Why Do People Consider Vinyl Flooring Vs. Hardwood?

As long as humans have been building, they’ve been using wood. Hardwood planks are a classic choice for wooden floors that combine a great appearance, resilience, and extreme longevity. Each variety of hardwood has its own character, each giving a floor its own special character.

However, this doesn’t mean that hardwood is the perfect material. The first thing a customer notices is the price – hardwood flooring can be expensive, especially for larger spaces. It’s also very susceptible to moisture damage, leading some areas to be permanently off-limits to hardwood floorings, such as basements, kitchens, and bathrooms.

Vinyl flooring is becoming one of the most popular choices for those who want a compromise between the appearance of hardwood and the strength, moisture resistance, and lower cost of this synthetic material.

Besides a refresher on hardwood flooring, this blog post will introduce the most popular vinyl replacement for wood flooring, ‘Luxury Vinyl Plank’. We’ll offer a comparison between these two products to help you pick your next floor.

 

The Advantages of Hardwood

Hardwood is a perennially popular choice of flooring material. Along with stone and ceramic, it’s one of the most common natural materials that you’ll find on the floor.

Why is it so popular? With the many choices of tree available, hardwood makes a very flexible design statement, offering a product that can give the feeling of a cozy, rustic cabin or a grand walnut dining room. As no two trees are ever perfectly alike, each hardwood floor has its own unique character and feeling. There are also a wide variety of different finishes and stains available to put your own touch on your choice of wood.

As a material, hardwood is very dense, which lets it resist scratches, scrapes, and dents. Maintenance is relatively easy, and also helps ensure that your floor continues to last in top condition. Hardwood floors have excellent longevity, and when well cared for have been known to last generations. Finally, in the event that your hardwood floor is damaged, almost all cosmetic damage can be corrected by sanding and refinishing.

With all of these advantages, why do many opt for a product like Luxury Vinyl Plank over hardwood floor? The largest drawback is cost. When all of the costs are tallied, a hardwood floor typically costs two to three times as much per square foot. This can break the bank and really eat into your reno budget.

The second drawback is moisture. While a very durable product, moisture is its greatest weakness. As this can easily permanently stain or damage your hardwood floor, certain areas of your home are off limits to installation, like basements, kitchens, and bathrooms.

 

Why Do People Consider Vinyl Flooring Vs. Hardwood?

 

The Advantages of Vinyl Plank Flooring

Most people are familiar with vinyl flooring from sheet vinyl, a thin, flexible, product with a printed design. They have a bad impression of vinyl flooring as a cheap substitute. However, this is simply no longer the case in the current market.

The biggest change has come with a product called “LVP” or Luxury Vinyl Plank. Instead of the tiles you might expect, this product comes in segments that resemble hardwood planks. The planks are layered, with a realistic ‘design layer’ sandwiched between a clear film for durability and a thick piece of sturdy vinyl.

Not only is this product much cheaper than hardwood, but installation is much easier, leading to a total cost that can be half as much or less than a comparable hardwood floor. 

 

Why Do People Consider Vinyl Flooring Vs. Hardwood?

 

LVP and Hardwood Compared 

When making a direct comparison between these two flooring products, we know that vinyl flooring comes with the advantage of a lower price.

The second main advantage of vinyl flooring is that it is waterproof. This means it is a good candidate for installation in bathrooms, kitchens, basements, or anywhere prone to spills or leaks.

Another point of comparison is appearance. As vinyl flooring derives its appearance from the printed layer that sits underneath the clear coating, it also offers nearly limitless design choices. This means that you can also replicate very rare or expensive varieties of wood.

However, some people do find that the images available never quite replicate the feel of wood perfectly. You’ll ultimately need to decide for yourself if the appearance of a real wood floor is worth the cost of the extra investment.

When looking at the long-term value of your home, investment is the right way to think about a hardwood floor. While it is true that they are more expensive to install, a properly-maintained hardwood floor can last generations, and is generally considered to improve the resale value of your property. Provided the floor isn’t deeply stained or warped from moisture, the wood can be re-treated and finished to keep it in top condition, which has an added benefit of improving its appearance over time. This makes your investment resilient.

The same can’t typically be said about a vinyl floor. The warranties of these products typically run between 10-20 years, and damaged or deeply scratched LVP will usually need to be replaced with new product rather than being refinished.

Conclusion 

When considering an installation in an area at risk for moisture damage, LVP is the clear winner for giving a beautiful, wood-like appearance that will be waterproof at a fraction of the cost of hardwood.

For other situations, the choice of one product over the other is going to be highly personal, with the undeniable advantages of hardwood needing to be weighed against its greater cost.

Given its ability to quickly and cheaply transform the look of a space, LVP is here to stay and will continue giving hardwood flooring a run for its money.

 

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