July 26, 2018
Choosing the type of flooring in your home is as complicated as trying to decide what to eat on a Friday night. There is a lot more to consider than just the aesthetics of the flooring and with so many options available where does one start? We have taken the liberty of providing the pros and cons of various wood and wood-look types of flooring to get you started:
Genuine hardwood flooring is a timeless classic that will continue to capture the hearts and minds of many. As nature as its craftsman, the styles and textures of hardwood are endless; allowing homeowners to purchase and customize a style, texture and stain that will enhance the beauty of their home.
- One of the most aesthetically pleasing types of flooring.
- Extremely durable.
- Easy to clean and maintain.
- Hardwood flooring has many different styles ranging from traditional to a more modern approach.
- One of the most expensive types of flooring.
- Needs refinishing up to twice a year depending on the extent of the damage (scratches and blemishes).
- Does not provide any sound insulation or assist with acoustics of the space. Hardwood in particular, can also be quite noisy to walk on.
Engineered hardwood flooring is designed to imitate genuine wood flooring 9 to 10 and consists of several layers starting with a hardwood veneer and moving towards the inner layers made up from plywood, high density fiberwood, and or hardwood. The beauty of engineered hardwood is that it captures the authenticity of genuine wood but with a more stable product unlike wood laminate which uses the picture of wood on the surface.
- Engineered hardwood has been designed to reduce the moisture problems that are associated with genuine wood.
- The added layers provide extra stability to your floor.
- Unlike its counterpart, engineered hardwood does not swell or warp making it low maintenance.
- The hardwood veneer provides a more authentic genuine finish as opposed to wood laminate.
- As veneer wood is sliced rather than cut with a saw there is no sawdust meaning the whole tree can be used without wastage.
- Can be quite expensive compared to your usual wood-look type floors like laminate or LVT/LVP.
- Due to the nature of the hardwood veneer being thin it prevents any future sanding and refinishing opportunities which reduces the lifetime of your flooring.
- Inferior products can be made by manufacturers who cut corners by using oriented strand board or fiberboard which will compromise the stability of your floor.
Bamboo flooring has entered the market targeting niches that are looking for an alternative to genuine hardwood flooring. Manufactured overseas, bamboo flooring is essentially grass that has been sliced and shredded, and then compressed back together with the use of heat and glue to create the boards.
- Easy to maintain and clean.
- Bamboo can be refinished depending on the thickness of the planks.
- Extremely durable.
- Just like genuine wood, bamboo has an aesthetically pleasing and natural finish.
- Abundant renewable resource
- ‘You get what you pay for’, cheaper bamboo tends to be more susceptible to scratches and dents.
- Prone to water damage and excessive humidity.
- The look of bamboo is not for everyone and may not suit your home.
- Very limited in choices of style and tones.
- Being manufactured overseas means some brands may use materials with high VOC
Wood Look Laminate
Laminate is an inexpensive alternative to hardwood, stone or tile flooring. It’s quite durable and easy to clean and maintain. Laminate can be used in a number of environments ranging from high traffic areas, to kitchens, living rooms and corridors.
- Offers a cheaper alternative in achieving hardwood, stone or tiled flooring aesthetics.
- Designed to be quite durable and is scratch and dent resistant.
- Simple to install and replace damaged boards by removing single slats.
- Softer and warmer when compared to hardwood flooring.
- Can be easily cleaned and maintained.
- Cannot be refinished like hardwood and needs to be replaced.
- Excessive water can seep into the seams and cause swelling – not ideal for damp environments or rooms.
- Due to the repetitive nature of the patterns there are more chances of 2 identical boards being placed next to each other if not installed correctly.
- Does not absorb sound.
Luxury Vinyl Planks/Tiles (LVP/LVT)
Due to its aesthetic appeal and being an inexpensive option to achieve that hardwood look, LVP/LVT has become the people’s choice. Luxury vinyl planks/tiles provide a natural wooden floorboard look allowing home owners to achieve their dream look without emptying the bank. LVP/LVT comprises of the following layers; aluminum oxide which prevents light scratching and shoe scuffs, clear film that protects against harder damage, such as rips and tears, a design layer and finally the backing layer which is the ‘meat’ of the flooring providing structure and solidity.
- In comparison to genuine hardwood, luxury vinyl planks/tiles are a much more affordable option.
- Endless styles and possibilities to choose from. Each plank/tile is created with its own detailed design and intricate textures allowing you to customize and create your own unique design.
- Easy to install, repair and replace if damaged by simply removing the single plank/tile.
- Extremely versatile and can be used in damp environments unlike its counterpart which is susceptible to rot and warping.
- Vinyl is relatively durable and can withstand scratches, dents and water making it the ideal choice for any homes with children or pets.
- Compared to hardwood flooring, vinyl is very soft underfoot and absorbs pressure.
- Vinyl flooring has its own insulation and stays room temperature. It also absorbs noise.
- One of the easiest floors to maintain with a quick sweep and mop.
- May emit VOC chemicals depending on the manufacturer. Always a good idea to ask your rep for lower VOC levels if shopping for LVP/LVT.
- The planks can be prone to shifting if not glued down and is usually triggered by moving heavy furniture or mobility devices with wheels.
- Does not increase your homes resale value.
- Is susceptible to fading and can be dented quite easily from heavy furniture. It is always a good idea to apply padding beneath heavy couches or cabinets.
- In comparison to genuine wood, LVP/LVT has limited longevity.
- Complicated floor plans can make installing LVP/LVT a mission. Always best to leave this to the professionals.
By this stage, you may be feeling slightly overwhelmed by the number of choices available for hardwood flooring and this is not including the style, textures, tone or stain. Jupps carries all the products and our team can advise you so you can make an informed decision.