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

  2. 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! :)

  3. 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!!!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. CentsationalGirl says:

    We have Monica, that is much more labor intensive. I’d use wood lookalike tile in the main floor of a home, but for the studio I don’t think it’s the right product.
    There’s a great conversation about that in the comments here!
    http://www.centsationalgirl.com/2013/07/hardwood-v-lookalike-tile/

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

  12. 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. :)

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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!

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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!!!

  20. 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.

  21. 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

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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 :)

  27. 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

  28. CentsationalGirl says:

    Thank you Beth for sharing your experience and recommending that brand!
    Kate

  29. CentsationalGirl says:

    Your floors look fantastic Stephanie !!

  30. CentsationalGirl says:

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

  31. 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).

  32. 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!

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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…

  36. 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.

  37. 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!

  38. 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!

  39. 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!

  40. 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!

  41. 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.

  42. 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!

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. 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!

  46. 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.

  47. 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!

  48. 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!

  49. 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.

  50. 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.

  51. 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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