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vinyl plank vs laminate flooring

The Best Home Flooring: Waterproof Laminate or Vinyl Plank?

Are you tired of looking at your old floors and considering an upgrade?

You have options.

Laminate and vinyl flooring have taken over the home renovation scene, making them affordable and appealing alternatives to wood, tile and other flooring options. They come in many different styles to mimic the colors and patterns of various woods, granite and more.

Some flooring will even resist scratches when your dog runs through the house. You can’t beat that.

But which flooring do you choose, and how do you know which one will perform the best based on the foot traffic in your home? Austin’s Floor Store is here to help you make the decision easier.

Waterproof Laminate or Vinyl Plank: Which to Choose?

Laminate is growing extremely popular among homeowners who want to upgrade their floors. It’s affordable, comes in many colors and patterns and holds up well to daily wear and tear.

Vinyl plank flooring has been the go-to option for homeowners since it hit the market in the 1970s. Though it’s made from vinyl, it’s cut into planks to resemble wood. It also comes in many patterns and colors, from cherry to espresso.

Do you have kids? The answer could help you decide which flooring option is best for you.

After all, it’s almost in a kid’s nature to spill drinks on the floor. Will your floor absorb the liquid and turn the room into a warped funhouse, or will it resist the liquid and still look as good as it did when we installed it? If it’s vinyl or waterproof laminate flooring, you’ll never have to worry about it.

Wait…laminate flooring is waterproof?

Not all laminate planks are waterproof. However, most of them are water resistant. There’s a big difference between the two terms. Simply put, waterproof flooring will never absorb water whereas water-resistant flooring will absorb it after being submerged for some time.

Waterproof or water-resistant flooring is made from several layers to shield the inner core from water. These layers include wear, image, core and backing. The wear layer acts as a shield against scratches and stains. The image layer is what gives your flooring the look of wood or granite.

The core layer is the meat of the flooring. It’s usually, but not always, made from very high-density fiberboard. The level of water resistance comes from the amount of resins that are in the core.

The backing layer is what prevents water from reaching the floor that’s under the laminate planks. If any water were to seep through the spaces between the planks or along the baseboards, it won’t damage the subflooring and cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs.

Which Flooring Increases Resale Value?

Are you planning to remodel your home with new flooring?

Are you building a house and looking at different flooring options?

Your selection will affect your home’s overall resale value. Most new homebuyers favor hardwood over other flooring materials such as carpet and vinyl. Hardwood raises a home’s value, especially if it’s in pristine condition or has a weathered, stylistic appearance.

Hard surfaces are almost always a better option than carpet, but plush carpeting does look and feel nice in a bedroom or a cozy den. No matter whether you choose carpet, vinyl or laminate, keep it consistent throughout your house. You don’t want different flooring materials to meet in places where everyone gathers.

Hardwood Flooring Options

If you’re set on hardwood flooring, the price might make you consider another option. You can still get the look of hardwood without the price. Laminate planks have a realistic appearance and cost much less than hardwood flooring. Vinyl planks can also mimic hardwood and are the ideal choice for homeowners on a budget.

Pros and Cons of Vinyl Plank Flooring

Everything has pros and cons, so let’s start with vinyl plank flooring. Should you install it or go with laminate planks? Vinyl flooring has big advantages over laminate, but it still might not be the best option for you.


  • It’s 100 percent waterproof
  • It mimics the look of wood, granite, cement and more.
  • It’s very low maintenance.
  • It’s affordable and fits any budget.
  • It’s easy to clean and has a commercial-grade wear layer.


  • It can dent easily if struck with a heavy object.
  • It doesn’t resist punctures.
  • It may fade over time in direct sunlight.

The number one reason that most homeowners go with vinyl plank flooring is its resistance to water. They’ll never have to worry about a leaky sink or dishwasher, pet accidents or kids and visitors spilling drinks on the floor.

Though it’s 100 percent waterproof, don’t take your eyes off laminate flooring just yet. It has quite a few pros of its own – some of which may help you finalize your decision.

Pros and Cons of Waterproof Laminate Flooring

We’re not talking about traditional laminate flooring here. This section is all about waterproof and water-resistant laminate plank flooring. It’s created differently and made to withstand everyday wear and tear. It provides many of the same benefits as vinyl flooring but takes it up a notch.


  • It offers greater water resistance than traditional laminate.
  • It looks and feels almost identical to wood and stone.
  • It’s easy to clean and maintain.
  • It resists scratches and dings better than vinyl.
  • It’s more affordable than hardwood flooring.


  • It’s not as waterproof as vinyl planks.
  • It’s not the ideal flooring for basements.

Water-resistant laminate planks offer the same, if not better, benefits as vinyl plank flooring. If you want a distressed hardwood floor, you can find laminate planks to match your design. It’s especially resistant to scratches and will continue to look good for years even with your pet’s claws scratching away at it.

New Flooring for Your Austin Home

Still can’t decide which flooring is best for your home? Contact Austin’s Floor Store to get more information about our flooring options and services. We’ll help you pick out the right flooring that suits your style and budget.

Leave a comment

  1. I’m glad you mentioned that laminate flooring is affordable. My wife and I want to renovate our kitchen. It seems like using laminate flooring will help us stay within our budget.

  2. The fact that vinyl plank flooring is 100% waterproof really impresses me as a homeowner. Spills and other kinds of liquid stains have been causing us so much trouble with our current floor material that we’ve decided to try and look into other kinds materials to try and prevent that. I’ll take your word for this and ask for vinyl planks when I start working with a flooring expert in the area.