Vinyl vs. Hardwood Flooring: Difference & Comparison

Person choosing the right flooring for his house, business, or apartment

Most hard-surface flooring projects come down to vinyl vs hardwood flooring. While both include a wide array of options, perhaps more than any other type of commercial flooring, hardwood provides some of the most stylish and functional options on the market.

Does this mean hardwood is superior to vinyl? It all depends on your exact criteria.

Precision Flooring has fulfilled a vast range of flooring services throughout northern Virginia, D.C., and the Baltimore corridor—and we’ve seen time and again the difference quality hardwood floors can make to a property’s long-term value. Read on to compare modern hardwood vs vinyl flooring options and determine which is right for you.

Environmental Impact

Vinyl, made from PVC resin, requires a large amount of energy to produce. Extracting and fabricating the raw materials involves high emissions, and recycling vinyl is difficult and cost-prohibitive. By comparison, wood is a renewable resource. It’s also possible to select woods with the lowest environmental impact.

After enough wear, vinyl usually requires full replacement. Hardwood floors essentially negate these issues—and hardwood maintenance without toxic chemicals is both fast and effective.

This gives hardwood floors an essential role in improving the indoor air quality (IAQ) of interior spaces.

Stability and Durability

The strength of hardwood vs vinyl is another critical consideration. Vinyl is more easily damaged beyond repair, given the impossibility of buffing surface scratches without dramatically altering vinyl’s appearance. If the thin layer of glue holding vinyl fails, it results in odd, bulbous warps that worsen over time.

By comparison, hardwood is comprised of numerous planks or small panels that can be individually replaced. Hardwood is also much thicker and denser, providing greater structural support, even under major foot traffic or heavy appliances.

One caveat is that wood floors are generally more susceptible to moisture—but this is only an issue with poor installations and maintenance. Precision Flooring’s knowledgeable wood flooring experts provide unsurpassed refinishing services that maintain hardwood’s protective seal for years.

Hardwood finishes also maintain a beautiful, natural sheen you don’t get with vinyl.

Further, there are more water-resistant hardwood materials available, such as cork or laminate/wood combinations.

Appearance and Effect on Business

While modern vinyl flooring has become more stylish, it’s unlikely they’ll ever outmatch the near-universal appeal of a professional hardwood floor. There’s something about organic wood grain that always helps to draw the eyes and sate our inclination for natural materials.

Of course, the aesthetics of vinyl vs hardwood flooring is in the eye of the beholder. Yet once our clientele sees the endless variety of hardwood materials, stains, and layout options available, it’s usually enough to win over even the most discerning of tastes.

Our dedicated, old-world craftsmen can work with you to pair the right hard-surface flooring option with your needs and preferences. When selecting hardwood floors, we take numerous factors into account to achieve the perfect balance of form and function in ways that are impossible with vinyl.

Consider, for instance:

  • Durability. Dense woods, like hickory, are known for standing up to heavy wear, and engineered wood is even more resistant to damage. For this reason, denser woods in entryways and other areas receive more foot traffic.
  • Cost. Alternative materials, like bamboo, can achieve all these aesthetic and functional benefits while still meeting a wider range of budgets.
  • Comfort. Softer woods, such as ash, provide a more comfortable, giving surface. Such woods can be easier on joints for the elderly or in athletic settings.
  • Style. Various stains and finishing options (including unique colors, tints, and hues) can transform your walkways into veritable works of art. It’s also possible to combine materials and textures, creating stylish transitions that breathe new life into a room.

This doesn’t even cover hardwood grading, cuts, and other considerations that all bear an effect on a hardwood floor’s qualities. Of course, the most crucial question is: which option is right for you?

Better Flooring For Your Business

We pride ourselves on quality workmanship because we consider our clients’ success part and parcel of our own. Learn why Industry Oversight Report named us 2022’s Best Hardwood Flooring Company in Alexandria—and depend on our hardwood flooring expertise to maintain your property in peak condition for years to come.

During a remodel, deciding between vinyl vs hardwood flooring doesn’t have to be a chore detracting from the countless other important tasks on your plate. Contact us at Precision Flooring to request a quote or receive further assistance in your search for the perfect flooring option.

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