Choosing the best type of flooring for your home isn’t always easy. For many, the decision comes down to either laminate or vinyl, because both are affordable, fairly easy to install, and look fashionable and high quality when installed properly. Use this guide to figure which type of flooring you should use.
Problem: Watery Basements, Bathrooms, and Utility Rooms
Solution: Basements and bathrooms often see a lot of traffic, but you rarely see hardwood or another type of luxury flooring in either of them. The reason? These rooms are exposed to a lot of moisture, and moisture ruins almost any type of flooring you could install. While tile is a good option, it can be pricey and extremely difficult to install yourself. Instead, use vinyl tiles, which are much more affordable and available in peel-and-stick varieties. For a basement that floods every spring, choose a roll of sheet vinyl – no seams means that it is 100% waterproof.
Problem: Uncomfortable Living Rooms and Bedrooms
Solution: For rooms that you and your visitors will spend a lot of time in, such as living rooms, family rooms, dining rooms, dens, and bedrooms, laminate is hands-down the best way to go. Its thicker construction and foam underlayment make it warmer and softer than vinyl, and laminate planks mimic the warmth and beauty of real wood much better than vinyl. The addition of a well-chosen area rug is all that is needed to make your laminate-floored living spaces complete.
Problem: High-Traffic Kitchens
Solution: Choosing kitchen flooring can be complicated for a number of reasons. Should you be concerned about the water that could hit the floor from time to time? Or do you want to keep a sense of continuity with the laminate flooring throughout your home? Your kitchen flooring really depends on your situation. If you have spill-prone kids or pets, then vinyl might be your best bet. And if you aren’t afraid to get a little adventurous (and your kitchen is big enough), you could even use vinyl tiles around the sink and dishwasher, and laminate elsewhere.
Problem: Replacing Old Flooring
Solution: When replacing old flooring with new laminate or vinyl flooring, first ask yourself why the floor needs to be replaced. Is your old vinyl kitchen floor ripped and stained? The more durable laminate might be a better option. Has that unstoppable leak ruined your hard wood? Opt for vinyl. Is your floor now too cold? Choose laminate with a quality insulated underlayment and a comfortable area rug on top. Do you simply need a flooring option that is cheap and goes in fast for a garage or shed? Sheet vinyl will probably work just fine.
Problem: Same Old, Same Old
Solution: Laminate and vinyl flooring don’t have to be confined just to the above-mentioned areas. We have seen poured concrete porches covered with vinyl, laminate planking used as batten boards for walls, and even cleverly designed vinyl countertops. You could make a simple sheet vinyl “deck” for your children’s pool, or floor their playroom with comfortable and durable laminate. When paired with the right trim, decorative accents, and creative thinking, either of these inexpensive and easy-to-install flooring options can look like they were chosen by the professionals for your home renovation project.