Waterproof Laminate vs. Vinyl: A Guide

August 10, 2023by CMO Flooring

Are you on the fence about whether to choose waterproof laminate or vinyl flooring for your home? Both options have surged in popularity thanks to their water-resistant properties, making them suitable for areas where traditional hardwood might not fare so well. Let’s delve into the intricacies of each to help you make an informed decision.

1. Composition & Construction:

  • Waterproof Laminate: Essentially, laminate flooring is made of layers, with a core typically consisting of high-density fiberboard. What makes it waterproof is a tight locking system and a moisture-resistant protective layer, ensuring that water doesn’t seep through.
  • Vinyl: Vinyl is primarily composed of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin. There are different types of vinyl flooring, such as Luxury Vinyl Planks (LVP) and Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT). Being inherently water-resistant, vinyl is often used in moisture-prone areas.

2. Appearance & Aesthetics:

  • Waterproof Laminate: Modern laminate can closely mimic the appearance of real wood, stone, or even tile. The top layer features a high-definition photographic layer, giving it that authentic look.
  • Vinyl: Vinyl also offers realistic designs, ranging from wood to stone to abstract patterns. The depth of design is particularly prominent in luxury vinyl products.

3. Durability & Maintenance:

  • Waterproof Laminate: While being water-resistant, it’s crucial to avoid letting water sit on laminate for prolonged periods. It’s durable against wear and tear but can be susceptible to scratching.
  • Vinyl: Highly durable, vinyl can withstand heavy foot traffic and is resistant to dents, scratches, and stains. Its water resistance is superior to laminate, making it a favorite for bathrooms and kitchens.

4. Installation & Cost:

  • Waterproof Laminate: Installation is typically more straightforward, often featuring a “click-and-lock” system. It’s suitable for DIY enthusiasts. Cost-wise, waterproof laminate tends to be more affordable than luxury vinyl but can vary based on quality and design.
  • Vinyl: The installation process can differ depending on the type of vinyl. While some can be easily installed, others might need professional installation. Vinyl’s price range is broad, with luxury variants being on the pricier side.

For professional installation visit our website CMO Floors!

5. Comfort & Feel:

  • Waterproof Laminate: Generally offers a firm feel underfoot. It can feel more like real wood compared to vinyl.
  • Vinyl: Softer and warmer underfoot, vinyl provides a comfortable walking experience. It’s also less noisy than laminate.

6. Environmental Impact:

  • Waterproof Laminate: Typically uses more wood-based materials. However, it’s essential to check for certifications ensuring the sustainable sourcing of materials.
  • Vinyl: Being a plastic-based product, it’s not biodegradable. However, many modern vinyl options are made from recycled materials, and some brands focus on eco-friendliness.


Both waterproof laminate and vinyl offer fantastic water-resistant properties, making them suitable for areas where moisture is a concern. Your final decision might hinge on aesthetic preferences, budget, or specific durability needs. Whatever you choose, ensure it aligns with your home’s requirements and your personal style.





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