A lot of customers get laminate flooring and vinyl mixed up. There is a big difference, so please read on to discover.
To add to the confusion, many customer mistakenly call laminate Pergo.
What is Pergo? Pergo is just a brand of laminate; in fact, there are many brands of laminate, but some people mistakenly call it Pergo (just like they use Kleenex for tissues). There are many brands including Pergo, Shaw and Armstrong.
So, what is laminate? Well laminate is made to look real, but it’s actually fake. It’s a multilayered hard surface product made with remanufactured hardwood. On top, is a clear melamine wear layer with aluminum oxide which gives it’s scratch protection – making it resistant to dogs, kids, high heels, chairs, you name it. Underneath that is the photograph of the wood (or tile) and beneath that is the core board – make sure you get a high density core board.
Most laminates look like hardwood (but some look like tile), but they are usually easier to maintain since they are more resistant to scratching. So, if you are worried about young kids or pets and the wear and tear of your floor (e.g. heavy traffic areas such as a kitchen), laminate might be a great option for you.
Laminates re-use the wood shavings that the manufacturers have left over from the wood they produce. So, it is a semi green product since it greatly reduces waste. Unlike vinyl, laminates (which are made from wood shavings) are not waterproof.
Laminate tends to be less expensive than hardwood – the material is less and the installation is easier. In addition, pending the condition of your floors, it’s often possible to put laminate on top of an existing floor rather than ripping it up, so there are some savings there as well.
There are many kinds of flooring options available today and one of the most viable and cost effective among them is vinyl flooring. Vinyl flooring (commonly miscalled linoleum) is stain and water resistant, making it an ideal choice for bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, entryways and more.
Broadly speaking, there are three main kinds of vinyl flooring – 1) sheet flooring, 2) VCT (Vinyl composite tile) and, 3) luxury tile/plank flooring. Sheet vinyl flooring comes in sheets usually 12 feet wide (as seen above); while VCT flooring uses square 12” tiles (the type you might see in a school, supermarket or commercial food establishment) and luxury vinyl (see below) comes in planks that look like wood or tile w/ strips that look like grout lines.
While sheet flooring is more water resistant than tile flooring, it is the tile flooring which can lend give a room the feel of ceramic tile flooring. So for those of you, for whom styling is a priority over durability, always go for tile vinyl flooring. If you have any questions, though, be sure to contact Floor Coverings International in Westchester/Fairfield.
But before you go in for vinyl flooring, you must understand some basic characteristics of vinyl. Let us look at the positives of using vinyl flooring first. The biggest advantage of vinyl flooring is the cost factor. Vinyl is one of the most affordable flooring options available without compromising quality. Also, vinyl flooring can tolerate heavy traffic which makes it ideal for places with pets or children. The broad range of colors and patterns available in vinyl flooring make it a cinch to select the one matching your decor.
However, some vinyl flooring is rather soft and can dent and scratch with relative ease so be sure to take this into account for your Westchester/Fairfield home. Additionally, vinyl flooring has a tendency to fade if exposed to sunlight for extended periods.
While buying vinyl flooring or any kind of flooring, quality is the most important factor. So how does one judge the quality of a vinyl? To decipher this, let us first understand the construction of a vinyl.
Vinyl has seven layers which consist of the wear layer, the printed layer, an inner core consisting of the foam, vinyl layer and a backing. The inner core protects vinyl flooring from rips and bends while the wear layer is the contact layer which is prone to dents and scratches. So, ideally, higher the density of inner core, the better is the vinyl flooring.
The design professionals at Floor Coverings International can help you make the ideal choice in vinyl flooring.
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My name is Debbie Gartner, and I'm known as "The Flooring Girl." I own my own flooring store that serves Westchester NY and Fairfield CT counties. We install hardwood flooring, carpet, tile flooring, laminate, bamboo and cork flooring. We also refinish hardwood floors. We are a shop at home flooring store. You can call us at 914-937-2950 to schedule a free flooring consultation or email us at FCIwestchester@gmail.com.