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Hardwood vs LVP: Which One Should You Choose?

Choosing the right type of flooring for your home can be daunting. Hardwood and Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) are two popular options. While hardwood is a classic and timeless favorite, LVP has recently gained popularity. This article explores the 10 biggest differences between LVP and hardwood flooring and why LVP is now the superior choice.

Table of Contents

10 Differences Between LVP and Hardwood Flooring

From price to durability, installation to maintenance, we’ll break down the pros and cons of each so you can make an informed decision when it comes to choosing the right flooring option for your home!

1. Material composition

Hardwood is made from solid wood, typically harvested from oak, maple, or hickory trees. The wood is then cut into planks and processed to create the final product. LVP flooring, on the other hand, is made from synthetic materials such as PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and other additives. The manufacturing process of these two materials is also quite different. Hardwood planks are produced by sawing the solid wood into thin pieces and then finishing them to create beautiful textures and colors. LVP flooring is manufactured using a process called “photogravure,” which involves printing realistic images and textures onto the surface of the vinyl planks.

Overall, LVP flooring and hardwood have unique characteristics and benefits. While hardwood offers a natural and timeless look, LVP flooring provides durability and a more affordable option for those who want the look of hardwood without the high price tag.

2. Installation method

Compared to hardwood, LVP is significantly easier to install. With LVP, you do not need any special tools or skills to lay down the planks. They can be easily cut to size using a utility knife or a pair of scissors. One of the main benefits of LVP is that it is a floating floor, which means it does not need to be nailed, glued, or stapled down. The planks simply click together and are held in place by their own weight. This makes installation quick and straightforward and means that LVP can be installed on top of existing floors, saving money and time.

In contrast, hardwood floors require special equipment and skills to install correctly. The planks must be nailed or glued down to a subfloor; if the subfloor is not perfectly level, it can be challenging and time-consuming. Overall, LVP is an excellent choice for those looking for a hassle-free flooring installation experience.

3. Price

The installation of LVP is easier and faster compared to hardwood, which means reduced labor costs. Additionally, LVP can be installed over existing flooring, eliminating the need for expensive removal and preparation. The cost per square foot of LVP is also lower than that of hardwood. Moreover, LVP requires minimal maintenance and is highly durable; it can withstand high-traffic areas, scratches, and spills. In contrast, hardwood requires regular refinishing to maintain its appearance, which adds to its overall cost. Therefore, LVP is a more affordable and practical flooring solution compared to hardwood.

4. Durability

Luxury Vinyl Plank or LVP is a type of flooring that is known for its durability and strength. It is made up of multiple layers of vinyl material that can withstand heavy foot traffic, scratches, and water spills. On the other hand, hardwood flooring is made up of genuine wood that is prone to scratches, scuffs, and dents. Also, LVP has a wear layer specifically designed to resist stains, fading, and scratches. This makes it an ideal choice for high-traffic areas and households with children and pets. Therefore, LVP is more durable than hardwood flooring and requires less maintenance and repair in the long run.

5. Water resistance

LVP is designed to be water-resistant, making it a great option for moisture-prone areas like bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. On the other hand, hardwood flooring can be severely damaged by excess moisture, making it a poor choice for these areas.

6. Maintenance

LVP flooring is made from synthetic materials that are designed to be durable and easy to clean. Unlike hardwood flooring, which requires frequent maintenance to prevent scratches, stains, and other damage, LVP flooring can be easily cleaned with a mild cleaning solution and a damp mop. Also, LVP flooring is moisture-resistant, making it a great option for areas prone to spills and moisture. Overall, LVP flooring is a low-maintenance, durable, and affordable option that is ideal for busy households and high-traffic areas.

7. Comfort

LVP flooring typically has a softer feel underfoot, making it more comfortable to walk on compared to hardwood flooring. This can be particularly helpful if you spend a lot of time standing or walking on your floors.

8. Appearance and customization

LVP flooring has come a long way in recent years, with high-quality options that closely mimic the look and feel of hardwood. With a wide range of styles, colors, and finishes available, you can easily find LVP that suits your design style. Hardwood flooring, on the other hand, is limited to the natural variations of the wood from which it’s made.

9. Lifespan

Unlike hardwood floors, which are susceptible to scratches, dents, and water damage, LVP is designed to withstand heavy foot traffic and spills without showing wear and tear. One of the biggest advantages of LVP is its durability. Most LVP products are made from high-quality materials that are resistant to scratches, abrasion, and fading. Additionally, LVP is waterproof, which means it’s not susceptible to water damage or warping, making it an excellent choice for high-moisture areas like bathrooms and kitchens.

In essence, LVP floors are hard-wearing and capable of withstanding years of heavy use, which is why they often last far longer than hardwood floors. Moreover, their resistance to water, scratches, and other damages means they require less upkeep and maintenance, adding to their longevity.

Why LVP is the Superior Choice Against Hardwood

Greater durability and water resistance

LVP’s superior resistance to scratches, dents, and water damage makes it a more durable and practical flooring option for high-traffic areas and moisture-prone rooms. Whether you have pets, children, or simply want peace of mind, LVP’s durability and water resistance offer a level of protection that hardwood flooring cannot match.


With a lower price point than hardwood flooring, LVP provides an attractive, affordable option for homeowners looking to update their floors. The cost savings associated with LVP can be especially valuable if you plan to install new flooring in a large area or multiple rooms.

Ease of installation and maintenance

The ease of installation and low maintenance requirements of LVP make it a desirable choice for do-it-yourselfers and busy homeowners. With simplified installation methods and less need for regular upkeep, LVP provides a more convenient flooring solution compared to hardwood.

Versatility in design and appearance

The options are endless with LVP, as each plank can be designed to reflect a desired texture, grain, or hue. LVP can also be installed in a variety of ways – as individual planks, in a herringbone pattern, or even in a tile-like arrangement. One of the biggest advantages of LVP over hardwood is its durability. LVP is waterproof and scratch-resistant, making it perfect for households with pets or children. Hardwood, on the other hand, is susceptible to water damage and can be easily scratched or dented.

Overall, LVP offers a broader range of options than hardwood and is more durable and cost-effective. Its versatility and design options make it a great choice for any home renovation project.

In conclusion, LVP offers numerous advantages over hardwood flooring, including greater durability, water resistance, affordability, ease of installation, and design versatility. For many homeowners, the choice between LVP and hardwood comes down to personal preferences, lifestyle, and budget. While hardwood flooring may remain a popular choice for its timeless beauty and potential resale value, LVP’s numerous benefits make it a strong contender in the world of flooring solutions.

About The Author

Daniel Meeks

Daniel Meeks is a flooring expert with over 10 years of experience in the industry. Holding a BS in Marketing from Emerson College, Daniel has spent his professional career writing for some of the biggest names in interior design. In his spare time, Daniel enjoys hiking, baking, and hanging out with his dog, Artie.

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