Real hardwood flooring has been a popular option in kitchens for years. But recently, engineered wood floors have become trendier than ever. According to a report, 69 percent of kitchen-remodeling homeowners updated their kitchen flooring, but only 24 percent chose natural hardwood. About 40 percent chose some type of engineered flooring, including luxury vinyl planks. But which is better: hardwood or luxury vinyl plank flooring?
If you love the warm, cozy look and feel of hardwood but aren’t sure if you should get real wood or luxury vinyl plank flooring, let’s talk through the pros and cons of each.
It’s hard to resist the aesthetic appeal of real hardwood floors. They’re a stunning way to showcase your style and add color and warmth to your kitchen remodel. When blending the floor with your other design choices, your options are abundant — hardwood flooring comes in a variety of grains, textures, colors, and sizes.
Durability is often a huge factor for homeowners pursuing a kitchen remodel. They want flooring that holds up well over time and is easy to care for. As long as the hardwood flooring you select is high quality and is installed and sealed properly, it’s fairly simple to maintain. Simply sweep and wipe with a barely-damp mop or hardwood cleaner as needed.
Another plus is that wood flooring will always be in style, and it looks good in practically any room in the house — including kitchens. Hardwood almost always adds value to a home and is also ideal for resale.
In terms of longevity, real hardwood flooring takes the cake. It can be sanded and refinished multiple times, meaning it will last for years. You can ensure your flooring always has a fresh, updated look, no matter how old it is.
Despite the benefits, real hardwood flooring isn’t perfect. There are some downfalls to consider before installing it in your kitchen remodel. For instance, depending on which brand, type and quantity you select, it can be pricier than other options like luxury vinyl planks.
Also, many would argue that hardwood flooring isn’t as durable or practical as luxury vinyl. It’s susceptible to water damage and if it’s not well sealed, moisture can penetrate the wood and cause it to warp. It’s also not resistant to scratches and dents. Every day foot traffic can gradually wear down the seal, making the wood more vulnerable to imperfections. For example, cat and dog claws can leave scratches and marks simply from walking or running across the floor.
In terms of installing solid hardwood flooring, the process is a bit challenging and requires the use of special tools. It’s not usually something a DIYer can accomplish without help from a professional.
And while real hardwood flooring is softer and more comfortable to walk on compared to tile, it’s not as soft and cushiony as luxury vinyl plank flooring.
Now let’s move on to vinyl plank flooring. This product is becoming more and more popular because over the past few years, improvements have been made to its appearance, functionality, and quality.
One of the primary reasons homeowners choose luxury vinyl plank flooring for their kitchens is because of its durability. It’s fully moisture-proof and more impervious to wear and tear. It’s completely resistant to water damage and most stains. As you know, a kitchen floor is bound to come into contact with spilled foods, liquids, or other substances.
In terms of appearance, luxury vinyl plank flooring comes in a variety of colors, textures, grains, and sizes. It’s thicker than traditional vinyl flooring, so it has a softer, more cushioned feel against the feet. Many people would argue that when it comes to aesthetics, you can’t even tell it’s not real hardwood.
Lastly, luxury vinyl plank flooring is fairly simple to install, as many types are made for easy click-lock installation. And while the price of luxury vinyl is more expensive than traditional vinyl flooring, it’s still more affordable than real hardwood.
At the end of the day, there’s one major con to luxury vinyl plank flooring that can’t be denied: it’s engineered. Real hardwood is just that — real wood — and it’s natural. Some people love having natural materials and finishes in their homes, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Because real hardwood is good for the resale value of a home, luxury vinyl is slightly less beneficial in comparison. Solid hardwood flooring is a more expensive and appealing investment, but this makes it more attractive on the real estate market.
You also want to be particular about the brand and quality of the vinyl flooring if you choose to install it in your kitchen. Some brands claim to be luxury vinyl even though the product is actually more like a traditional vinyl flooring. Get a sample of the planks before purchasing to make sure you like the thickness and cushioning it provides.
At the end of the day, both solid hardwood flooring and luxury vinyl flooring are great options for a kitchen renovation. There are pros and cons to each, so it really depends on what your individual needs are. Weigh your options and go with your gut, or reach out to us for further guidance.
Every home deserves a kitchen that’s beautiful, welcoming, and functional — designed for the way you live. Established by two long-time central Ohio homebuilders and craftsmen, The Creative Kitchen Co. offers customized kitchen remodeling and refacing solutions. Contact us for more information.