Feeling overwhelmed is normal and expected when dabbling in home projects, particularly when making key decisions that will last for years to come. After all, foundational items like flooring can set the overall tone for your home. At Michael’s Flooring & Cabinets, we want to make home projects less overwhelming, more rewarding, and less financially overbearing. 

A current topic in home renovations is the decision between LVPs (luxury vinyl planks) and traditional hardwood floors. On the floor at Michael’s, we hear these questions frequently: “Are LVPs better or hardwoods better? Why? Which would you choose?” Our response typically begins with our own questions, understanding the lifestyles of our clients and who shares their home (rambunctious kids or pets, for example). The destination of the new flooring also matters because the presence of moisture can play such a key factor in the decision. For instance, is the area likely to have frequent spills? Once we better understand individual client needs, we can help them look at the attributes of both products and the durability that best matches how they live in their homes.

When considering LVPs or Hardwood Flooring, we recommend examining the categories of Appearance and Style, Durability and Moisture, Installation and Cost, and Cleaning and Maintenance to help our clients make a more informed decision about which is best.  

Appearance and Style

LVPs are not necessarily always the cheaper option. In the past, vinyl was a more economical option looking much less aesthetically pleasing than traditional hardwoods. However,  engineering and modern technology can make luxury vinyl look and perform much like real hardwoods with increased resilience. Hardwoods have a traditional appearance, but will require maintenance over the long haul to keep the polished look. Both LVPs and hardwoods have endless options related to color and style. 

Durability and Moisture:

If small children and/or pets are present in a home, LVPs might be worth a longer look. LVPs are known for their short-term “indestructibility” attributes and resilience while looking extremely similar to traditional hardwoods. In the long term, they typically have a 10-20 year lifespan. LVP’s are usually chip and scratch-resistant because of the invisible layers of protective top coatings; however, LVPs can tear down and dent when moving heavy objects such as furniture. LVP flooring is ideal in high-moisture areas like bathrooms because they are completely moisture resistant. 

Hardwood flooring can last for generations when cared for well, and can be refinished again and again to look essentially brand new. In the short term, it is not always the ideal choice for active families or homes with pets because it will show dents, scratches, and chips quickly. Additionally, hardwoods are not moisture resistant and can encounter water damage in high moisture areas of the home. Hardwood flooring also typically carries with it a higher level of prestige and is valued more in a real estate appraisal, for example. 

Installation and Cost

Keep in mind that installing either LVPs or traditional hardwoods will add value to your home because of the overall aesthetic improvement. LVPs can be more of a DIY project and, as a result, have a lower installation cost. Hardwoods tend to take more time, effort, and technical abilities which adds to the overall installation cost. Hardwood flooring will also require special treatments and refinishes after years of use. However, the LVP’s 10-20 year lifespan is a consideration if you intend to live in your home for decades to come. 

Cleaning and Maintenance

LVPs and hardwoods are easy to maintain. No expensive tools or professional cleaning regiments are necessary. To help LVPs reach their lifespan of 10 to 20 years, regular cleaning is encouraged. For best results for LVPs, consider vacuuming daily, wet cleaning two to three times a month, and spot cleaning stains as soon as they appear. For hardwood flooring, we recommend vacuuming daily, spot cleaning stains as soon as they appear, and dry mopping using microfiber cloths and hardwood floor cleaners. Staying close to a schedule will ensure your floors (hardwoods or LVPs) remain bright and fresh. Remember, hardwoods will need to be refinished overtime. 

Now that you are ready to make your LVP or hardwood flooring decision, let us assist you with your home improvement project. We have knowledgeable sales professionals ready to help you.  Our accessible, in-stock inventory includes top LVP and traditional hardwood brands like Armstrong Flooring, Phenix Flooring, COREtec Flooring, US Floors Direct, Anderson Hardwood Floors, Shaw Floors, and many more.

If you’re considering new flooring, please come visit us! We’ll be happy to walk you through the sales process from start to finish.