Wood Vs. Vinyl Flooring – Making the Right Room Choice

Posted on by Online Carpets

When it comes to deciding on the right flooring for your needs, making the correct choice can be a difficult one. However, armed with the right information you need, you can make an educated selection to get the ideal look and feel for your space.

If you’ve decided you don’t want carpet on your floor, that leaves you with a few options that may, initially, seem fairly similar but by looking at their composition, and how they act in certain environments, you can identify the clear differences in them and which would best suit your requirements. Here, we compare wooden flooring with that of vinyl and see what the differences are.

Is Hardwood Really Better Than Vinyl?

A common perception is that, if you have the money, hardwood flooring is the way to go in terms of look and durability, but is this really the case? Well, wood flooring certainly does have its benefits when it comes to longevity, but it also has its pitfalls too.

The hardiness of wood flooring is undoubtable, with a long lifetime that is hard to beat and reasonable resale value should you choose to change it, however, because it is a harder substance, that also means it can be susceptible to scuffs and scrapes too. In rooms with heavy foot traffic or with moving furniture, this can become a problem and so you may wish to opt for something that maintains high levels of durability but has some resistance to dents and divots. If you have a home with pets, it may not be a good choice in spaces where you allow them to roam as claws can scratch the surface of wood, leaving unseemly scuff marks.

This is where an alternative such as vinyl flooring may really come into its own, having a softer surface and slightly more give than wood, it resists scuffs and scrapes well whilst still being solid enough to be a robust flooring choice, lino is also warmer underfoot which is more comfortable in the winter months. Vinyl is more impact and scratch resistant than wood due to its wear layer, the tough upper layer of the vinyl’s structure, and so works well in spaces that get a lot more attention, such as living rooms.

Can You Tell the Difference Between Vinyl and Wood Flooring?

Often championed for its biophilic feel, the very nature of wood means that it can feel a little like bringing the outdoors in with its authenticity as a wood product. This means you can create an environmental setting that feels closer to the natural world with this natural material but is there any way vinyl can compete with this?

With vinyl prints becoming increasingly more detailed, getting the look of a wood floor with vinyl is now incredibly easy, and this is especially the case with luxury vinyl flooring. A high-quality luxury vinyl floor will give you a crisp and opulent look of wood but with the advantages of vinyl, being that it is water resistant, scratch resistant, durable and feels great underfoot.

If you still wanted something that has more of that authentic wood essence however, laminate flooring uses a simulated layer of wood over melamine resin and fibre board so you can still get that wood look in an easy-to-maintain flooring choice. It even comes in an array of wood styles such as oak, walnut and beech.

A natural look works well in relaxed areas such as living rooms and bedrooms, so you can bring that calming aura into your home for a restful ambience.

Which is Cheaper, Luxury Vinyl or Hardwood?

Luxury vinyl flooring remains considerably cheaper than hardwood floors or even laminate flooring. As a natural and high-end product, wood comes with a price tag that reflects that, but vinyl can replicate that atmosphere at a fraction of the cost. If you want a hardwood look at a more economic price point, then vinyl flooring is the way to go, with our range of vinyls from cheaper choices, through to quality and luxury options too, you can find the ideal flooring for you at a price that suits too.

Are Vinyl Floors Warm?

Depending on the space, wood floors can feel warmer to the touch, but when it comes to underfloor heating and holding onto warmth, vinyl is an excellent thermal conductor that is more efficient than wood.

Vinyl also dampens sound, so can reduce the noise coming from footfall, children playing, scurrying pets, etc. making them ideal for busy homes. In general, wooden floors tend to be a little noisier. They can be dampened with underlay but don’t have the same inherent noise-reducing qualities of vinyl. This means busy spaces like dining rooms, and lounges will benefit from vinyl. Due to this some landlords and property managers occasionally ban wood flooring from houses, flats or apartments, to limit day-to-day noise for neighbours.

Are Wood Floors Water Resistant?

Wood flooring should always have a protective finish that means spills and minor accidents aren’t going to affect it too drastically, but it is by no means suitable for wet areas such as kitchens or bathrooms. As a natural product, it is likely to bend and warp, even possibly split, if exposed to too much moisture and so can only be used in living areas that don’t see a lot of water build-up.

Can I Mop Vinyl Flooring?

Vinyl, on the other hand, is water resistant, so can be put in bathrooms, wet rooms, kitchens, utility areas and other spaces where water splashes are a possibility. It’s also easy to clean and wipe down because of this water resistance making maintenance a breeze, with a wet cloth, mop or even just a vacuum cleaner. However, you still shouldn’t steam mop vinyl as this can penetrate the layers of it and cause it to warp. You’ll also want to avoid using stiff scrubbing brushes or a vacuum’s beater bar. The quality of installation can also affect their water resistance so always make sure your vinyl is installed properly.

You can find our full range of vinyl flooring by clicking here and browsing our comprehensive selection, whilst our laminate flooring can be found here.