Are you in the process of remodeling and deciding which type of flooring to install? Choosing between vinyl plank flooring and engineered hardwood can be difficult, as they both have advantages. Fortunately, we’ve put together an in-depth guide that explores all the aspects of these two types of flooring so you can decide which is best for your needs.
Overview of Vinyl Plank and Engineered Flooring
Engineered hardwood is made from genuine hardwood layers that are laminated together. These multiple layers create a stable base and provide superior strength, making it suitable for any level of the home.
It’s also beautiful and can add value to your home compared to other flooring materials.
On the other hand, vinyl plank flooring is constructed from PVC and other synthetic materials that are layered together.
It’s an excellent option for those looking to achieve the look of hardwood without maintenance, as it’s highly durable, water resistant, and easy to clean.
Additionally, vinyl plank flooring is typically much more affordable than engineered hardwood making it an excellent option for those on a budget.
Now that you have an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of each type of flooring let’s delve into the details.
- Cost-effective: Vinyl plank is usually less expensive than engineered hardwood.
- Easy installation: Vinyl planks are designed to click together, meaning you don’t need special tools or experience to install them.
- Various styles: Vinyl plank flooring comes in multiple colors and styles, giving you plenty of options for your home’s decor.
- Durability: Vinyl planks protect against dents, scratches, and everyday wear.
- Water-resistant: Vinyl planks are water resistant, making them suitable for areas prone to moisture, such as the kitchen and bathroom.
- Not as natural looking: While manufacturers are constantly improving the design of vinyl plank flooring, it still doesn’t look quite as natural as engineered hardwood.
- Can’t be refinished: Since vinyl flooring has a single wear layer over the design layer, it cannot be sanded down or refinished. Therefore, if any part of the floor is damaged, it must be entirely replaced, making repair costs more expensive in the long run.
- Doesn’t add resale value: Most of the time, vinyl floors don’t significantly increase the resale value of a house or building. In some cases, older or low-quality vinyl floors may even have a negative impact.
- Not eco-friendly: Vinyl is not biodegradable and takes a lot of energy to produce, making it an unsustainable option for the environment.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring
- More natural: Engineered hardwood looks and feels much closer to real wood than vinyl plank flooring does.
- Durability: Engineered hardwood is durable and can withstand everyday wear and tear.
- Easy installation: Like vinyl plank, engineered hardwood also clicks together for easy installation.
- Stylish: Engineered hardwood provides a classic, timeless look, with its surface being indistinguishable from traditional hardwood flooring.
- Adds Value: Engineered hardwood flooring is a great way to increase your home’s value. It can be installed correctly to add long-term value even if you don’t plan on selling anytime soon.
- Cost: Engineered hardwood is usually more expensive than vinyl plank flooring.
- Limited styles: There are fewer colors and styles available in engineered hardwood compared to vinyl plank, so finding something that matches your home’s decor may be challenging.
- Sensitive to heat or humidity: Compared to vinyl plank flooring, engineered hardwood is more prone to high-humidity environments, potentially leading to bowing or cracking.
- Fading: Engineered hardwood shares the same vulnerability to UV light as traditional hardwood flooring. Prolonged exposure can cause fading, which isn’t easily reversible.
Installation and Maintenance
Vinyl plank floors are incredibly easy to install and maintain. The planks come in various sizes and shapes, so you can mix and match your design according to your preference.
Plus, the planks click together easily, meaning anyone can do it without needing specialized tools or experience.
In terms of maintenance, you should regularly sweep or damp mop the floor. Vinyl plank floors are also scratch and water-resistant, making it easy to clean up any spills quickly.
Engineered hardwood is a bit more challenging. It takes time and effort to make sure the planks line up correctly and are securely attached to the subfloor.
As far as maintenance goes, it’s important to sweep or vacuum regularly and clean up spills immediately.
Additionally, engineered hardwood can be sensitive to humidity levels and are prone to possibly fading due to sunlight.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is better, engineered hardwood or vinyl plank?
It’s really up to you and your budget. Vinyl plank is usually less expensive than engineered hardwood while offering the same durability and ease of installation. However, engineered hardwood may be better if you prefer a more natural look and feel.
What are the disadvantages of vinyl plank flooring?
The main disadvantages of vinyl plank flooring are that it doesn’t look as natural as engineered hardwood.
Which is more durable, engineered hardwood or luxury vinyl?
Engineered hardwood is usually more durable than luxury vinyl. However, luxury vinyl is more water resistant.
Is engineered hardwood water-resistant?
No, engineered hardwood is not water-resistant. It may withstand some moisture, but it is not recommended for areas prone to flooding or excess water.
When deciding between engineered hardwood and vinyl plank flooring, you must consider your budget, design preferences, and the amount of maintenance you’re willing to undertake.
Vinyl plank is affordable and easy to install and maintain, with various colors and styles available.
However, engineered hardwood is better if you want a more natural look and feel. It’s more durable and offers a broader range of options, but it does come with a higher cost and requires more maintenance.