There are a variety of reasons you might opt for a hardwood alternative over real wood. Hardwood alternatives are typically more affordable, lower maintenance, and water-resistant. These advantages make them an attractive option for many Austin homeowners. At Floor Coverings International Austin, we provide a variety of hardwood alternatives for your home. Below, we’ve compared and contrasted three of our most popular options.

Laminate Plank Flooring

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Benefits

Laminate is a versatile, affordable hardwood alternative capable of matching the natural beauty of wood. Laminate mimics hardwood using a photographic applique layer, which is then overlayed with a clear protective layer. The result is a durable, visually accurate wood-look flooring.

Considerations

An affordable price tag also comes with some downsides: compared to hardwood, laminate will not last as long. Though durable, laminate flooring cannot be refinished or sanded down like real wood. Laminate, while more water-resistant than hardwood, is also not as resilient to water as other wood-look alternatives.

Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

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Benefits

Luxury vinyl plank flooring is able to mimic the natural beauty of hardwood with photorealistic accuracy. Luxury vinyl planks are thicker than regular vinyl, and in addition to improved durability, this also allows luxury vinyl to better match the texture of hardwood. Luxury vinyl planks are also very water-resistant. They perform better in damp areas than both laminate and real wood. Perfect for kitchens, basements, and even bathrooms, luxury vinyl will hold up to humid conditions and spills. Comfort is another benefit of luxury vinyl planks. This flooring is softer than hardwood, making it one of the most comfortable wood-look alternatives.

Considerations

While luxury vinyl is beautiful and durable, it won’t add value to your home the same way true hardwood will. If you’re seeking strategic and value-adding upgrades to your home, real hardwood is the best choice. And while the softness of luxury vinyl offers improved comfort, it also distinguishes luxury vinyl from real wood flooring.

Porcelain Wood-Look Planks

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Benefits

Wood-look tile can be textured and colored to resemble a variety of different hardwood species. This versatile material is the only completely waterproof wood-look flooring option, which makes it ideal for bathrooms and outdoor areas. It’s also the most resistant to daily wear-and-tear.

Considerations

While wood-look tile is durable and waterproof, it’s not the most comfortable. Tile is hard underfoot and gets cold in winter months. The grout used to bind wood-look tiles will set it apart from real wood – however, the experts at Floor Coverings International Austin will make sure the color of the grout blends perfectly with the rest of your flooring.

Get Started on Your Perfect Floors Today!

From cherry to hickory, wood-look flooring can resemble any hardwood species. Our expert design team can easily help you find the perfect design for your home. Give us a call or book a free in-home consultation today! We proudly serve Austin, Westlake, and surrounding areas.

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Photos © sevi gadeaShortPhotos, and pics721

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