Choosing the best flooring for your home or space: hardwood, laminate, or vinyl?

When making the decision on what flooring to install in your space, you have many options to consider.
In terms of wood style flooring, you can choose from hardwood, engineered hardwood, laminate and vinyl. In this post we’ll be taking a dive into the pros and cons of each one of these flooring materials to help you when making your floor covering choice.

Solid hardwood flooring is a classic choice and the most high end option. It has been used in homes for centuries. Made from real wood of a large variety of different tree species such as oak, and maple, and manufactured into different styles and colors, it is a customer favorite. Solid hardwood flooring is usually a choice for homeowners and various commercial businesses such as fitness centers, high end offices, banquets, restaurants, event venues and more. Although it is the most costly, hardwood flooring can be refinished many times and clients even have the option to change the color of the stain while maintaining the quality of the floors.

Within the hardwood umbrella is the more modern and cost efficient option Engineered Hardwood flooring. This product is just as luxurious and appealing to clients as solid hardwood. Over the years the quality and manufacturing of engineered hardwood has evolved and many brands have engineered flooring that can be comparable to solid hardwood. The main difference is that engineered flooring is not 100% real wood and cannot be refinished as many times as solid hardwood. Both options are durable but the lifespan on solid hardwood is far greater.

The more affordable and popular alternative to hardwood or engineered hardwood is laminate flooring. Made from a layer of high-density fiberboard and other material with a top layer made to imitate the look of natural wood flooring.

Laminate is known as the cheap, quick and easy to install alternative option to hardwood flooring. Easy to maintain and replace or repair when necessary it is popular in rental properties, condos, basements and offices. Although it does not compare to hardwood flooring in terms of durability, quality and appearance there are top of the line laminates that are comparable to some engineered hardwood products.

In the 21st century with the development and evolution of laminate flooring products, came a demand for a product like laminate which was more durable and water resistant. Out of this demand most manufacturers and suppliers looked to vinyl materials as a solution. This brought the recent trend of vinyl flooring made to mimic the look of laminate and wood flooring. The product is becoming the primary alternative to wood flooring and a more desired option than laminate flooring. Much like laminate flooring, it’s quick and easy to install or repair, but unlike laminate, vinyl offers the added benefit that it is very water resistant. The fact it is a product which does not lift, bubble or collect mold also makes it an alternative to ceramic tiles, and a commonly used affordable option for flooring in kitchens, and washrooms.

Selecting the right flooring product for your home requires you to consider a few factors. First, make a budget on how much you are willing to invest on your new flooring. As stated above, laminate flooring is your most cost efficient option, but is not durable and may cost you more in repairs and replacements. Vinyl flooring is also cost efficient, but more durable and is a water resistant product whereas laminate is not. Hardwood and engineered hardwood are the more costly options, but they are made of real wood and provide a more luxurious and desirable appearance, are better quality, much more durable and will last you for many many years. 
Second, you must consider the spaces you wish to add new flooring to, and get informed on which option is best for that type of area. Hardwood and engineered wood is generally used in living spaces like dining rooms, living rooms and bedrooms, but can be installed anywhere. It is the most durable and best for a home with kids or pets. Laminate is usually used on low budget projects, or areas which customers are planning to install hardwood in the future. Since it’s a floating floor and is not glued or nailed down, it is ideal for concrete subfloors such as buildings, basements and commercial units. Vinyl is an appropriate option for any space. Some brands and products provide more durability than laminate and their water resistance make it a perfect cost efficient choice for washrooms and kitchens.
Finally, think about the style and design of your space. All of the flooring options we’ve covered are available in a range of colors and styles. Generally laminates and vinyl provide a more modern look, and hardwood gives you that classic, elegant and warm feel, but all of these flooring types have all sorts of looks, colors and styles to fit your desires.

In conclusion, those are some of the main factors to consider when selecting the perfect flooring for your space. All the popular flooring options we covered in this article come with their pros, cons and best scenarios to be used for. Simply considering your budget, the area you wish to install flooring in, your maintenance needs, and design or style preference, you can choose the best flooring for your renovation project. And if the task seems daunting, or you require more information, or a specialist to guide you through the process, contractors and retailers like ourselves are always more than happy to help. 

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