When it comes alternative options to your classic hardwood flooring, there are quite a few to choose from. Each have their pros and cons, and each are more suitable for different needs: whether its for commercial flooring, hospitality, aged care or industrial sectors. Technological advancements have seen materials like vinyl and laminate come leaps and bound in recent years, and as a flooring option, the two are excellent modern choices. They are, however, a little different, so to help you make the right choice, we’ve put together a handy summary of each.
Vinyl flooring is an extremely resilient flooring type. It has come a long was since the 1970s, when cheap ‘stick n’ peel’ flooring became extremely popular. Vinyl planks are formed using a solid coloured PVC base with an additional composite layer on top which lends a dimensional stability. These days, there are quite a few vinyl options to suit the needs of a variety of space including planks, tiles and sheet vinyl. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of vinyl flooring:
• The heated welding process when laying the flooring stops dirt particles, moisture and other substances getting trapped between the planks. This is particularly beneficial in sectors like hospitality, healthcare and aged care where hygiene and cleaning is paramount.
• Vinyl is incredibly versatile, offering up wide variety of styles, shapes and finishes, with an enormous scope for designers to be creative.
• Vinyl planks can be finished to resemble anything from stone and wood to tiles or ceramics – this means vinyl can be applied almost anywhere.
• Vinyl flooring provides enormous scope for designers to create tough, hard-wearing yet attractive and inspirational work and living spaces.
• Vinyl is waterproof and slip resistant, meaning that it is suitable for use in showers, bathrooms and commercial kitchens.
• It is also heat resistant which is why it is often the resilient flooring of choice for hospitality.
• Vinyl is very easy to install and is cheaper than many other popular flooring options.
Overall, vinyl floors are hard and durable and can handle high volume traffic very well, are easy to maintained and can provide a superior level of hygiene control. They are one of the most popular options for commercial and industrial spaces.
Laminate floors are an excellent substitute for hardwood, or wood-patterned vinyl. Laminate has quite a few advantages over traditional hardwood – the main being the price which can total up to half the cost of hardwood floors.
• Similar to vinyl or engineered hardwood, laminate flooring is made up of multiple layers of material bound together by adhesive. It simulates the look of wood by the addition of a photographic layer that is visible through a transparent protective film made from very hard cellulose resin.
• The protective film is very hard and resistant to scratching and scuffing in a similar way to vinyl. It is waterproof to a degree, but is not suitable for areas that are constantly exposed to water. Spills must be cleaned up quickly.
• Laminate flooring is very easy to clean due to its resistant surface resin. Stains can be easily avoided by wiping up liquids right away.
• Dirt and sand should also be swept up immediately to avoid scratching. Mild scratches can be repaired with a floor repair paste.
• Depending on the quality, laminate floors can last between 10 and 50 years.
Vinyl and laminate flooring are both excellent choices for a variety of applications, however, there are some slight differences. Vinyl is slightly more versatile than laminate, but laminate is a fantastic substitute for hardwood. They are both durable and easy to maintain, easy to install and suitable for high traffic areas. Laminate is a great choice for commercial, aged care and hospitality sectors. Vinyl is perhaps more suited to industrial or high volume hospitality sectors.
If you are in the market for high quality flooring that offers all-round performance and fantastic value for money you’d be wise to take a long hard look at both laminate and vinyl options. If you need advice on finding the right flooring talk to the experts at Aussie Flooring Insights, because we have the experience and knowledge to help you find the ideal floor to suit your unique needs.