The differences between laminate and vinyl flooring: a practical guide for your choice

Valentina Di Roma

You came across laminate and vinyl flooring but you didn’t understand why they were different. In this post I’ll tell you about the differences between laminate and vinyl. Everything you need to know to make the right choice.

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Tell me the truth.

You know that laminate and vinyl flooring are two different things, but you don’t know why.

You see them in all the shops, everyone is using them but you still don’t know which one is right for you. That’s because almost always the choice is made based only on the aesthetic effect and the cost.

Nothing could be more wrong.

These two floors are very different and in today’s post I’ll tell you about all the pros and cons you need to know to make the best choice.


So what’s the real difference between laminate and vinyl?

The difference between the two floors is in the composition of the structure of the two. The laminate consists of 4 layers: counterbalancing paper, wood fibre board and high-density resins, printed paper that reproduces the effect of wood and protective film (overlay). Vinyl on the other hand, consists of a thin sheet of PVC.

differences between laminate and vinylic floors in a classical bedroom with velvet bed
differences between laminate and vinylic floors in a classical bedroom with velvet bed

Another element to take into account when choosing floors for your home are the classes of abrasion’s resistance.

The European standard identifies 6 of them: for laminates from AC1 (moderate domestic use) to AC6 (heavy commercial use). The first three classes are for domestic use and are divided into moderate / medium / heavy use. The same applies to the other classes, which are however dedicated to commercial use.

For vinyl floors the situation is similar but the numbers of the classes change. In the domestic sector, the subdivision is classes of use 21 / 22 / 23. For the commercial sector, classes of use 31 / 32 / 33 and finally for industry: uclasses of use 41 / 42 / 43. Here too, the higher the number, the greater the resistance and the possibility of use in areas with high frequency.

Pay close attention to the information you find in the shop. If you plan to use these floors in areas such as the corridor or if you have animals or children, choose floors with the highest strength classes.


As I told you above, laminate’s structure is a very important component. Most of the structure is composed of wood and this makes it a more senstive material.


  • available in various colors and finishes that faithfully reproduce the most valuable essences (especially in laminates with greater thickness)
  • can be installed on existing floors
  • is compatible with underfloor heating
  • for better soundproofing, it is advisable to insert the soundproofing mat under the slabs.
  • the installation is usually floating: the planks are equipped with fins that allow the interlocking of one element with another, without having to glue anything to the existing floor.
  • is more resistant to scratches than parquet
  • does not change colour over time
  • cleaning and maintenance are easy


  • the thickness: because of its structure you do not go below 7 mm.
  • Although it has the advantage of being able to be laid on existing floors and not perfectly straight, it still requires the filing of doors and windows. Be careful, therefore, if you have glass and aluminium doors.
  • If you choose low quality laminates, the durability and resistance are much lower.
  • It can happen that the laminate makes noise when you step on it, even if you have placed the mattress in between.
  • does not have the natural appearance of wood, being a print that reproduces the material
  • not all laminates are suitable for baths and kitchens: check at the time of purchase for suitability
  • inflexible

Look at these three laminates that I found on Leroy Merlin: from 7 mm of Artens’ Breyten laminate, to 8 mm of Artens’ dove grey laminate to 10 mm of Authentic laminate.

Laminato Breyten di Artens | Lamianto Tortora di Artens | Laminato Authentic
Laminato Breyten di Artens | Lamianto Tortora di Artens | Laminato Authentic
Laminato Breyten di Artens | Lamianto Tortora di Artens | Laminato Authentic


Do you want to change the appearance of the floor but don’t want to modify doors and windows?

Vinyl may be the solution for you. One of the differences between laminate and vinyl is the structure: vinyl is composed of a thin PVC sheet of thickness ranging between 2 and 4 mm (depending on the installation). This allows you to install it quickly, leaving everything else intact.


  • Extremely low thickness that is suitable in homes with glass doors that can not be modified
  • the planks can be cut with a cutter thanks to the reduced thickness
  • it is 100% recyclable
  • by its nature is moisture resistant and waterproof, therefore always suitable for baths and kitchens
  • is extremely flexible
  • the installation can be floated, adhesive or click-on
  • good sound absorption capacity
  • is compatible with underfloor heating


  • has a higher cost than laminate
  • in the case of prints that reproduce the stones, the pattern could always be the same and not very natural
  • in case of replacement of a slab or of the complete floor, the elimination of the glue could be an annoying problem
  • if the substrate is not perfectly straight there may be bubbles in the vinyl

Among my favorites there are of course those with wood effect, such as the vinyl adhesive Ceruse by Artens (2mm) or Softnat always by Artens (2mm).

| Vinilico adesivo Ceruse di Artens 2 mm | Vinilico adesivo Softnat di Artens 2 m
| Vinilico adesivo Ceruse di Artens 2 mm | Vinilico adesivo Softnat di Artens 2 m
| Vinilico adesivo Ceruse di Artens 2 mm | Vinilico adesivo Softnat di Artens 2 m


Now that we have reached the end of the post I hope you have the clearest ideas. Which of the features written above made you think more?

And if you still have doubts and do not know what to choose, contact me and I will be happy to help you!

Valentina Di Roma

Written by

Interior Designer | Architecture & Art lover | Curiosity is my best friend | Always in search of design news |

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