There is a lot of information in the market today about waterproof flooring or luxury vinyl flooring, sometimes even called vinyl wood flooring because it has the look of wood planks. It is touted as being waterproof and extremely durable. So how does it compare to “real” hardwood flooring? The answer to this depends largely on what the priorities are of the homeowner. Let’s break it down the differences between luxury vinyl flooring and hardwood flooring!
Luxury Vinyl (Vinyl Wood Flooring)
Luxury Vinyl flooring is literally made from vinyl or pvc.
Pros & Cons for Luxury Vinyl
|Less expensive than hardwood||Bad for the environment—wont’ break down over time|
|Very water resistant||Can feel soft or hollow underfoot|
|More scratch resistant than wood—this varies by quality of product||Susceptible to joints breaking if subfloor is not level|
|Realistic wood looks available||Less resale value compared with wood|
When we talk about hardwood floors, there are several categories that one could consider if you want hardwood in your home and they also each have their pros and cons.
Pros & Cons of Solid, Sand on Site Hardwood
|Solid, natural product||Price-can be fairly expensive|
|Long lasting||Not good with water|
|Can be refinished multiple times||Scratches fairly easily|
|More environmentally friendly||Prone to gapping in dryer climates|
|Increases resale value of real estate||Needs higher relative humidity|
|The product all others aspire to look like|
|Custom color choices|
Pros & Cons of Solid, Prefinished Hardwood
|More scratch resistant than sand on site||More difficult/costly to refinish|
|Easier, cleaner install than sand on site|
Pros & Cons of Engineered Hardwood
This product typically has a thinner layer of wood on top of a substrate of high quality plywood or wood compound.
|More dimensionally stable than solid wood—less problems with gapping in drier climates||Quality can vary. Low quality can result in cracking of wood, gapping, cupping, finish wearing|
|More scratch resistant than sand on site|
|Typically less expensive than solid wood|
|Can go below grade (ie. basements|
What’s the Right Wood Flooring for You?
So which product is best for you depends on your lifestyle, budget, and space requirements. Lot’s of pets or areas prone to water may be great areas for vinyl plank flooring. If you want the high quality of real wood that can last a lifetime, one of the hardwoods might be the choice for you.