Before the introduction of Vinyl Plank, Laminate was the go-to option for a durable, low maintenance floating floor. Laminate flooring is very very hard, so it stands up well to heavy traffic; and its click-together format conveniently allows for installation over top of concrete subfloors, making it a great option for condos and basements.
Laminate vs. Vinyl Plank
But when Vinyl Plank was released, it had one benefit that Laminate couldn’t compete with, and that benefit was big: impermeability. Vinyl Plank is a Vinyl product, which is a kind of plastic. Unlike wood-based products, Vinyl Plank does not expand and contract, meaning that Vinyl Plank floors cannot suffer water damage. Laminate on the other hand, even though it has a lot of synthetic materials, is a wood-based product. Its core is either HDF or some other wood byproduct and therefore, it will expand and contract just like hardwood. Water damage occurs when the core absorbs too much moisture and the top layer bubbles and delaminates, which severely damages the floor.