Initially, vinyl flooring was designed to provide a cheaper alternative to natural hard surface floors like tile and hardwood. However, despite remaining a low-cost option, luxury vinyl has become one of the top performing flooring options on the market. But can LVP beat its natural counterpart?

Moisture Resistance

Bald Eagle luxury vinyl plank

Traditionally, solid hardwood floors have been susceptible to damage from many sources. Changing temperatures during seasonal changes can cause wood planks to expand or contract. Rising humidity levels can also cause hardwood floors to expand and warp. Most solid hardwood floors require a specific indoor humidity range.

Engineered hardwoods were designed to overcome these challenges. They featured a layered design built around a stable plywood core. So, they are much better at resisting humidity and moisture. In fact, there are some hybrid engineered hardwood floors are completely waterproof that combine a wood layer on top of a waterproof rigid core. They’re often found in kitchens, laundry rooms and bathrooms.

While engineered hardwoods are designed to resist changes in humidity, some still recommend a specific range. The same goes for their level of water resistance. These ranges vary with each floor. Still, all engineered hardwood floors offer more flexibility than solid hardwood and can be installed on all grades.

Durability

Eminence wateproof engineered hardwood flooring in a kitchen

LVP flooring is known for being waterproof and its resistance to surface scuffs and scratches. Of course, this depends on how the flooring was manufactured, with higher-end LVP flooring typically performing better than lower end products.

However, accidentally dropping a sharp object or dragging very heavy furniture across the LVP floor could dent vinyl floors. You can use furniture coasters to prevent that.

The durability of engineered hardwood varies. In general, the layered design offers more protection against dents and dings. Sliding furniture can cause cause surface damage. Also, most engineered hardwoods have a finish that was applied at the factory. Many of them use an aluminum oxide coating designed to protect against scuffs and scratches better than site finished hardwood. Another thing to consider is sanding and refinishing down the road. Solid hardwood will allow several sandings but most engineered wood cannot be sanded at all. There are some on the market now with a thicker wood veneer that could be sanded but the majority cannot be.

Cost

COLORTILE Design Statement Flooring Rustic Barnwood

 

Luxury vinyl floors cost much less short-term. Increasingly, they’re also offering more long-term value. Many LVP floors offer lifetime residential warranties. Engineered and solid hardwood floors offer similar warranties but cost more to purchase.

Style

Brilliant White Oak engineered hardwood

 

Engineered hardwood is composed of actual wood, so it’s going to naturally reflect traditional wood looks. As with traditional solid hardwood, engineered planks come in a variety of species and colors.

Luxury vinyl planks are designed to mimic the look of hardwood. In recent years, they have also been designed to match the texture which is called embossed-in-register. Some say this is done with near perfection, while others claim that nothing beats the original. It’s a matter of personal preference.

LVP floors can offer a large array of color options. Each plank uses a photographic layer. So, LVP floors can be highly varied.

Learn More

Every home and family is different. If you’re ready to make an informed choice, visit Griffin’s leading flooring experts at Cleveland Carpets today!