Can anything compare to hardwood floors? The timeless beauty of the wooden planks that are each irrefutably unique? We aren't going to sit here and tell you that they're easy to substitute with anything else, but there is a contender in the ring.
Thanks to modern technology, vinyl plank flooring is making a real name for itself in the home improvement world. Once considered to be a cheap and unrealistic representation of the hardwood floors we love, vinyl is now proving itself to be a worthy opponent. In fact, it can be a much better option for many homeowners. Not that we want to deter anyone from investing in the hardwood floor they've always dreamt of, but there is a case to be made for its imitator.
In terms of durability, vinyl doesn't have to work very hard to get ahead in the race against hardwood. Wood is a natural material, and porous on top of that. Without tedious upkeep it cannot bear damage caused by moisture and constant use. That's not to say it's completely defenseless, just that it is ultimately more challenging to maintain. It's certainly not a wise choice for homes expecting high levels of foot traffic.
Vinyl, on the other hand, is another story. Its synthetic foundations give it the strength to stand up to moisture, climate change, and busy feet. You won't have to worry about warping in the boards like you would with hardwood. As a bonus, it's very easy to take care of. No annual application of polyurethane, no constant humidity control, just a bit of regular maintenance to keep it clean. This makes it ideal for people with busy lifestyles and families.
You were waiting for this one, weren't you? Of course, price is very important when making an investment. So often we're forced to weigh the difference between affordability and quality, but this is not the case with vinyl boards. You get the same quality as you would with hardwood floors at a much lower cost. Up to 80% less in some cases! That's crazy!
Choosing vinyl also means that you won't have to worry about the yearly maintenance costs that burden hardwood floor owners. As we mentioned above, vinyl is easy and cheap to take care of. What a relief it is to be able to buy a floor without calculating care into the budget!
If cost is a big factor in your decision for a new floor, vinyl is definitely the route we would suggest taking.
3. Environmental Impact
Wood = natural, renewable material = more environmentally friendly than synthetic vinyl
This is exactly what most people would automatically assume when comparing the two materials, but there's little truth in this assumption. Yes, wood is a renewable resource, but the deforestation that comes with cutting down trees is still a huge problem. The cost ultimately outweighs the benefit in this case.
There are, however, vinyl flooring options that are 100% recyclable and made with a large portion of completely natural materials. Opt for one of these more eco-friendly brands and you'll be doing the environment a favor.
4. Overall Look
Here's where people usually begin to lean toward hardwood, and we completely get it! The overall aesthetic of your home is key. Some find hardwood floors are what will turn their abode into the veritable palace that they've been imagining, so they go for it. That's fine, but nowadays it's not necessary.
With the tools and technology that is available to the flooring world in 2017, it is possible to create a vinyl board that is almost indistinguishable from its natural counterpart. Any type of wood you can think of can now be replicated onto vinyl for your home. You don't even have to stick with the colors and patterns that already exist in the forest! Vinyl gives you unconventional options such as blue or grey "wood" floors. There is more freedom for your personality with this particular material. Hardwood can't hold a candle to the diversity found in vinyl.
So, to recap, hardwood floors are great, but they aren't your only option. Vinyl can give you the same great look as wood, is more affordable, environmentally friendly, and far more durable without the expensive upkeep. Not too bad, if you ask us, but the choice is up to you. Thankfully, you can't go wrong with either of these excellent options.