This Antique House: Bellefonte Manor


We bought a house built in 1837. One of the very first federalist styled homes in Bellefonte - the Ephraim Williams house, which we fondly call the Bellefonte Manor. This column follows our journey in its renovations and life owning a 180 year old home... our trials and errors, laughs and tears - the big and the small. If one day you should see this house on the market... the house beat us. Haha.

Many people love a hardwood floor, but that can not always be financially feasible when renovating a space. Other than hardwood floors and carpet, what other options are out there?

The answer is vinyl and laminate. Today, we're going to look at the pros and cons of each and what might work best in your space.

What is the difference between vinyl and laminate flooring?

Vinyl flooring is made of fiberglass, PVC vinyl, and plasticizer with a printed vinyl layer and wear layer on top. It comes in a variety of styles including plank and sheet. Plank vinyl can be completed as click and lock, glue down, or peel and stick. Laminate flooring is made of wood byproduct and topped with a decorative photo layer and wear layer. For flooring it is often in planks and can be installed as glueless click, glue down, and peel and stick. Both of these materials can come in a variety of textures and styles - ranging from decorative to hardwood, stone, and tile.

Now that you have a basic understanding of the composition of each of the materials, what are the pros and cons of each?

Let's take a look at vinyl first.

Vinyl can be installed by most homeowners. It's durable, water proof and can look very attractive in your space. It can mimic stone or hardwood and is cheaper than any of those options. The downside of vinyl is that not all versions are easy to install, so you might need to hire someone to do it for you. Heavy appliances can also causes dents in the top layer, which would be noticeable if that appliance should be removed.

Laminate flooring can be cheaper than vinyl. It is just aesthetically pleasing for your home renovation, often looking more true to hardwood floor, and it is comfortable to walk on. However, it is not water proof - more like water resistant, which means a spill should be cleaned up immediately to prevent damage. It also will not last nearly as long as vinyl for durability purposes and might need to be relayed within ten years.

Cleaning and maintenance are a slightly different for each of these flooring options. Vinyl flooring is fairly low maintenance. It only requires safe cleaning products and mopping. Laminate flooring can be cleaned with a damp cloth or a broom or dry mop. One needs to be careful to not use much water due to the lack of water resistance.

In our home, we removed the linoleum flooring in our kitchen and had BCV Flooring in Centre Hall install sheet vinyl flooring (see above). It was perfect for the space, affordable for us, and looks great. BCV Flooring was also great to work with and they installed the flooring in just a few hours.

So, which is better for your home project? It all depends on your budget and the room that you will be placing the flooring in. For more advice, ask your local flooring or home renovation store. They will have someone there to suggest options that will be best for the specific space in your home.

Source: This Old House Reviews Team. “Vinyl vs. Laminate Flooring: Which Is Best for Your Home?” Vinyl vs. Laminate Flooring: Which Is Best for Your Home?, 17 May 2022,