How to Choose Between Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring and Hardwood Floors for Your Home
Deciding on flooring for your home can be a daunting task. One choice you will likely face is deciding whether you want luxury vinyl plank flooring or hardwood floors. Both are fantastic choices, but they have different pros and cons. Read our guide to the benefits and disadvantages of luxury vinyl plank flooring versus hardwood flooring!
What is Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring?
Luxury vinyl plank flooring is flooring made out of vinyl, but the planks look like pieces of wood. They are installed by clicking into place, rather than glueing down a large, single sheet, and have the appearance of wood flooring. Vinyl is an incredibly versatile plastic, and the material is engineered into flooring. Luxury vinyl plank is an alternative to hardwood flooring, and has many advantages.
Pros of Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring
Luxury vinyl plank flooring is incredibly durable, The material can withstand a large amount of scruffs and scrapes without getting damaged, is easy to clean, and is long lasting. Vinyl plank flooring is also waterproof on the surface, so as long as water doesn’t manage to get underneath the flooring, you are safe from many kinds of water damage.
2. Easy Installation
Vinyl plank flooring is relatively easy to install, even for novice renovators. The pieces can be glued down for more permanence, but they can also simply be placed on the floor, as they click into each other. This type of installation is called ‘floating installation,’ and it is quicker, cleaner, and easier than almost any other type of flooring installation.
3. Comfortable Under Foot
One of the most important advantages of luxury vinyl plank flooring is the fact that it is an incredibly comfortable material. Vinyl flooring has more ‘give’ than other hard flooring (hardwood, tile, etc.), and as such it is easier to stand on for long periods of time. In areas that require a water resistant floor, luxury vinyl flooring is a great option for added comfort.
Luxury vinyl plank flooring is highly versatile in design and shape. Planks come in many different finishes and sizes, letting you choose the exact flooring you want.
There’s certainly a benefit to vinyl flooring in that its materials are manufactured. There is complete consistency in how each board is designed and manufactured, allowing you more ease in layout and placement. There’s also less risk of flaws within the board, because the materials used are not natural.
Luxury vinyl plank flooring costs much less than real hardwood. There is a versatility in price point, so the planks are a great option for any budget.
Cons of Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring
1. Can be Punctured or Dented
Although luxury vinyl planking is quite durable, the planks are still made of a hard plastic, meaning that sharp objects can cut or puncture the plastic. The added ‘give’ in the material that makes the flooring more comfortable also means the flooring is less able to handle heavy objects being placed on it. The material is susceptible to being dented.
2. Is More Susceptible to Sun Damage
Because the materials are not natural, the planks can be susceptible to fading and discolouration from the sun.
3. Not Biodegradable
Luxury vinyl planks are made of plastic, meaning if you ever want to replace the flooring or need to remove it, the flooring goes in the garbage and isn’t biodegradable. The planks have a relatively high environmental impact.
4. Doesn’t Increase Home Value
Even though installing new luxury vinyl plank floors can improve the look and feel of your home, the planks do not increase the home value due to the fact that they are an engineered plank flooring rather than a natural hardwood. The flooring costs significantly less than other kinds of flooring, and that shows in the appraisal of your home when it comes to resale value.
What is Hardwood flooring?
Hardwood flooring is flooring made out of trees that have a harder, more durable wood. Softwood trees are used to make products like paper, while trees with hardwood can create incredible beautiful and durable flooring. There are many different advantages to installing hardwood flooring in your home.
Pros of Hardwood Flooring
1. Elegant Appearance
One of the greatest advantages to hardwood flooring is the fact that the classic look of real wood flooring creates an elegance that other flooring types can’t compare to. If you want your home to look inviting but elegant, hardwood flooring is one of the best ways to do so. Hardwood floors go with any style, and can look lovely in any room in the house.
2. Very Durable
Hardwood flooring is a durable flooring that can withstand a large amount of weight being put on it, doesn’t scratch easily, and is very long lasting when properly taken care of. It is also rather easy to repair, as scratches can be buffed out and refinished without too much worry, and damage can often be repaired without having to remove boards.
3. Allergy Protection
Hardwood is naturally hypo-allergenic, and the floors do not allow dust, pet dander, or other contaminants to get stuck in the material.
Hardwood comes in many different colours, shapes, and sizes. You can pick from a wide variety of colours and patterns to create the perfect look for your home.
5. Adds to Your Home Value
Hardwood Flooring is an upgrade that can significantly increase your home’s resale value. Having hardwood floors can be a huge draw, and the fact that the floors are easy to maintain, durable, and beautiful is reflected in your home’s appraised value.
Cons of Hardwood Flooring
1. The Cost
Hardwood is gorgeous, but that beauty has a cost. It is quite expensive to buy and install. Hardwood is expensive because the materials need to be sourced naturally, and the wood needs to be cured and processed. This strenuous process means the flooring is more expensive than almost any other kind of flooring.
2. Installation Isn’t Easy
Hardwood flooring is not as easy to install as other kinds of flooring, as it requires being properly laid out and nailed into place. It’s also more difficult, as layout has to be properly thought out, for once the piece of flooring is installed, it can’t be taken out and reinstalled.
3. Not Easy To Replace
If a single piece of hardwood flooring is damaged in the middle of your floor, this can be devastating. It means that the entire floor needs to be removed and replaced, as installed hardwood cannot be reused.
4. Susceptible to Water and Sun Damage
Hardwood floors are water resistant to a point, but they are naturally fibrous, meaning if water sits on the floors for too long, the boards may swell and cause significant damage. Hardwood can also fade if in the sun too much, as the boards can be damaged by UV rays.
How to Decide What Floors Are Right for You
Deciding between luxury vinyl planks and hardwood flooring is no easy task. They both have some fantastic advantages, and a few disadvantages. The best way to decide is to look at the floors you have now, and imagine what you’d like to change about them. If you wish your floors were softer and more comfortable, luxury flooring may be the right choice, and if you wish your floors had a more classic, elegant look, you may want to consider hardwood floors. By comparing all the advantages and disadvantages of the two flooring options, you can make a choice that is best for you and your new home!
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