Vinyl Plank Flooring Vs Hardwood Flooring: Which Should You Choose?

16 March 2018
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If you love the appearance of hardwood flooring, you have two options. You can choose luxury waterproof vinyl plank flooring or you can choose traditional hardwood. Though there are some other options (such as hardwood-printed linoleum), these are the only two options that generally look authentic.

The Pros and Cons of Vinyl Plank Flooring

Vinyl plank flooring is significantly less expensive than hardwood flooring. It's fast and easy to install and it's also extremely durable. Some luxury vinyl planks can be warrantied for up to 30 years, though a good hardwood floor can also last decades. Vinyl plank flooring is often 100% waterproof, which makes it useful for families that have children or pets, or commercial settings. 

Though vinyl plank is durable and waterproofed, it does have some disadvantages compared to hardwood flooring. Cheap vinyl planks may not look realistic and even expensive vinyl planks can't be refinished; if they are scratched or chipped, they need to be replaced entirely. If they get scuffed, they may dull over time, and they cannot be polished. 

Vinyl plank also has an additional problem: if part of the floor is damaged, it can be difficult to replace that floor if the style has been discontinued. Comparatively, hardwood floors can often be partially replaced because the type of wood and grain will always be available somewhere.

The Pros and Cons of Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring undeniably improves property values in many homes. Though vinyl plank flooring is fairly convincing, it still isn't going to approach the realism of real wood. However, homeowners do need to pay for these benefits: hardwood flooring is often significantly more expensive than vinyl plank. Much of this cost is not because of the materials itself, but because of the installation, which is more involved.

Hardwood flooring is impacted by moisture and humidity. If it is too humid, the wood can warp and buckle. Warped and buckled hardwood often can't be recovered; it has to be replaced. However, scratches, dents, and chips in hardwood can often be buffed out, refinishing the hardwood to a like-new appearance. Hardwood flooring also has the advantage of being able to be stained or bleached into new appearances.

Apart from the above, there are also ceramic tiles that have been designed to look like wood. These usually have grout lines that make the appearance slightly less "convincing," but they are durable. You can review many options at your local flooring center.