The features that laminate and vinyl floorings have in common are durability, cost-effectiveness, and that both can be installed easily without professional skills.
On the other hand, there are several differences between them as well. Definitely, the main difference is the basic material. While the vinyl plank is from a totally synthetic material with the main layer of fiberglass, laminate flooring has a basis of byproducts from wood, which are bonded with resins.
As for the surface, in the case of vinyl flooring, it is covered with plasticizer and PVC vinyl, meanwhile, in the laminate flooring, the surface is from a hard and transparent plastic wear layer with a printed design. Also, laminate flooring is thicker than vinyl planks: the thickness is between 1.5mm and 5mm for vinyl, and it ranges from 6mm to 12mm for laminate.
Both options look like genuine hardwood, however, in comparison, the laminate flooring may have a more realistic appearance.
Laminate flooring still lacks in quality when it comes to water resistance. The materials that laminate flooring is made of can easily get damaged in case of moisture and the only solution to the problem might be the replacement of the flooring. Meanwhile, some vinyl plank types have improved their quality up to absolute water-proof material.
Laminate floorings proved to have last for quite a long time since once their surface layer gets scratched, it needs to be changed. In this respect, vinyl is again the winner with better durability. However, the lifespans of both options are quite compatible, both around 15-25 years.
Overall, each option has essential features for certain cases and room types. It really depends on the area which flooring kind will suit perfectly. While the laminate flooring can be employed in dry low traffic areas, the vinyl can be used in the areas where the moisture cannot be avoided. It is essential to know the exact requirements before making the choice for the floor.