How would you like your new floors to look? Do you want the warmth and value of a hard floor? Or would you like the options and durability that a vinyl floor gives you?
Read on to learn the pros and cons of vinyl vs hardwood.
What Is Hardwood Flooring?
Hardwood comes in two types: solid and engineered. Though they look similar, slight differences in durability and cost give you different options.
Solid wood flooring planks are 100% solid wood, made from a hardwood species such as maple, oak, or walnut. Since the flooring is solid throughout, it can be sanded down and refinished several times, and may last up to 100 years.
Engineered wood flooring is made from a thin layer of hardwood bonded to a layer of plywood. It can be cheaper than solid wood and can last up to 30 years. However, you can only refinish it once, since too much sanding will remove the hardwood layer to expose the plywood.
What Is Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl flooring is made up of several layers including backing material, core, design layer, and wear layer. 3D printing makes it possible to produce almost any look and texture. Since homeowners are moving towards hardwood and stone, these trends are encouraging the production of vinyl that resembles wood, stone, or classic tile.
Vinyl vs Hardwood
When you’re considering vinyl flooring vs hardwood, think about cost, looks, or maintenance needs. Each substance has its own advantages.
The price of solid hardwood ranges from about $4 to $12 per square foot, averaging about $8 per square foot. Engineered hardwood costs slightly less, with a range between $2.50 and $10 per square foot, and averaging between $4 and $7 per square foot. Installation labor adds about $3 to $10 per square foot to the job.
Vinyl costs between $2 to $8 square feet, a price which includes installation. This means that a vinyl floor can cost at least 50% less than a hardwood floor.
Domestically produced wood usually comes from managed forests, making it a sustainable resource. You can even find reclaimed wood, such as barn wood, that has been reclaimed from other projects. Check for the logo of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which certifies wood based on forest management and worker’s rights, especially if you buy wood from other countries.
While vinyl is a petroleum-based product, it also has environmentally-friendly advantages. Its durability means that it doesn’t have to be as frequently replaced as other forms of flooring such as carpet. Some vinyl is even made from recycled materials.
Since wood flooring seems more elegant and lasts forever, you may want to use hardwood in a main room or a highly visible area. Moisture will damage a hardwood floor, so you may not want to use hardwood in an area that needs to be cleaned frequently, or a room such as a bathroom that might flood. Do not install hardwood directly over concrete.
Since it is waterproof and easy to maintain, you may want to choose vinyl for an entry, a mudroom, or a bathroom.
Both wood floors and vinyl floors are easy to clean. You can sweep or vacuum either vinyl or hardwood. Vinyl can be soaked and scrubbed, while hardwood can be cleaned by damp-mopping with a wood cleaner but should not be soaked.
Install Your Floor
When you’re choosing vinyl vs hardwood, do you want a floor that is elegant, functional, durable, or easy to maintain? Whichever you choose, you can find something that is right for your home.
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