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Choosing the Perfect Flooring for Your Home in Hawaii: Laminate, Luxury Vinyl Plank, or Hardwood?

August 7, 2023

Selecting the ideal flooring materials for your home in Hawaii requires careful consideration of the climate, lifestyle, budget and aesthetic preferences.

Flooring in Hawaii is unique compared to other places across the country. The selection, colors and brands are different and wait times can be a bit longer. With that said, there are some amazing products we have seen installed in some recent homes in Hawaii we toured. Whether its environmentally friendly flooring or waterproof flooring, there is an option for all Hawaii homeowners.

In this blog post, we will explore three popular options: laminate, luxury vinyl plank (LVP), and hardwood. We’ll discuss their pros and cons, as well as delve into the popular styles and colors that complement the vibrant Hawaiian atmosphere.

Table of Contents

Flooring Options

Laminate Flooring


  • Affordability: Laminate flooring provides a cost-effective alternative to hardwood or LVP.
  • Durability: Its layered construction makes it resistant to scratches, stains, and fading.
  • Moisture Resistance: Laminate is less susceptible to water damage compared to hardwood, but caution should still be exercised.


  • Limited Authenticity: While modern laminate designs have improved, they may lack the genuine appearance of hardwood.
  • Limited Lifespan: Laminate floors typically have a shorter lifespan compared to hardwood or LVP.
  • Environmental Impact: Some laminates may contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), so opt for low-VOC options.

Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP):


  • Versatility: LVP comes in a wide range of styles, including realistic wood and stone looks.
  • Water Resistance: LVP is highly resistant to moisture, making it suitable for humid Hawaiian environments.
  • Durability: Its wear layer provides protection against scratches, stains, and fading.


  • Vulnerability to Sharp Objects: While LVP is durable, sharp objects can still cause damage.
  • Limited Temperature Resistance: Extreme temperature fluctuations may affect LVP’s dimensional stability.
  • Environmental Considerations: Ensure to select LVP with low VOC emissions and consider its disposal.

Hardwood Flooring:


  • Timeless Beauty: Hardwood flooring exudes natural elegance and adds value to your home.
  • Longevity: With proper maintenance, hardwood floors can last for generations.
  • Sustainable Options: Look for sustainably sourced hardwood or reclaimed wood for an eco-friendly choice.


  • Moisture Sensitivity: Hawaiian humidity can impact hardwood, causing expansion or contraction.
  • Vulnerability to Scratches: Hardwood can be more susceptible to scratches and dents.
  • Higher Cost: Hardwood flooring tends to have a higher initial cost compared to laminate or LVP.

Popular Styles and Colors in Hawaiian Flooring:

  1. Tropical Hardwoods: Hawaiian homeowners often gravitate towards tropical hardwood species like Koa or Mango for their warm hues and unique grain patterns.
  2. Lighter Tones: Light-colored flooring, such as white oak or bamboo, can create an airy and beachy feel, reflecting the Hawaiian lifestyle.
  3. Distressed or Reclaimed Wood: Weathered and distressed hardwood flooring adds character and a sense of history to Hawaiian homes.
  4. Tile-Look LVP: LVP with tile designs mimics the appearance of natural stone, providing a refreshing and cool aesthetic, ideal for warm climates.

Thinking About Moving to Hawaii? Other Things You Should Know:

  1. Population: Hawaii has a population of around 1.4 million. It is one of the least populated states in the U.S.
  2. Geography: The state consists of eight main islands, with Hawaii (also known as the Big Island) being the largest. Other major islands include Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Niihau, and Kahoolawe.
  3. Tourism: Hawaii is a popular tourist destination known for its stunning landscapes, beautiful beaches, and unique culture. Tourism is a significant contributor to the state’s economy.
  4. Culture: Hawaiian culture is rich and deeply rooted in traditions, including hula dancing, ukulele music, and the aloha spirit, which emphasizes kindness and hospitality.
  5. Volcanoes: Hawaii is home to active volcanoes, such as Kilauea and Mauna Loa. These volcanoes have shaped the islands’ landscapes over millions of years.
  6. State Capital: The capital of Hawaii is Honolulu, located on the island of Oahu. It is the largest city in the state and a major economic and cultural hub.

Thinking About Renovating a House in Hawaii? Other Things You Should Know:

Renovating a house in Hawaii can be an exciting but complex endeavor. Whether you’re renovating a vacation home or a permanent residence, there are some key factors to consider:

  1. Permits and Regulations: Before starting any renovation project, you’ll need to obtain the necessary permits from the local government. Hawaii has strict building codes and regulations, especially regarding construction near the coastline or in areas prone to natural hazards like volcanoes or hurricanes. It’s essential to comply with these rules to avoid legal issues and ensure the safety of your home.
  2. Budget and Planning: Create a detailed budget for your renovation project and plan carefully. Hawaii can be an expensive place to renovate due to the high cost of materials, labor, and transportation. Make sure to account for unexpected expenses and delays that may arise during the process.
  3. Contractors and Professionals: Hiring reputable contractors and professionals is crucial for a successful renovation. Look for licensed contractors with experience in Hawaii’s unique construction requirements and local conditions.
  4. Sustainable Design: Consider incorporating sustainable and energy-efficient features into your renovation. Hawaii places a strong emphasis on environmental conservation, and eco-friendly upgrades can help you save on energy costs in the long run.
  5. Island Style: Embrace the island’s unique style and culture in your renovation design. Hawaiian homes often feature open-air spaces, natural materials like wood and stone, and plenty of natural light.
  6. Consider Local Materials: Opt for locally sourced materials when possible. Not only does this support the local economy, but it also reduces transportation costs and promotes sustainability.
  7. Hurricane Preparedness: Since Hawaii is susceptible to hurricanes and tropical storms, it’s essential to take precautions during your renovation to ensure your home is resilient to extreme weather events.
  8. Landscaping: Hawaii’s beautiful landscapes are a significant part of the island lifestyle. Consider landscaping your property to complement the natural surroundings and create an outdoor space that you can enjoy.
  9. Building Codes and ADA Compliance: If you plan to renovate for rental or public use, be aware of ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance requirements to accommodate individuals with disabilities.
  10. Local Culture and Community: Be mindful of the local culture and community as you renovate. Respect the neighbors and the environment, and try to become an active and positive member of the community.

Overall, renovating a house in Hawaii can be a rewarding experience, allowing you to create a beautiful and functional space while embracing the unique charm of the islands. Just be sure to plan carefully, follow regulations, and work with professionals who understand the specific challenges and requirements of building in this stunning tropical paradise.


When it comes to flooring materials for your Hawaiian home, laminate, luxury vinyl plank, and hardwood each offer distinct advantages.

Consider factors such as budget, durability, and aesthetic appeal to make an informed decision. Additionally, explore popular styles and colors that align with the tropical ambiance of Hawaii. Remember to choose environmentally friendly options and consult with flooring professionals to ensure the best choice for your specific needs.

At the end of the day, you really can’t go wrong with any of the flooring types as long as you fully understand the pros, cons and the impact the flooring will have on your home in Hawaii. We recommend first focusing on the color that matches your decor/atmosphere and the brand of flooring that you can rely on.

About The Author

Bo Arnold

Associate Copywriter at FlooringStores (and its parent company, Broadlume), Bo is an avid traveler, former English teacher, and unashamed extrovert. When he’s not writing, you'll usually find him wherever a soccer game is on, or listening to deep-dives on the latest Marvel Studios production.

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