Wood flooring adds warmth and style to any room; however, the right wood flooring for a home isn’t always the classic hardwoods that were installed in our great-grandparents’ home. Today’s homeowners have options for hardwood flooring types that families years ago could only dream about: hardwood, engineered wood, laminate, and luxury vinyl floors.
All these hardwood flooring types come in a variety of widths and colors that can add character and style to any room. However, there are some notable differences that can make hardwood, engineered wood, laminate, and luxury vinyl floors the right hardwood flooring for a home.
wood floor with inlayTraditional wood floors may be a similar construction to the classic floors in older homes, however today’s wood floors come in a variety of traditional and modern styles suitable to any home.
Pros: Can increase home value, Adds warmth to a space, Durable, Long-lasting, Can be refinished many times over the years
Cons: Usually most expensive option, Can be damaged by water leaks and puddles, May scratch in high traffic areas
Engineered hardwood flooring is manufactured in layers (with wood as the top layer). Because of their unique construction, engineered hardwood floors look as beautiful as hardwood floors but can be installed over a slab (ask to see engineered hardwood styles constructed specifically for the purpose when visiting the flooring store).
Pros: Manufactured with real wood, ideal for homes on slabs or in basements, Durable, (Depending on the thickness) can be refinished
Cons: Can be damaged by water leaks and puddles, Typically more expensive than laminate and some luxury vinyl
Modern laminate floors closely resemble hardwood floors—so much so that it’s hard to tell the two apart. Though they look similar, laminate floors are constructed with features that make them ideal for high-traffic areas.
Pros: Has the look of wood, Durable (especially in high-traffic areas), Easy-to-clean, Typically very affordable, Can be installed as a do-it-yourself project
Cons: Can be damaged by water leaks and puddles (though some new products are water-resistant), Can be prone to scratches (use these tips to prevent scratches)
Luxury vinyl floors look just like hardwood floors but with a water-resistant feature that makes it appealing for busy homes (along with other endearing flooring features).
Pros: Looks just like wood (in a variety of styles-ask to see the right width and color for the room), Durable (especially in high-traffic areas), Easy-to-clean, Water-resistant, Luxury vinyl planks can be installed as a do-it-yourself project, Can be installed in basements
Cons: Can be scratched, Typically more expensive than laminate