Greece vs. Egypt, Sith vs. Jedi, the colonies vs. England. These are some of the most dramatic rivalries of all time, but they don’t come close to the battle between Luxury Vinyl and Hardwood flooring. Today we’re putting this bitter rivalry to rest with the ultimate comparison. We’re looking at cost, style, usage, durability, customization, all of it. So let’s jump right in with the ultimate Vinyl vs. Hardwood Showdown!

Cost

Everyone’s putting their bets on this one, we’re starting with what should be a clear battle for the Vinyl. Since quality of vinyl varies so much, we’re only looking at luxury vinyl. We took the average cost of both and here are the results:

Luxury Vinyl: $3-11 per square foot

Hardwood: $8-25 per square foot

Of course the winner goes to luxury vinyl but not by much. The race is much closer, and if you don’t play the game right, you can actually pay more for luxury vinyl than for hardwood!

Environmental Impact

Both of these materials have the potential to make mother nature shriek. But they also both have green options, it all depends on the material and manufacturer you buy.

Hardwood is the more natural option of the two but by virtue of being made of wood, they tend to contribute to deforestation, a major issue today as forests and rainforests are dwindling at a terrifying rate around the world. There are greener options made of recycled materials however, and if you’re careful about getting an ethical manufacturer, you can limit your carbon footprint.

Luxury vinyl obviously does not grow on trees, they don’t contribute to deforestation but do carry a significant carbon footprint. Green options of this floor are available as well. They are recyclable and you can you also have the option to buy recycled vinyl as well.

Our verdict? It depends on the manufacturer. Both can be great or terrible for the environment.

Durability

This one used to be a no brainer. Cheap vinyl doesn’t last and will look gross after a few years. But luxury vinyl has gone a long way. Can it beat hardwood though? Let’s find out.

Hardwood

Hardwood is one of the most durable floors out there, as long as you take care of it. Hardwood aften lasts 25 years or more, but the amount of time and effort for maintenance should be considered.

Vinyl

Vinyl also lasts over 25 years but not that much more, whereas some hardwood does have the potential to last a whole lifetime. That said, 25 years is still a long time, and warranties often go up to 20 years. There’s also less maintenance required.

Style

This one is obviously the most subjective. We aren’t going to say which one overall looks nicer, but we’re going to look at stuff like how customizable each flooring type is, what options are available, and where these floors can be used.

Vinyl

Vinyl is much more customizable than hardwood. The image of wood is basically a picture of wood printed on the vinyl. Then there’s also material to make it feel like hardwood as well if you want to match that look as much as possible.

Vinyl also works well anywhere. You don’t have to worry about moisture or maintenance. It works great in commercial and home spaces.

Hardwood

Hardwood is obviously much less customizable because instead of a picture, it’s the real deal. Authenticity has a price however, you have to be aware of moisture levels and spend more on maintenance. But while sometimes luxury vinyl comes close, good hardwood will always look like good hardwood.

Conclusion

So who wins? Well, it’s up to you, luxury vinyl is a wonderful and valuable alternative to hardwood, but if you’re looking for something timeless, beautiful, and authentic, and aren’t worried about the extra price, hardwood’s the way to go.