Everyone knows the benefits of hardwood floors. They’re easy to keep clean, maintain, and they don’t collect and hold onto allergens. But other than knowing that hardwood floors have benefits over carpet that stains and ages faster over time, what do you know about choosing flooring? What kind of hardwood best suits your needs? Vinyl plank-hardwood, engineered hardwood, or solid hardwood, and what’s the difference?
Solid hardwood is what it sounds like. It’s more enduring than engineered hardwood, which consists of a real wood veneer glued to a layer of wood beneath it. It’s beautiful and has the look of solid wood, but it’s can’t be refinished more than once or twice if it’s scratched up or dented. Solid hardwood has less flexibility but it can be refinished as long as you have something to refinish. Both of these wood floors, however, are susceptible to moisture, and they both require regular maintenance in order to stay young and pretty.
Vinyl planking can be manufactured to look like wood, but you can always tell it’s vinyl. It is, however, longer lasting, water-resistant, and it’s solid and comfortable to walk on. It’s not eco-friendly like its real wood competition, but it can go anywhere in the house, where as real wood needs to stay out of moist places like the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry spaces. It’s also pretty inexpensive, costing about $1 to $5 a square foot. Vinyl won’t inevitably scratch like wood flooring ultimately will, but there is something warm and cozy about real wood flooring that sometimes vinyl planking just can’t measure up to.
Ultimately, what you choose to floor your home with depends on your needs. If you live in an area that happens to flood, vinyl may be your best choice. If you live in a dry place and don’t rough house too much, wood flooring will last you just as long.