Of the many flooring options available to the homeowners today, very few match the quality and aesthetic appeal of a hardwood or vinyl floor. From their relative cost-effectiveness, durability, vintage, and sophisticated designs, these two pack an impressive array of features that set them apart from virtually every other flooring type. This stellar feature set is also why many homeowners find it difficult to make a pick out of the two.
If you’re among this bunch here’s all you need to know about Vinyl and Natural Hardwood Flooring to help you make an informed selection.
Natural hardwood and vinyl floor – the basics
Hardwood floors as their name rightly suggest are floors derived from hardwood trees, like oak and mahogany. Prior to installation as a floor base, harvested hardwood is treated and conditioned to increase durability and overall cosmetic appeal. Vinyl, on the other hand, is a manmade material similar to plastic and manufactured from petroleum. Like hardwood, vinyl also receives a complementary finish, this time to simulate the look and feel of natural hardwood, before it is commissioned as a flooring material.
Vinyl wood floors typically cost between $2- $ for every square foot covered. This price varies with the corresponding quality of the material used – materials at the higher end of this cost spectrum posses more aesthetic appeal and durability than their lower-priced counterparts.
Hardwood floor materials typically max out at $25 for every foot covered. If you opt-in for lower quality wood, this can drop to $8 per square foot. As was with vinyl floors, you get what you pay for, lower-priced hardwood materials are less durable with little or no aesthetic appeal.
Overall, vinyl is cheaper to procure than hardwood, they however cost more to install. So in the end, you might end up spending the same amount you’d pay on a hardwood floor installation.
Vinyl floors come in two configurations, solid and printed. The latter has a see-through layer that acts as a protective covering for the underlying vinyl material; the former lacks this protective layer and its styling extends through the breadth of the floor installation. Printed vinyl by virtue of its clear-coat layer tends to last longer than solid vinyl, although manufacturers will usually specify a 10-20 year warranty for both classes of vinyl floors.
Hardwood floor installations done using high-quality hardwood materials and maintained properly can practically last for centuries. The robust matrix of hardwood combined with detailed conditioning and finishing make for a resilient floor surface. This is aside from the fact that they can be repaired or refurbished if damage does occur.
Aesthetics and environmental concerns
Because vinyl floors are made from synthetic materials, it is relatively easy to recreate any pattern or motif as specified by a homeowner. The direct implication of this is that you can get any wooden floor design that fits your fancy at a more than reasonable price point. Also, you can install cushioning paddings which help improve the comfort and pliancy of your flooring.
The reverse is the case with hardwood floors; there’s no provision for paddings and the overall look of the floor is dependent on the hardwood used – if you’re gunning for that scenic vintage floor design, you have to shell out more cash. On the plus side, natural hardwood floors are derived from trees which means they are less likely to constitute an environmental hazard. They’re biodegradable and the only concern is their source. Make sure to purchase your flooring material from reputable manufacturers, Amazing Floors of Sterling Heights can guide you to make the right selection. Vinyl floorings on the other end have the tendency to ‘off-gas’ certain amounts of VOC (volatile organic chemicals). They also need much more energy to produce and are essentially non-biodegradable.
Which is the best flooring to choose? – Well, that’s entirely dependent on your needs and preferences. If you’re looking for the original wooden floor look that’s bound to last for generations – then a natural hardwood floor is more fitting. If you’d rather have a high-quality replica of the natural wooden finish, complete with high-end designs and possibly at a lower price point – you’re better off with a vinyl floor. We do offer a variety of options for both types so feel free to call us or visit our flooring store to make a selection.