Did you know that linoleum dates all the way back to 1855? It remained popular for approximately the next century, because it is comfortable to walk on, durable and long-lasting, and easy to clean.

Today, although linoleum is still used in some healthcare facilities, most consumers who need a flooring alternative to hardwoods select either laminate floors or luxury vinyl floors. What's the difference, and which one is the best choice? We'll break it down for you!

What Are Laminate Floors?

Laminate flooring is made of wood byproducts. Its appearance is similar to that of hardwood floors or of stone floors, but it's much less expensive than either of those options.

Laminate floors are composed of high-density, rigid fiberboard, laminated along with a resin layer into plants. It can be installed onto a subfloor using adhesive, or it can "float" -- which means it can be used right on top of an existing floor. Laminate flooring often clicks or snaps into place.

What Is Luxury Vinyl?

Make no mistake -- luxury vinyl floors are not the same as the old sheet vinyl that you may remember from decades past. This type of flooring is made up of resilient PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, with a topcoat of urethane.

Luxury vinyl comes in two forms. The first is luxury vinyl plank flooring (LVP), which is designed to look like hardwood floors. This option can be textured, lending verisimilitude to your floor. These planks can float, snap together, or be installed with adhesive.

Luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) come in a wider variety of sizes and shapes. While some LVT looks like hardwoods, it's often manufactured to look like granite, concrete, or stone. LVT be glued down, snap together, or come in an easy peel-and-stick variety.

Which Is More Durable?

Laminate flooring is extremely durable, lasting between 15 and 30 years. It also holds up well to foot traffic, water exposure, and debris.

Luxury vinyl is also durable in comparison to other flooring types, but is more prone to scratches, dents, and tears. It is impervious to moisture, making it a good option for bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, basements, and mud rooms. With proper care, luxury vinyl flooring lasts between 10 to 25 years.

What About Cost?

Laminate costs, on average, $3 to $11 per square foot. Luxury vinyl will set a homeowner back some $2 to $7 per square foot. Naturally, the higher quality you choose, the higher the cost. You should also consider resale value, which is one area in which laminate easily bests luxury vinyl.

So, Which Is Better -- Luxury Vinyl or Laminate?Both of these flooring options are good ones, and far superior to the linoleum and plastic tiles of yesteryear. Whether laminate floors or luxury vinyl floors are better for your home depends on your lifestyle and your budget. It's also important to consider the appearance of each, and how it might work with your aesthetic.

If you would like to see these flooring options in action, or discuss your flooring needs with an expert, contact us! We'd love to help you get the flooring of your dreams.