Luxury Vinyl vs. Hardwood – Which One is Better?

When it comes to flooring upgrades, homeowners have more options to choose than ever before. Making the right selection of materials is critical to ensure your new floor enhances the appearance of your home, provides long-lasting results, and meets your budget. Want to spruce up a room, or an entire home- with the familiar warmth and aesthetic of wood flooring? You have a number of great choices available to you, including luxury vinyl and genuine hardwood.

So, which is better you ask? There is no ‘one right answer’ when it comes to suiting your every flooring need. In fact, choosing the flooring for your home depends on a variety of factors. And, when it comes to luxury vinyl, it’s important to first understand its characteristics.

What is Luxury Vinyl?

luxury vinyl feature

Many homeowners are leaning towards luxury vinyl flooring due to its easy installation, low cost, and durability.

There’s no denying the long-term popularity of installing genuine hardwood flooring. Its warmth and natural beauty are hard to beat. Today’s luxury vinyl also has a strong following, due to its unique characteristics, including the following durable layers:

  • Digitally-reproduced image of the appearance layer, simulating real hardwood or other designs
  • Clear wear layer, that withstands a great deal of foot traffic, pet activity, and other typical flooring wear and tear
  • Constructed of multiple layers of synthetic materials positioned in a crisscross pattern to add strength and stability
  • It’s waterproof – ideal even for kitchens and bathrooms where natural wood may not be appropriate

Since its inception, the construction methods, appearance, and durability of luxury vinyl have made incredible advances. These advances also provide for long-term warranties. Even more, you may have difficulty in distinguishing vinyl from natural hardwood flooring.

How Luxury Vinyl Measures Up to the Competition

Luxury vinyl is gaining in popularity due to the following benefits:

  • Ease of installation
  • Durability
  • Use in high-moisture areas such as bathrooms and kitchens
  • Low cost

Deciding Between Hardwood vs. Luxury Vinyl

When it comes to choosing between hardwood and luxury vinyl for your home’s flooring, consider the following factors that may swing you in either direction:

1. Cost Comparison

Using luxury vinyl planks (also known as LVP) is less expensive than its hardwood counterpart. LVP comes in at half to one third of the price of wood flooring.

2. Appearance

Even high-end luxury homes and apartments are incorporating LVP into their designs. LVP materials are synthetic, which means there is practically no limit to the range of colors and textures available. You can even select from patterns that simulate stone, slate, and ceramics.

Still, you’ll find that wood flooring has a natural beauty that is incomparable in its warmth and aesthetic properties. For a stunning appearance that brings out the best in your rooms, hardwood stands the test of time.

3. Longevity

Hardwood has one distinct advantage – you can refinish it. So, if you plan on living in or owning your home for many years, this is an important consideration.

Moreover, given the latest advances in LVP technology, your new floor could last up to 15 years if properly maintained. And, with its lower initial cost, replacing your floor at this time may still be worthwhile. Keep in mind, refinishing your floor is considerably less involved and less costly than a total replacement. Thus, giving the edge to hardwood.

4. Maintenance

Both hardwood flooring and luxury vinyl require regular sweeping and dusting to remove dirty prints from residents and furry occupants. You can clean vinyl with a moist mop, due to its water resistance. On the other hand, hardwood manufacturers have specific products that can be used on your floors for a more thorough cleansing. You should still wipe up spills as quickly as possible.

Hardwood can indeed be sanded down and refinished to remove the worst dents and scratches. And, you can also replace vinyl planks in the event that any become damaged. Just be sure to save some extras from your initial purchase.

Overall, your maintenance benefit goes to vinyl, due to its durability and water resistance.

Get Professional Flooring Advice Today

The best solution for determining which flooring material is best for your home is to discuss the pros and cons with a flooring professional.

Contact the flooring professionals at Elite Hardwood Flooring. Our craftsman have been serving the Annapolis area since 2000, and we’ll help you make the right decision for your home. Altogether, we can help provide you with the appearance and results that are best for your project.