Hardwood flooring is a beautiful but big investment. Thankfully there are other options that can give you the look of hardwood. There are two types of flooring this guide will examine: vinyl plank flooring and engineered hardwood. We will break down different qualities of each so you can make the best decision for your home.
Vinyl plank flooring is a good choice if your home has pets or children. It is more resistant to scratches and damage. Vinyl plank flooring is also completely water-resistant making it useful in rooms that are humid and moist. It is not entirely indestructible and can dent or tear due to the weight of furniture and appliances.
Engineered hardwood is made from layers which makes it fairly durable when it comes to moisture and humidity. The top layer is made from real wood so scratches can become visible but it is resistant to other damage like dings. Engineered hardwood can tolerate water and won’t ruin like hardwood. Both types are prone to fading over time due to exposure to sunlight.
A lot of work is put into cleaning and maintaining your floors. Vinyl plank flooring is easy to clean and maintain because it is completely water-resistant. Daily cleaning is easy with a broom or even a vacuum cleaner. Whenever it’s dirty or dusty, heavier cleaning with a mop or mild cleaner is an option. Engineered hardwood requires special care. You can still sweep or vacuum them but when heavier cleaning only use a damp cloth and special cleaner for engineered hardwood.
With maintenance, vinyl floors require little to no maintenance. Their exposure to direct sunlight should be controlled to prevent fading, but when damaged you can replace one plank at a time which is a job you can often complete on your own. Engineered hardwood can be repaired with wood putty or a stain. If further repair is required, engineered hardwood can be refinished following manufacturers' instructions.
Your home has a style all your own. Vinyl plank flooring is available in many colors because it is created through a printing process. The process can replicate the look and feel of real wood including oak and pine. Engineered hardwood is built with layers of real wood so it too will be available in the same offerings as hardwood. Vinyl plank may come in more colors and styles, but engineered hardwood offers more of a variety that can fit your home's aesthetic.
When selecting new flooring, it’s important to consider the cost of installation. There are two ways to install vinyl plank flooring. The first is with a floating floor. A floating floor is useful with planks that have a tongue and groove design that allows them to click together. The second is to stick them directly to the floor. This process only requires a utility knife for cutting. Both are easy projects to take on for DIY lovers. Engineered hardwood can be installed four ways and is a bit more challenging. For those looking for a DIY project or easy installation, vinyl plank is the way to go.
Flooring can get costly. Installation can require extra tools and materials. Vinyl plank flooring can run between $1 and $4 per square foot whereas engineered hardwood is about $8 per square foot. Installation for the engineered hardwood can run up to $10 a square foot while vinyl plank flooring can be easily installed by the homeowner. For this reason, many homeowners find vinyl flooring more cost-efficient.
Need help to decide between vinyl plank flooring and engineered hardwood? Contact us today!