Hardwood floors are constructed of wood species like oak, walnut, maple, cherry. It can also come in an engineered form with a hardwood veneer over layers of plywood. Luxury wood-look vinyl tile and plank realistically simulate the look of natural hardwood and come in easy-click or glue-down styles. They consist of several layers - a protective wear layer, the wood-look design, vinyl core, and attached backing on some products. All these flooring types come with pros and cons.
Accidents happen, and water damage occurs in homes all the time. The most significant difference between hardwood and luxury vinyl is their moisture resistance. Hardwood floors can be damaged when exposed to water or moisture because they soak up liquids easily. Sealing the floors regularly may help, but they really should not be installed in rooms that are moisture prone. Since luxury vinyl flooring is waterproof, you can use it in areas like kitchens, bathrooms, or basements where moisture can be an issue.
Click or floating vinyl is easier to install than real wood. It can be installed over a wood or concrete subfloor or even your existing floor tile. This will save time and money on demolition and removal costs. Glue-down luxury vinyl plank (LVP) requires both a level floor and a clean surface. With click LVP, you do not need to have a perfectly level floor, but you should start with a clean surface.
Vinyl flooring maintenance is easy, just sweep regularly and mop with water and the manufacturer-recommended cleaner. You can vacuum, just make sure you do not use the beater bars as this can scratch the top protective wear layer of your vinyl flooring. Area rugs in heavy traffic areas and doormats will help extend your floor.
Domestic hardwoods are softer than most exotic species, and exotic hardwoods cost more. With luxury vinyl tile and planks, none of that matters because it is printed to look like virtually any wood species. You can get the expensive LOOK of exotic hardwood for a fraction of the cost.
Some homeowners justify the higher cost of hardwood floors because it adds value to the house. However, if a potential has an active family with children and pets, they will not want the maintenance costs and water nightmares of hardwood. A luxury vinyl floor would be more valuable to this potential buyer. So, in the end, it is all a matter of preference.
Current technology permits luxury vinyl planks to genuinely simulate the look and feel of real hardwood floors. Some LVP and LVT have real hardwood beat with lower costs, easy maintenance and waterproof capabilities.
Steve started his flooring industry journey as an installation helper over 20 years ago. After only two short years of being an apprentice, he was running his own crew. He continued to do installations on the side along with a wide range of construction jobs, including plumbing, roofing, flooring, building maintenance and more. He enjoyed working and building relationships with customers, so he started focusing on sales in 2001. Visit Steve at our Mokena, Illinois showroom to utilize his immense insight and incredible knowledge of any flooring project you have.