Vinyl Plank Flooring vs Laminate For Your Bathroom

Bathroom Vinyl Plank Flooring vs Laminate

Flooring Options to Consider for your Next Bathroom Remodel

When looking for new flooring for your bathrooms, you may find yourself wandering the flooring aisle of your local home improvement store, lost in all the options.

Hardwood, tile, luxury vinyl plank, vinyl sheet flooring, and so many other flooring types can be overwhelming. But the two types that are often compared are luxury vinyl planks and wood laminate flooring. They are both lower in cost than traditional hardwood and mimic the look of a real hardwood.

When comparing vinyl plank flooring vs laminate for the bathroom, we look at three different considerations, durability, look and feel, and ease of installation.

Durability of Laminate and Luxury Vinyl

Laminate is made of fiberboard, which is wood pulp that has been glued together into planks. The visible portion of each plank is just a thin layer of printed material, usually in a hardwood print. So, this flooring acts like wood. It is not a great idea to use it in bathrooms. If a plumbing fixture leaks without immediate cleanup, it will warp, and unlike hardwood, will not be fixable. You can’t resurface or sand laminate without losing that decorate laminated layer and ruining it.

Luxury vinyl is another story. Luxury vinyl planks are a relatively new product, but it’s become very popular for use in many different environments. Even commercial spaces can use this flooring without fear of it needing to be replaced in a year. It’s very durable and it doesn’t react to exposure to water. It doesn’t warp or mold and for this reason, it’s an excellent choice for a bathroom.

Look and Feel

Laminate, since it’s made from wood fiber, actually feels more like wood flooring than vinyl. This might not be a good thing, though. Wood is louder, more hollow sounding, and can be annoying in some environments. Also, there are usually more options for styles in laminate, giving you more options that may be more visually appealing to you.

Vinyl is a lot quieter than laminate. The feel resembles a ceramic tile, but most people don’t notice the difference because the luxury vinyl plank looks very convincingly like wood. In a bathroom, however, where people are often barefoot, this should be a consideration.

Ease of Installation

Laminate is pretty easy to install. Like wood, you need a chop saw to cut the pieces to fit and sometimes it needs to be nailed down. You can also glue it down and some products are meant to be “floating” so, no need to glue or nail. But, since laminate is thick and rigid, the subfloor needs to be very level and smooth. If it’s not, the flooring will tilt and crack and eventually look bad.

Vinyl often comes in “click-in” planks which are meant to be installed as a floating floor. You don’t need glue or nails and, even better, it stands up to a little unevenness. However, because it’s flexible, all vinyl will eventually fall into the grooves or uneven areas in the floor, so the subfloor should be pretty smooth. Large cracks or bumps will show after some time.

Our Vote

For bathrooms, luxury vinyl is a much better option. You don’t have to worry about someone overflowing the bathtub or a pipe bursting and ruining your floor, not to mention the mold that comes when water sits on organic materials. For other areas of the home, laminate may be a better fit, but luxury vinyl planks in any print would be your superior choice for the bathroom.



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Starting your next flooring project with Gainey Flooring Solutions is easy, just three steps:

  1. Select your flooring materials | This includes a design consultation to discuss what materials are best for durability and cost, popular plank sizes or colors, and flooring showrooms to visit.
  2. Starting your project | The project starts with the installation quote, the job costs from floor prep to transitions. If the materials were purchased from our preferred flooring showrooms we’ll deliver your materials.
  3. Project complete | We stand behind our work and offer homeowners a full 2 year warranty.

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2017 Wood Flooring Trends to Follow

2017 Wood Flooring Trends to Watch this Year

2017 Wood Flooring TrendsWood floors have been used for hundreds of years in homes all over the world. It’s not uncommon to walk into a 100 year old home and see hardwood floors in good condition. Today, hardwood is still an excellent choice, and there are many more options than ever before.

From hardwood floor stain colors to the most popular flooring in new homes, here are some of the hardwood floor trends for 2017.

Renewable Flooring

Pine and cork are trees that grow relatively quickly, making them more renewable. The wood is softer, but many people don’t mind a more distressed look on the floor. Cork is resistant to fire and very lightweight. Pine is great because it can be cut, stained or painted to achieve pretty much any look.

Popular Hardwood Floor Stain Colors: Gray and Honey

Gray wood floors are extremely trendy right now. This look can be achieved by either using a gray stain or paint. Make sure, if you choose this route, that you like the plank size and type of wood you choose.

When the trend fades you can refinish the floors to meet the next trend. Lighter honey colored stains are also popular, following the midcentury modern style.

Most Popular Flooring in New Homes

While this flooring product is not actually wood, it’s an extremely popular option if you aren’t sold on natural wood. It’s cheaper, easier to install and more durable than hardwood. One drawback to vinyl is that it’s basically printed in the factory on each plank. This means that there will be a pattern repeat. This flooring has to be installed carefully to avoid an annoying visual repeat effect.

Repurposed Wood Floors

This option can be pricey, but it’s more environmentally friendly than new hardwood. Repurposed wood comes from older homes, factories, or even barns. It can also be challenging to install because of warping or splitting. Make sure you hire a good contractor to do this work.

Hand Scraped or Wire Brushed Engineered Wood

Engineered wood flooring offers more flexibility in terms of texture. The hand scraped trend has been around for a long time, but it’s still a very popular option. Engineered wood is less susceptible to warping in a flood and is a little more durable than traditional hardwood. If this flooring is damaged, however, it can’t be refinished.


Looking to start a new wood floor remodel in your home?

Contact Bruce at Gainey Flooring Solutions to get a free in-home consultation. You’ll get expert advice on popular hardwood flooring options, and what it will take to turn your flooring into a trendy masterpiece.

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