ice maker. I would not recommend laminate in any area that could get wet. We are very vigilent about dropped ice cubes, or splatters near the sink and dishwasher. My sister installed vinyl in her condo kitchen and foyer, and it is beautiful! If I had to do it over, if I couldnt have good quality hardwood, I would go with the vinyl.

  61. Kristine in WA says:

    We are in the same boat currently. After a lengthy discussion with our flooring guy, he had a suggestion a new product for us. Rubber flooring! We will be turning our current home into a rental down the road and this product is indestructible and looks so good. I was a total doubter but once i saw the floor samples and felt them, they are just like the vinyl, texture and everything. Best part, great for DIY’er (snap and lock) AND they run around $2.50/sf.
    http://www.moduleo.com/EN/Professional/Collection/tabid/15361/CollectionId/118/language/en-AU/Default.aspx#

  62. Mallory S. says:

    Vinyl. Vinyl. Vinyl. We have laminate in our apartment and had 2 water leaks, one from the washer and one from our kitchen sink. The tiniest bit of water caused a SERIOUS issue and the nice clean laminate top bubbled up and away from the boards it was attached to. We eventually had to replace an area twice as large as the actual leak because of teeny tiny bubbles where the water had tracked along the grooves. If there is ANY chance of liquids spilling on the floor, laminate is definitely not the way to go.

    Here’s a little bit of what we had to go through….. http://sledgehammerwithstyle.com/2013/06/14/and-the-reno-continues/

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience Mallory, so very helpful! I’m sorry you had so much trouble :(

  63. Gabi says:

    Yay I’ve been waiting for this post! I am now
    More confused than ever lol! We have laminate not
    Happy with it scratches easily it’s dark so shows everything
    With a recent slab leak it was easily damaged
    We now need to replace and have been really considering luxury Vinyl Plank hardwood is my top choice but not in the budget. I’m surprised no one has mentioned Duchateu brand. What brands/colors Kate are you considering in your samples above in the vinyl?

  64. Brittney says:

    My husband and I have installed vinyl wood planks in our front entry way. We decided that these would be better with all the wet shoes/dirty boots that would come in contact with the floor. We have not had any problems with them at all! They look great and are very durable and easy to clean. You can read more about our floors here: http://butfirstcomeslove.blogspot.com/2013/02/floored.html

  65. Erin says:

    I used a LVT plank from Armstrong in a commercial application and my client loves it. Since I had never used LVT before I did a lot of research before recommending it to my client. The one I chose was a weathered wood look and is looks very similar to the ones you picked. I also learned after ordering it that I chose the exact same product and color that Starbucks uses in all of their Northeast stores. I can’t comment on the noise factor, but I can tell you that my client is thrilled with it, and I can only assume that Starbucks is too or they wouldn’t have ordered so much! My only warning to you is that Armstrong recommends only installing over a completely level floor. We installed over a concrete base, and had to have it leveled before we could install.

    Good luck!
    Erin
    redhousereno.com

  66. Amanda Eck says:

    wow! Im loving all these stories from home owners! Lots of great info to consider. If I had make a choice I would have to say -neither. Another option I would recommend, but of course is pricier would be the tiles that look like wood. That being said I do know that Cyndy from Creativity Exchange recently installed the vinyl planks in her office and raved about them. You can read her review here:
    http://www.thecreativityexchange.com/2013/06/hello-pretty-new-floors-office-floor-installation.html
    Good luck! and can’t wait to hear what you choose!

  67. jenn says:

    I also have the Adura Dockside in Sea Shell and I LOVE it! I purchased it after my friend who owns a Dog hotel installed it in all of her dog suites. It has a great warranty and is easier to install than vinyl because you don’t need a saw!!! You can also lay WITHOUT underlayment provided your subfloor meets the specified requirements. I installed the less expensive Home Depot vinyl in my hallway bathroom and I like it too, it was considerably cheaper. It doesn’t look as real and it was harder to install because the sticky stuff is SUPER sticky and if you make a mistake you can’t just pull the piece up and put it back down. It also scratched fairly easy. Here’s a peek at my Adura Dockside in Sea Shell floor that is in my master bath and soon to go in my hallway and kitchen. http://jennnash.typepad.com/blog/2013/07/master-bath-progress-i-have-a-floor.html

    I purchased the floor online and they offered free shipping if you order over a certain amount. email if you want more info on the site.

  68. Shannon says:

    We put vinyl plank flooring down in our 1st home that was located in a busy college town. We put it in LR, 3 bdrms,& hallways. We knew that when selling our house ( which we knew we would be doing relatively soon) there would be a good chance it would be bought as a rental property. Our lab puppy grew up with the floors, and we also watched our friend’s husky and boxer frequently when she went out of town for work. They looked great and were budget friendly ( super easy to put down!) As far as clean-up, there were a few times I just spilt a bucket of soapy water on the floors to get them clean after having 3 big dogs inside on them!

  69. Cathy says:

    Vinyl. Hands down. I had installed vinyl in our previous house – bathroom, hall and office. It held up great, looked like real wood (it was a textured vinyl) and was not loud at all. Moved into our new house, which has laminate throughout and I hate it. Scratches easily, noisy as all get out, and is not textured – so it looks like, well, laminate. It also looks cloudy (like there is a film covering it) when I damp mop and I have to go over it with a special laminate “shiner”. A real pain in the patoot! The vinyl looked great with just a damp mop. I am replacing the laminate (and other flooring) slowly with a groutable vinyl that looks like grey slate. I would never install laminate again!

  70. Grace says:

    I’d like to recommend the laminate option at Sam’sclub. You should check it out in person. The pictures on website don’t do it any justice. We got the extra thickest one 14.3mm Canyon Oak that has best price than Lumber liquidator and HD, Lowes, etc. We installed it at our rental and my own house. I love it and my tenant loved it. It’s for residential with commercial grade, we dragged furniture on it, spill water, dog, cat, kids, you name it, still no scratch at all and is a breeze to clean. It’s also easily DIY by me n my hubby (entry DIY level lol)

  71. Diana says:

    We installed Allure Ultra hand scraped vinyl plank flooring in our house about three years ago. Love it! It’s warm, shows no dirt, isn’t loud like laminate and is industructible. We had trouble installing and would use the product again with professional installation.

  72. Sandy says:

    We had Wilsonart laminate flooring installed in our kitchen, laundry room/mud room and powder room over 8 years ago and love it. It wasn’t cheap but is so much better than the horrible hard to clean builder’s vinyl flooring. We were told that water could damage Franklin Planner Trip Journa but it’s just hubby and I (no pets) and I wipe any water up right away. I love walking on it – it is easy on the feet, no hollow sound at all (an underpaid was installed). We chose a light gray color and it is so easy to clean just damp mop. No marks on the floors either after all these years. Dogs nails will make clicking sounds though when walking on it. No sounds when we walk on it. Very durable.

  73. James Mason says:

    Hey Guys, whilst the laminate does look good you need to make sure you have a very level sub-floor before laying it otherwise you will get pockets that are springy and move, this not only makes the boards look cheap it can also produce a cracking / squeaking sound when there is excessive movement.

    To fix an uneven floor there are various leveling compounds for concrete slabs that work well, but for timber floors there may be the need to plane, pack and sand in various areas which will take time and effort but will be worth it in the long run.

    Another thing to consider is the scratching, once they are marked they are harder to repair than natural solid timber boards which can be sanded back and re sealed, stained or even painted. Yes natural timber boards are a hell of a lot more expensive but if laid correctly they will normally last longer than our time.

    Have fun selecting guys, im sure they will look great when finished.

  74. Jennifer Hill says:

    Hi! I haven’t read all your replies (83 so far!!) so may be repeating, and you may be wanting something a bit more up market than what we went for, but we chose laminate from Ikea (we’re in the UK) and are generally very pleased as it fulfilled our budget, looks good and thus far, about 3 years, has held up well. We laid it in our entrance hall, downstairs loo and a living room running off the hall. We’re not big or particularly accomplished DIYers, but fitting was easy, except where at the edges narrow or short pieces had to be laid, which don’t lock in to the rest very well as I presume there isn’t enough grip. This is also a problem in the two doorways; I had wanted a clean run through, but we’ve had to add in threshold bars (if you know what I mean), to stop the pieces coming apart. This is also generally a problem in the loo, being a very small room. I think the pieces lock together best when there are long, full width lengths. We may have been able to do it better a second time, but you don’t get a second shot, do you?! What we chose is not waterproof and not recommended for wet areas but has been fine in our loo. Overall looks better than this suggests, doesn’t show the dirt and easy to clean, so very pleased overall especially for the price. Jen

  75. We have laminate in our living area and the Allure plank in our basement family room. While I truly love both looks. I would recommend the vinyl plank, just because of spills and leaks.
    Our laminate is deformed in a couple of areas due to even just simple spills that weren’t wiped right away and the Christmas tree leaked in one area and it is pretty warped.
    We also travel for weeks at a time during the summer and when we returned our pet sitter (who lived in our house) must have spilled something and not wiped it right away. It’s right out in the open and you can see the raised part where the liquid was.

    So for me the answer would have to be vinyl especially if you have some one renting the space at some point.

    We want to replace our carpet in our bedroom area at some point and I can’t wait to pink vinyl also because I’m hoping that it won’t be as loud as the laminate ;) when you walk on it.

  76. Kaylor says:

    We bought a house last summer and put MetroFlor Konecto Engage luxury vinyl planks in the entire house. Our house is waterfront and all second story living plus we have 2 large dogs. I needed something that can handle us living in our home :) This brand was not the most expensive and if I am being totally honest, it wasn’t my favorite color BUT it has texture. There are many vinyls that are slippery just like laminate, even the hand scrapped. This vinyl had the most texture out of any sample we felt. Once they were installed I knew we made the right choice. I LOVE them. Easy to clean, durable, there is enough texture the dogs don’t slip and slide all over and the floors are gorgeous. You can see them at this link: http://fishermanswifefurniture.blogspot.com/2013/10/kitchen-reveal.html

    Good luck making a decision. I know for me it was one of the hardest to make during our remodel.

  77. Trish Smith says:

    We cannot use laminate flooring in our old house with wavy floors (and we don’t want to level for a variety of reasons), so we have installed vinyl planks in our high-traffic kitchen. The first time we went with the cheapest we could find, just to get flooring in during a whole house reno. Those wore well for about 5 years and were very sad for 2 more while we figured out what to replace them with.

    After shopping around for a looooong time, we replaced them with the Allure vinyl planks (from Home Depot). We budgeted much more for flooring this go round, but love that this was very affordable. It is a floating floor system, similar to laminate planks, but flexible enough work well with our existing floor imperfections. We rented a heavy roller to seal the seams after installation.

    The hair salon we patronize has the same flooring, and it is wearing well after years of extremely high traffic. We selected the Lisbon Cork pattern and have received oodles of compliments. Super easy to clean. We are going to install the same flooring in our mud room and laundry.

  78. Mindy says:

    We used Allure vinyl planks in our laundry room and kids’ bathroom. My parents couldn’t believe it was vinyl! It looks amazing and holds up well to my preschoolers’ daily soakings.

  79. Wendy says:

    I’ve had vinyl plank flooring in my home for 8 years now. I run a private home daycare and have a dog – these floors are wonderful. I’d never ever consider anything but vinyl plank flooring. When I move to my new place this spring I will remove all the laminate and replace it with vinyl. Most people I have over (including Realtors) can’t tell the difference.

  80. Beth Newlin says:

    I have Allure Ultra Vinyl planks from HD in my scrapbook room and laundry room. Allure Ultra is a floating floor that clicks together making it waterproof. We have had a leak in the laundry room and it held up great. In the scrapbook room we have a treadmill it has caused some dents but still looks great. I would use Allure Ultra in my whole house but I am afraid that for resale people will be turned off. I really want to get rid of all the carpet in my house so I am still undecided of what flooring would be the best for resale. Good luck with our decision.

  81. Lori says:

    We had laminate floors by Mannington installed everywhere in our house except the bedroom about 9 years ago. It still looks as good today as it did then! We used an underlayment called “Whisper Step” that takes away the hollow sound you get when walking on laminate.

    We have two rambunctious dogs who tear around the house, but other than the hair, you’d never know it because their nails do NOT damage the laminate!

    One great thing about the laminate is that I can clean up all kinds of spills – even nail polish, Sharpie and paint with nail polish remover without any damage!

    It’s super easy to keep clean too – I just use a steamer.

    By the way, beautiful choices you’ve selected. :)

  82. Sue says:

    Wondering what type of driveway material you have leading to the garage? If it’s asphalt, the light-colored vinyl may discolor over time. There will be residue on shoes that reacts with the chemical composition of vinyl. If an expert here can dispel that, feel free to correct me. I would vote for hardwood, but that’s just me!

  83. angelia says:

    We looked at both last year. But we have big dogs and lively children so we ended up going with porcelain plank tile we did 1/16 grout line and the tile pattern is so random it looks like wood. It is even scraped. We did our entire downstairs of our house. Just another thought.

  84. Given the choice between vinyl and laminate, I would go with vinyl. Hands down, without a doubt.

    My mom had laminate in her studio/office, and the bathroom next door had a pipe break, sending water flooding into the studio. The laminate planks started to curl and warp almost instantly, and the floor was completely ruined. Plus, it has a hollow sound when you walk on it.

    When she called the flooring place to have it replaced, the store owner suggested that she use vinyl instead. He said he sells more LVT these days than anything else because of its durability. Vinyl will withstand a flood, plus just about anything else you can throw at it, and come out looking just fine. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the Home Depot/Lowe’s stuff (although I had that in our condo for five years — not the kind that looked like hardwood, but the kind that actually looks like tile — and it was incredibly durable), but instead I’d spend the extra money and get a really good brand like Mannington.

  85. Penny says:

    We have a Mannington laminate that look much like your samples, I chose one with a yellow- green undertone, as it blended with the tile we kept in the home. We had it professionally installed over the tile in our home. It covers the entry, dining, library, den and breakfast room, about 2,000 sq ft. I love it! 6 grand kids, an elderly mother with a walker, clean up is a breeze. I just clean with cleaner for laminate flooring. Everyone that comes into my home thinks it is wood flooring.

  86. nita says:

    Wow, you have alot of feedback already, but I just had to add my 2 cents. We installed wood plank looking ( its all in one sheet, not seperate blocks) vinyl about 10 years ago in our kitchen dining room. It has the look of darker wide weatherd planks. I am still in love with it. If it wasn’t , oh what would you say “a decorating sin” I would run it throughout my living room too. I was just thinking this morning if we build a home, I may put it in the whole house because It will be my house then til I die.
    It has held up wonderful , not hard to clean, just mop with rag mop or hands and knees. Never really looks dirty. Everyone thinks its hardwood, since it is textured. In fact I would bet a realitor would come in and list it as hard wood just by looking without being told different!;) ! Its awesome, I don’t care for the smooth shinny look of laminate myself.

  87. Liz says:

    We have had vinyl with wood grain texture for. Year in our living room. We love it! We have three kids a big dog and a cat and it doesn’t have a scratch.

  88. Ennis says:

    I do not recommend laminate planks in wet areas. We had laminate throughout our last house, and the water in the kitchen caused it to bow up. Also, the feel is very plastic-y and hard. At least vinyl would be soft.

  89. I’m sure either of the two would work well for your needs but have you also considered tiles that look like wood?

  90. Christina says:

    We’ve actually had both types of flooring at one time or another. The vinyl was super waterproof and durable, but if it did get scuffed (by sliding a heavy piece of furniture instead of lifting, for example) it was challenging to camouflage (Although, maybe it was just the product we chose). Also, if there was anything beneath the vinyl flooring (even small items like crumbs of drywall that were accidentally missed) or any unevenness in the flooring beneath it when it was laid, the vinyl eventually melded to those areas and looked slightly wavy if you looked at it from the right direction. The laminate was tough as nails. Ours NEVER scratched and we had a 60 lb, heavy-footed pit bull at the time who was constantly sliding all over the floor with his nails. My only complaint was that if liquid was allowed to sit on a seam for a while (like once when our dog got sick while we were at work), it did warp the board in that area. I personally felt like the laminate looked higher quality than the vinyl over time since it didn’t shape to the imperfections in the floor beneath it. Anyways, that’s just my take! Good luck! I’m sure whatever you choose will be fantastic! :)

  91. I think that Vinyl is the way to go in terms of longevity and with the options they have now you cant even tell that it’s vinyl and not laminate. My favourite of the 3 vinyl options that you have is the one on the right, I think it looks the most like a real hardwood because of the graining and the width – I love the look of a wider plank!!!

  92. Lisa says:

    Laminate, I bought a town home with it and thoroughly love it. It’s dark and shows light lint, and since this is my first home I simply love it so far.

  93. Mag says:

    I have recently seen tile that looks like weathered wood plank flooring. If i was half the DIY’er that you are I would so tackle that project in my house. It truly loks like wood flooring but is tile. I didn’t look into it to determine the cost, but when I’m ready it will certainly be something I will consider. I love your blog and admire your talents.

  94. Vicki says:

    I’m a huge fan of vinyl. I put it in a bathroom several years ago and it’s held up wonderfully and still looks like a beachy wood floor.

  95. Dayna says:

    Let me add to a couple of the comments here about Adura vinyl plank. Five years ago, we too installed the wood look everywhere but the bathrooms, where we put in the tile look Adura. Looks real. Wears like iron. Water is not an issue. No noise. Easy to replace a plank (though we have never had to!) Steam mops beautifully.

  96. Krista says:

    I’ve had similar experiences to Shari. While I won’t say I hate my laminate, I definitely wouldn’t recommend it. It’s a good brand (maybe Armstrong?), but any amount of moisture will cause the seems to swell- a spill that you don’t wipe up within 30 mins, the steam from the dishwasher, a damp towel or shoes that get left on the floor. It also shows foot prints and is super slippery. Our dog is actually afraid of the floor because it’s like she’s ice skating. It is difficult to scratch or mar it, but it does happen occaisionally. I’m able to cover scratches with a brown marker and they’re not very noticeable, but overall it is not a particularly durable floor.

  97. Debbi says:

    I also highly recommend Allure by Trafficmaster at Home Depot. It is basically rubber flooring – but it looks beautiful! We installed in a home on the water in Florida – super easy and wears very well! Saw it for the first time in their river house – it was the weathered wood you like and I was SHOCKED that it was rubber! And because it’s water proof/resistant – no challenges for being on the water! Only downside is that it will fade in the areas that get a lot of sun… but if you have some extra, it’s easy to change out! LOVE LOVE LOVE this product! It’s not cheap – but so worth it, and so easy to install yourself! And so many options – wood, tile, etc… beautiful!

  98. Justine Brickner says:

    We have vinyl plank flooring. I love the color and look, it is extremely durable and waterproof is a plus, but it is extremely hard to keep clean. It seems like it’s hard to get dirtiness out of the grooves (texture). It also shows greasy or sweaty foot prints (sorry I know, yuck). I would much rather have a engineered hardwood or laminate that looks like hand scraped wood. I LOVE the grey look! I would love to know where these samples are from and color names?? Especially the top row second from left! Good luck!

  99. Christina says:

    We went with a high-grade commercial laminate flooring from Armstrong. It is AMAZING! We wanted (engineered) hardwood in a smokey grey/brown color (very modern), but those shades in natural wood are super expensive! Our laminate was incredibly expensive for laminate, but it was still cheaper than the engineered wood in a similar shade.

    We have had no problems whatsoever with it! We have it installed all downstairs (including powder room and kitchen). It holds up to scratches and water really well (haven’t experienced swelling yet), and it’s very easy to clean. A swiffer does the trick! I would say none of our guests can tell it is “fake” because the print and solid feel of it is so realistic. I think the commercial grade is definitely better than regular laminate, though, as I have other family who have opted for less expensive laminate and it’s not quite as nice as ours. Oh, and did I mention we’re still in the middle of remodelling our house, which means tools and everything get placed on this floor. So far so good!

    We did check out vinyl planks, but we didn’t like the texture as much; it feels a tad rubbery under the feet or a bit “crisp”–like walking on plastic.

    I hope that helps! I definitely recommend checking out the Armstrong line. We searched high and low (we live in the Bay Area) but looked even as far as Southern California. We considered tile as well. :)

  100. Claudia says:

    We haven’t used the vinyl, but have installed the laminate. Ours had the backing attached. We thought it would make a difference so we wouldn’t hear the hollow sound. Wrong! That’s the only part I hate admittedly.

  101. Neskya says:

    Laminate is fantastic! We have had a Pergo floor in light oak for 8 years or so. Hallway, Kitchen, dining and living room. We even did the closets! Two big dogs screeching around on it and there only two little dings (which you can’t even see because we used the Pergo filler ) from rocks stuck in shoe treads. Don’t wash with water — we use Murphy’s laminate floor cleaner. It looks as nice as when it was put it. Only tips — measure like mad and then measure again — you need to plan to make sure you end up with the correct width plank at the end of the room. Leveling is important too — you should check your floor and use a leveler that they recommend — it looks something like spackle. My husband and I, and we are are not handy at all, put it in ourselves over several weekends. AND upgrade the underlayment –it makes a big difference in sound.

  102. Martha says:

    I installed the vinyl ALL OVER my house – I even removed tile and carpet to do so. My folks had a bad experience with laminate in the kitchen/breakfast, and I was trying to do something dog/child proof. It is! And if a single plank becomes spoiled, it can be replaced easily. My only gripe about the flooring – and this would happen with any solid surface – is the dust. You will be totally grossed out by how much dust and hair was hidden by your carpet.

  103. Mary says:

    I put Wilsonart laminate in two of my kids rooms 14 years ago. . . .and it still looks great!
    Unfortunately the Wilsonart plants here in the USA have shut down and I was unable to get more of the product :-( So I am in the thinking stages as well for the last bedroom.

    You might want to look into Marmoleum. . . it is an all natural product made in the USA. I just did 3 bedrooms and a living in my daughters condo. . .. and she loves it. It did require professional installation though. . . not for the DYI people!

  104. Beck says:

    When we moved into our new home here in the UK, we had vinyl flooring (a make called Karndean) put in the entire downstairs. We chose a light french oak colour and it has been brilliant, cleans fantastically, we can replace the ‘planks’ if needed (haven’t had to yet) and other than putting felt pads on the bottom of heavy pieces of furniture to stop scratches when I move furniture around (which I do a lot!), we haven’t had to look after it in any special way.
    We have a 1 and 3 year old so the floor has been used and abused and still looks like new, looks and feels like wood under foot as well. I even dropped my Le creuset pan on it and not even a mark :-) Cant fault it.

  105. Eileen says:

    I first installed Home Depot’s Allure Vinyl plank in my living room 4 years ago. I foster rescue dogs, so was looking for something that was extremely durable and pee-proof. I LOVE this flooring! It is quiet to walk on, doesn’t get too cold in the winter, is extremely durable (withstands dog claws and running, moving furniture,) and is pee-proof! Every one that’s seen it, thinks it is real wood. It is more dimensional/textured that laminate. I’ve been so satisfied that the following year, I installed it in my kitchen. I did this design with a “custom” inlay of vinyl tile. Then, the following year, installed it in my master bedroom and on suite bathroom.

    I did all of the installation completely alone! It is super easy. All you need is a utility knife, measuring tool, and a roofers square or angle.

  106. Melanie says:

    I have the laminate wood like flooring that looks rustic and has the “hand scraped” feel in our guest unit, and I love it! We replaced all the floors in our main house with engineered wood but now wish I had gone with laminate instead. It would have saved me tons of money and I wouldn’t have to stress about getting scratches so easily on my floor. The laminate seems very durable and has kept well even with two little dogs. My guests think the laminate floor is real wood! Score! And I only paid $1.39 a square foot ( a Home Depot special). Either way I don’t think you can go wrong. But feel to me is important as look. And it’s nice not to have to worry about floors. We are remodeling our entire house and so cost is very important. By the way I love your blog!!!

  107. Beth Fencl says:

    This past spring my husband and I had the Luxury Vinyl Planks installed. We did a remodel of our split level home, where we opened up the living room, kitchen and dining area making it all open – using the vinyl plank flooring throughout…we LOVE IT! We have a 75 lbs lab and it wears wonderful. We were advised to have it all glued down because of the kitchen area and you never know if and when you may have any water issues. Laminate will buckle and bubble with water. The brand we went with is Karndean in Hickory.
    Ironically, today I picked up a vinyl tile by Armstrong from the same retailer to redo in our half bath. I plan on doing this flooring myself, gluing down and grouting…I can’t wait.
    Again, we Love our Luxury Vinyl flooring and I don’t think you will be unhappy with the results.

  108. Lynda collins says:

    We’ve had top of the line Armstrong laminate and finally replaced it with vinyl plank. No more worrying about moisture damage from the dogs…no more mop marks from whenever floor was washed or spot cleaned..vinyl is softer, warmer and more realistic looking…people thought we put real hardwood down in place of the laminate

  109. Gina says:

    We installed the vinyl and love it. Its one where it has a sticky tab. They have texture and a wide variety of colors to choose from. Looks new again when cleaned with mop and glow. We have 2 large dogs and the vinyl is super durable.

  110. Katie says:

    When we moved into our house only the bedrooms had carpet. It was really old and gross so we immediately had it replaced with laminate. It’s been just over 6 years and we’ve never had any problems. We have 4 children with lots of toys that get dropped all over the floor and a dog. The floors look exactly the same. I can’t say how they’d hold up in wet areas but I know ours have had spills that went unnoticed for awhile and they’ve always cleaned right up.

  111. lynda says:

    I too have done a lot of thinking and research on this subject. I like the vinyl more than the laminate. The Traffic Master Allure Ultra is the one with the tongue and groove install, not the sticky strips. My sister put a weathered gray plank of this brand in a loft area and is happy with the choice. I also like the Karndean Loose Lay product. Other companies have a products like this. This is a 100% recyclable vinyl product that is thick enough to just lay on the floor. If there is a gouge, or another problem, the plank can be replaced. If you have a water problem, you can pick up the tile and dry out the area, and put the tiles back down. My sister this put down in both the tile and wood look. The installers used a low tack adhesive here and there. They used a calking gun and made “s” patterns on the floor. Supposedly you can still pick up a tile if there is a problem. You can get free samples from Karndean. It is more expensive than the Allure product. I have not figured out how to get it at a discount! I also know someone that used a Karndean product glued down on the basement floor and she is happy with it. Karndean has lots of information on the site. I think the biggest problem with laminate is that water can ruin it. I have read that Luxury Vinyl Tile plank is the best selling floor product now. In fact Armstrong is building a new plant in Lancaster County, PA to keep up with the demand.

  112. Bev says:

    My mom used a vinyl/rubber in her home and it looked beautiful and wore very well, esp loved the water resistance compared to laminate and the sound factor was much better.

  113. Jill says:

    I have been selling floor covering for the last 9 years or so. I personally prefer a vinyl plank over laminate for the following reasons:
    * it’s completely waterproof. If snow melts into a puddle, the dog throws up, a kid drops ice cubes on the floor and doesn’t pick them up; no worries. Even the best laminate floors have the same weakness: moisture can and will eventually destroy them.
    *you can clean vinyl plank with a wet mop or steamer. Laminates must be cleaned like a hardwood (very little moisture – no mop and bucket!)
    *Vinyl plank doesn’t have that tell-tale feel and “hollow” sound of a laminate floor.
    *You can actually touch up a vinyl plank with the same products you would use on laminate or hardwood (touch up pen, wax stick, etc.)

    I have nothing against laminate. It has it’s uses. I always give my customers the pros and cons of each, and then let them decide what’s best for their family or situation.

    As far as the look, texture, and how well it hides or shows smudges, dirt and footprints, that has more to do with the style of the floor than whether it’s vinyl or laminate. Anything with very little pattern or texture is going to show more; it doesn’t matter what it’s made out of (tile, wood, laminate, vinyl). The same goes for how well it will wear…any hard surface floor can be damaged by heavy items being dragged across them, chair legs without the proper protectors, plastic office chair wheels, etc. I have seen the glazing on ceramic tile destroyed because people didn’t put felt pads on their metal dining room chair legs. Common sense, people!

    With both products, you kinda get what you pay for. Look for a product with a light commercial warranty. If a company is offering a “lifetime” residential warranty, but no commercial warranty, be wary. Any company can slap a warranty on a product, the question is how will they handle it if you have a claim?? Like any other purchase, don’t believe everything you read, and do your due diligence.

    We are doing some remodeling and I am about ready to put Mannington’s Adura Plank in my entire upstairs. when we are done with that, we are going to do the downstairs, and it will be vinyl plank or luxury vinyl tile throughout those rooms, too. Keep in mind that I work in this industry. I know what’s out there, AND I have access to all of it with deep discounts, AND I could get anything I want professionally installed by my boss for cheap. I could do hardwood, or ceramic tile, or whatever. But I choose vinyl. It just makes sense for how we live.

    Hope this helps :)

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Wow Jill – it’s so fantastic to have industry insight, I really appreciate your informative comments and recommendation!
      Kate

  114. Stephanie says:

    We put vinyl planks in our basement. When my husband said “How about vinyl for the basement?” I stuck up my nose and I’m pretty sure I said “ew” ha! But then he showed it to me and I loved it! I looks fantastic and is super durable. Here’s a link to my basement to see the floor: http://lealoulemonade.blogspot.ca/2011/09/basement-reveal.html

  115. Robin says:

    just remember, you always get what you pay for. We bought good looking laminate flooring on sale at Lowe’s and it was a nightmare to install. Pieces would not stay together when you snapped in other pieces. Tooks days and days to get it all in and now that we’re living on it, some of the planks are separating and we’ve actually had to nail them in place. We would never buy laminate again. We got what we paid for (unfortunately).

  116. lianae says:

    what about air quality concerns? my personal goal is to avoid any and all vinyl in our house (flooring, shower curtains, toys, etc) because vinyl off-gasses and has toxic chemicals in it. not sure how that compares to what is in laminate, but i’d be inclined to avoid vinyl for that reason alone.

    good luck!

  117. Whitney says:

    We’ve had both products in our home and I agree with Jill as far as you get what you pay for. Our laminate was here when we moved in. I can’t say I like it much. Besides it being cheaper quality and the finish wearing off in high traffic areas, it has a colder feel and is much louder than our vinyl and I definitely agree with it not being water/spill friendly. I much prefer our vinyl, but the one downside is that if there is anything really heavy being moved you have to lift it or it will rip the vinyl very easily. We got a hole in ours when we moved in our washing machine and dryer and I’m always worried about it when I move the fridge to clean behind it. I also agree with the person who said an uneven floor shows through with vinyl. Make sure any quirks in the floor are worked out before it’s laid.

  118. teresa says:

    Check out this post on the design from the good wife: http://hookedonhouses.net/2012/03/26/the-good-wife-alicia-florricks-apartment-in-chicago/

    Those floor are discussed in one the the blogs mentioned, either Beth Kushnik’s, http://www.cbs.com/shows/the_good_wife/the_good_look_of_the_good_wife/

    or Stephen St-Onge’s: https://www.blogger.com/blogin.g?blogspotURL=http://stephensaint-ongeblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/designer-dad-on-location-good-wife.html

    I think they’re vinyl roll goods! and were chosen for their authentic look and great wearing properties. You can imagine what they’re put through with all the filming equipment and people that aren’t worrying about the floors! Take a look; it might be another option. P.S. I think I may have originally gotten this link from you on your BOB or weekend reading or interesting reads posts.

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Thanks so much Teresa, I’m a huge fan of that show and the sets, I’ll check out the details on the flooring!

  119. Sarah says:

    I’ve had engineered wood floors and laminate. Loved our laminate wide plank floors we put down in our last house. When we moved three years after putting them in, there were like 2-3 small imperfections that I could find because I knew where they were and I still had to look for them. (Not the case with carpet or the last wood floor I’d had.) We didn’t put it in a kitchen or bath. In my new house I have cheapo laminate in the kitchen. It is holding up pretty well, but it’s days are numbered…

  120. Linda says:

    We put laminate flooring throughout our house, including the stairs. There is no wall-to-wall carpet anywhere. It’s 10 years old and looks new even after 10 yrs of my own and various other visitor dogs living and playing on it. Cleaning is with a water-dampened microfiber cloth mop. I tried the cleaners made for laminate flooring but didn’t like the residue. I went back to plain water or a mixture of white vinegar/water/ammonia (no rinsing/no residue). One cannot use the steam cleaners on laminate. (Obviously–glue and steam just don’t like each other.)
    One tip if you are still considering laminate. We used an acoustic lining. It’s thicker than normal lining, costs almost as much as the laminate, but provides a softer feel under foot and eliminates any slight echoing.
    The vinyl planks look really good, and I love the waterproof feature. That would be a hard choice.

  121. Marianne says:

    When I bought this house over 10 years ago I bought an oak floor for the living room and vinyl for the kitchen. They looked very identical so people thought I had a wooden floor in the kitchen. Over the years the wood changed colors (a natural proces) but the vinyl didn’t. It is very easy to clean and in my opinion it still looks the same. The concrete floor in the kitchen wasn’t that great before the vinyl was laid, but the wood look/texture conceals most of it.
    As I live in the Netherlands I can’t answer any of the other questions! Good luck with your choice!

  122. Carrie says:

    We live in military housing and have had both floor types. We’re currently living with a vinyl version of “wood.” I’m really happy with it and like it better than the laminate we had in the past. It has nice texture and the grain is very realistic (people even get psyched out at first thinking it’s real!). The two negatives, in my opinion, is that it can be tough to clean if something sticky dries down in the textured grooves. That’s only happened a couple times, but it requires hand and knees scrubbing. The other minus is that really heavy furniture can dent or dimple the vinyl. The previous tenants’ must have had something heavy (or they were when they sat on their couch) because there are indentations in the flooring where the couch sits. We haven’t had that happen with any of our furniture, though. The negatives of the laminate we had (2 different kinds) was one didn’t have any texture and seemed shiny and slick. Any dust was SO obvious! The other, that had some texture was better, but still slick and both were MUCH louder than the vinyl. But, I like either product compared to the old school-cafeteria-style flooring we’ve had in some military housing. And either are heads and tails above carpet when you’re renting!

  123. I’ve had click-lock laminate for a little over 3 years now in the house (after deciding against engineered and full hardwoods). I still love them as much as I did when I first installed them. Simply gorgeous. I have them in the kitchen, half bath, and all throughout the main floor. Pro: they still look new, despite all of the foot traffic, accidentally dropping things (like a hammer), and the dog’s claws. Con: they cannot ever have standing water on top. I’ve used a steam cleaner on them before and it worked well (but the steamer was only meant to briefly wet down the surface & immediately evaporate). There was a spill in the half bath that warped one of the boards and a similar warping on part of a seam in the hallway where the dog got sick during the night. That’s honestly my only complaint, which is still a big one if there are small children. I don’t know that I would have gone with vinyl, though. I’ve just never liked the patterns on them (they always look more fake to me) and I’ve lived in a house with tiny imperfections underfoot from something underneath the flooring. It just bugs me. But, with products changing all the time, I guess I can never say never!

  124. nancy says:

    I had Bruce engineered wood floor and I liked it very much, lots of teenagers around, 3 dogs, numerous cats, wood fireplace and always seemed to drop a log right on the floor starting a new fire and I thought it looked beautiful. In my last house here in the PNW, it was just me and my husband around, a 45lb dog and a 12lb dog. I had Armstrong 12mm (NO clickiness at all) laminate professionally installed. It did not hold up well. I was shocked at how easily it scratched and chipped on the edges. It looked great, the home appraiser and realtors thought it was real wood floor. I also felt the laminate cleaner left a residue, so I used water mostly. There was a mystery leak by the fireplace 3 times, the area swelled but it went down completely like brandnew. I don’t know why it scratched so easily and I don’t mean around the dining room chairs, just random areas. A friend in Ohio (snowy area) had Pergo on her kitchen and had 5 children. The floor was obviously not real wood but it always looked great to me. I don’t know what was wrong with this Armstrong floor.

  125. Barb says:

    When I moved to a larger apartment within the same community, I asked the leasing agent if they would consider installing laminate flooring instead of replacing the cheap apartment grade carpeting with more of the same. I offered to pay the difference in cost for a hard flooring option over carpeting. Because the new apartment is on the first floor, they finally agreed. Except they wanted to use vinyl plank flooring instead. I’ve been in this unit for two years and still love these floors, best $ 563 I have ever spent! Worth it to pay money to improve someone else’s property? Heck, yeah!

    It was such a chore to try to keep carpet clean with a dog. My vinyl plank floor is a dream to clean. I alternately vacuum or dust mop to keep up with the dog hair. Should the dog have an accident, I don’t have to freak out. A wipe and a squirt of cleaner is all it takes! Occasionally, I break out the steam mop or Swiffer.

    Apparently, I started a trend. Yeah, that’s me. A trend setter. two other resident stopped by for a look. After having seem how nice the floor is, they had the same installed in their units!

    Your future tenants will love you if you install vinyl plank floors!

  126. Dawn says:

    The home we are in came with laminate flooring in the kitchen and guest bath. Our home is less than two years old. At a glance this floor looks great but it should have never been put in a kitchen or traffic area. A single drop of water from unloading the dishwasher will cause the seams to ripple if left for any length of time. If you drop a fork or something sharp, it leaves a mark. I have had other laminate flooring in an office that was easily worn down by an office chair. I would recommend checking out the tile flooring that looks like wood planks. I have always loved how well a tile floor holds up to just about anything. It is also a DIY project that I have done several times. It takes more work to install but is cost effective if you do it yourself. It holds up so much better than laminate.

  127. Suzanne says:

    I have laminate in most of my house and would not put it in a kitchen again. I’m saving up to replace it because it’s warped in a few spots. It really won’t hold up to moisture/spills over the long run. I’m seriously considering vinyl plank for my bedroom as well, so that I can run it straight into the ensuite without worries about water. I wouldn’t even consider doing that with laminate.

  128. Sabrina says:

    We love our laminate floors. It holds up so well with two active kids and a dog. Plus, we also get a lot of compliments on them and people are so surprised when we tell them it’s laminate. It cleans up really well too!

  129. Kathy says:

    We have laminate flooring though our kitchen, dining, mudroom areas. We’ve had it for four years. It’s a higher quality laminate so the look is nice.

    The downside is that it is water sensitive. If the cats spill water and we don’t catch it right away, the flooring soaks it up like a sponge and then it causes ripples. When we talked with the floor guy we had out after a dishwasher episode, he informed us that the product is a lot like cardboard. Ugh.

    The advantage is that there aren’t gaps in the boards like there are in our friends houses with real wood and it does resist scratching, scraping, and scuffs wonderfully. You cannot tell the area is high traffic.

  130. Peggy says:

    You may have already decided on your flooring, but I have to say we love, love, love our laminate flooring. We live hard in this house – we had our two boys with all of their friends hanging out until they left for college plus two large dogs plus a husband who thinks nothing of working out in the garden in mud and walking in the house with his shoes on. You get the picture. We’ve had laminate flooring in our living areas for 15 years and there are a few small chips that are hardly noticeable but other than that the floors look great. So good, in fact, we replaced our bedroom floor with laminate too. On the other hand, the wood floor in the hall is scratched and dented and looks horrible. I remember 25 years ago in our previous house we installed wood flooring in our family room and as soon it was ready to walk on our 125 pound bernese mountain dog ran in, slid across the room, then dug his claws into the floor resulting in long, deep gouges. Oh well, houses are for living in!

  131. Holly says:

    We chose vinyl wood plank flooring for our new build. I wanted something that required little maintenance, would stand up to high traffic and water-prone areas like the entry and kitchen, and that looked awesome! Vinyl was the way to go!

    I’ve LOVED it (so easy to clean) and it withstands all that two young kids can throw at it! Everyone who visits comments on our nice wood floors; even a contractor came over after some inspections and thought it was “real”! We thought we’d start with vinyl and eventually upgrade to hardwood, but we’re loving the vinyl floors so much I think we’re sticking with it!

    Good luck!

  132. Tina Lee says:

    The weathered plank look option is always a good one, the reason I say this is because over time the floor will gradually become worn out, with the weathered look flooring, the worn down effect is already there, so it wont seem as if the floor getting even more worn down.

  133. Daniel Lee says:

    I know this was posted over a month ago, but I wondered if you had come to a decision, and wanted to give my incite. If you decide to get laminate floor in the kitchen or bathroom, where water will be present, as long as the flooring is fitted correctly (best to get a professional to do it) you will not have a problem with water. The water will just sit on the floor and wait to be cleaned up.

  134. Tanya B says:

    I never even considered vinyl until I read this post. I’ve been wanting to remove the carpet from my sewing/craft room for 5+ years, but could never make a decision on what floor to go with it. After reading all the comments, I went w/vinyl planks and bought it ASAP before I could change my mind! My husband and I installed it this past weekend — I am still sore. I think it looks good, but only time will tell in regards to how well it holds up. This was our first floor and it was fairly easy. The planks snapped together — no glue or adhesive. I’m looking forward to seeing what floor you ended up with.

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