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Vinyl Wood Flooring Versus Natural Hardwood

Vinyl Wood Flooring Versus Natural Hardwood : Cost, Benefits and Installation

by Dylan Johnson

When it comes to determine which flooring to choose, perhaps you need to take a quick look on our review of vinyl wood flooring versus natural hardwood now.

In this case, natural hardwood is not the only choice you can consider purchasing since it is fairly expensive.

There are many different kinds of floorings available in the market, one of which is vinyl flooring that is designed with the wood look.

This means that you can have a flooring from vinyl products that look like wood.

Either vinyl wood flooring or natural hardwood has its own characteristics.

However the vinyl offers certain benefits that the natural hardwood does not, and vice versa.

Defined Vinyl Wood Flooring 

Hardwood is basically a natural material processed after harvesting the trees from the forested areas.

On the other hand, vinyl is a material made up by the human through the manufacturing process. Vinyl is constructed from petroleum. Vinyl wood is a kind of printed vinyl designed with the colors of natural hardwood.

Recently, the printing technology produces the vinyl products to resemble the various look of wood species like you find in natural hardwood.

Comparative Costs

On average, vinyl flooring offers $2 to $5 per square foot for the typical quality of flooring materials. However, if you choose a bargain basement vinyl, you need only to pay $1 per square foot.

Don’t forget, the low price means the low quality while the higher price means the high quality.

In this case, the higher the quality and price of a vinyl, the more durable the flooring will be. Sheet vinyl has a low price than the vinyl tile.

However, sheet vinyl can be highly expensive for the installation. Actually, the cost of the flooring products much depend on the flooring textures, prints and designs.

By comparison, natural hardwood is much more expensive than the vinyl flooring. Hardwood can cost ranging from $8 to $25 per square foot.

Basically, the price of hardwood flooring is depend on the wood species used in the manufacture.

In this case, types of hardwood flooring such as plywood sheets and pine can cost cheaply.

Again, the less expensive of a flooring product, the less durable it will be. On the other hand, the rare and unique hardwood can also cost higher.

Read Also: Best Flooring For Radiant Heating System To Make More Comfort

Durability and Life Cycle of Vinyl Flooring Versus Natural Hardwood

Vinyl wood flooring versus natural hardwood must include durability and life cycle into the review related with how long you can expect the flooring to last.

In this comparison, let’s get a closer look at the vinyl wood and hardwood specifically.

Vinyl Wood

Vinyl wood comes in two major types that are solid and printed. Solid vinyl offers the true colors along with the depth materials.

However, the vinyl surface can scratch overtime. On the contrary, the printed vinyl comes with the invisible layer protecting the flooring surface.

Typically, vinyl flooring manufacturers offer 10 to 20 year warranties, meaning that the flooring will be able to last for 10 to 20 years to come.


Along with the proper installation and professional maintenance, a hardwood flooring can last from generation to generation.

Different types of wood will determine how hard the floor is and how strong it resist to the damages.

If there is any notable damages, you can definitely apply the right treatment to reinforce the hardwood natural strength.

You can also repair and refinish the damaged hardwood without renewing the material.

As a result, you will always have a brand-new-look hardwood flooring as you expect.

Versatility of Vinyl Flooring Versus Natural Hardwood

It is also important to know the versatility of both vinyl flooring and natural hardwood so that you can determine which of the flooring type will meet your needs.

Vinyl wood floors have printed surface to represent the actual appearance of the flooring. This leads to flooring to achieve the look of wood species virtually.

Due to the fact that the markets extend the prices of the vinyl wood floors, there will not be any problem in setting the prices just because of the rare wood species.

Further, vinyl wood floors allow you to install the padding to make the floors a beautiful look like the hardwood.

Along with the vinyl wood, the room can also be insulated so that it can have an energy-efficient feature.

On the contrary, the looks of hardwood floor are different one to another. Thus, some factors exist to determine how the hardwood is finally made with its own look.

In this case, you can apply your desirable species look, grade and cut as well as finish treatment. And the price will vary depending on the different types of wood.

Water Damage Concerns

In this vinyl wood flooring versus natural hardwood review, concerning the water damage is important due to the fact that water is the source of problems after the moisture.

Either on vinyl or on hardwood, water always causes problem to the flooring. The difference lies only on how can the flooring be resist to the water.

Let’s get to know the details in the flooring review sections.

Vinyl Wood Flooring

Basically, vinyl wood floor materials are waterproof because they are constructed from the synthetic material. They are not only waterproof but also resistant to moisture and humidity.

Some cases show that the low-quality of adhesive used in a vinyl wood flooring may cause the tile curling, however, the material will not get damaged because of the water.

As a result, vinyl wood floors are greatly used for we locations including bathrooms, kitchens, basements and laundry rooms.

Hardwood Flooring

Compared to vinyl wood floors, hardwood flooring is a natural materials that potentially let the water and other liquid to seep down the surface.

It is also because wood is an absorbent material. Permanent stain can even occur if the liquids come with colors.

Believe it or not, even if it is only water, the moisture penetration will grow the mold and mildew as well as other microorganism.

Sealing the floors will be helpful but it cannot stand out in the floods, typical spills and other high level of humidity.

Thus, hardwood flooring is not recommended for below grade installations, kitchen environments, bathrooms and other home areas with the high level of moisture and humidity.

In short, if you want to choose a flooring for your bathrooms, you can pick up hardwood floors.

Environmental Factors

Some people are greatly environmental conscious. In choosing the suitable flooring for their home, they will take an environmental concern before making a final decision.

If you are just one of them, check out the information later below whether vinyl wood floors and natural hardwood are eco-friendly or not.

Vinyl Wood Flooring

Constructed from petroleum, vinyl wood flooring is definitely a non-renewable resource. The manufacture process includes the use of toxic byproducts.

Once you install this vinyl wood on your floors, the vinyl releases small amounts of VOC (Volatile Organic Chemicals) into the air of your spaces.

Noticeably, this is not good for health. It can even cause respiratory problems.

Natural Hardwood

Natural hardwood materials are derived from the living trees and harvested from the forested areas. This means that hardwood is completely natural and renewable.

Hardwood is also a recyclable and biodegradable materials, thus, you don’t have to worry about to break it down in the landfill.


The next thing we are going talk about here on this page dealing with the review of Vinyl wood flooring versus natural hardwood is the composition.

Composition is rather necessary to get to know since it is dealing with the how the flooring is composed.

Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl wood flooring comes with sheets of vinyl which is constructed from the synthetic material called petroleum.

It is combined with the other chemicals and produced in many different finishes. One of which is the finish ability to mimic the hardwood look.

Sheet vinyl is produced in a large rolls but it is available in planks and squares to mimic the hardwood or tiles.

Natural Hardwood Flooring

In fact, hardwood flooring is a natural material derived from the lumber which is derived through the harvesting in the forested areas.

In short, natural hardwood’s life much depends on the trees. In this case, the most expensive hardwood includes mahogany, teak and wenge.

These are the rare trees, making them hard to harvest. Thus, the price is expensive.

Natural hardwood flooring typically comes with the wear surface in ¾th to 6-inch thickness while vinyl comes with 0.5 to 5mm only.

Benefits of Vinyl Wood Flooring Versus Natural Hardwood

Both vinyl flooring and natural hardwood have their own characteristics or features that allow them to offer the benefits.

Hardwood flooring can last for one generation to next generations as long as it is maintained well.

Definitely, it is also depending on the wood species quality and the treatment. Hardwood can be highly resistant to the damage. It can also be repaired and finished.

Further, hardwood flooring offers a good resale value, meaning that the buyers can sell it to the home buyers if it is still in a good condition.

By comparison, vinyl wood flooring which is synthetically made is more resistant to flooring damages including staining, warping and discoloration. Vinyl materials are also available in many kinds of finishes and styles.

The Drawback of Vinyl Wood Floors and Natural Hardwood

While there are some benefits offered by both vinyl wood floors and natural hardwood, there are also some drawback that may make people think twice to purchase.

In this case, the lifespan of vinyl wood floors is much determined by the protective coating. Once you notice that the vinyl is damaged, you will feel difficult to replace the worn.

The synthetic material constructing the vinyl also requires lots of energy for the manufacturing process.

Further, the process of manufacturing the vinyl also causes toxic and the installation emits the small amount of volatile organic chemicals (VOC).

Compared to vinyl, hardwood is more expensive.

It is also prone to warping, staining and discoloration easily because of the natural material constructing it. The temperature and humidity changes will also result discoloration.

Further, the direct sunlight and water exposure greatly causes discoloration too.

Thus, it is strongly recommended that you not use hardwood flooring for bathrooms and any other locations with the high level of moisture and humidity.

Read Also: Durable Kitchen Flooring To Consider: Which One The Best For You!

Availability of Vinyl Wood Flooring and Natural Hardwood

This Vinyl wood flooring versus natural hardwood review comes also with the information of flooring product availability.

In this regards, the both flooring types are widely available on the market either online or at the home improvement stores.

There are surely a wide selection of styles, finishes and wood types to choose from.


Compared to stone flooring such as granite or marble, either vinyl wood flooring or natural hardwood floor is easy to install.

However, to make sure that you perform the proper installation to get the high durability of the flooring, hiring professional installer is a good idea.

Never pick up DIY installation unless you are well-experienced in doing it.

In this regards, installing natural hardwood flooring requires some careful steps including placing, drilling, nailing, stapling, cutting the baseboards and filling the holes with the filler.

By comparison, installing vinyl wood flooring requires the steps of cutting, laying and spreading the adhesive for the sheet vinyl.

Thanks to the today’s innovation making the vinyl available pre-cut in squares to mimic the tiles or in strips to mimic the wood floors.

Vinyl flooring is also manufactured with self-adhesive to provide you with the easy installation.

Replacements and Maintenance

Natural hardwood floors have an easy maintenance at which you need only to sweep and wipe up the flooring surface with the damp cloth.

When they get damaged, the hardwood floors can be easily removed and replaced with the new boards.

In comparison, the vinyl flooring comes with the surface coating consisting of wear resistant.

Vinyl wood flooring is also easy to replace though you need some extra effort in doing the projects.

The damaged sheet vinyl can also be repaired by fusing the surface using the liquid seam sealer.