Wooden flooring is probably the most appealing and luxurious flooring solution – it’s natural, has great longevity and effortless class wherever it’s laid down. There’s a range of species, shades and patterns that offer great flexibility and creativity to any flooring project and the only real limitation, most often, is budget. A cheaper option is engineered wood, which features a layer of hardwood on a sub-layer, able to cope with temperature and humidity changes.
Vinyl saw its heyday in the late 1980s and early 1990s and it’s easy to see why – people wanted something easy to care for and clean, as well as something durable and warm underfoot. Vinyl also has a more vibrant palette of colours and patterns. Having said this, many vinyl floors laid in the 1990s have been ripped out and replaced recently, usually by wood! However, there’s still lots of modern-looking vinyl flooring solutions that won’t date quite as fast as the ones we saw in recent decades.
A tough choice
If you’re looking to replace your flooring, you’ll have spent hours poring over websites, armed with a calculator. If you’re in any way savvy, you’ll have found a nearby discount flooring depot, which will take the sting out of the bill. You may still, though, be stuck on the horns of a dilemma – wood or vinyl? How do you decide? Let’s look at the main factors.
Vinyl is usually cheaper than wood, unless you’re aiming at the very top end. Whatever your budget, though, you need to think outside the immediate outlay to look at how long the floor will last before it starts to look a bit tired. With wood, you can expect several decades, even with engineered wood floors. Vinyl can start to show its age after five to ten years, even with good care, so if you’re happy to replace it once a decade, then it may be right for you.
This is where wood comes into its own. In high-traffic areas, vinyl and wood will start to show the strain after a few years. Vinyl in particular just starts to look grubby where countless boots have tramped, paws have scuttled and blackcurrant squash has been spilled. With wood, all you need to do is sand and re-seal, which is a much smaller time and financial investment than ripping it up and starting all over again.
Vinyl is a cinch to look after – a broom, a mop or a cloth and you’re done. Wood can be a bit trickier in that you can’t really use water so much, but if you invest in a well-finished and sealed floor, then you shouldn’t need to use much – just a quick vacuum followed by a specialist cleaner.
It’s apples and oranges, really. Wood is timeless and classy, as well as natural and subtle. Vinyl, even top-notch vinyl, can look like anything you want it to – you can make a real statement with it, but remember, you may have to delete it in a few years!