Vinyl vs hardwood flooring, both are today’s top options available to homeowners. Solid hardwood flooring is made of wood, while engineered wood floors come with layers of plywood and a wood core.
Vinyl flooring is made from a synthetic material, polyvinyl chloride (PVC). It is made from a single textured and died PVC layer on a rubberized plastic. Both of these floorings have their advantages and disadvantages.
The selection of flooring depends on your taste, financial plan, and the area to be floored. Let’s compare vinyl and hardwood floors to see which one you should choose.
Vinyl vs. Hardwood Flooring – Detailed Comparison
If you have all the necessary equipment, you can opt for a DIY route to install vinyl and hardwood flooring. Installation of vinyl wood flooring is easy, but professional installation can deliver the best results.
On the other hand, a level wooden or cement subfloor is required for hardwood floor installation. Hardwood floors do not allow an uneven subfloor as wood can bend over time.
There should be an expansion gap around the edges of the floor to allow the boards to swell and contract from humidity. Vinyl flooring does not require a perfectly level subfloor, but it should be perfectly clean.
You can lay vinyl on concrete, wood, or any existing flooring. Wood vinyl plank flooring is glued to the subfloor and has a peel and stick backing.
Cost is highly affected by the material type used and the quality. Purchasing and installation of vinyl flooring are less costly.
Vinyl floorings are of three types: planks, sheets, and tiles. Vinyl sheets are the cheapest among these types, costing $0.50 – $2 per square foot. The cost of tiles and planks is the same $2 – $7 per square foot.
The price of hardwood floors depends on the type of wood used in them. The price of prefinished maple and oak planks is $4 – $14 square feet. Wenge, teak, and mahogany are the most costly wood varieties that cost $25 per square foot.
If the hardwood flooring is not prefinished, its installation can be higher. Vinyl floor tiles or plank’s average price is nearly $3 per square foot, and its installation costs $2.50 per square foot. So, the total cost is $5.50 per square foot.
On the other hand, the cost of average quality and prefinished hardwood, including installation, is nearly $8.25 per square foot. The increased cost of hardwood flooring increases the resale value of the house.
However, laying vinyl flooring does not increase the long-term value of a house.
Hardwood looks gorgeous due to the natural designs and grains as they are made from solid woods. The color depends on the trees used, ranging from neutral to reddish. As wood is a good conductor, so it adds warmth to your space.
Current Vinyl flooring that looks like wood is textured and dyed on the outer layer. Wood-look vinyl flooring mimics many species of hardwood.
If you install it by a professional, it will be so perfect that finding the difference between hardwood and vinyl will be difficult.
Due to the rubberized backing layer, vinyl is comfortable and quiet. On the other hand, wood is loud.
The maintenance of vinyl flooring is not so difficult. Using recommended cleaners to mop is the best way to keep textured vinyl flooring. Use a soft broom or brush to sweep it regularly.
Don’t use its brush attachment if you want to clean it with a vacuum. Homeowners should use rugs and mats in high-traffic areas to avoid wear. In case of any damage, it can be replaced but not repaired.
Keep hardwood floors clean by sweeping and mopping every week. The small dust particles can scratch its surface, so clean it often with a soft broom. Moisture can also damage it, so use the cleaners that are used especially for wood.
Hardwood floors should be refinished around every ten years. They can also be repaired if required.
Impact on Environment
Hardwood flooring has a low effect on the atmosphere because it is a renewable resource, as it is made from natural wood. If you want to know the impact of any variety of wood on the environment, you can search for its certification from Forest Stewardship Council.
Since vinyl is made from PVC resin, it is not eco-friendly. PVC products release volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Continuous exposure to VOC emissions can cause respiratory problems.
It is possible to recycle hardwood floors after removal, but vinyl flooring can’t be recycled.
If you properly maintain hardwood floors, they can have an extended lifespan. Although vinyl is prone to cuts and scratches, it is more durable. The particles of dirt, dust, pet claws, and sharp furniture harm the hardwood surface.
Damaged hardwoods can be repaired and refinished, while vinyl can’t be recycled. The humidity resistance is the main difference in durability. Hardwood floors must not be used in bathrooms, basements, and kitchens because they are not waterproof.
On the other hand, vinyl can be used in the entire house because it is waterproof.
By comparing engineered hardwood vs. LVP (Luxury vinyl plank), you will know that any added wax layers or coatings damage the protective coating of engineered hardwood flooring.
Moisture and climate changes do not damage the synthetic material luxury vinyl plank. Parterre’s LVT is made with high-grade vinyl.
It is made in flat and hot press methods with multidirectional base layers. This gives it strength to bear humidity and weather conditions.
Usage of hardwood flooring and LVT require the same commercial circumstances. It is used in Large families, hospitality, business, trade, and many more.
By comparing LVP vs. hardwood, you will know that hardwood is a graceful and eternal choice for any flooring application except in high humid areas. However, LVT is best for areas with extreme moisture.
As waterproof flooring, LVT is best for shower rooms and the kitchen. Its stability and durability allow its usage in trade, hotels, hospitals, housing, and much more.
Home Resale Value
The resale value of a home does not contribute by the vinyl floors. But, hardwood floors add absolutely to the resale value.
National Hardwood Flooring Association reported that hardwood floors are easier to sell, quicker, and costly compared to homes with other flooring types. But, more investment is required in repairing and refinishing compared to vinyl flooring.
Pros and Cons of Hardwood Flooring
- Can be resold with a higher value
- Extra graceful look
- It can be refreshed by refinishing and repairing
- Good heat-proofing material
- Can be renewed
- Costly and tough installation
- Can be damaged by moisture
Pros and Cons of Vinyl Flooring
- Easy installation
- Low maintenance required
- Comfortable and more soundless material
- Does not damage by radiant heat
- Not long-lasting
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
Which Material Flooring Is Better, Hardwood or Vinyl?
Hardwood flooring is made of natural material and is long-lasting, but it is a costly flooring option for residential use.
However, Vinyl flooring is made of synthetic alternatives and has a shorter lifespan but is cost-effective—most homeowners like hardwood floors for their graceful look, durability, and good resale value.
What are Some of the Disadvantages of Vinyl Plank Flooring?
- Discharge Volatile Organic Compounds
- Less durable compared to wooden floors
- No influence on home resale value
- If installed with glue, it is difficult to remove
- Unrecyclable and not environmentally friendly
Which is Cost-Effective, Luxury Vinyl or Hardwood?
Luxury vinyl flooring is cost-effective compared to hardwood. In addition, glue-down LVP is cheaper than floating floor LVP.
In Vinyl, Laminate, or Hardwood Flooring, Which Option is Best?
A flooring option is picked according to the homeowner’s needs and requirements. Hardwood is selected due to its attractive appearance and durability.
It can be repaired and refinished in case of damage. Laminate is picked for its easy maintenance and cleaning. It is waterproof. Vinyl is cost-effective, easy to maintain, and more water-resistant than laminate.
What is the Lifespan of Vinyl Flooring?
Vinyl flooring is long-lasting. It can last around 10 – 20 years if installed and maintained properly. It is best for high-traffic areas and resists stains and cuts due to a wear coating.
I hope the comparison of vinyl vs. hardwood flooring will have helped you in deciding which one you should choose. Both are available in wide-ranging designs and styles, but hardwoods are more long-lasting than vinyl.
Hardwoods are costly, but the maintenance charges are the same. Both can be used in many conditions, but hardwoods are not resistant to moisture. On the other hand, vinyl floorings are not repairable once damaged, while hardwoods can be repaired and refinished.