Flooring products are continually evolving, and so do our customers’ questions. Most of the recent questions we’ve heard have revolved around one of the newest products on the market: luxury vinyl flooring. Now we know you’re envisioning those cheap-looking vinyl floors your grandma used to have. You know, the ugly patterned flooring that just looked, well, cheap.
Get rid of those pictures. Vinyl flooring has come a long way, with new luxury vinyl floors challenging the traditional flooring favorite: wood flooring. Part of that challenge comes from the similar look; you’ll do a double take when trying to distinguish between wood and luxury vinyl flooring. There are advantages to both floorings, as well as a few disadvantages of wood and vinyl. With the looks (and the pros and cons) being equal, how do you decide between wood and vinyl flooring for your home?
Wood Flooring Pros
- Durability. Want long lasting? These floors can take it and make it for a long time. Some wood floors have even celebrated century birthdays. If you have kids and pets, hand-scraped floors can hide the wear and tear that come with an active household, and laminate wood floors are known for their durability. When solid wood floors or engineered hardwood do scratch or fade, they can be refinished and look like new—for a long, long time.
- Easy to clean. Wood floors are easy to clean and require few cleaning products. Beware of steam cleaning your wood floors, though, as there are some definite reasons to proceed with caution.
- Warmth. Engineered hardwood can also be installed over radiant heating. Radiant heating is energy efficient and gives any room an even heat, along with other practical advantages.
- Increase the value of your home. Because of all the advantages listed above, wood floors are highly sought after by buyers and can increase the value of your home.
Wood Flooring Cons
- Water. Water is a nightmare for wood flooring, and can cause warping and water stains. Damaged wood floors need to be repaired, boards replaced or the worst case scenario: sanded down and refinished. Because wood and water don’t mix, hardwood floors are not recommended for bathrooms and basements. Homeowners with wood floors in the kitchen need to be careful to clean up water spills as soon as it hits the floor.
- Professional installation. Most wood floors need to be installed by a professional.
Vinyl Flooring Pros
- Indestructible. Vinyl plank flooring is durable and tough, making it ideal for homes with pets and kids. Because it’s so tough, vinyl plank flooring can be installed in high traffic rooms such as living rooms, family rooms, kitchens, mud rooms, foyers…the sky is the limit with vinyl floors.
- Affordable. With a low price per square foot, vinyl plank flooring is one of the most affordable flooring products in the market. Make sure you do your research when selecting the vinyl product right for your home; there are many different levels of vinyl flooring, or ask the experts.
- DIY Installation option. Many vinyl plank flooring products snap together, making it suitable for DIYers who want new, durable flooring they can install themselves. Vinyl flooring can also be glued or even installed with grout.
- Easy to clean. Have a spill or pet puddle? Wipe up your vinyl plank flooring with a rag, and mop your messes away. These floors require literally no maintenance. As a bonus, vinyl plank flooring can handle any kind of water spills, and has even been known to withstand some minor flooding.
Vinyl Flooring Cons
- No refinishing. Vinyl floors cannot be sanded down and refinished like wood and engineered hardwood products.
- No impact on home value. Sorry homeowners, vinyl floors are not going to translate into a higher resale price.
If you have any questions about vinyl and wood floors, ask us via email or on Facebook. Or experience the difference between wood and vinyl for yourself at any Y’s Way Flooring in Watertown, Oconomowoc and Lake Mills. The good news is that no matter what flooring you choose, wood or vinyl, your flooring is going to perform well, and look even better.