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LVT vs Hardwood: Which is Best For You?

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By Donovan Carrington

Are you in the market for new flooring but not sure whether to choose luxury vinyl tile (LVT) or hardwood? Both options have their pros and cons, and it ultimately comes down to your personal preferences and needs.

In this article, we’ll compare LVT and hardwood based on several factors, including durability, aesthetics, cost, environmental impact, and installation options. By the end, you’ll have a better idea of which flooring option is best suited for you.

First, we’ll discuss durability and maintenance. LVT is known for being extremely durable and resistant to scratches, stains, and water damage. This makes it a great choice for high-traffic areas like entryways, kitchens, and bathrooms.

Hardwood, on the other hand, requires more maintenance and is prone to scratches and water damage. However, hardwood can last for decades with proper care and refinishing. It’s important to consider your lifestyle and how much time you’re willing to invest in maintaining your flooring before making a decision.

Durability and Maintenance

When considering the durability and maintenance of flooring options, it’s important to note that hardwood may require more upkeep than LVT.

Hardwood is a natural material that can be damaged by moisture and scratches, while LVT is made of synthetic materials that are more resistant to wear and tear. If you’re looking for a flooring option that is easy to maintain and repair, LVT may be the way to go.

One of the key differences between hardwood and LVT is their repairability vs replacement. Hardwood can be sanded down and refinished multiple times over the years, but it can also be more vulnerable to damage if not properly cared for.

LVT, on the other hand, is not as easily repairable as hardwood, but it is less likely to be damaged in the first place. If a section of LVT is damaged, it may need to be replaced entirely, which can be a more costly solution than simply refinishing a hardwood floor.

Another important factor to consider is scratch resistance. Hardwood floors can be easily scratched by furniture, pets, and everyday wear and tear. LVT, however, is designed to be more scratch-resistant, making it a better option for high-traffic areas and households with pets.

Additionally, LVT is often treated with a protective layer that can help prevent scratches and other types of damage. When deciding between hardwood and LVT, it’s important to consider the durability and maintenance of each option.

While hardwood can be more easily repaired and refinished, it may require more upkeep over time. LVT, on the other hand, is more resistant to scratches and other types of damage, but may require more costly replacement if a section is damaged.

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Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which option is best for your home and lifestyle.

Aesthetics and Design Options

With an array of design options and aesthetics, both hardwood and LVT offer an opportunity to transform any space into a beautiful and functional area. When it comes to color options and texture variations, LVT wins hands down. With the latest printing technologies, LVT can mimic the look and feel of natural hardwood, stone, and ceramic tiles.

You can choose from a vast range of colors, patterns, and textures to match your décor style and personal taste. Hardwood, on the other hand, offers a classic and timeless appeal that never goes out of style. With hardwood, you get the natural warmth and beauty of real wood that adds value to your home.

You can choose from different wood species, such as oak, maple, cherry, and walnut, each with its unique grain pattern and color variations. Hardwood also offers the option to customize the stain color and finish to match your preference. Ultimately, the choice between LVT and hardwood comes down to personal preference and lifestyle.

If you want a low maintenance and durable flooring option with countless design options, LVT is the way to go. If you prefer the natural beauty and elegance of real wood and don’t mind the added maintenance, hardwood is the way to go. Regardless of your choice, both LVT and hardwood flooring options offer excellent durability and aesthetics to elevate any space.

Cost Comparison

If you’re looking to renovate your home, it’s important to consider cost when deciding between luxury vinyl tile (LVT) and hardwood flooring. While hardwood is often seen as the more high-end option, it comes with a higher price tag. On average, hardwood flooring costs about $8 to $14 per square foot, while LVT costs about $2 to $7 per square foot.

Installation time is also an important factor to consider when looking at the cost of flooring. Hardwood flooring requires more time and expertise to install, which can drive up the cost of installation. On the other hand, LVT is relatively easy to install, and can often be done as a DIY project. This can save you money on installation costs, as well as time.

When it comes to resale value, hardwood flooring is often seen as a more valuable investment. While LVT has come a long way in terms of replicating the look and feel of hardwood, it still doesn’t have the same prestige as the real thing. If you’re looking to sell your home in the future, hardwood flooring may be a better investment. However, if you’re planning on staying in your home for the foreseeable future, LVT can provide a cost-effective and durable flooring option.

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Environmental Impact

Consider the environmental impact of your flooring choices before making a final decision on what to install in your home. Sustainability concerns are becoming more prevalent in today’s society, and it’s important to take them into account when choosing between luxury vinyl tile (LVT) and hardwood flooring.

Both options have their own carbon footprint, and it’s worth comparing them before making your choice. When it comes to sustainability, hardwood flooring has a bit of a reputation for being less eco-friendly due to deforestation and transportation costs. However, modern hardwood flooring companies are working to mitigate their environmental impact by using sustainable forest management practices and reducing emissions during transportation.

LVT is made from synthetic materials and can be recycled, but it’s important to note that the production process involves the use of chemicals and energy. A carbon footprint comparison between LVT and hardwood flooring can be challenging due to the many variables involved. However, some studies suggest that hardwood flooring has a lower carbon footprint over its lifespan than LVT due to its longer lifespan and ability to be refinished.

Ultimately, the best choice for your home will depend on your personal sustainability priorities and the specific products you are considering. Consider researching and comparing the environmental impact of different flooring options before making your final decision.

Installation and DIY Options

Opting for a DIY installation can save you money and give you a sense of accomplishment, but it’s important to keep in mind that installing flooring requires a certain level of skill and expertise.

If you’re planning to install hardwood flooring, be prepared to put in a lot of time and effort. You’ll need to measure the space accurately, prepare the subfloor, and install the planks carefully to ensure a smooth and even finish. It’s also important to choose the right tools and materials, such as a flooring nailer, adhesive, and underlayment.

If you’re not comfortable with the idea of a DIY installation, it’s best to hire a professional to do the job for you. Professional installation ensures that the flooring is installed correctly and efficiently, and it also comes with a warranty. A professional installer will have the expertise and equipment necessary to handle the job, and they can also provide valuable advice on choosing the right type of flooring for your home. Additionally, professional installation can save you time and prevent costly mistakes.

When it comes to installing luxury vinyl tile (LVT), the process is relatively simple and straightforward. LVT can be installed over most existing floors, and it doesn’t require any special tools or adhesives. However, it’s still important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and to take the time to prepare the subfloor properly.

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If you’re planning to install LVT yourself, make sure to read up on DIY tips and tutorials, and don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can LVT be refinished like hardwood?

Refinishing LVT: Pros and Cons. While LVT can be refinished, it is not recommended due to the cost and potential for damage. Refinishing LVT is generally more expensive than hardwood and may not provide the same level of results.

How does LVT hold up to scratches and dents compared to hardwood?

LVT has high durability and can handle scratches and dents better than hardwood. It requires minimal maintenance, while hardwood requires regular maintenance and refinishing. Consider your lifestyle and budget when deciding between the two.

Are there any health concerns with LVT flooring, such as off-gassing?

Health concerns with LVT flooring are minimal due to low VOC emissions and non-toxic materials. Installation suitability can vary depending on subfloor conditions and proper preparation. Consult with a professional for optimal results.

Do LVT and hardwood have the same resale value?

When comparing resale value, LVT and hardwood flooring are not equal. Hardwood is generally considered a more premium option and can increase a home’s value more than LVT. However, LVT offers superior durability and is a more affordable alternative.

Are there any limitations to where LVT can be installed, such as in areas with high moisture levels?

LVT has pros and cons when it comes to moisture levels. It can be installed in areas with high moisture levels but proper subfloor preparation and underlayment are necessary. Maintenance tips include using a damp mop and avoiding harsh chemicals.


So, after weighing the pros and cons of both LVT and hardwood flooring, which one is best for you? It ultimately depends on your personal preferences and needs.

If you’re looking for a flooring option that’s durable, easy to maintain, and has a wide range of design options, LVT may be the way to go. It’s also a more affordable option than hardwood and has a lower environmental impact.

However, if you’re after the traditional look and feel of hardwood, don’t mind the higher cost and maintenance, and want to add value to your home, hardwood flooring is the way to go.

At the end of the day, it’s important to do your research, consider your budget and lifestyle, and consult with a professional flooring installer before making a decision. They can provide expert recommendations based on your specific needs and help you make the best choice for your home.

Whatever you choose, both LVT and hardwood flooring can add beauty and value to your space for years to come.

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Donovan Carrington


Donovan Carrington, a flooring expert with extensive experience of over 25 years, is the driving force behind Flooring Explorer. Initially working as a flooring installer, Donovan gained hands-on experience with different flooring materials such as hardwood, laminate, vinyl, and tile. His profound knowledge and expertise in flooring technologies and installation techniques have established him as a respected authority in the industry.