Hardwood floors have been a look that people have enjoyed for centuries. Despite the look of hardwood floors, there are some drawbacks. They can scratch easily from children, pets, and everyday traffic, they are not water-resistant, and they can be very expensive to maintain. So, how do you achieve the timeless look of hardwood while addressing these factors?
You Have Two Options: Wood-Look Tile or Luxury Vinyl Planks
Let’s break this comparison down into 4 categories: Durability, Water Resistance, Care & Maintenance, and Installation.
Vinyl planks can take normal day to day activities including wear and tear due to pets and children without scratching. However, if too much pressure is put on it such as moving and dragging heavy pieces of furniture, vinyl planks can tear. They can also dent under heavy furniture or appliances and can fade under intense, prolonged exposure to sun. Wood-Look tile on the other hand will not dent or fade. It is harder than hardwood or vinyl planks. The only durability issue with wood-look tile is the possibility of breaking or chipping if heavy objects are dropped on the tile. Taking all of this into consideration, I believe that wood-look tile wins this category.
Wood-look tile is water resistant and so are vinyl planks at first glance. However, vinyl planks are only water resistant when installed properly. If they are not installed properly and there is a gap in between the planks, moisture can get underneath the planks. Because of these factors, I believe that wood-look tile wins for the water resistance category.
Care & Maintenance:
Care and Maintenance is a major part of decision making when you are going to be living with something forever. Let’s start with wood-look tile. Wood-look tile is easy to use with a broom, dust mop, or vacuum. The only downside to wood-look tile is the grout lines that you would have to pay close attention to. You can keep the grout lines narrow for lower maintenance. The care and maintenance of vinyl planks is very similar to wood-look tile. A broom or dust mop works perfectly fine for vinyl planks and a wet mop or no-wax cleaner can be used for heavier cleaning. In my opinion, Vinyl Planks wins this round only because it doesn’t have those pesky grout lines!
Wood-look tile is harder to install if you are doing it yourself because of the strange pieces you may have to cut, so hiring a professional tile-setter is probably your best route because they are skilled in using a tile saw. On the other hand, both types of vinyl planks are diy friendly. Tongue-and-groove or snap-and-click as well as the peel-and-stick vinyl planks are easy to install. With the tongue-and-groove, you simply snap them together, but with peel-and-stick, you peel a protective backing off of the tile and stick it to the floor. With both of these vinyl plank types, you can use a utility knife to easily cut the pieces to the size you need. So, after taking all of this into consideration, if you are doing a DIY project, vinyl planks win this category.
Final Thoughts: Which One Wins?
We have come to a tie. However, this is a great outcome because it means both of these options are viable choices for your home. It honestly depends on what needs and conditions you and your family value the most. If you require easy installation, then vinyl planks are the way to go, but if you want durability that lasts a lifetime, wood-look tile is going to be your best bet.
Whichever option you go with, Granite Division has a multitude of color and finish options available to you in either wood-look tile or luxury vinyl planks!
Photos Courtesy of Emser, Elysium, and Republic Floors.