There isn’t much in your home quite as classic as the look of hardwood floors. They add a sense of permanence to any room and can even be better for allergy sufferers. You may think that once you’ve decided on your look you can just head over to the local flooring showroom, make your selection, and schedule the installation; but did you know that you have options when it comes to hardwoods? Laminate, Solid Hardwood, and Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) all have a similar aesthetics, but how do you decide what material is right for you?
Laminate is the most cost effective flooring choice coming in at an average of 50% less to install than solid hardwood. Laminate flooring is a multi-layer synthetic flooring product fused together and is marketed as durable, scratch, and dent resistant. However, if not installed properly laminate is susceptible to peaking or two plank edges pressing together and becoming raised. Peaking occurs when the planks are incorrectly glued down to the subfloor or not enough space was given between the edges. While laminate is among the cheapest to install it can be costly if a repair is ever needed. Since the laminate surface is a photograph of a natural hardwood it isn’t possible to sand down and refinish a damaged area and it is often impossible to find a matching replacement for a damaged plank. Many homeowners must resort to replacing their entire floor if a section becomes damaged. Laminate is not ideal for any rooms that are prone to moisture as it is susceptible to buckling or becoming uneven if exposed to moisture for any long period of time.
Solid hardwood floors are made from a single piece of wood. This is something that cannot be said for Laminate or LVT which are made up of multiple layers of synthetic materials. When properly cared for, solid hardwood floors can last a lifetime (or longer!). It is not uncommon to walk into a 100 year old home and see that the original hardwoods are still intact. Solid hardwood also has the benefit of buyer recognition and is often held among the pinnacle of flooring choices giving your home a higher resale value vs LVT or laminate. In regard to longevity, solid hardwood is very durable but is more susceptible to scratches and dents than its synthetic competitors though repair is easier and less costly. Like laminate, solid hardwood floors are also susceptible to gaping or buckling if laid in areas prone to dampness or humidity making them less than ideal for bathrooms, basements, or laundry rooms.
Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) flooring is not your parent’s vinyl. With new advances in photographic technologies the stone and wood print looks more realistic than ever. Often times an untrained eye will not be able to notice the difference. Many LVT floors even have texture just like the real thing (wood grain, tile contours, etc.). Along with improved visual appeal, LVT flooring has many advantages including being extremely durable and easy to maintain. Most LVT floors are made with a scratch and dent resistant layer making it a kid and pet friendly flooring choice. They can also be easily cleaned with just a basic mop, vacuum, or broom. Installation is quick and easy as LVT can either be glued down or floated by clicking together the tongue and groove edges of the individual tiles. The disadvantage to LTV is cost. While most people associate vinyl with an inexpensive flooring choice, LVT often costs close to or as much as some standard hardwood or ceramic tiles.
The friendly and knowledgeable sales team at Bob Wagner’s Flooring America is ready to help guide you through the purchase and installation of your new floors. Whether you choose laminate, solid hardwood, or LVT they are ready to answer any questions and guide you to the perfect floors for your lifestyle and budget. Call today for your free estimate.