Before we delve into which is quieter, we must understand the vinyl floor and laminate floors individually. It’s components, pros and cons can be our deciding factor for which among the two is quieter.
If you are interested in a durable yet beautiful floor with a traditional outlook, then, either the vinyl or laminate floor would be great.
Also, if you are tired of hardwood floors but are looking to maintain that vintage style with more comfort and less maintenance then any of the two would work wonders as well.
Let’s check out the different types of floors that exist below.
Vinyl flooring was previously underrated for its poor prints of wood or stones in comparison to the hardwood floors which they were trying to mimic. For this reason, it was misunderstood as a low-quality product in comparison to laminate floors. But with technology, the vinyl has risen and to an extent, overtaken the laminate.
The vinyl floor is made of numerous layers of synthetic materials. It mostly has four layers depending on its manufacturers.
These layers include;
- The base layer – It is the spine of your floor. It is usually made of fibreglass. It gives the floor a seamless look and makes it easy to install irrespective of your skillset. Also, it sticks like glue so you don’t have to worry about it pulling off.
- Solid core – It comprises most of the flooring. It is usually done with PVC and a plasticiser. It gives the flooring a high density that is airborne soundproof, durable, stable and moisture resistant.
- Print layer – This layer represents the aesthetic of the floor. It is the imagery that is embossed on the other layers. With the use of technology, different realistic prints such as leather, wood, stone, etc., are now available.
- Wear layer – This is the topmost layer. As the name suggests, it is a protective layer from stains, dents and wears and tears. It also makes maintenance easy. The thicker the wear layer the better the durability.
Pros of the vinyl flooring
- It is easy to install.
- It is waterproof and resilient.
- It is easy to maintain and clean.
- It is durable.
- It is quieter.
Cons of the vinyl flooring
- It is slightly uncomfortable to walk on.
- It is more expensive.
- The one’s of low quality can dent and scratch easily.
- It doesn’t have a perfect replica of the hardwood, causing it to have a negligibly cheaper impression.
- It could feel cold and hard on the feet since its plastic.
This was the pioneer for wood-looking floors. It tried to capture the outward form of the hardwood on synthetic materials.
Like the vinyl floor, it has four layers. But unlike the vinyl’s plastic core, this has a wooden core board which could be either high-density fibreboard or medium-density fibreboard. Also, the number of layers differ based on the manufacturers.
These layers are;
- The base layer – It is the spine or backbone of the flooring. It stabilises the flooring.
- Core layer – This also occupies the majority of the flooring. It is made using fibreboards. Fibreboards are wood byproducts that are flattened and bonded with resins to form a stiff sheet.
This core could be either of a high-density fibreboard or medium-density fibreboard. While the one’s with medium density are cheaper, the flooring’s with a higher density is better. Mostly because it is moisture resistant.
- Print layer – It’s the design of the flooring. It takes a realistic form of the hardwood. Presently, it has a variety of forms such as stones, leather, metal, etc. It also tends to have a rough surface to produce a more realistic look.
- Wear layer – It simply does the job of protecting the floor. While it may look easy, it is actually responsible for keeping you satisfied with your purchase after years of use.
Pros of the laminate floor
- It is durable.
- Depending on the type, it can be resistant to water.
- It is more comfortable to stand on.
- It is easy to clean.
- Due to its texture, heating systems could be installed where they are used.
Cons of the laminate flooring
- They are only slightly resistant to water.
- They can only be installed by someone with the right skillset.
- If not properly installed, it could generate a hollow sound when stepped on.
- It may require an extra cost of purchasing underlayment to make it quieter.
- It can’t be installed in places such as bathrooms or basements.
After studying these floors, we can definitely see some attributes and pros they have in common.
The components: The vinyl and laminate floors have four layers each. In terms of appearance, the laminate has a more realistic print than the vinyl floor. Although the vinyl floor is now improving.
Durability: With the presence of the wear layer on the two floors, they last very long.
Installation: While the vinyl floor can be easily installed by someone with a poor skill set, the laminate floor must be installed by a professional.
Cost: The vinyl floor is more expensive than the laminate floor.
Water-resistant: The vinyl floor is water-resistant because of its plastic core. The laminate floor is just slightly water resistant
Although we might not be able to determine which is better since it all determines your personal choice, we can definitely tell which is quieter. The vinyl floor can be easily installed, so it doesn’t leave any space underneath. Also the plastic nature and fibreglass underneath increases it’s soundproof nature.
The laminate floors have increasingly been installed by many DIY-ers. Care has to be taken however as there could be a mistake in installation which could lead to hollow noise emanating from the floor from impact.
It is also worth noting that it has a fibreboard core so it doesn’t necessarily reduce the impact noise as much as the vinyl floor.