Home Maintenance | 02.22.2022

Laminate or Vinyl Composite Core? How to Pick Your Flooring Material

Flooring options are a critical element of your home’s building and design. They provide the foundation for every room in your home, creating spaces for gathering, dining, relaxing, and more — not to mention quality floors can neatly pull a room’s appearance together by matching your decor. Maintaining these clean and functional spaces within your home requires durable flooring materials that can stand up to years of wear and tear.

Here’s what you need to know about the distinct advantages of two of the most common floor types: laminate and vinyl composite core materials.

Why People Choose Laminate Floors

What is laminate flooring? One of the most common choices for flooring, laminate is a composite flooring material made of three layers, a base layer, an image layer, and a protective wear layer. Laminate flooring has long been a popular choice for its versatility, durability, and the availability of tons of styles and “finishes.” Quality laminate flooring can take on the general appearance of hardwood without the associated cost of installation or maintenance and can serve as an all-purpose flooring material for most rooms in the house.

The reason people choose laminate flooring has a lot to do with its low-cost resiliency. It’s difficult to scuff, scratch, or otherwise puncture laminate’s tough protective coating — laminate can withstand overly-excited pets, energetic kids, and the off-chance you accidentally spill a stack of dishes onto the kitchen floor.

Combining stylish options with easy cleaning and maintenance (no special cleaners need — just remember to sweep), laminate floors are a well-rounded choice you can use to complement your personal style in an economical way.

Why People Choose Vinyl Composite Core Floors

Though laminate material does tend to be moisture-resistant, it can pose a problem when installed in frequently wet environments like laundry rooms or bathrooms, basements, and potentially kitchens as well.

This is where home buyers and builders might prefer a vinyl composite floor. So what is vinyl composite core (VCC) flooring? VCC is a manufactured vinyl composite floor. There are a few common forms of composite materials, often differentiated by WPC for wood-plastic composite or SPC for stone-plastic composite. Rigid core vinyl flooring (a relatively new material in home construction) also falls under the SPC umbrella.

While there are some key differences between these two sub-categories of composite flooring (the main one being rigid core vinyl isn’t as pliable or comfortable underfoot as its WPC counterpart), both can provide complete waterproofing to areas of your home with a high risk of standing water spilling onto the floor. Like laminate, composites are considered durable and offer plenty of natural-looking designs to fit any decor. With vinyl plank flooring, waterproof vinyl flooringfloorng, and luxury vinyl plank options, VCC flooring also tends to offer easy installation for DIY home renovators.

Questions to Ask When Deciding on the Right Material

Finding a flooring design that fits in with the rest of your room’s furnishings will be much simpler once you determine the material best suited for each room in your home. When seeking a material that best fits your needs, consider your specific space and its average daily use:

Will it likely be exposed to water?
Will the area be heavily-trafficked?
Does the material you’ve chosen require any special maintenance or cleaning supplies?
Should the surrounding climate factor into your flooring choice?
How will certain flooring options impact safety and cleaning?
If planning a self-install, do you have the requisite tools?
How does each flooring option fit in your budget?
Which design will make your home feel most like “you”?

Don’t forget to keep the long-term value of your home in mind. Whether you’re planning a quick flip or selling someday in the distant future, use caution when considering more extreme designs or cheap materials that may show signs of age or passing trends more quickly. Be sure whatever you decide on now will prove to be an economical choice both now and in the years ahead.

See More Flooring Options in Person at the Arive Design Center

The professionals who make up Arive’s Design Center have years of experience developing and personalizing design trends from the ground up to match each customer’s own style and to create homes customers love. Flooring doesn’t have to be a headache — get in touch with our design center today and speak with one of our experts about how they can help transform your home.