Are you planning on revamping your home’s flooring but can’t decide between luxury vinyl planks and engineered hardwood floors?
With so many options available in the market, selecting the right type of flooring for your home can be a daunting task. Both LVP and engineered hardwood floors have unique characteristics that make them appealing to homeowners.
In this blog post, we’ll compare these two types of flooring to help you make an informed decision based on your preferences, budget, and lifestyle.
So let’s dive into the pros and cons of luxury vinyl planks vs engineered hardwood floors!
Table of Contents
What is a Luxury Vinyl Plank Floor?
Luxury vinyl plank flooring, commonly known as LVP, is a durable and affordable option for homeowners who want the look of hardwood floors without breaking the bank.
The flooring material consists of several layers, including a wear layer to protect against scratches and stains, a printed design layer that mimics the look of wood or stone, an inner core made from PVC composite, and a backing layer for stability.
One advantage of LVP is its water-resistant properties which make it ideal for use in high-moisture areas such as bathrooms or kitchens. It’s also easy to clean with just a damp mop or vacuum cleaner.
Furthermore, LVP can be installed over existing floors like concrete or tile without requiring extensive preparation work.
LVP comes in various designs and colors ranging from classic oak to modern grey tones. Some brands even offer textured options that feel like real wood underfoot.
What LVP is made of?
With its versatility and affordability compared to traditional hardwood floors, LVP has become an increasingly popular choice among homeowners looking to upgrade their home’s aesthetics without going over budget.
It is made of the following layers
- Underlayment – attached to the board. It is usually made of cork or synthetic.
- Core – A solid core that makes the LVP nice, rigid, and solid on the floors. The core can be made of either a wood polymer or a stone polymer. SPC or WPC
- Vinyl layer – It is usually a printed illustration of wood that provides the aesthetics and variety of designs to the vinyl
- Wear layer – Present on top of the vinyl layer. extremely thin. It is to withstand the people traffic and furniture load.
Pros and Cons of LVP
Here is a list of all the pros and cons of LVP
- Affordable – Since LVP is easier to manufacture, it is generally more affordable.
- Flexible – Because of its flexibility especially with the underlayment, it can easily fit on any type of surface even with bumps or uneven rough surfaces.
- Easy Installation – The installation process in general is easy. It is more like a floating floor. And with a bit of guidance, LVP can be installed by yourself even without any assistance from professionals. Because each plank is prefinished and interlocking, it can be quickly installed using a variety of techniques such as floating floor systems or glue-down methods.
- Durable – It is easy to replace and repair. And it can easily withstand heavy-duty items based on the type of core you have chosen. If you need it to handle too much pressure or load. For eg: for industrial purposes then it is best to go with LVP with a stone polymer core.
- Waterproof – It is 100% waterproof, extremely durable and it has multiple layers or components to it. Note that just because LVP is waterproof doesn’t mean it makes the sublayer waterproof too.
- Scratch resistant – It is scratch resistant too. Even if it gets some scratches they can easily be replaced just by replacing the LVP board. There is no need to disassemble the entire floor if in case you need to replace a single piece of plank.
What is an Engineered hardwood floor?
They are hardwood floors that have a plywood core and a wear layer on top. The number of plywood cores can vary depending on the product and price.
The wear layer on the top has a good thickness that is thick enough to be sanded in the future in case of scratches or other issues.
But the thing with engineered hardwood floors is that most of the time, people end up buying cheap ones that are mostly mass manufactured in factories.
These hardwood pieces have very thin wear layers and are not scratch resistant or durable enough over a period of years.
However, buying well-researched premium engineered hardwood can last for years without causing any issues.
Engineered hardwood floors provide an excellent balance between value and elegance. These floors consist of multiple layers that are bonded together under heat and pressure to form a sturdy composite material that looks like solid wood.
The outer layer is made from real wood veneer, giving engineered hardwood a more authentic appearance than LVP.
Pros and Cons of Engineered Hardwood Floors
Here are the pros and cons of Engineered hardwood floors
- Installation – When it comes to replacement or repair it is hard. Sometimes you might need to replace the entire surface.
- Not suitable for Humid – Engineered hardwood suits well for a drier climate. But if you live in a humid environment or even have a humidifier running then it is not suitable to go with engineered hardwood.
- Smooth surface – Also when installing hardwood the subfloor needs to be as perfect as possible without any bumps, or dirt for a smooth finish and installation.
- Expensive – Compared to LVP they are a little on the expensive side.
- Durable – Quality-engineered hardwood floors are much more durable and timeless compared to typical LVP and can withstand heavier weights and have greater stability.
- Scratch resistant – It is completely resistant and is not easily damaged. Also, it is more scratch resistant than LVP.
- Cleaning – When it comes to the cleaning aspect of hardwood floors, they can’t be cleaned with any random cleaners. You need to put in some effort to find the specialty cleaners that work best for your floor type.
Which type of flooring is right for you?
Choosing the right type of flooring for your home can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some factors to consider before making a decision.
Firstly, think about the room where you want to install the flooring. Luxury vinyl planks (LVP) and engineered hardwood floors are both versatile options that can work in almost any space.
However, if you’re looking to install flooring in areas with high moisture levels such as bathrooms or laundry rooms, LVP may be the better option.
Another important factor to consider is your budget. Engineered hardwood floors tend to be more expensive than LVP, so if cost is a concern for you, then LVP might be the way to go.
You should also take into account how much foot traffic each room receives on average. If you have kids or pets running around all day long, then durability should definitely play a role in your decision-making process.
Both LVP and engineered hardwood floors are durable options that can stand up against wear and tear over time.
Think about your personal style preferences when it comes to aesthetics. Do you prefer a natural wood look or do you like bold patterns and colors?
Both types of flooring come in various styles and designs that can complement any interior design scheme.
Luxury vinyl planks are durable, waterproof, and low-maintenance, and come in a variety of styles to mimic the look of hardwood.
They’re also more affordable than engineered hardwood floors. However, they may not add as much value to your home as real wood flooring.
Engineered hardwood floors offer the beauty and warmth of natural wood with added stability due to their layered construction.
They can be sanded down and refinished if needed, making them a long-lasting investment for your home. However, they require more maintenance than LVPs and are susceptible to scratches from pets or heavy furniture.
After comparing luxury vinyl planks and engineered hardwood floors, it’s clear that each type of flooring has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
When deciding between luxury vinyl planks vs engineered hardwood floors, consider your priorities: Do you want a low-maintenance option that looks like real wood?
Or are you willing to invest in the timeless appeal of genuine hardwood?
Ultimately, both types of flooring have their place in modern homes depending on personal preferences and needs. It’s up to you to decide which one is right for your specific situation!