Laminate and Vinyl Flooring
Gone are the days when vinyl was seen as the material to stay clear of if you were wanting a cheap flooring that looked expensive. Laminate and vinyl flooring is on the up with many people now choosing it as a flooring to pick if not wanting to invest in real wood. The finish in terms of look, touch and comfort is now so similar to wood that it is truly worth the purchase.
When it comes to deciding between laminate or vinyl they are very similar but there are slight differences. Vinyl comes in LVF finishes now (Luxury Vinyl Flooring) with it looking remarkably like natural wood and stone. Made out of 100% plastic, the base layer, which is usually fibreglass is coated in PVC vinyl and plasticiser. Vinyl is incredibly water resistant, resisting moisture and great for damp areas like basements and bathrooms. Produced in 12 foot wide rolls, there is no need, or very little need, for seams meaning it is even better in resisting water damage.
Laminate is different with 99% being wood product. The core part of laminate planks is fibreboard, a product made from wood bi-products glued together with resin. The surface is a hard-plastic laminate with the print of the wood pattern printed on it. Laminate has a higher resale value than vinyl due to its more natural finish. Some people believe it is more comfortable to walk on and warmer to the touch than vinyl but it is personal preference.
Due to laminate being majorly wood product, it is not completely resistant to water, and now many brands have them coated in hydroseal water repellent. However, it is advised not to use in a constant damp area, just as wood is too. Laminate is very low maintenance but does require some care and attention. It is always a good idea to put pads on the bottom of chairs and furniture to avoid scratching and take off heeled shoes inside.
Under floor heating can be used with both laminate and vinyl. With underfloor heating, stone is always going to be the best material to choose for transferring heat. Most laminates can be used with underfloor but check with your supplier before purchasing.
Vinyl is actually quite good because it can heat up and cool down rather quickly. Vinyl is subjected to a temperature restriction so it not recommended to be placed in spaces with high heat loss or draft areas.
Vinyl and laminate come in many different finishes including natural oak, dark tones, grey tones, reclaimed, patterned – the list is endless and the quality is so good now that it is difficult to know if it is real wood or not. The planks of laminate now produced can be so wide and long that they do look like the real thing. Make sure you are getting your laminate from a company that source sustainably.
Flooring is the foundation to your room, it offsets everything else like the wall colours do similarly. Compliment your furniture and accessories and fit your laminate or vinyl in with the décor and style of the room.
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