"Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
auggiedoggies
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:16 pm

"Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by auggiedoggies » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:24 pm

Hello all,

I posted a question several months ago inquiring about a choice between wood look tile and a vinyl flooring. You folks were very helpful. Hoping to get some more advice here.


We are looking to replace about 1000-1500 sq ft of tile in our Kitchen/Family Room/Living Room. We are currently in our late 20's, with a dog and young child, and hopefully, will have more children. We are planning on staying in our current home for ~15-20 years, so we are not super concerned about resale value right now. We live in a "nicer" suburban neighborhood in a ~3500 sq ft house.

We have decided that since we don't really care about resale value right now, we are going to replace the tile with either laminate or "luxury" vinyl flooring. We want something that offers the look of wood, but is more waterproof/lower maintenance/more durable, and also isn't horrifyingly expensive like a super strong hardwood is. However, we definitely want to go with a really high quality laminate or vinyl. We want it to look as close to real wood as possible.

Are we thinking about this the right way? Is this a reasonable expectation to have (looks a lot like wood, but low maintenance)? Does anyone have any preferences between vinyl or laminate? Any recommendations on brands, places to buy, installation experience?

MoneyBagsRx
Posts: 55
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2011 7:12 am

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by MoneyBagsRx » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:39 pm

I have no experience with the newer vinyls. But I definitely have advice for laminate. I put it in my upstairs and semi-finished basement. Avoid at all costs if you're dealing with pets and children. My dog would have accidents and my kids would spill things. If these messes weren't found immediately and clean up, the laminate boards would warp at the borders and bubble up.

Laminate does not mix with children and pets.

Andyrunner
Posts: 602
Joined: Thu May 03, 2012 9:14 am

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by Andyrunner » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:45 pm

I installed luxury vinyl in my basement a few months ago. Love it. Unlike laminate, it is 100% waterproof, the recommendation for cleaning it is with a mop. From the research that I did, LV is pretty much going to be putting the laminate market out of business over the next decade. The one thing to look into is understanding the thickness which determines how likely it is to scratch. The stuff I got was from menards and it was 20mm wear layer, which is thicker than most LV.

https://www.menards.com/main/flooring-r ... 299&ipos=1

Best part is, you can 100% do it yourself. All you need is $20 worth of tools and about 8 hours for a 200sqft room.
Last edited by Andyrunner on Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Yankuba
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:45 am

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by Yankuba » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:45 pm

The people I bought from had tile in their kitchen but they tore it out and replaced it with luxury vinyl from Lumber Liquidator. The floor lasted less than one year before numerous cracks reared up. The floor below the vinyl must be extremely level and the floor under my vinyl was not. So we hired someone to tear out all the kitchen flooring down to the original subfloor and install tile.

Luxury vinyl is red hot but based on my experience I wouldn't get it. My parents and inlaws love laminate. I prefer tile and wood.

S&L1940
Posts: 1535
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:19 pm
Location: South Florida

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by S&L1940 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:57 pm

"We are looking to replace about 1000-1500 sq ft of tile in our Kitchen/Family Room/Living Room. We are currently in our late 20's, with a dog and young child, and hopefully, will have more children. We are planning on staying in our current home for ~15-20 years, so we are not super concerned about resale value right now. We live in a "nicer" suburban neighborhood in a ~3500 sq ft house."
MoneyBagsRx wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:39 pm
I have no experience with the newer vinyls. But I definitely have advice for laminate. I put it in my upstairs and semi-finished basement. Avoid at all costs if you're dealing with pets and children. My dog would have accidents and my kids would spill things. If these messes weren't found immediately and clean up, the laminate boards would warp at the borders and bubble up.
Laminate does not mix with children and pets.
We currently have laminate in two bedrooms. not happy with the scuffing that happens when something needs to be moved. Thought we had quality stuff, there are wear and tear signs after 2 years, even without moving furniture. Maybe commercial grade would make a difference?
Had a town house where the entire first level - kitchen, dining and living rooms - were wood. Stood up fairly well and needed a sand and refinish after about 5 years. And you can probably tell the difference between wood and laminate no matter how good the laminate is.
Lots of luck with your 15-20 plans. Things change - usually and hopefully for the better - and you may want to figure what ifs for a 5-10 year move when resale value could be an issue. Good luck
Don't it always seem to go * That you don't know what you've got * Till it's gone

littlebird
Posts: 1259
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 6:05 pm
Location: Valley of the Sun, AZ

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by littlebird » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:01 pm

If you have the mindset to avoid the current trend toward "up-scaling" to high maintenance home furnishing, I would go with high quality vinyl. A home that I visit has it (to accommodate elders, rather than little ones) and it's beautiful. Everyone who walks in for the first time comments on it, and most are unaware that it isn't wood until they have reason to look very closely, and close examination can be discouraged by a large area rug in seating areas.

It is especially striking where large areas can be seen all at once, as it has a nice glow, but doesn't look like it was just polished.

I had laminate in my rental unit, and although it looked very nice, I never felt comfortable walking on its surface (it looked slippery to me), nor was cleaning easy and I always feared a leak or serious spill in the kitchen. Good luck with "bucking the trend".

smackboy1
Posts: 913
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:41 pm

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by smackboy1 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:07 pm

We remodeled our house a year ago. We used Shaw Floorte top of the line vinyl throughout. https://shawfloors.com/inspiration/spec ... loorte-pro We did not use laminate at all because unlike vinyl it is susceptible to water damage.

We replaced the oak floor in the kitchen with grouted stone tile look LVT. The orginal wood floor was worn and damaged in the wet high traffic areas. It could have been refinished but we opted for LVT because it's waterproof and very tough. It looks like tile, but it feels like vinyl underfoot. Warm underfoot in winter. Guests and other casual observers do not notice it's not tile. Under careful examination on your hands and knees, it doesn't look and feel like real tile does. It's a little glossy and the temperature and hardness is a giveaway. If I drop a pot on it, it won't crack. If a tile is damaged, it can be cut out and replaced. We're very happy with LVT in the kitchen.

In the foyer, living room and dining room we extended the existing oak floor and refinished it all. The 20 year old floor looks brand new after it was sanded and refinished. The foyer floor had a lot of wear but we decided that we prefer the wood look and feel over the alternatives. It's possible we may have to refinish the floor again in 10 years, but that's acceptable to us. One of the advantages of real wood, is that it can be refinished.

We replaced the tile in all the bathrooms with reclaimed wood look LVP. We liked the look and the warm feel underfoot. It's click locked together so even though the vinyl cannot be damage by water, if water is left standing in a puddle for hours, it's possible for it to get through. In practice we've never had water go between the planks. But it has gone under the baseboard and threshold where it's not sealed when a bathroom flooded. I've subsequently sealed around all the edges of the bathrooms. It look like real wood and even has surface texture like real wood. Nobody notices it's not real wood unless they get on their hands and knees. We're very happy with LVP in the bathrooms.

We got LVT/LVP because we walk around barefoot and hate the cold tile in winter. Also, we are not particularly careful about wiping up water in the kitchen or bathroom. High grade luxury vinyl looks 99% like the real thing, but without all the disadvantages. Make sure you ask for samples of the highest grade. The lower grade vinyl can look and feel very fake.
Disclaimer: nothing written here should be taken as legal advice, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

GW208
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2016 11:53 pm

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by GW208 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:40 pm

We've had the Karndean Art Select line of glue down LVP in the kitchen, dining room and bed room for about 3 years now and it still looks like new. We had carpet installed in the living room at the same time and it already looks worn, we will be replacing it with LVP next year. I was worried that the vinyl would feel cold underfoot but it hasn't been an issue for us.
The only thing with the vinyl is that the floor does have to be very level and clean as any little imperfection can telegraph thru. Our installer put down some type of green tinted 1/4 inch plywood over the sub floor to get a good flat surface before installing the planks.

http://www.karndean.com/en/floors

Markov
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:16 am

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by Markov » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:59 pm

When we remodeled our kitchen, I researched flooring options and Consumer Reports gave Luxury Vinyl a top score. At the time, I never heard of the stuff, don't think our contractor did either.

However, 6 years later, with 2 big dogs, kids, plus high volume use of our kitchen, the floor still looks great. It's soft on the feet and the occasional dropped glass does not shatter.

We went with Armstrong and used grout when installing. http://www.armstrong.com/flooring/products/luxury-vinyl

sport
Posts: 6081
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:26 pm
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by sport » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:01 pm

We put LVT in a new kitchen 11 years ago. It looks like tile, but is warmer underfoot and will not break. Only a damp mop is needed for care. It still looks like new. It is also available in planks as well as tiles. This is the product currently available. It is called Permastone. http://www.tarkettna.com/en-us/lvt/lvtp ... stone.aspx

Ruger
Posts: 150
Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2017 9:44 pm

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by Ruger » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:34 pm

I just had to tear out my laminate kitchen floor because the waterline to the refridgerator ice maker leaked and warped it.
When I replace it it's going to be with luxury vinyl.

Dottie57
Posts: 2266
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:43 pm

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:08 pm

sport wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:01 pm
We put LVT in a new kitchen 11 years ago. It looks like tile, but is warmer underfoot and will not break. Only a damp mop is needed for care. It still looks like new. It is also available in planks as well as tiles. This is the product currently available. It is called Permastone. http://www.tarkettna.com/en-us/lvt/lvtp ... stone.aspx
How much does it look like real wood?

User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 2407
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: Hawaii😀 Northern AZ.😳

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by Sandtrap » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:09 pm

Pets. Children. Spills. Etc.

Consider stone, ceramic, solid surfacing, etc.

sport
Posts: 6081
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:26 pm
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by sport » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:10 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:08 pm
sport wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:01 pm
We put LVT in a new kitchen 11 years ago. It looks like tile, but is warmer underfoot and will not break. Only a damp mop is needed for care. It still looks like new. It is also available in planks as well as tiles. This is the product currently available. It is called Permastone. http://www.tarkettna.com/en-us/lvt/lvtp ... stone.aspx
How much does it look like real wood?
The pattern we chose looks like ceramic tile. If you want to see what it looks like, I suggest going to a store that sells it and look at the samples.

User avatar
knpstr
Posts: 1808
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2014 8:57 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by knpstr » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:16 pm

LVP is the way to go. It will show an uneven floor more than laminate as laminate is "stiffer" and vinyl is "floppy", but vinyl is much more resilient.
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. -Marcus Aurelius

stlutz
Posts: 4018
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:08 am

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by stlutz » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:20 pm

Quick Step now has waterproof laminate flooring:

https://www.quick-step.co.uk/en-gb/camp ... f-laminate

I haven't used this particular product myself but do have QS non-waterproof floors in the main living areas of my home and have been very happy with the appearance and durability.

With both types of flooring, you do get what you pay for. Cheap laminate and vinyl will look... cheap.

mortfree
Posts: 583
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:06 pm

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by mortfree » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:25 pm

GW208 wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:40 pm
We've had the Karndean Art Select line of glue down LVP in the kitchen, dining room and bed room for about 3 years now and it still looks like new. We had carpet installed in the living room at the same time and it already looks worn, we will be replacing it with LVP next year. I was worried that the vinyl would feel cold underfoot but it hasn't been an issue for us.
The only thing with the vinyl is that the floor does have to be very level and clean as any little imperfection can telegraph thru. Our installer put down some type of green tinted 1/4 inch plywood over the sub floor to get a good flat surface before installing the planks.

http://www.karndean.com/en/floors
+1 on Karndean

It's held up to my Great Dane - enough said.

iamlucky13
Posts: 674
Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:28 pm

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by iamlucky13 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:50 pm

I see it as a matter of choosing between prioritizing appearance and feel (laminate) vs. water resistance and resilience (vinyl).

Do not make your final pattern choice until you've seen actual sample pieces. At best, colors will look different on your monitor or in print than in real life. At worst, even a good photo doesn't capture the effect of lighting or how it works with other colors and patterns in your home. Also some patterns look artificial, in my opinion, which is hard to spot in images. We actually bought an entire case of the pattern we thought we wanted, and realized it clashed with the rooms in question in a way we hadn't noticed from little sample piece. We were happy we spent the $40 on that precaution. Even better, Lowes took the return at full price anyways, even though it was a special order pattern that I later saw on the clearance shelf for some ridiculous discount like 75%.

Like others, I would not install laminate in any place at risk of significant water exposure. There are some rated to be used in bathrooms and kitchens, and many others have special instructions allowing their use there with precautions, but I just can't bring myself to trust them. In other rooms though, clean up spills in a reasonable time frame just like you would with hardwood, and you should be fine.

Both have very strict requirements for floor flatness. If it's being done by a contractor, they will almost certainly be aware of that and prepared to fix problem floors (but not for free) via sanding or grinding, adding self-leveling cement, or layering shingles or some other material to build up low spots.

From my own research, exceeding the flatness spec doesn't automatically mean problems, but it can lead to popping noises as you walk on the floor, separation of the flooring at the seams, or bulging of the laminate where the deformation puts them in compression. Those problems can further lead to damage due to the exposed edges.

Heavy furniture should ideally have felt pads put on the feet, and rolling office chairs ideal should be placed on mat unless you're going to keep the floors consistently very clean. Beyond that, from what I've seen, both hold up to wear and tear extremely well. I've played with scraps from my own laminate install (Costco "Harmonics" brand by Mohawk) to see what it takes to damage them, and even scratching them with a screw leaves a surprisingly minimal mark.

Some friends have had mid-grade laminate for 5-6 years with 3 kids playing on it constantly. I asked about it at one point. The dad pointed out a couple dents where the oldest boy had been caught launching a heavy toy off the couch repeatedly. I couldn't see the dents, although I didn't bother getting down on my hands and knees.

Our two year old is giving our laminate floor a thorough test effort, but it's not old enough to comment meaningfully on our own experience.

Of the numerous other people I know with laminate floors, I can only think of two problem cases off hand:
1) Leaking icemaker in a kitchen that had laminate
2) Cheapest laminate available installed in a farm office heavily trafficked with muddy boots. Even from this terrible environment, they got a couple years use out of it before wearing through the protective layer, and then the pattern.

User avatar
lthenderson
Posts: 2407
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by lthenderson » Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:38 pm

auggiedoggies wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:24 pm
We want something that offers the look of wood, but is more waterproof/lower maintenance/more durable, and also isn't horrifyingly expensive like a super strong hardwood is.
Horrifyingly expensive? We just priced out solid strand bamboo and is was exactly the same price as luxury vinyl planking per square foot. When you considered installation costs, it was $500 cheaper on a 1500 sq ft install. Solid strand bamboo is the third hardest on the Janka scale so it extremely durable compared to vinyl planking. (See comments above about scuffing, denting, etc which has also been my experience.) Waterproof? Are you flooring a swimming pool or regularly leave pools of water on your floor? I've seen hardwood floors over 100 years old in great shape that have seen plenty of water splashed on them over they years. The key is to wipe it up with a towel or mop when it happens.

stan1
Posts: 4979
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by stan1 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:03 pm

I think part of this is a personal preference. LVT was pushed unnaturally hard at several of the local flooring stores we visited so I'll assume that means more profit for store owners and higher commissions for salespeople. Cost per square foot installed for LVT is not cheap because of the cost of the materials (including glue) and the prep work required.

emoore
Posts: 337
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:16 pm

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by emoore » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:33 pm

I have LVT in my living and dining room and love it. Considering putting it in the rest of the house. Works great with dogs and kids and is waterproof. Didn't want Laminate because of water and didn't want to worry about the maintenance with wood.

shanefairman
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2015 8:21 pm

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by shanefairman » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:55 pm

Personally my preference would be Luxury Vinyl Plank. I have several rooms that we used Allure Ultra from home depot. It's waterproof and the price has come down by about 25% in my area over the last couple years.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/TrafficMASTE ... /202352552

Allure has many different product lines. The most cost effective is their glue together planks but they are only water resistant. The next step up is the thicker interlocking vinyl planks that are water proof. The final step up in that product line is the Allure Ultra. It's snap together like the mid level planks but features a 20 mil wear layer. The water proof flooring with a thick wear layer is the way to go. Examine a cross section of LVP with and without a 20 mil wear layer and it becomes quite clear that the wear layer will keep the floor looking good for many more years. It's a better long term value.

On the other hand I recently removed laminate flooring from a kitchen. It was in when I purchased the house and endured over a decade of abuse. It had excessive water spilled on it and lots of salt and snow tracked in from Michigan winters. It held up well and was still decent when I removed it. The installers had used wood glue in the groves when it was put in service. That helped it survive years of collage roommates and abuse. I have also read of others using a stable oil to coat the wood on the edges of laminate flooring during installation to prevent water damage.
“You must not only think for yourself, you must plan for yourself, and you must plan ahead, and you must live up to these plans. You must know exactly what you want to do.” -George Carlin, Boston Rant

TimDex
Posts: 908
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 5:27 pm

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by TimDex » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:33 pm

I watch a lot of home shows on hgtv as entertainment and I never fail to be stunned at how demanding people are now about home furnishings. I date myself of course but I remember when installing armstrong's solarian sheet vinyl was high class stuff. So I've gone to a local furniture store as well as lowes and simply put regular vinyl in our house. As I intend to leave it when I'm carried out in a box I don't care about resale. The convenience has been great. Holds up, no water problems ever. Much cheaper. Tim
"All man's miseries derive from not being able to sit quietly in a room alone. " -- Pascal

jbuzolich
Posts: 236
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:52 pm

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by jbuzolich » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:47 pm

I think it's really just personal preference. I've seen all these products in a range of prices for each of the categories. There is real hardwood out there for less money than expensive laminate and vinyl plank, and vice versa. For me I definitely want a certain look or color pattern but more of it comes down to feel. I typically can easily tell what I'm walking on and expect a certain feel and sound. This is even more the case when I'm barefoot, which is almost any time that I am home. For me, the choice is solid hardwood, tile, or engineered hardwood. I have seen vinyl and laminate that look great installed but they feel terrible and cheap to me no matter the price paid.

auggiedoggies
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:16 pm

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by auggiedoggies » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:02 am

Sandtrap wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:09 pm
Pets. Children. Spills. Etc.

Consider stone, ceramic, solid surfacing, etc.
I've heard people say this, but my personal experience is that we currently have tile, and it's cracked. Is this not common?

auggiedoggies
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:16 pm

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by auggiedoggies » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:07 am

lthenderson wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:38 pm
auggiedoggies wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:24 pm
We want something that offers the look of wood, but is more waterproof/lower maintenance/more durable, and also isn't horrifyingly expensive like a super strong hardwood is.
Horrifyingly expensive? We just priced out solid strand bamboo and is was exactly the same price as luxury vinyl planking per square foot. When you considered installation costs, it was $500 cheaper on a 1500 sq ft install. Solid strand bamboo is the third hardest on the Janka scale so it extremely durable compared to vinyl planking. (See comments above about scuffing, denting, etc which has also been my experience.) Waterproof? Are you flooring a swimming pool or regularly leave pools of water on your floor? I've seen hardwood floors over 100 years old in great shape that have seen plenty of water splashed on them over they years. The key is to wipe it up with a towel or mop when it happens.
We had considered bamboo as well.....that might have to be added to the list.

We aren't going to go with a hardwood, we just aren't interested in the worry/hassle, plus we don't want the expense right now.

auggiedoggies
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:16 pm

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by auggiedoggies » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:23 am

lthenderson wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:38 pm
auggiedoggies wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:24 pm
We want something that offers the look of wood, but is more waterproof/lower maintenance/more durable, and also isn't horrifyingly expensive like a super strong hardwood is.
Horrifyingly expensive? We just priced out solid strand bamboo and is was exactly the same price as luxury vinyl planking per square foot. When you considered installation costs, it was $500 cheaper on a 1500 sq ft install. Solid strand bamboo is the third hardest on the Janka scale so it extremely durable compared to vinyl planking. (See comments above about scuffing, denting, etc which has also been my experience.) Waterproof? Are you flooring a swimming pool or regularly leave pools of water on your floor? I've seen hardwood floors over 100 years old in great shape that have seen plenty of water splashed on them over they years. The key is to wipe it up with a towel or mop when it happens.

Any concerns about all the maintenance requirements?

https://www.calibamboo.com/cleaning-bam ... intenance/

User avatar
lthenderson
Posts: 2407
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by lthenderson » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:41 am

auggiedoggies wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:23 am
lthenderson wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:38 pm
auggiedoggies wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:24 pm
We want something that offers the look of wood, but is more waterproof/lower maintenance/more durable, and also isn't horrifyingly expensive like a super strong hardwood is.
Horrifyingly expensive? We just priced out solid strand bamboo and is was exactly the same price as luxury vinyl planking per square foot. When you considered installation costs, it was $500 cheaper on a 1500 sq ft install. Solid strand bamboo is the third hardest on the Janka scale so it extremely durable compared to vinyl planking. (See comments above about scuffing, denting, etc which has also been my experience.) Waterproof? Are you flooring a swimming pool or regularly leave pools of water on your floor? I've seen hardwood floors over 100 years old in great shape that have seen plenty of water splashed on them over they years. The key is to wipe it up with a towel or mop when it happens.

Any concerns about all the maintenance requirements?

https://www.calibamboo.com/cleaning-bam ... intenance/
To me, those seem like standard rules I would apply to with any type of flooring. My current house doesn't have hardwood flooring which is why we are pricing it out right now but I've lived on hardwood floors my entire life. If something spills, we clean it up. The only furniture we put felt pads on were dining room chairs which regularly move with weight on them which I would want to do on LVT as well. We had house dogs growing up and never clipped their nails. Yes they can and do scratch the floors from time to time but LVT would be the same (I say worse) as hardwood. Is it noticeable in the right light conditions, i.e. reflective, yes but is it noticeable 95% of the time, no. Fading is going to happen to any type of flooring in direct sunlight. Usually happens over decades and not real noticeable until you go to move everything out and then it becomes more noticeable.

The only maintenance I do for hardwood floors is to periodically sweep and maybe refinish or restain to suit changing tastes once every 25 or 30 years. I would be highly surprised if LVT lasts that long and it really can't be refinished other than apply chemicals to restore luster. I've repaired lots of houses and patched in new pieces of hardwood where walls once stood and restained the floor so you would never notice. Some of these floors are 100 years old. I'm guessing if one ever had to do that in a house with LVT, you would never be able to match it and would just end up replacing the entire floor unless the prior owners save some original pieces and passed them along for 100 years.

Yankuba
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:45 am

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by Yankuba » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:45 am

jbuzolich wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:47 pm
I think it's really just personal preference. I've seen all these products in a range of prices for each of the categories. There is real hardwood out there for less money than expensive laminate and vinyl plank, and vice versa. For me I definitely want a certain look or color pattern but more of it comes down to feel. I typically can easily tell what I'm walking on and expect a certain feel and sound. This is even more the case when I'm barefoot, which is almost any time that I am home. For me, the choice is solid hardwood, tile, or engineered hardwood. I have seen vinyl and laminate that look great installed but they feel terrible and cheap to me no matter the price paid.
My wife said the same thing about our vinyl - she hated the feel when walking on it

mervinj7
Posts: 370
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:10 pm

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by mervinj7 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:13 pm

Any advice for rental properties? What flooring options are resilient and relatively maintenance free?

shanefairman
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2015 8:21 pm

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by shanefairman » Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:04 pm

mervinj7 wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:13 pm
Any advice for rental properties? What flooring options are resilient and relatively maintenance free?
On Bigger Pockets luxury vinyl plank and tile are well regarded. Especially products that are water proof and feature a thick wear layer.

Really any solid surface is well regarded in rentals. If you are in a warmer climate a good porcelain tile is hard to beat. Use an epoxy based grout to keep the cleaning easy. Make sure you pay attention to the tiles wet and dry coefficient of friction ratings (COF). If your floor has some deflection you may be able to use a decoupling membrane like Schluter Ditra to prevent cracking. If it still has too much deflection you are far better off with a floating floor.

Landlords usually avoid carpet like the plague. It's not durable and it's time consuming or expensive to clean. If you find yourself in a colder climate or really want carpet in your rental consider the islands of carpet concept. Use a solid surface in the common spaces of the house including hallways. then in the bedrooms you can have isolated islands of carpet. If you need to replace the carpet in one bedroom you don't have to worry about it not matching the carpet adjacent in the hall way or other room.

I highly recommend checking out biggerpockets.com for any rental questions. It's a great community.
“You must not only think for yourself, you must plan for yourself, and you must plan ahead, and you must live up to these plans. You must know exactly what you want to do.” -George Carlin, Boston Rant

edge
Posts: 3222
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 7:44 pm
Location: Great Falls VA

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by edge » Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:42 pm

Get wood.
auggiedoggies wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:24 pm
Hello all,

I posted a question several months ago inquiring about a choice between wood look tile and a vinyl flooring. You folks were very helpful. Hoping to get some more advice here.


We are looking to replace about 1000-1500 sq ft of tile in our Kitchen/Family Room/Living Room. We are currently in our late 20's, with a dog and young child, and hopefully, will have more children. We are planning on staying in our current home for ~15-20 years, so we are not super concerned about resale value right now. We live in a "nicer" suburban neighborhood in a ~3500 sq ft house.

We have decided that since we don't really care about resale value right now, we are going to replace the tile with either laminate or "luxury" vinyl flooring. We want something that offers the look of wood, but is more waterproof/lower maintenance/more durable, and also isn't horrifyingly expensive like a super strong hardwood is. However, we definitely want to go with a really high quality laminate or vinyl. We want it to look as close to real wood as possible.

Are we thinking about this the right way? Is this a reasonable expectation to have (looks a lot like wood, but low maintenance)? Does anyone have any preferences between vinyl or laminate? Any recommendations on brands, places to buy, installation experience?

mervinj7
Posts: 370
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:10 pm

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by mervinj7 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:42 am

shanefairman wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:04 pm
mervinj7 wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:13 pm
Any advice for rental properties? What flooring options are resilient and relatively maintenance free?
On Bigger Pockets luxury vinyl plank and tile are well regarded. Especially products that are water proof and feature a thick wear layer.

Really any solid surface is well regarded in rentals. If you are in a warmer climate a good porcelain tile is hard to beat. Use an epoxy based grout to keep the cleaning easy. Make sure you pay attention to the tiles wet and dry coefficient of friction ratings (COF). If your floor has some deflection you may be able to use a decoupling membrane like Schluter Ditra to prevent cracking. If it still has too much deflection you are far better off with a floating floor.

Landlords usually avoid carpet like the plague. It's not durable and it's time consuming or expensive to clean. If you find yourself in a colder climate or really want carpet in your rental consider the islands of carpet concept. Use a solid surface in the common spaces of the house including hallways. then in the bedrooms you can have isolated islands of carpet. If you need to replace the carpet in one bedroom you don't have to worry about it not matching the carpet adjacent in the hall way or other room.

I highly recommend checking out biggerpockets.com for any rental questions. It's a great community.
Great advice, Shane! The unit came with carpet but we will likely remove it during the next turnover.

noco-hawkeye
Posts: 226
Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2014 8:20 am

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by noco-hawkeye » Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:52 am

We had laminate floors twice, in two different houses. We also have kids and two dogs.

The laminate floor works great if your current subfloor fairly rigid and you don't have too large of a single room to setup. If you are looking at 1000 sq ft of one single laminate layout, this can be problematic as some laminates want smaller rooms.

We did not have problems with maintenance at all. In fact, the laminate holds up much better than our current maple floors. We are seeing scratches from the dogs feet, even though we trim the nails once a week. It's not the end of the world, but the laminate floor took wear and tear like a champ. If you are leaving puddles on your floors, then this might be a problem with laminate.... but we had spills and just wiped them up - no problem whatsoever.

The thing that drove me crazy was that we had a larger area with laminate with longer runs, and our subfloor / beam layout allowed some flex in the floor. The floor having some degree of bounce drove me crazy.

maroon
Posts: 273
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2009 11:59 pm

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by maroon » Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:15 am

This isn't what you're asking about, but I installed wood-look tile and think it's fabulous. It looks great and feels great (cool).

3spots
Posts: 84
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:54 pm

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Post by 3spots » Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:27 pm

My kitchen has engineered hardwood. I needed to replace the carpeting in the rest of the house and opted for laminate. I got high end stuff, with the best under-layment.

Bottom line: I don't like laminate. I can tell the difference in sound as i walk with heels. I can tell the difference in shine/patina. I can tell the difference in feel when I walk barefoot.

When I decide if I am staying here long term, and/or the market does well, I will rip out all flooring and replace with engineered hardwood. Even in bathrooms. My kitchen has had it for 18 years and no water issues.

LVP looks nice in the stores, but after my laminate failure, I'm afraid to try.

3spots

Post Reply