Luxury Vinyl or Laminate Flooring?

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LVT & Laminate – What’s the difference?

When looking to replace flooring in your workplace or home, we tend to look for the most durable and easy-to-install option. This is where it can become confusing, as laminate and vinyl flooring offer very similar benefits, can cost about the same and are both relatively quick and easy to install.

Both vinyl and laminate flooring can offer a realistic wooden effect, come in a range of colours and patterns and thicknesses. So which should you choose? Does it depend on the application and environment? POS Contract Flooring break down the features and benefits of both types to help you make an informed decision when it comes to your refurb project.

Laminate Flooring – Layer by Layer

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Both laminate and vinyl flooring are multi-layered, however, how they are both made is vastly different. Made from wood byproducts and bonded with resins, laminate flooring is comprised of four layers:

Wear LayerClear aluminium oxide layer to protect the floor against wear and tear
Print LayerPattern or colour added to the top visible layer
Core LayerThe main section of the floor, comprising of compressed wood fibres
Under layerSoft layer to adapt to uneven floors for an even surface (optional)

More and more types of laminate flooring come with a built-in underlayer, which makes it easier to install and helps avoid the need to install an underlayer across the whole floor. The core and print layers are protected by a clear plastic wear layer, bringing the overall thickness of laminate flooring planks from 6mm up to 12 mm.

Laminate Flooring – How Does it Look?

If aesthetics are a priority and you’re looking for flooring that most resembles the real thing, laminate is the choice for you. With the ability to deeply emboss the printed surface, a more accurate depiction of stone, wood and other materials is achieved compared to vinyl flooring.

Laminate Flooring – Is it Hard-Wearing?

The main downside of laminate flooring is that although it’s suitable for most areas, the wooden fibres make it susceptible to water damage. When installed in an area such as a bathroom or kitchen, swelling can occur when water is spilled and left to soak through the joints in the floor.

The same goes for heat resistance, as laminate can burn easily if something hot or a hot substance is dropped onto it. Over time, heat and water damage can cause laminate flooring to swell and warp which makes it unsuitable for areas where it would be exposed to either.

Laminate Flooring – How Much Does it Cost?

As with any type of flooring, you will need to consider the cost of the materials and labour to give you an idea of the true price. The size and shape of your room should also be considered, as well as the thickness and quality of the laminate you choose.

Here is a list of average prices (with separate underlay) as of August 2022, according to

ItemUnitRange – LowRange – HighAverage Cost
Laminate flooring (materials only)Per m²£15£80£47.50
Fitting costPer m²£15£25£20
Fitting costPer day£240£300£270
Fitting costPer room£270£450£360
UnderlayPer m²£5£10£7.50

Laminate Flooring – Is it Easy to Clean?

Due to the lack of water resistance, laminate flooring is best cleaned using a dry or damp mop with a purpose-made cleaning solution.

Vinyl Flooring – Layer by Layer

Vinyl flooring fitting POS Contract Flooring

Unlike laminate, vinyl flooring is entirely synthetic and can come in sheet, tile and plank forms. With tiles and sheets, underlay must be fitted whereas planks often come with an underlay as an option.

Typically, vinyl flooring consists of six layers:

UV CoatingAn acrylic coating to protect the surface from sun/UV light damage
Wear LayerProtects against scratches and general wear and tear
Print or Image LayerVisible pattern or colour
PVC LayerFor overall strength and support
Core LayerThe main PVC section of the floor
Built-in UnderlayerHelps with uneven subfloor (optional)

Vinyl sheets, planks and tiles are printed and embossed, multiple layers are applied for wearability, and finally given a top layer of wax-free polyurethane.

Luxury vinyl flooring, planks or tiles interlock to form a floating floor, with the overall thickness ranging from 1.5mm for sheet to 5mm for luxury tiles and planks.

Check out our guide to choosing the right type of flooring for you

Luxury Vinyl Flooring – How Does it Look?

Whilst luxury vinyl flooring may not look as ‘real’ as laminate does, there are a great number of bright, vibrant options in a range of patterns and styles. A lot of companies even offer the ability to print your own design – at a cost.

However, if you prefer the option of vinyl and still want that realistic wood or stone effect, thicker solid core vinyl is your best choice.

Luxury Vinyl Flooring – Is it Hard-Wearing?

The great thing about modern vinyl flooring is the fact it can be completely immersed in water for long periods of time. Once vinyl sheets, tiles or planks have been dried out they will return to their original shape and can be reused over and over again.

Whilst vinyl flooring can still be burned by hot items, unlike laminate flooring it won’t warp or expand unless exposed to extreme heat.

Luxury Vinyl Flooring – How Much Does it Cost?

Prices between laminate and luxury vinyl flooring are quite similar, however, it depends on what kind of print/pattern you are looking for.

Here is a list of average prices (with separate underlay) as of August 2022, according to

ItemUnitRange – LowRange – HighAverage Cost
Fitting costPer m²£10£60£45
Price of flooring (lower quality)Per m²£15£25£20
Luxury vinyl prices (medium quality)Per m²£25£40£35
Luxury vinyl prices (high quality) Per m²£40£60£50
UnderlayPer m²£3£8£7

Luxury Vinyl Flooring – Is it Easy to Clean?

The short answer is yes. Due to its extreme water resistance thanks to the PVC material, vinyl flooring is very easy to clean with any type of cleaning solution or tools.

Multi-Level Loop Pile Carpet Tiles Example POS Contract Flooring

So, what’s the Verdict?

The top and bottom of it is – vinyl flooring will always outperform laminate flooring when it comes to water and heat resistance, durability and maintenance.

Laminate flooring is mainly an aesthetic choice as the benefits and costs do not outweigh the positives of luxury vinyl flooring.

Browse Luxury Vinyl Tile Flooring from POS Contract Flooring today.