Sep 06, 2023 | Flooring America
There’s something about hardwood flooring that gives an air of timeless elegance to your home. Easy to dress up or down, hardwood floors truly upgrade the appeal of any room. With so many gorgeous textures, grains, knotting, stains, installation patterns, and finishes, you can easily nail a charming New England look or capture the airy aesthetic of a beachfront oasis in any room of your home. However, many homeowners are not ready for the hefty investment and thoughtful maintenance required for solid hardwood flooring.
We’ll let you in on a little secret: you can get the authentic look of wood flooring for about a fraction of the cost. It turns out that there are multiple wood-look flooring choices that are affordable, easy to install, minimally maintained, and super stylish.
So, if you’re looking for a hardwood floor that fits any of these descriptions, let’s walk through some of the best wood-look flooring options so that you can upgrade your home with faux hardwood’s timeless style and improved functionality. Whether you choose luxury vinyl, wood-look tile, laminate wood, or engineered wood floors, you’ll have your guests thinking it's real solid wood flooring!
Luxury vinyl flooring is an increasingly popular hardwood flooring alternative due to its ultra-realistic design layer. Printed to display real hardwood, it's covered by a clear, protective wear layer. Some manufacturers offer luxury vinyl with a textured wear layer that mimics the feel of the natural wood grain, making it appear authentic. As its name suggests, luxury vinyl planks (LVP) comes in different cuts, so you can choose your desired installation patterns to mimic your favorite hardwood style.
Luxury vinyl floors are also highly durable and affordable, making them one of the best wood-look alternatives on the market. LVP floors come in a variety of colors, with expansive selections ranging from light to dark. Whether you want a gorgeous white oak to brighten up a room or dark mahogany to set a moody tone, luxury vinyl captures the alluring aesthetic of hardwood with exquisite waterproof and scratch-resistant advantages.
It’s true. Now you can get the look of hardwood plus the functionality of tile. Perfect for bathrooms and kitchens (where moisture is a concerning factor), wood tile flooring allows you to keep your hardwood styles consistent throughout your home. Even in areas prone to daily spills and mishaps, tile’s oops proof resistance to stains, dents, water, heat, and humidity is perfect for a house filled with pets and kids.
An ideal flooring choice for warm, humid climates, porcelain or stone wood-look tile keeps your home cool while resisting mold and mildew. This means you don’t have to worry about your kids' allergies while reducing energy costs. Plus, it’s durable, inexpensive, and easy to install. And, if you’re considering an indoor vs. outdoor wood-look flooring choice, you’ll want to consider wood-look tile for a seamless indoor/outdoor design.
There’s a reason that so many families choose laminate wood floors for their active households when looking for affordable wood-look flooring. Laminate is one of the most cost-effective alternatives to hardwood, and it has come a long way since it was first introduced, now offering a range of true wood looks. Many laminate manufacturers have developed their styles to offer authentic-looking hardwood grain patterns, giving you the exact aesthetic you need for much less out-of-pocket cost.
Thanks to its clear protective coating, it’s highly durable and water resistant. Laminate wood floors are not only aesthetically pleasing, but their composition acts as a natural insulator. Reducing your home’s heating bills and aiding in sound absorption, it’s the perfect choice for your home office or family room, so you can work in peace while your kids play.
If you find yourself asking, “What flooring looks the most like wood?”, it’s time to consider engineered hardwood floors. This type of floor not only looks exactly like wood, but it feels like wood too because it is! Engineered hardwood consists of a rigid bonded plywood core to set a strong base structure, and is topped with a thin veneer of real solid wood. This makes engineered hardwood planks much more durable than solid wood floors.
How? The core is manufactured to prevent expansion and warping with changes in the air’s moisture levels, giving your home the durability it needs, even in the most weather-fluctuating and high-moisture environments. This gives homeowners the best of both worlds, with a classically natural, solid wood look coming in a variety of styles, colors, and species—whether you love hickory, oak, or contemporary gray ash planks.
Interested in exploring hardwood flooring alternatives? Browse your local Flooring America’s wide selection of hardwood, tile, laminate, and luxury vinyl for the perfect style and level of durability needed for your space, so you can enjoy all the aesthetic benefits of hardwood, plus unbeatable performance.