Vinyl Flooring Vs Engineered Hardwood Flooring [Head-On Comparison]

Vinyl Flooring Vs Engineered Hardwood Flooring

It is not hard for you to get equally attracted to vinyl and engineered hardwood flooring. You may find it difficult to compare all the pros and cons of vinyl flooring vs engineered hardwood flooring. I have written this article for you only.

I have been involved with the flooring business for the last 15 years. In this article, I will share all my knowledge with you about the two most happening flooring solutions of this age, in the most impartial way.

Vinyl Flooring Vs Engineered Hardwood: What To Buy?

Vinyl flooring and engineered hardwood flooring – both are good-looking and of undemanding maintenance. But there are some big differences between them. I tried to present you an elaborate comparison between these two popular solutions of flooring below:

  • Design & Fashionability:

The patterns of the vinyl flooring are done through a printing process. That means, there is no limit in the designs of their patterns. Their patterns can have the looks of a marble floor or a wooden floor. You can choose vinyl flooring matching the whole theme of your house. Here are some formats of vinyl flooring:

  • Luxury Vinyl Tile
  • Printed Vinyl Tile
  • Inlaid Vinyl Tile
  • Vinyl Sheets
  • Vinyl Tiles
  • Vinyl Planks

Engineered Hardwoods are made from layers of real wood, with some plywood layer in between them. That is why they hold the style and pattern of real wood. A wood-patterned floor is always classic and grand on its own. Just like nature, you will not find a repetitive or a weird pattern in engineered hardwoods.

  • Price Comparison:

On average quality vinyl flooring costs between $600 to $2,000 for each 200 sq. ft. in the USA, depending on the quality. The installation cost of the flooring solution is also minimal and can be done by the user. 

Whereas the engineered average cost of hardwood flooring is $1600 per 200 sq. ft. in the USA. Its installation cost is also much higher than vinyl flooring. 

  • Installation Comparison:

DIY (Do It Yourself) people love vinyl flooring. With a little skill and hard work, they can easily be installed at home without the help of a professional. 

Installation of engineered hardwood is a bit more challenging and needs professionals for a perfect finishing. 

  • Comfort Comparison:

You will find a little comfort in using vinyl flooring. Since they are completely artificial, their touch is not pleasing at all. They feel hard and cold under your foot while walking. Though vinyl floorings can be made soft by adding foam, cork, or underlayment under them.

On the contrary, engineered hardwoods are as pleasant to use as a wooden floor. You can feel the touch of nature with them. The sound of your footing on an engineered hardwood floor is soothing for ears.

  • Maintenance Comparison:

One of the biggest selling points of vinyl flooring is easy maintenance. Cleaning any spill or dust is very easy with them, due to its water-resistant nature. But this type of flooring can get scratches quickly. 

Movement or sitting for extended periods of heavy furniture on a vinyl floor can cause tears or dents. If damaged, vinyl floors can be replaced partly.

On the other hand, engineered hardwood needs some special care. You can sweep or vacuum them easily. But while an intense cleaning, engineered hardwood needs special cleaning agents. You can use wood putty to repair any damaged engineered hardwood floor. 

  • Response To Weather:

Vinyl flooring is known to cope with any kind of weather. However, they are vulnerable to direct sunlight. Sun causes discoloration to vinyl flooring.

You may think, as engineered hardwoods are made of real wood, they might be damaged by moisture. But the fact is, they can be installed in any moist weather, including bathrooms, basements, and kitchen, even though they are not completely water-resistant. They also do well with hot weather.

  • Durability Comparison:

One reason behind the fact that vinyl floorings do not last as long as they are claimed to be, they get ripped out easily with friction. It loses durability when there is an opening at its sealing.  Then moisture accumulates beneath the floor and ruins the flooring completely. 

Though vinyl flooring is claimed to last about 20 years, direct sunlight gets the lifetime shortened. They discolor the floor and make it unusable. 

Vinyl plank flooring does well to withstand pets or children so far the scratch is concerned.

Compared to vinyl flooring, engineered hardwood flooring is way more durable. The processed wood handles moisture and humidity efficiently. Scratches can be a problem for them, but that can be easily solved with putty and refinishes. There are a few variations of engineered hardwood, which cannot be refinished.

Engineered hardwoods are claimed to last from 20 to 80 years. Proper maintenance can make its life even longer. 

  • Value Addition To Asset:

This is the worst criterion to judge vinyl flooring. Because it never adds any value to a house. In the real estate market, this flooring is valued to none.

As a long-term investment, engineered hardwoods are a superb idea. There is a 75% return on investment if you install this flooring. It can increase the overall value of your house up to 5%.

  • Eco-Friendliness:

Vinyl flooring is very infamous for its hostility towards nature. It releases many harmful gases in the environment including Polyvinyl chloride. These gases contribute a lot to global warming and the depletion of the ozone layer. Vinyl Flooring’s non-biodegradable character makes them hard to recycle.

Engineered hardwood is known to be favorable to the environment. As only a part of it is made from natural wood, it is not heavily responsible for deforestation.

  • Impact On Health:

The harmful chemicals and gases that vinyl floors discharge triggers many diseases, including cancer. Some cases of miscarriage and imbalanced development of children are claimed to be related to vinyl flooring.

The impacts of engineered hardwood are positive on both our minds and body. But you have to be careful after refinishing. In the first few hours of refinishing, some volatile organic chemicals (VOC) are discharged.

Vinyl Flooring VS Engineered Hardwood: Winner Revealed!

The below table will give you a quick comparison between vinyl flooring and engineered hardwood. And at the end of the comparison, you will also know who is the ultimate winner in between them.

CriterionVinyl FlooringEngineered HardwoodsWinner
Design & Fashionability
Patterns are printed. So,  no limit in the designs of their patterns.Hold the style and pattern of real wood. Always classic and grand. Patterns are designed by nature.Tie

Quality vinyl flooring costs $600 to $2,000 for every 200 sq. ft. Installation cost minimal.Average cost $1600 per 200 sq. ft. Installation cost is higher than vinyl flooring.Vinyl Flooring
InstallationCan be installed with a little skill and hard work without the help of a professional.Installation needs to be done by professionals for a perfect finishing.Vinyl Flooring
ComfortNot comfortable for walking. Pleasant to use. Brings the touch of nature. Soothing sound.Engineered Hardwood
Maintenance Comparison:

Easily maintained. Cleaning spills and dust is easy. Can get scratches quickly. Tears with heavy movement.Needs special care. Needs special cleaning agents. Can be repaired easily.Tie
Response To Weather

Copes with any weather. Vulnerable to direct sunlight.Can be installed in any weather. Tile
Durability Comparison:

Get ripped out easily with friction. Opening of the sealing ruins the flooring. Claimed to last between 10 and 20 years.Way more durable. Deals moisture and humidity efficiently. Claimed to last from 20 to 80 years.Engineered Hardwood
Value Addition To Asset:Never adds any value to a house.The average return on investment is 75%. Increases the overall value of the house by 5%.Engineered Hardwood
Releases harmful gases, contributing to global warming and the depletion of the ozone layer. Non-biodegradable.Completely eco-friendly. Contributes a little to deforestation.Engineered Hardwood
Impact On Health
Discharges harmful chemicals and gases that cause diseases, including cancer. Said to be responsible for miscarriage and imbalanced development of children in some cases.Positive on both minds and body. Right after refinishing, volatile organic chemicals (VOC) are released into the air.Engineered Hardwood

We can see that other than price and installation, engineered hardwood has beaten vinyl flooring in all criteria. Anyway, you can read vinyl flooring vs carpet, vinyl flooring vs ceramic tile, and vinyl flooring vs wooden floor comparison articles by clicking on the link.

Commonly Asked Questions:

Is Vinyl Flooring As Warm As Engineered Hardwood?

Engineered hardwood floors are much warmer than vinyl floors. But you can make your vinyl floors warmer by adding foam or layers beneath them. Foam or cork works as a thermal insulator.

How Much Value Is Added If Vinyl Is Replaced By Hardwood Floors?

Buyers of the real estate industry prefer a more durable to the resalable floor in a house. For that, they like engineered hardwood floors more than vinyl floors. The value of your house can increase by around 5% to 10% if you replace your vinyl floors with engineered hardwood floors.

Which flooring option provides a more authentic wood look?

When it comes to replicating the look of real wood, engineered hardwood flooring takes the lead. Its top layer consists of genuine wood, offering a natural and authentic appearance. Engineered hardwood can be found in a variety of wood species, finishes, and grains, allowing you to choose a design that matches your aesthetic preferences. On the other hand, vinyl flooring can mimic the look of wood through high-quality printing techniques, but it may not provide the same level of realism as the real wood veneer found in engineered hardwood.

Which flooring option is more suitable for areas with fluctuating temperature or humidity?

In areas with fluctuating temperature or humidity, vinyl flooring is generally a more suitable choice compared to engineered hardwood. Vinyl is known for its dimensional stability and resistance to moisture, making it less prone to expansion, contraction, or warping due to changes in environmental conditions. Engineered hardwood, being a natural material, can be affected by humidity levels and may expand or contract, leading to gaps or buckling. While engineered hardwood can be installed in such areas with precautions like acclimation and humidity control, vinyl flooring is often a more reliable option for spaces with significant temperature and humidity fluctuations.

Which flooring option is more budget-friendly?

A vinyl floor is generally more affordable than engineered hardwood when it comes to budget considerations. Vinyl flooring is generally less expensive to purchase and install compared to engineered hardwood, making it a popular choice for cost-conscious homeowners. In addition, vinyl flooring requires minimal maintenance and has a long lifespan, reducing the need for frequent replacements or repairs. Engineered hardwood, on the other hand, often comes at a higher price point due to its real wood top layer and the additional installation requirements. While both options offer their own benefits, vinyl flooring is often a more budget-friendly option for those looking for an attractive and durable flooring solution.

Can You Install Engineered Hardwood Over Vinyl Flooring?

It is possible to install engineered hardwood over vinyl flooring. But you need to be sure that the vinyl is in good shape. There should not be any scratches, bucklings, cracks, or bubbles on the vinyl floor. The vinyl floor itself has to be installed on a solid floor. 

Can You Lay Vinyl Flooring Over Engineered Hardwood?

To save money, you can install vinyl flooring over damaged engineered hardwood floors. For that, you have to be confirmed that there are no gaps and bucklings in the old engineered hardwood floors. If yes then you have to fix those problems beforehand. 

You should keep in mind that this solution may not work for a long time. Because the old hardwood can swell with time. Then the vinyl flooring will be ruined. 

Vinyl Flooring VS Engineered Hardwood: Which Is Suitable For Babies?

Vinyl floors are never good for babies. One of the main compounds of vinyl flooring, PVC is found to be a threat to the health of a baby. That is why it is banned to be used for baby toys in the USA. Some cases of imbalance in the physical and mental growth of children have been related to Vinyl floors.

Like a wooden floor, engineered floors are not harmful to babies. If your hardwood is installed with nails, make sure they cannot come in contact with babies. 

Which Floor Is Good For Your Climate, Vinyl Or Engineered Hardwood? 

Both vinyl floors and engineered hardwood floors are known to adapt to any kind of weather. Generally, it is perceived that vinyl floors do better in humid tropical zones. In a dry climate, engineered hardwood can be ideal. They can keep your house cool.

Is Engineered Hardwood Better Than Vinyl For Bedrooms?

The air quality of a bedroom is a very important factor for our health. We take deep breaths for hours while sleeping in a bedroom. As vinyl floors release some harmful gases in the air, they should never be considered for a bedroom. On the other hand, engineered hardwoods do not pollute the air at all. This makes them a far better choice for bedrooms.

Is Vinyl Flooring Better Than Engineered Flooring For Basements?

Both vinyl flooring and engineered flooring are considered good for basements. The water-proof characteristics of vinyl flooring help to fight extra moisture of the air in a basement. Few luxury vinyl planks are extra thick to fight scuffings in a basement. Engineered hardboards are liked in basements because they are resilient to heat.

Which Is Cheaper To Install, Vinyl Flooring Or Engineered Hardwood?

Vinyl flooring is reasonably cheaper than engineered hardwood. One of the main reasons for the popularity of vinyl flooring is its competitive price. The fact that engineered hardwoods are made from natural wood, makes them comparatively pricey. 

Which Is Better For Bathrooms, Vinyl Or Engineered Hardwood?

Waterproof vinyl flooring can be used in bathrooms. But you need to keep the bathroom as dry as possible. Any stranded water at any corner of the bathroom can eventually damage the flooring. Luxury vinyl tiles are the best among all vinyl flooring options. 

The multi-layer design of engineered hardwood makes them robust and perfect for bathrooms. They can do better in bathrooms than vinyl floorings. 

Final verdict:

Now you have all the information on vinyl flooring vs engineered hardwood. If money is not your major concern, you can easily choose engineered hardwood over vinyl flooring. But we all know, sometimes money can become the only factor to consider.

You may also want to read:

How Long Will Vinyl Floors Be Off-Gas After Installation?

Is Carpet Better Than Vinyl For Bedrooms?

Between Vinyl And Wooden Floor, Which One Is Better For Bathrooms?

Jahidul Alam

Hello dear! This is Jahidul Alam. I am the admin of this Tidy Floor. I have been in the floor cleaning business for the last 20 years. My business is all about ensuring affordable flooring cleaning services for Americans.

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