A popular option when it comes to renovations in Cape Town is vinyl floors. It is similar to laminate as it resembles real wood and is relatively easy to install on your own. There are two variations of vinyl flooring with one being the click-in and the other being the glue and stick version. The click-in version is easier and cleaner if you choose to do it yourself. The glue variation would best be done by a professional.
Vinyl vs Laminate Flooring
For most people in Cape Town wanting to do an affordable home improvement their main options will be laminate or vinyl flooring. Both these flooring options offer a product that looks nearly identical to the real thing but at a fraction of the cost. The question then becomes which is best for you?
Vinyl flooring is versatile, as there are many colours and grains to choose from, as well as durable and low maintenance. The biggest difference comes down to water. Laminate flooring can damage easily if water is spilled on it unlike vinyl floors which can can tolerate liquid very well.
Vinyl is also a lot more resistant to damage and will not scratch and chip like laminate does. If you have kids and animals vinyl might be the better choice as laminate can take a beating over time.
It seems like vinyl flooring is the better allrounder so far but laminate is cheaper which evens out the competition. In Cape Town Vinyl flooring starts out at around R270/m2 for the higher quality variation. Compared to laminate flooring which starts at R190/m2 for the middle quality vinyl is roughly 33% more expensive.
Despite vinyl flooring initially costing more it can prove to be cheaper in the long run as it lasts longer. After 5 years laminate flooring will be showing signs of age due to chips and water damage. This flooring might then need to be replaced which will end up costing you more than the vinyl floor would have cost originally. The image below of a kitchen in Cape town installed with vinyl floors shows off how realistic it looks.
As vinyl is more expensive, many people opt to install the main areas with laminate. The kitchen and bathrooms are then fitted with vinyl flooring to benefit from its waterproof properties. The decision will come down to what feels best for you. By seeing and feeling the differences between vinyl and laminate you might prefer the one over the other. Laminate flooring will feel more real as it is made from plywood which is a processed type of wood.
If you do decide on vinyl the you can rest assured that you have made a good investment. Make sure to purchase luxury vinyl flooring from a respectable supplier in Cape Town and you wont go wrong. The next option you have is to install it yourself or get the professionals in. Provided you are confident in your handyman skills then DIY will be the cheapest option.
Refer to the video below showing how to install the vinyl flooring using an underlay.