LVP vs. Engineered Hardwood: What You Need to Know

February 16, 2023


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We love the look of hardwood floors! They’re classic, timeless, and look great in nearly all areas of the home. However, with more and more flooring options joining the market, there’s a lot to consider when choosing your flooring type. Today, we’re breaking down the two types of flooring we use most often in our custom home build and remodel projects: engineered wood and LVP. Read on to learn more about these two popular flooring materials!

Living room with wood floors
#thelakeloft’s living room features engineered hardwood.

What is engineered hardwood?

Engineered hardwood has a thin veneer of real wood on top with a multi-ply cross grain engineered core underneath it. We love it because if you want a wide plank flooring, the engineered backing makes the wood much more stable (which helps prevent extreme expansion and contraction that you might otherwise see).

Engineered floors are also pre-finished at the factory, which means the finish is baked on and is generally a lot more durable than a finish that is applied on site. Also, if you opt for a floor that has a wire brushed finish, it will be a little more forgiving when it comes to scratches.

Entryway leading into dining room
#bloomingtonbuild’s entryway floors were engineered hardwood installed in a herringbone pattern.

What is LVP?

LVP stands for “luxury vinyl plank.” Many brands will also refer to this as SPC (stone plastic composite). It is a composite material that has quickly gained popularity due to its strong durability, resistance to wear and tear, and the fact that it looks much more realistic than the laminate of yesteryear.

LVP is comprised of many layers including a base layer, core layer, decor layer, and wear layer. The number of layers as well as the thickness of each layer determines the quality of the LVP. The decor layer is where the magic happens, as this is the vinyl layer that’s printed to look like wood. The wear layer is also important – this the clear top coat that protects the flooring from scratches and stains.

Foyer with staircase and kitchen
LVP was the go-to choice for our #uptonupdate clients.

What are the pros and cons of LVP and engineered hardwood?

Engineered Hardwood Pros

  • True hardwood on top (a look we love!)
  • Better resists expansion and contraction than site finished hardwood
  • Comes in a wide range of colors and finishes
  • Has a factory applied finish that is more durable than site finished hardwood
  • Generally more scratch resistant than site finished hardwood

Engineered Hardwood Cons

  • It is a natural material so it is still prone to scratches and stains
  • More expensive than LVP
  • Not waterproof – water will damage the wood so it’s not suitable for bathrooms or mudrooms

LVP Pros

  • Very durable, good for high-traffic areas
  • Waterproof
  • Typically less expensive than engineered hardwood
  • Low maintenance and easy to clean
  • Stain and scratch-resistant
  • Great option for people with kids or pets

LVP Cons

  • A synthetic material, not a true hardwood
  • Some colors don’t look realistic or can look fake
  • The floor is often installed floating and as such, you can feel a difference when walking on it
  • Sometimes can sound plastic

What flooring material should I choose for my home?

The beauty of home design is that there is no “best” option, rather the option that works best for your lifestyle, design style, and budget is the best flooring material for you! As for what is trending, lighter wood tones like white oak have been in for awhile now, but our designers predict we will see wood floors get warmer and richer over the next few years.

Open concept kitchen with dining room
LVP seamlessly connected the dining room and kitchen in the #greenfieldglowup.

How should I clean my hardwood floors?

One factor that can increase the longevity of your floors, regardless of the type, is cleaning them regularly and with the correct cleaner. We shared our top floor cleaning tip for engineered hardwood floors on this Instagram post, and we recommend this hardwood floor cleaning product for squeaky clean floors, every time.

How can I bring warmth to my hardwood floors?

One complaint we sometimes hear about hardwood floors is that they’re cold on your feet. The good news? Rugs are a fun way to bring both style and warmth to your space. Here is a round up of six of our favorite rug options, handpicked by our interior designers.

Variety of area rugs
Shop a few of our favorite area rugs here!

And there you have it! There are lots of factors to consider when choosing the best type of flooring for your family and lifestyle. Be sure to join our email list to receive our latest design tips and home inspiration and to stay up-to-date on all the latest happenings here at Alma Homes.

leave a comment 

  1. Hello, all this information was very helpful. Thank you very much! Keep posting such kind of info on your blog. I’m really impressed by it.

    • Ashley Moyna says:

      Thank you so much, Queenie! We’re glad to hear this info was helpful. We’ll keep the informative blog posts coming!

  2. Sam Andrews says:

    One of my neighbors is thinking of upgrading the floor of his attic. Thanks to you, I can now comprehend how capable engineered hardwoods are in withstanding external scratches. Thus, considering this option should be something he does before finalizing an installation in the end.

  3. Oliver Carter says:

    That’s a wonderful comparison regarding engineered hardwood and luxury vinyl floors. Thank you very much. This is some really helpful information you have provided here. It would be nice if you share more good information on this!
    Elka Wood Flooring Liverpool

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