Engineered Hardwood vs. Luxury Vinyl Plank

engineered hardwood vs luxury vinyl plank

Engineered Hardwood vs. Luxury Vinyl Plank

Choosing flooring options for your home is more complex than finding an option that looks nice. Homeowners can browse through various types of flooring that range in color, durability, cost, moisture resistance and other features. The goal is to find the option that works best for your household and budget. Two popular options for home flooring include luxury vinyl plank (LVP) and engineered hardwood.

Between engineered hardwood and luxury vinyl plank flooring, engineered hardwood is traditionally the most recognizable in the industry. Many people are aware of what hardwood flooring looks like and see it in many homes across the country.

The luxury vinyl flooring option is another excellent choice for homeowners and looks similar to engineered flooring. Both flooring options have unique characteristics that make them appealing to various homeowners.

Learn more about these two home flooring options and how you can benefit from either choice with this guide. Check out the cost difference, durability, upkeep process and installation process for each option and see which flooring will be the best fit for your home.

What Styles Are Available?

You can select from various styles of engineered hardwood and luxury vinyl plank flooring. The styles will have different colors, textures, dimensions and other features that make them match various types of homes. Check out the various styles of both flooring types and consider which ones will look nice inside your home.

Engineered Hardwood Styles

You can find numerous types of hard surface flooring for homes, but engineered hardwood floors are popular options because of their construction and look. This type of hardwood flooring contains layers of plywood and hardwood, whereas traditional solid hardwood flooring is a solid plank of wood. This construction makes the engineered hardwood strong and durable for homes.

Engineered hardwood comes in a variety of styles that can match any home interior. Whether you’re looking for a dark and warm look or a light gray look, engineered hardwood comes in various looks that will match the theme in your home. Some of the style options you can select include:

Hickory

Hickory is a strong species of wood that many select for their hardwood floors. It’s one of the hardest materials on the market for hardwood floors. Homeowners can enjoy a rustic look in their homes when they select hickory engineered hardwood for their homes. You can choose various colors of hickory engineered hardwood, including:

Oak

The ample supply of oak wood in the United States makes this material a popular option for engineered hardwood floors. Oak hardwood is a durable and affordable option for flooring and comes in various colors and textures. This style of engineered hardwood has prominent grains in the planks that are great for hiding any scratches or marks from use over time. Some of the stain and color options you can select for your home include:

Maple

If you’re searching for lighter wood options that match well with gray or creamy home styles, take a look at maple engineered hardwood floor options. Maple can provide a natural look to homes and is a durable type of hardwood. You can include the Ash Smokehouse Maple hardwood if you’re looking for a smoky gray and brown color for your home.

Blend

Have the benefits of maple, oak and hickory hardwood with a blended engineered flooring option. Blended hardwood floor options can provide a unique appearance for your home with mixtures of color tones, textures and grain styles. The Silver Triumph blended hardwood floor option is an excellent choice for homeowners who want a different look for their homes.

Other

Homeowners also have the option to choose exotic or unique materials for their engineered hardwood floors. These styles can add distinctive character to your home and create welcoming spaces. Some of the other wood material options available include:

Luxury Vinyl Plank Styles

If you want the look of hardwood floors but need an option that’s easy to install and often more affordable, check out luxury vinyl plank flooring. LVP is a popular flooring option on the market because of its durability and unique styles available for homeowners.

LVP is created by pressing layers of vinyl together. Some LVP options have layers of cork for soundproofing or warmth. As this flooring option continues to grow in popularity, more styles and color options appear and homeowners can create unique looks in their homes with luxury vinyl plank. Some of the color styles you can select include:

Gray

Gray floor is a popular trend and is a prominent color for LVP flooring. You can find gray luxury vinyl flooring in lighter or darker tones and find styles that include mixtures of brown for a one-of-a-kind appearance in your home. Some gray LVP flooring styles include:

Brown

Brown flooring continues to be a common flooring style in many homes. Brown flooring can come in warm or cool tones, making it a great choice for many types of home decor. Some brow LVP flooring options include:

The Durability of LVP vs. Engineered Hardwood

Durability is a huge factor when selecting flooring for your home. The people living in your home, the pets you have, the furniture in your house and the activities you perform inside your home impact your floors and can cause wear over time. It’s important to choose a flooring type that will last long in your home and look great through daily wear and tear.

Durability of Luxury Vinyl Plank

Between LVP and engineered hardwood, LVP flooring is the most durable option for homeowners. LVP can last as long as 25 years, depending on the type of LVP planks you select.  A couple of prominent features make LVP a great selection for individuals with high foot traffic, children, pets or simply for homeowners who are concerned about scratching the floor or getting them wet. The unique features of LVP include:

  • Water-resistance or waterproof: LVP floors are all water-resistant or waterproof, which makes them a great flooring option for nearly all rooms in your home. These floors can handle spills or leaks, so you can add LVP to your kitchen, laundry room or bathroom for an updated style throughout the home. LVP is also a great option for homes located in areas with high humidity.
  • Scratch-resistant: LVP floors are perfect for homes that have pets who can scratch the floors with their nails, kids running around or heavy furniture. Luxury vinyl flooring holds up against scratching and can easily hide scratches with its texture and grains.

LVP flooring offers optimal protection for your home, but it still is susceptible to some forms of damage from typical wear and tear. Since vinyl is a softer material, the planks can dent or tear from heavy objects that drop or drag on the floor. This can occur when people move furniture or drop heavy items like weights or chairs.

The LVP floors can tear when someone drops a sharp object onto the floor. A helpful solution for dents or tears on the floor is to add furniture coasters to chairs, couches and other large items to help prevent damage to the luxury vinyl floors.

LVP floors are also still susceptible to fading from sun exposure. You can combat this by placing rugs in areas with a lot of sunlight and closing shades or blinds.

Durability of Engineered Hardwood

While engineered hardwood floors lack the same qualities as the LVP floors, they are still a durable floor option compared to traditional hardwood floors. This type of flooring has a lifespan of about 20 to 40 years, depending on the wood and finish. Engineered hardwood is stronger against humidity and moisture because of the layers of wood and plywood. This makes it possible to place engineered hardwood in kitchens and bathrooms because it can withstand some water.

The top layer of engineered hardwood is real wood, which makes it susceptible to scratches and marks. Homeowners should ensure they take precautions against scratching their engineered hardwood floors, like adding high-quality finishes.

Upkeep and Cleaning of LVP and Engineered Hardwood

Cleaning and maintaining your floors is an essential job of a homeowner. You want your floors to last as long as possible so your investment can be worth it. Luxury vinyl plank and engineered hardwood are both easy to maintain, but there are different processes that homeowners will follow.

Learn about the various cleaning processes of LVP and engineered hardwood to get a better idea of which flooring option is best for your home.

Luxury Vinyl Plank Cleaning and Upkeep

Luxury vinyl plank and other forms of luxury vinyl flooring are designed to be simple for homeowners to clean and upkeep. The synthetic material and water-resistance feature allow homeowners to use basic household cleaning products to care for their LVP floors.

Some of the cleaning products and tools you can use on luxury vinyl flooring include:

  • Vacuums
  • Mops
  • Water
  • Gentle soap
  • Regular cloths
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Brooms and dustpans

Remembering to perform regular upkeep on your LVP floors can prevent unwanted damage. Some of the cleaning practices you can complete to ensure your luxury vinyl floors continue to look amazing are:

  • Dry-mop or vacuum: Dirt and debris and quickly pile up around your home. These particle cans potentially leave scratches or marks on the floor and alter the appearance of your luxury vinyl floors. Vacuuming or dry-mopping multiple times a week can help keep your floors looking great and clean.
  • Wet mop: Since luxury vinyl flooring is water-resistant or waterproof, you can clean it regularly with a wet mop. This is a great way to ensure your floors stay visually appealing and remove dirt and debris.
  • Remove stains: You should remove any stains on your LVP flooring immediately. You can use wet cloths, microfiber cloths or mops to clean up any stains to prevent further damage.

You should refrain from using cleaning tools or products like ammonia, floor wax and abrasive scrubbers. Simple and gentle cleaning products will keep your luxury vinyl floors looking nice for years to come.

Engineered Hardwood Cleaning and Upkeep

Your engineered hardwood floors can get pretty dirty from normal foot traffic and other typical household messes. The good news is that engineered hardwood floors are fairly easy to clean and maintain with the right cleaning supplies.

The cleaning tools and supplies that you’ll use for upkeeping your engineered hardwood floors include:

  • Dry mops
  • Vacuums
  • Brooms and dustpans
  • Mops
  • Wood cleaner
  • Cloths

Routine cleaning and maintenance can help keep floors strong and in great condition. Use these cleaning methods when you need to take care of your engineered hardwood:

  • Vacuum or dry mop: Using vacuums that are safe for hardwood floors and microfiber dry mops can pick up any loose debris or dirt around the house. This debris and dirt may damage hardwood floors with scratches and other marks that will impact the appearance of the flooring.
  • Sweep: Sweeping is another easy way to pick up dirt and debris in your home and protect your engineered hardwood flooring.
  • Damp mop: Mopping with water on traditional hardwood floors is a no-go, but damp mops on engineered hardwood floors are OK as long as the mop isn’t completely wet. It’s best to use an appropriate wood cleaner to prevent any moisture damage on your floors.

Installation Process of Luxury Vinyl vs. Engineered Hardwood

The installation process is an important aspect to consider when deciding between LVP and engineered hardwood flooring. The process can differ in duration, skill level and price point if you’re having a professional install the flooring. Check out all 

Luxury Vinyl Plank Installation Process

Luxury vinyl planks have slots or grips that allow the plank to lock together like a puzzle. The planks sit on top of the subfloor as a floating floor, which means that it’s not fastened to the subfloor with nails or glue.

LVP is a great option for individuals who want an easy installation process that doesn’t greatly impact the subfloor. The snap and lock installation process also makes it easy to replace damaged planks after installation.

Check out this brief overview of the LVP installation process:

  1. Prepare the subfloor. This includes sanding any high spots or bumps and filling in low spots to ensure it’s a smooth and flat surface for installing the luxury vinyl planks.
  2. Cut door jams that are touching the subfloor. This allows the planks to fit underneath and look professional after the project is complete.
  3. Lock the planks together and start flooring the entire room. The process quickly becomes repetitive by snapping the luxury vinyl planks together and filling up the space on the floor.
  4. Cut pieces of LVP to fit the room. This step is important for corners and doorways.
  5. Hit the end planks so the whole line of LVP is secure. After laying all of the pieces of luxury vinyl plank down,  install shoe molding or quarter rounds to the space between the floor and the wall to finish the project.

Engineered Hardwood Installation Process

You can choose from various installation methods for engineered hardwood floors. The process you choose depends on the type of subfloor you have. Some homeowners decide to install this type of flooring themselves or hire professionals to set up their new flooring.

The four ways homeowners can install engineered hardwood floors include:

  • Glue over concrete subfloors
  • Floating engineered hardwood on numerous subfloors
  • Staple on plywood subfloors
  • Nail on plywood subfloors

Each option has its own benefits, depending on who’s installing the engineered hardwood and the materials needed for the process. Check out each type of installation process for engineered hardwood.

The steps for installing engineered hardwood on concrete with glue are:

  1. Create an expansion gap to allow room for the planks to shift.
  2. Apply glue to a small area on the floor, enough to fit around two or three planks of engineered hardwood.
  3. Spread the glue around.
  4. Set down a few pieces of engineered hardwood.
  5. Lay down the next row and tap the pieces into the first row.
  6. Continue laying down pieces or engineered hardwood and cut boards to fit in tight places.

Floating engineered hardwood floors describe a similar process to LVP floors. The engineered hardwood planks are snapped and locked together and rest on top of the subfloor. The process for installing through this method includes:

  1. Connect the first row of planks using wood glue and join the planks by the slots on either side.
  2. Continue adding additional rows. Wipe off any glue that squeezes through the seams of the boards.
  3. After the final row is installed, add quarter rounds, moldings and transitions to complete the project.

The process of nailing or stapling engineered hardwood onto plywood includes:

  1. Secure the first row of engineered hardwood boards with nails.
  2. Add in the following rows and secure with staples or nails.
  3. After all of the boards are secure, add moldings, quarter rounds and trim to complete the project.

Cost of Engineered Hardwood vs. Luxury Vinyl Plank

Adding new floors to your home can be a pricey home improvement project. Flooring is usually sold by the square foot, so measuring your space first is a good idea to get an idea of how much you’ll need to invest in the project. Larger floors, or ones with more angles and elements such as stairs, may also influence the price.

Cost of Luxury Vinyl Plank

The price of the LVP will vary depending on the brand, thickness and other factors. If you’re hiring someone to install the flooring for you, the price per square foot will include the installation cost. LVP floors are typically the more affordable option for homeowners. This type of flooring lasts long and looks great in the home for a great price point.

Cost of Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood will cost more per square foot than LVP. The exact price will depend on the type of wood you select and the finish on the boards. Installation costs will depend on who you hire, but with a more expensive product, you’ll want to ensure your installation is correct. Homeowners can always find a great deal for engineered hardwood, and many are willing to pay more for the look and quality of this type of flooring.

Which Flooring Is the Best Option?

Engineered hardwood and LVP are both excellent selections for home flooring. They both are durable and visually appealing, but their unique characteristics do make them great options for different homes.

The top reasons you should select LVP include:

  1. Plenty of options: You can find a wide variety of styles, colors and price points for LVP. This flooring option allows you to have the sophisticated look of hardwood floors at a more affordable price.
  2. Durable and easy upkeep: This type of flooring is perfect if you have children or pets. You can go about your day without concern about scratching the floors or spilling water without damaging the planks.
  3. Easy to install: LVP has an easy installation process for handy homeowners or professionals.

The top reasons you should select engineered hardwood include:

  1. Higher moisture resistance: Engineered hardwood floors are more resistant to moisture and water than traditional hardwood. You can install this flooring in bathrooms and kitchens for a cohesive look around the home.
  2. Visual appearances: The aesthetic of engineered hardwood is a big reason why many choose this type of flooring for their home. It’s sophisticated and classic for many homes.
  3. Easy to clean: With basic household cleaning supplies and wood cleaner, you can keep engineered hardwood looking great for a long time.

Find Quality Flooring Options at Metro Flooring Contractors

Are you ready to find the perfect flooring option for your home? Browse through the various flooring options at Metro Flooring Contractors. You can check out our flooring installation services or schedule an appointment for a free in-home estimate today.