Having hardwood flooring installed adds a prestigious look to your house. However, it comes with many limitations. For example, you always have to make sure not to spill a drop of water on it. Moreover, it requires special maintenance and needs to be refinished and repaired quite often.
While lots of people put up with this to have and keep the beautiful look of hardwood floors, you don’t have to do so. Why go through that when you can install fake wood flooring and get the shiny and elegant look that hardwood floorings add to any place without actually having to go through any of the disadvantages of hardwood?
There are several durable and good-looking fake wood flooring on the market. And while they’re all great hard to choose from, they have their differences. We’ll show you all the essential information you need to know about each of them to be able to make an informed decision.
PS. If any part of your home contains wooden floors, you will want to read our Hardwood Floor Vacuum and Mop Combos of 2021 – Reviews and Guide. We also have a guide on how to get pet urine out of your precious hardwood floors here.
1. Wood-Look Tile
As its name indicates, wood-look tile is a tile that looks like natural wood. It’s basically porcelain or ceramic that people mistake for wood, thanks to the wood grain that’s added using high-resolution printing.
If you don’t want the flooring to look like fake wood, make sure you buy tiles that don’t have repeated images on the same lot. The more the variation, the more natural the flooring will look.
- Durable: Porcelain is highly durable, thanks to the dense composition of tile. It resists scratches and scuffs, so it’s an excellent choice in a household with kids or pets.
- Easy to Clean: It’s also straightforward to clean with regular detergents and water, unlike hardwood flooring that requires special maintenance and refinishing now and then.
- Water-resistant: If you’ll install the flooring in a kitchen or someplace where you might spill water, go for this type. Porcelain doesn’t have pores, which means that there won’t be as many stains as there would be on real hardwood flooring.
- Sustainable and recyclable: Whenever you want to remove the flooring, you can have it recycled and contribute to helping the environment. Moreover, unlike lots of fake wood floorings, wood-look tile does not emit VOCs, which means there won’t be any emissions that ruin the quality of the air you breathe.
Laminate is simply a type of flooring made of three components: plywood for structure, a photo-realistic image that imitates any wood grain pattern, and an outer layer that increases durability.
- Affordable: Laminate is cheaper than real hardwood flooring, which is a huge plus. This means that you can get the impressive look of hardwood flooring without breaking the bank.
- Easy to install: Laminate is super-easy to install since its planks come in the “click-together” technique. You can even install them over the old flooring you have, which would also save the money you would otherwise spend on removing the old floor.
- Durable: Laminate has high wear and tear resistance, as it resists scratches, scuffs, and their likes. Thus, it’s highly recommended to install laminate in areas where there is high traffic.
3. Vinyl Plank and LVT
Like laminate, vinyl plank is composed of a strong base, an image layer, and a protective layer. However, the main difference between the two types of fake wood is that vinyl plank has a unique texture, making it feel like real wood. We have the 3D printing and ER (embossed-in-register) techniques to thank for this.
- Easy to install: LVT is as easy to install as laminate because it comes in a “click-together” technique, too. Moreover, it does not need to be attached to the subfloor. That’s why some people call it the “floating floor.” This means that you can install it over your old flooring, saving yourself the money of having it removed.
- Water-resistant: This type of fake wood is perfect for places where there will most likely be a lot of water on the floor, such as kitchens and bathrooms. Vinyl won’t get damaged from water spills or moisture. Moreover, it’s synthetic, and therefore, highly durable.
- Easy to clean: Since vinyl is water-resistant, you can safely mop it from time to time. You can also vacuum and sweep it daily.
4. Engineered Hardwood
Engineered hardwood is not really fake as it’s real wood after all, and so it shares the same advantages of solid wood but less of its disadvantages.
It’s thinner and less expensive as it’s made by adding a layer of a thin coat of solid hardwood on the top of plywood or fiberboard.
This choice works best for people who want to make sure no one notices that the flooring is not made of real solid hardwood.
- Cost-effective: With engineered hardwood, you can get the same exotic look of natural wood at a very low price. Who can say no to that?
- Easy to install: It’s also easy and cheap to install because it comes in a “snap-together” technique such as laminate and vinyl plank.
Now that you’ve learned about the most popular fake wood floorings on the market, we bet that you’re happy to know that there are some fantastic and cost-effective alternatives for amazing “wooden-looking” floorings.
You can go for wood-look tile or vinyl plank if you want to install the flooring in the kitchen or any place where water can get on the floor as they are water-resistant.
We also recommend wood-look tiles for people who care about the environment and love buying recyclable items and contributing to society’s good.