Vinyl vs Hardwood: How to Choose the Right Flooring Option

Vinyl vs Hardwood: How to Choose the Right Flooring Option

Are you looking to install new floors in your home?

While there are many different flooring options out there, two of the best options are vinyl and hardwood flooring. How do you choose between the two options? What are the pros and cons of each flooring type?

Check out this guide to learn about vinyl vs. hardwood flooring.

Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring is harvested from slow-growing trees. Hardwood differs from softwood, which grows rapidly and matures very quickly. The rapid growth of softwood makes it less durable and dense.

Hardwood flooring, on the other hand, is much denser and more durable than softwood. Therefore, it lasts longer and requires less maintenance. The exact durability of hardwood varies and is rated by the National Oak Flooring Manufacturers Association.

The organization uses the wood hardness rating scale to test the durability of hardwood.

Pros of Hardwood Flooring

Many home buyers seek out hardwood floors as one of their top amenities. This is due to all of the benefits that hardwood floors offer, including:

Timeless

One of the best things about hardwood flooring is that it never goes out of style. Hardwood flooring has been used for thousands of years, and while there have been numerous shifts in design and style, it’s survived the test of time.

One of the main reasons people love hardwood is because it serves as a connection between interior design and the natural world. With hardwood flooring, you can bring more life to even the most mundane environments.

Uniqueness

Every plank, strip, or board used in hardwood flooring is a natural work of art with its unique patterns and colors. This is because the wood comes from dozens of different tree species.

Each comes with its color, grain, and characteristics. With hardwood, you’ll get one-of-a-kind flooring that can’t be replicated.

Long-Term Investment

If you take care of your hardwood floors, they can last well over 100 years. While hardwood floors are a significant investment initially, you won’t need to replace them every 10 to 20 years as you do with other types of flooring.

Hardwood flooring also offers a good return on investment, as the value of hardwood flooring increases over time.

Variety

No matter what your decor style is, you can find hardwood flooring to suit your needs and budget. The most common types of hardwood flooring available include:

  • Tigerwood
  • Brazilian cherry
  • Australian cypress
  • Teak
  • Brazilian chestnut
  • Oak
  • Hickory
  • Santos mahogany

If you want, you can mix and match different types of wood to create an interesting look for your home. You can check out Baird Brothers Fine Hardwoods to learn more about hardwood flooring options.

Easy Maintenance

Hardwood floors are also incredibly easy to maintain. These floors are pretty resistant to liquid spills, so all you need to do is vacuum and mop them.

Hardwood floors don’t attract too much debris, so it shouldn’t take you too much time to clean them each week. You should also plan to refinish your hardwood floors every 7 to 10 years.

Cons of Hardwood Floors

While there are many reasons to say yes to hardwood floors, there are also a few reasons to say no. Here are the drawbacks of hardwood flooring:

Cost

Hardwood flooring can be costly for some homeowners. Materials can run from $3 per square foot up to $12 per square foot.

Hardwood floors need to be installed over sub-flooring, and most people need to hire contractors to help with the installation, adding more money to your final costs.

Scratching

While hardwood floors are resistant to stains and spills, they can be prone to scratching. As we mentioned, you’ll need to refinish your hardwood floors every so often to remove the scratches.

Hardwood flooring in high-traffic areas, especially areas where pets and children walk, is more prone to damage.

Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring is made from synthetic materials such as PVC vinyl or fiberglass. It’s made from multiple layers and comes with a thick core, making it especially durable.

Many people confuse vinyl flooring with laminate or linoleum flooring. However, they’re not the same thing. Laminate flooring contains some wood, while vinyl flooring is solely made from synthetic materials. Linoleum flooring is also made from all-natural materials.

Pros of Vinyl Flooring

Here are the biggest benefits of vinyl flooring:

Cost

People prefer vinyl flooring because it’s very affordable. You can expect to pay $2 to $5 per square foot. Even if you opt for luxury vinyl flooring, it’s still going to be more affordable than hardwood.

Vinyl flooring is also cheaper to clean and maintain than other flooring options.

Easy to Install

If you’re looking for an easy-to-install flooring option, vinyl is a great choice. There’s no hammering or sawing involved, and a lot of brands offer self-adhesive vinyl- all you need to do is remove the backing and press the plank into the floor.

Cons of Vinyl Flooring

Before opting for vinyl flooring, consider the following drawbacks:

Difficult to Remove

The adhesive backing on vinyl flooring hardens to the floorboards, making the planks difficult to remove. However, it’s still possible to remove vinyl floors without the help of a professional, you just need a little more elbow grease.

Inconsistent Quality

The quality of vinyl flooring is not the same across the board. To ensure you’re getting top-quality flooring, pay attention to the thickness levels.

Thickness levels can range from 2 mm to 8 mm. The thinner the vinyl flooring, the more prone it is to indentation and damage.

Vinyl vs Hardwood: Which is Right for You?

Now that you’ve read this guide on vinyl vs hardwood, it’s time to choose the right option for your home. There are pros and cons to each flooring option, and ultimately, it comes down to personal choice.

Of course, flooring is just one aspect you need to take into consideration when remodeling your home. For more home remodeling tips, check back in with our site.