Vinyl and laminate flooring have quite a few similarities and advantages, but before you make a choice on which one is the best for you, it's best to know not only how they are similar, but how they are different.
Let's start with what each one is made of. Laminate flooring is a 99% wood product and is a bit thicker than vinyl flooring. Vinyl is 100% man-made, thinner than laminate, and made of plastic.
Vinyl flooring is a bit more durable than laminate flooring. It's made from a softer plastic, so it holds up better to wear and tear, including having the advantage of being scratch-resistant and extremely water-resistant. Laminate won't hold up to scratches or moisture as well, but it's more comfortable to walk on due to its greater thickness. If you are installing a floor in a bathroom, kitchen, or other high-moisture area, vinyl flooring is your best option.
If you're looking for something that is more natural-looking, laminate takes first prize over vinyl. Since it's made of wood, it has more of a natural look to it. Vinyl plank flooring is very similar to wood, but in the end, it is a plastic product, and won't look quite as natural.
When it comes to resale value, laminate has the win, hands-down. Though the original purchase cost is comparable, when it comes to adding value to your home, laminate flooring will add the most value to your home.
When it comes to installation, both can be DIY projects, but laminate flooring is a bit more hollow in the center which means that it's more important that the subfloor be even to start. Vinyl flooring is a bit more forgiving of imperfect subfloors, so if your floor isn't perfectly even, vinyl is the way to go.