vinyl plank flooring vs engineered hardwood

28 Comments

  1. Lots of great information. I have to say we both learned quite a bit from this article which is going to be so helpful deciding on our future flooring projects.

  2. Hi! is thicker LVP better? we are deciding between a 5 mm (lifeproof) and closer to 20 mm thickness (cali vinyl) but not mildew resistantโ€ฆ everything else the same resistance

  3. Hi Jessica! Okay this is a great question. Double check on the numbers- there’s the thickness of the plank which is in mm, and then the mil which is referring to the wear layer. So when you said 20mil that is probably referring to the wear layer (it means 20 layers which is great quality!) The higher the wear layer, the longer the flooring will last! I was looking at one cali vinyl option and it had 6.5mm thickness and a 20mil wear layer which is awesome! I was looking at the flooring option we chose and that is 7mm thickness but only 12mil wear layer- so it just depends on your situation. Hopefully that’s helpful!

  4. Nearly ten years ago I had 1000 sq ft of engineered wood flooring installed. It is a beautiful walnut, which has a really stunning grain. But if I had to do it over again with the options available now, I would install LVP. It would look the same at half the material cost. This — back in 2013 — was $10/sq ft installed…$6 in materials and $4 for installation. (We could have installed it ourselves but I moved in first due to a job transfer and my husband followed 4 months later, and I had to get it done before he arrived with all the furniture.) We will do a major kitchen remodel in 1-2 years, and when we do that we will update the flooring with LVP ($4-5/sq ft), and spend the savings on new trim for baseboards and doors. There are so many options available now and in many cases you can’t tell the difference without getting on your hands and knees to really examine it. I have loved the walnut, but it scratches wayyyy too easily, unlike the 3/4″ oak we put in our last house. We have to have a floating floor because we have a concrete slab and gluing down wood is a really bad idea.

  5. Hi Janet! Thank you so much for sharing your experience! I’m a huge fan of walnut too… but I totally understand your reasoning behind going with LVP this time around! You’re right- there are so many beautiful options and I think they would be a great choice for your kitchen remodel. Best of luck! <3

  6. This was extremely helpful. We really like LifeCore Engineered wood planks in Allegra Refresh but unsure as whether or not it will stand up to our 8 year old who loves slime and our dog. After reading this article, I am now leaning more towards a high-end LVP. Thanks for the information.

  7. Thank you for this analysis. My wife and I are in the process of deciding on what type of new flooring to get and the information that you provided as well as your recommendations were very, very helpful. Chauncey

  8. What product and color did you use for your flooring? I love the mid tone color. Would you also share a picture of it completed? Thank you!

  9. Thank you for the information. Very interesting. One thing you did not mention is the plasticky sound and the cold feel of LVP. That is a deal breaker for me. We moved into an existing home with engineered hardwood on the main level and LVP in the basement. When you walk on the LVP, you can definitely tell you are walking on plastic, and it’s always cold! The engineered hardwood floor feels exactly like real solid hardwood. Worth it to me!

  10. We are deciding between these two optionsโ€ฆ now that youโ€™ve had it for a while, are youโ€™d still happy with your decision of the LVP? It is so hard to make a final decision.

  11. Hi Claire!

    I know exactly what you mean! I think it just depends on the brand/quality of the LVP though! Ours doesn’t feel cold or have a plasticky sound, but i’ve definitely been in spaces with LVP that does!

    But absolutely do what feels right to you- you definitely can’t go wrong with engineered hardwood! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Hi Brenda! I just added a few photos for you ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, the product is linked right under the “What we chose for our new floors”!

  13. Hi Brooke! Ugh, it really is so hard!! I still feel happy with our decisions, however, this was just a guest bedroom so it’s not like we’re using the space regularly. We plan to move soon and if we end up having to replace the floors in our next home, I’d splurge a little and go with a good quality engineered hardwood for the main areas personally. I just love the look of true wood!

  14. I see so many million dollar homes on HGTV using Luxury LVP and it blows my mind! I love the look of it, but I’m so torn. My husband is old school and says there is nothing like hardwood, but ours is trashed from having 2 dogs over 100 lbs each. Do you think the floor sounds clicky when walking on it? I’m thinking of going with the 8mm 20 mil wear.
    I’m just so nervous it will sound cheap. I’m wanting to do my entire 2 story home in it.

  15. Hi Kim! It’s such a tough choice, I get it!! Ours doesn’t sound clicky when you walk on it- but at the same time- we *only* have it in our guest bedroom. There isn’t a lot of space to walk in there and not somewhere we frequent so I can’t give you the best feedback. But 8mm/20mil would be awesome quality for your situation! I would just really read into the reviews too if they have some. Good luck!!! <3

  16. Great summary!
    Also, don’t forget to consider the health effects.
    Vinyl is made from fossil fuels and could contain/emit phthalates and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) which are carcinogenic and can cause kidney problems, breathing issues, asthma, trigger allergies, etc. A bit of research on the brand is wise – look for low or phthalate free, VOC free (and ensure good home ventilation), avoid floors with PVC softening agents. Wood and ceramics are safest as far as your health is concerned.
    Just something else to consider especially if you have little ones crawling around on the floor.

  17. Hi Bered! Thank you so much! Also wow, I had no idea about that aspect of it! Thank you so much for taking the time to share that- definitely great to know and consider as well.

  18. Loved this article. Definitely helped narrow it down. In the second picture where you are holding the samples up, do you the info on it? I love that color and am looking for an Lvp in that color. Thanks!

  19. Hi Amber!! I just looked- both samples were from LL Flooring! The sample on the left is engineered hardwood and it’s called “Wild Mare Oak QC 3/8″ x 6.25”. The sample on the right is the LVP and its called “Old Dominion Walnut 8mm w/pad Engineered Vinyl Plank Flooring”. Good luck!!! <3

  20. Hi Elisha,
    Thanks so much for the great information. I am in the process of purchasing flooring to go continuously from my living room into my kitchen and am leaning toward LVP. I have been told by numerous contractors LifeCore is a good flooring company. In addition, I appreciate learning about the mil wear and mm thickness. Wonderful article!

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