Hardwood or luxury vinyl flooring (also referred to as LVP - Luxury Vinyl Planks) is a classic debate. They have many similarities, in terms of durability, design options and elegance. These two flooring materials are also quite different; one is made from a natural resource while the other is manufactured from raw materials. With many varying factors, it can be hard to choose between hardwood or vinyl flooring.
Here we break down the differences in each by style, durability, environmental impact and cost.
One of the reasons that vinyl plank is growing in popularity is because there are so many different styles that mimic the look of hardwoods. From cherry to oak or even exotic cedars, manufacturers are introducing new vinyl flooring products that look more realistic than ever.
As for classic hardwood flooring, there are many different species of wood such as walnut, maple, hickory, ash, birch, and pine. A variety of glosses and textures are also available. Hardwoods come in both modern and traditional styles.
Though both have a wide variety of choices, hardwood has the upper hand over vinyl when it comes to colors and styles. With so many wood species to choose from, many different sizes, and the ability to custom stain flooring, hardwoods are the most versatile when compared to vinyl plank.
Wood Floor Store
Scratches, chips, and dings aren’t a concern with vinyl plank. It doesn’t have to be refinished like hardwoods, which is a big advantage for budget-minded homeowners. It is important to note that engineered hardwood flooring shouldn’t have any additional coatings or waxes applied to it, as that can compromise the protective coat.
However, the true durability of real hardwoods depends upon the species of wood you select. For example, common hardwood flooring like oak, maple, and cherry are popular because they are more durable. While exotic woods are beautiful and unique, they aren’t as hard and are thus more vulnerable to damage. Durability is improved by a factory-applied coating that protects the hardwood and keeps it looking good as new.
You may already know that hardwood flooring is a natural resource. That may sound harmful, but there are many earth-conscious flooring manufacturers who are working to fight deforestation. It’s common for hardwood to be harvested from company-run tree farms, where harvesting is done on a cycle with new trees planted to keep replenishing their resources. And engineered hardwood employs a manufacturing process that ensures nearly all parts of the tree are used — the plywood layer under the top plank is made up of recycled wood scraps and leftover materials.
As far as luxury vinyl goes, there are also many companies that keep sustainability efforts at top of mind by using recycled materials and using abundant resources. Make sure to talk with your home finishings supplier about your options!
If you are budget conscious, this is probably the most important factor to you when choosing between hardwood flooring and vinyl flooring. Keep in mind that both hardwood and LVP are long-term investments that will provide longevity and elegance to any space.
When it comes down to dollars and cents, hardwood flooring is a bit more expensive than LVP. This is due to the fact that it is a natural resource that must be harvested and finished, while luxury vinyl can be repeatedly manufactured in one location. As far as maintenance is concerned, both flooring materials can be easily maintained with simple floor cleaners and the mop and bucket system.
When you are designing or renovating your home, your preferences are all that matters! If you are having trouble deciding between hardwood flooring or luxury vinyl planks, contact our team at Surfaces PCB! Our interior designers can help you explore the vast varieties of cut, styles, and colors to get the design of your dreams for your living room, kitchen, bedroom, or any area of your home. You can also visit our 12,000 square foot showroom in Panama City Beach to shop our extensive products. Contact us today at 850-249-4557 to talk with our team!