Many people are surprised to find that when looking for hardwood flooring for their home, hardwood isn’t the only option. Ironically enough, in many cases hardwood isn’t even the best option anymore. Within the last ten years luxury vinyl plank flooring has been redesigned and reintroduced and has taken over the design world. If you find yourself wondering how luxury vinyl plank flooring compares to natural hardwood, then know that you are not alone.
Luxury vinyl plank flooring (LVP) is designed to simulate the look of hardwood, but also offer a number of beneficial characteristics that can’t be replicated in natural wood products. LVP flooring is a man-made product that is created from petroleum and is then printed and often embossed with natural wood stain finishes. Luxury vinyl flooring products are offered in a variety of tree species options (from maple, to oak and even walnut) and come in an endless array of colour options, making it easy for everyone to find something that suits their preferences. Lately we’ve been seeing barn wood looking floors trending in popularity.
This makes more style and design options affordable for some projects. Also, since LVP is manmade, it is also water and stain resistant. This is a huge benefit in active family households where hardwood, as a naturally absorbent material, would absorb any spills permanently. LVP is an excellent choice for families with pets or children, or in snowy and rural climates. Even lake or beach homes can benefit from the durability of LVP.
Finally, one of the biggest draws towards luxury vinyl flooring used to be the fact that it is often less expensive than hardwood flooring. As it is gaining in popularity and nicer LVPs are flooding the market this is no longer necessarily the case.
At the same time, however, there are aspects to natural wood flooring that cannot be completely mimicked in LVP flooring and each design project will lean more heavily towards one option. If well maintained, for example, hardwood flooring can last for generations and, depending on the type of wood, can be extremely hard and resistant to damage. LVP flooring, on the other hand, is recommended, on average, to have only a 10-20 year lifespan. So, although hardwood is likely more costly, you could potentially have your flooring for longer if you take care of it properly.
Additionally, hardwood is a natural and renewable product making it, arguably, more environmentally friendly than LVP flooring. Finally, it’s simply impossible to mimic hardwood entirely, from the feeling to the look and smell, some people will simply prefer hardwood.
When it comes to comparing LVP flooring to hardwood there are a number of things to take into consideration, ranging from where the flooring is being installed to cost and longevity expectations. If you do your research properly you should have a floor that you love for years to come.