How to pick out the perfect wood flooring option for you!
How to pick out the perfect wood flooring option for you! Laminate? Vinyl? Engineered? Real Hardwood? What is best for your family’s needs and budget?
This post is in partnership with LL Flooring. All opinions are 100 % my own! I did my research and due diligence and reached out to them to work together. I truly love and stand behind the product.
Whether you are building a new home from the ground up or renovating an existing home the flooring you pick lays the groundwork for the design of your home. How do you pick out the perfect wood flooring option for you? Are you going for a farmhouse style, coastal, traditional, modern, etc. The list can go on and on. You want to make sure that the flooring you pick encompasses that design style, but also has classic elements that will stand the test of time. Flooring is not like an accent pillow. It is something that will be in your home longer than you! You want to make sure that you make an informed decision that you only have to do once. Gone are the days of wall-to-wall flooring. If you want something classic-looking that will be current for years to come then you should look into wood flooring.
In the wood flooring world, there are a variety of options depending on your needs and budget.
For me, each one has its sets of pros and cons and I have used all of them in previous homes.
LAMINATE/VINYL FLOORING: If budget is of concern then laminate and vinyl flooring options are for you! Gone are the days where they looked like a massive sticker or contact paper. The designs on them are now quite realistic to real hardwood flooring. They are so many options that you can find in the $1-$2 range a sq foot. My favorite one is actually 68 cents a sq foot!!!! It is easy to install and durable against wear and tear from kids, pets, and heavy traffic.
LAMINATE: Typically not water-resistant. However, there are some styles that are now water-resistant. Make sure to check if the style you want is water-resistant before purchasing.
VINYL: Is a little bit more expensive than laminate, but they have more options available that are actually waterproof.
DESIGNER TIP: WATERPROOF AND WATER RESISTANT OPTIONS ARE PERFECT TO USE IN BASEMENTS AND LAUNDRY ROOMS WHERE OLD HOUSES TYPICALLY HAVE UNFINISHED FLOORS. THESE ARE EASY PLACES WERE YOU CAN DO WITHOUT REAL HARDWOOD AND STILL HAVE AN AMAZING DESIGN.
ENGINEERED WOOD FLOORING: This is an amazing option for houses and is used quite frequently nowadays. The main difference between engineered wood flooring and real wood flooring is that with engineered wood flooring only the top part of the plank is real wood floor. Underneath the layer of real wood is high-quality plywood. It can be sanded and re-stained around 1 to 2 times. Due to this, it has a shorter life span of only 20-30 years. This is still a very long life span and is a wonderful addition to a home.
DESIGNER TIP: IF YOU WANT TO USE HARDWOOD FLOORS IN KITCHENS AND BATHROOMS THEN GOING WITH ENGINEERED WOOD FLOORING IS BEST! IT DOESN’T CONTRACT OR EXPAND DUE TO MOISTURE LIKE TRADITIONAL HARDWOOD FLOORS DO.
REAL HARDWOOD FLOORING: To the naked eye real hardwood flooring planks and engineered hardwood flooring planks will look exactly the same. They are after all both real wood flooring. However, as the homeowner, you will know the difference, and when it comes to resale value it will be a great selling point. It always makes me think of handbags. Yes, a Tory Burch or Coach bag is very nice with quality materials and excellent design, but it’s always the girl with the Hermes bag that gets that extra glance and approval. Having hardwood flooring adds a bit of status to your home! I also love the charm of older homes and when you are trying to recreate that charm and character in your home then real hardwood flooring is the way to go!
DESIGNER TIP: IF YOU ARE INDECISIVE WHEN IT COMES TO WOOD STAINS GO WITH THE OPTIONS THAT ARE PRE-FINISHED. THE HARD WORK IS ALREADY DONE FOR YOU. DON’T DEAL WITH A FLOOR FULL OF DIFFERENT STAIN TRYING TO COME UP WITH SOMETHING CUSTOM. THE PRE-FINISHED OPTIONS ARE DONE IN A CURATED ARRAY OF STAINS THAT WORK IN A VARIETY OF DESIGN STYLES.
When we embarked on our adventure of renovating our new home the dream was always to have real hardwood flooring. Honestly, I didn’t think we would have the budget for it. Our entire house needed new flooring. That meant two floors of real hardwood and then something for the below-ground aka basement level. In the past, we have had issues with basements flooding so I always knew that I wanted to go with a laminate for the basement flooring. We did a ton of research when it came to wood flooring. I wanted something that looked gorgeous, had great quality, and didn’t break the bank. I went to all of the typical places, but my online searches always bought me back to LL Flooring. I’m lucky enough to have a showroom nearby and I went to see the floors in person. Again I was drawn to the same wood. I loved that the look of it was very classic looking and fitting for my home, but getting it in a thicker width made it a bit more modern and updated. It went perfectly with my traditional design style but would look equally as good if I changed my style down the line and went with something more like a coastal farmhouse. Originally I thought we would only be able to afford something engineered, but with all of the awesome sales that LL Flooring has I was able to swing it and get real hardwood! We went with Bellawood Character White Oak and had them do the installation as well. We are avid DIYers but there are only so many hours in a day. I wanted to get a crew in there that did installations day in and day out.
I'm Camila, A SELF APPOINTED STRIPE AFICIONADO WHO HAS A soft spot IN HER HEART FOR BLUE AND WHITE GINGER JARS, THE COLOR ORANGE, AND ELEPHANTS.
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Love all your tips! We’re looking for a new house this spring and would love to upgrade some floors. Will have to check out Lumber Liquidators to see what they’ve got!