The wood floor look is a classic that will never go out of style. But these days, there are so many flooring options with the wood look that are actually made of tile, vinyl, or even laminate! What do each of these options bring to the table and can they stack up against real hardwood? Let’s find out.
Hardwood – Since these are made of solid wood, they will cost the most.
Laminate – Cost will vary, but will most likely be significantly less than hardwood though.
Wood Look Tile - Cost will vary. It will most likely be significantly less than hardwood, and close to the same cost as laminate.
Vinyl – Typically very inexpensive, but the cost will vary upon design.
Location Best Used
Hardwood – Best in residential rooms above grade. Not good in bathrooms or below grade.
Laminate – Most high traffic rooms – office, bedroom, living room. Not recommended to bathrooms
Wood Look Tile – Anywhere!
Vinyl – Anywhere!
Hardwood – Good potential for scratches and abrasions. Hardwood can be refinished multiple times to fix problems.
Laminate – High scratch resistance. Laminate cannot be refinished if scratches do occur, so they may need to be replaced
every 10 years or so.
Wood Look Tile – High scratch resistance.
Vinyl – High scratch resistance, depending on the thickness of the protective coating. These floors cannot be refinished, so they typically live around 10-20 years.
Hardwood – Not good. The wood can become water-logged or warped if exposed to a lot of water.
Laminate – Ok. Although it is better and standing up to water than hardwood, the core is made from wood particles that could swell with large amounts of water contact. Water could pass between seems of this flooring to potentially damage the floorboards as well.
Wood Look Tile – Excellent. This can be used in bathrooms or other rooms with high levels of moisture. Since the seams are grouted, water won’t pool between the tiles and into the subfloor.
Vinyl – Waterproof. This can be used in bathrooms or other rooms with high levels of moisture.
Hardwood – This may add value to your home and is seen as a higher-end material, so it can be a selling point.
Laminate – This does tend to be pretty desirable to home buyers because of its durability and realistic look, so it may help in the selling process.
Wood Look Tile – Most likely will not add value to the home.
Vinyl – Although vinyl has come a long way, it still has a bad reputation, so high-end buyers will most likely turn away from vinyl flooring.
Hardwood – Obviously, since this is made of real wood, it will look the most real upon close inspection. Each board will have a different pattern to give a unique look.
Laminate – From a distance, laminate wood flooring can look like real wood. The boards will have a repeating pattern as it is man-made.
Wood Look Tile – From a distance, wood look tile looks like real wood. However, up close you will be able to tell it’s not made of wood. Tile can also have a cold feel when walking barefoot on it.
Vinyl – The look of different wood varieties can be very accurately printed on vinyl flooring. These can also be embossed to have an even more realistic look.