While laminate has been the best-selling (hard) flooring for many years now, vinyl flooring is a relatively new development in the flooring market. But what exactly sets these two floor types apart?
Vinyl and laminate both belong to what is known as the “decorative” range of floor coverings, which means they are finished to resemble a real parquet or stone surface without actually being made of either of these materials. This makes vinyl-laminate floorings a particularly attractive alternative to real wood or stone floors in terms of their price point. But when it comes to their installation and special properties, there is a huge difference between vinyl and laminate floorings. Let’s take a closer look at the two floors in comparison:
If laminate flooring is one thing, it’s straightforward! It can cope with anything, it’s easy to clean, it doesn’t need any special treatment, and the colour doesn’t fade in direct sunlight. Another advantage is that laminate is a truly ecological flooring, since it is made entirely from natural resources, most notably wood. The core is an HDF board made of compressed wood fibres. The underside features a special backing to stabilise it, and some floors even have an integrated sound-absorbing cushion to prevent noise. On top is the “face” of the laminate flooring, the decor paper featuring authentic wood effects or stone decors or really creative designs. The top layer of the flooring (the walking layer) consists of resistant melamine resin, which makes the laminate incredibly robust, durable and easy to maintain.
The laminate flooring we know today has virtually nothing in common with the laminate that was around in the 1980s in terms of how it looks and its technical properties:
Vinyl flooring is a classic PVC floor covering (with vinyl being an abbreviation of polyvinylchloride). Click vinyl flooring has become extremely popular in recent years, promising incredible durability along with ease of maintenance and water resistance.
It is also sometimes known as “click vinyl laminate” or “vinyl laminate”. However, on account of their varying technical properties and structures, it is important to note the differences between vinyl/PVC floorings and laminate. A common advantage of both options is, of course, their ease of installation thanks to the click system, which allows even non-professionals to fit laminate flooring, vinyl or even parquet themselves.
That said, a common problem to arise is that, a little while after installation, unattractive, open joints may appear on vinyl floors with a thermoplastic core, as the floors may expand anywhere from a little to a lot when exposed to sunlight, and the click connection between the planks may become loose as a result. This problem does not occur, however, in the case of vinyl flooring with a stable base board (Rigid Core), so do be aware of the exact product structure if you decide to go for vinyl flooring. Click here to check out the Rigid Core flooring from MEISTER.
A problem with many vinyl floorings is the high proportion of PVC and other questionable plasticisers, which can be detrimental from both a health and ecological perspective. Whereas people go to great lengths to check for plasticisers in children’s toys, for example, this aspect falls way down the list for many end consumers when it comes to flooring, despite it having a huge impact on the indoor climate and also our healthy living. And who wants a floor covering made of material that is emitting potentially harmful substances?
This is where MEISTER takes centre stage with its exceptional flooring alternative to classic click vinyl. Our MEISTER design flooring options are free from PVC, phthalates and other potentially harmful plasticisers. It’s your choice: the design flooring is available in a whole host of formats (from tiles to short and classic planks), with various product structures and a wide range of base boards (from low installation heights through to extremely strong or flexible floorings) and countless decor options (including contemporary grey concrete or stone finishes and on-trend vintage looks in addition to classic imitation oak). And of course it goes without saying that these flooring options are available with click connections for ease of installation. So instead of tiles, the waterproof design flooring from MEISTER can also be the perfect floor covering for the bathroom. Click here for an overview of all surface finishes for this flooring. There’s a huge range of decors, structures and formats to choose from.
What properties do people associated with laminate flooring? The answer may come as a surprise: Although this flooring can be found in most households, it has long had the image of a cheap parquet imitation. That's a shame, because modern laminate is a real all-rounder made of purely natural materials and fulfils almost all the requirements you would expect from a high-quality flooring.