Which Type Of Flooring Is Best?
Ok guys. You ready for more information than you could ever need as far as flooring is concerned? I thought about calculating how many hours I took thinking and researching about different flooring options but it stressed me out. So just trust me when I say, I’ve gotchu covered. Asked all the questions. Been to all the places. Read every single article there is out there. Haha. So HERE is what I have learned so far. Hopefully it’s helpful and saves you precious brain power.
Different types of flooring options. Laminate, Luxury Vinyl, Engineered Hardwood, Tile, Hardwood.
Laminate: This stuff looks pretty legit when you see it in person. I wasted about a month going back and forth to floor and decor picking out the perfect color laminate. Only to find out that laminate is a no go. It is water resistant (which is different than waterproof) so it will bubble and peel. But the planks look thick and amazing in the store so this threw me for a loop. But everything I have read and heard basically just says don’t even consider it because all the other options are better than this one. If you do go into a floor and decor the laminate is all mixed in with the vinyl. Sooo it’s pretty confusing.
Ok so now that Laminate is ruled out, the best thing I did was go to a local flooring store. Not a Floor & Decor or Home Depot, but someone who just sells flooring. Not that those stores are bad but they have WAY more options and are usually pretty helpful. If you can find one that doesn't work off commission so they aren’t always trying to sell you, that’s nice too. If you go in and they feel too pushy, just go check out another one. But most of them will be really helpful and answer all your questions. Some of them will also check out huge flooring samples rather than the tiny squares which is so helpful. And also my number one advice for whatever flooring you decide to go with. Bring as large on a sample you can get your hands on (or buy a box if they have a good return policy) and bring it into your home. Look at it in different lighting situations at different times of day. Because different colors will always be pulled in your own home.
So now you are at a real flooring place and you are looking at engineered hard wood, real hard wood, luxury vinyl, and tile.
Tile was the next thing I ruled out. I was tempted for a hot second because it really is SO durable. And waterproof. But the install costs were about the same as hardwood, tiles can still break, it isn’t DIY friendly, all the tile I looked at still just looked like tile (I am also fully aware I am a little bit psycho and see things that other people don’t so this is 100% personal preference), it’s cold underfoot (which could be a plus if you live somewhere hot), it’s really loud, and just not as cozy to me.
The next thing I was tempted by was engineered hardwood. Because it’s freaking beautiful (because it’s real) but not as expensive. But it doesn’t have the pros of hardwood or vinyl. Like you can’t refinish it like you can real wood and it isn’t waterproof so it will still buckle and struggle if water gets left on it. So to me I just felt like it wasn’t good at either of the things it was trying to do. Some say water resistant, but that’s just if water sits on top and you wipe it up quickly. But after watching my daughter throw toilet water all over the bathroom floor for a good 10 minutes before I caught on made me realize this probably wasn’t our best bet.
So then my final two contenders. Real wood and Luxury Vinyl. or LVP.
Real wood. It’s just the real deal. It’s freaking beautiful. It increases the value of your home. It can be finished and scratches can be buffed out. And people since the beginning of forever have had wood floors. We rented a home with original wood floors a while back and they had dings and scratches and the works and I LOVED them. Full blown obsessed loved them. I think it adds so much character and breaths life into a home. But they can get damaged. Like so bad it’s painful. And you really shouldn’t let water sit on them. Because they can buckle and warp. But if you don’t MIND that, and expect that it’s just part of it, maybe they won’t be so bad. I also had a ton of responses of people saying taking care of them isn’t as bad as everyone makes it out to seem. The other big downside here is cost. Cause woof. Real wood is expensive. But for good reason. It just can’t be beat.
Luxury Vinyl Planks (or LVP). Ok so this is literally what about 4987 people recommended. They are so strong, completely waterproof, and hold up to life extremely well. The only issue I ran into was trying to find a good color. Some read green, some read pink, some are yellow. I was getting super frustrated and then I went and looked at the real wood samples and they actually do the same thing too. So everything you look at will have an undertone so again, make sure you bring it into your home so you can make sure it looks ok there.
Anyways back to the vinyl. I legit didn’t understand why so many people recommenced this because when I thought vinyl, I just thought of my Grammy’s kitchen where I’m sure her flooring was rolled out like a big fat sticker and I just couldn’t deal with so many people saying this was a good idea. Haha. BUT I learned that they basically look like the laminate planks but just different technology so they won’t peel or bubble and seal completely so they will be completely waterproof. And some of them look freaking AMAZING. Like have the texture and look of real wood. I still wasn’t totally sold though and was sitting at the dinner table talking to my husband about why we should just go with real wood all while Paige threw her food all over the floor, while our dog ran over to eat it up, Brock knocked his cup over, and Kyra slid her chair aaaallll the way in from far away. I then realized all of those things would have been catastrophic to real wood. And would have been a huge stressor to my already chaotic life.
Another big plus to LVP is that they are pretty DIY friendly. We have a bunch of stairs in our house though which makes things tricky. But for rooms or bathrooms you could totally do it yourself. Oh! And speaking of bathrooms. If you have an open concept home or want to continue the flooring throughout the house, this stuff can be installed in bathrooms and kitchens because it’s waterproof.
As far as looks, I brought a bunch of samples home and my husband Matt pointed to our vinyl and said oh those are for sure real wood. They totally feel and look like real wood! One of the flooring guys said.. if you can get the look you want but without maintenance and stress, why not?
The cons are that it isn’t COMPLETELY indestructible. Like it can be dented and scratched. There are ones with a more scratch resistant surface and more durable. Also you’re floors they are being installed on need to be even. If you have a bad installation thats when bubbling or weird stuff can happen. But you can instal over things like tile and existing flooring which can save demo costs.
So we have officially decided on Luxury Vinyl Planks. (I think hahah) Taking everything into consideration, how we live our life, cost, looks, feel, I THINK this will be our best option. Real wood is still ridiculously tempting but my kids are wonderful little psychos who are pretty destructive. So I think this will be the best of both worlds, i get my pretty floors and they get to be kids.
I will do another post all on the different types of LVP and the ones we considered. If you have any other questions though feel free to leave them below!!
And just in case you are like me and get butterflies over a pro con list.. here ya go. :)