Hardwood is still the gold standard in flooring: gorgeous, durable, and long-lasting. It’s also pricey and takes plenty of maintenance to keep it looking its best. But here’s the good news: you can get hardwood glam without paying hardwood prices. 21st Century technology has given us gorgeous and affordable alternatives in hard flooring from top manufacturers. Here’s a look at some of our favorites.
Laminate Planks as an Alternative to Hardwood
Laminate planks look expensive, but they’re surprisingly affordable. They’re also super functional and easy to maintain. Laminate flooring is made of a particleboard wood base with an image layer on top. The image layer consists of a high-resolution photograph of natural wood covered with a transparent wear layer for extra protection. Laminate is a sustainably produced product made from recycled materials and lumber waste. It’s around half the price of hardwood and has some advantages when compared with natural wood. Laminate is:
- Easy to clean
- More stain-resistant than hardwood
- Fade and burn-resistant
- Doesn’t require waxing or sealing
When laminate first hit the scene decades ago, there were concerns about swelling and warping when exposed to moisture. However, today’s waterproof laminate flooring has an extra-tough core and won’t swell because of moisture or spills. Laminate is ideal for foyers, hallways and high traffic areas, as well as kitchens and living spaces. Laminate planks use a tongue-in-groove assembly, so boards click into place. It comes in a stunning range of colors and wood-look patterns.
Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) – Another Great Alternative
Luxury vinyl plank (LVP) gives us the look of hardwood without the maintenance–or the price tag. Clients are routinely “wowed” by the effortless grace of wood-look LVP. Luxury vinyl is made from high-quality polyvinyl chloride resins, with a high-res image on top, covered with a transparent wear layer. Like laminate, it looks just like natural wood thanks to realistic image printing technology. Think oak, pine, hickory, walnut and beyond–any style and color you could dream of. Hot patterns and colors are some of the main selling points for luxury vinyl. Distressed and wire-brushed looks are trending. And while dark and light shades of gray continue their reign, natural light wood looks have come on strong in 2021. Luxury vinyl is:
- Waterproof and moisture resistant
- Scratch and scuff resistant
- Similar price range to laminate
- More playful with the colors than laminate or hardwood, offering decorative options that aren’t available with any other flooring materials.
Bamboo – Natural and Cost-Effective
Bamboo is a budget-friendly natural flooring with much of the appeal of hardwoods at a lower cost. Recent advances in technology have made bamboo more attractive, functional, and durable. It’s not wood–but it’s made with the woody bamboo grass many of us are familiar with. New strand-woven processing allows manufacturers to create bamboo flooring that’s even thicker than many hardwoods. Bamboo is sustainably grown and offers tons of styles that mirror natural wood. High-quality bamboo flooring is usually priced around two-thirds the cost of medium-grade hardwood.
Beauty On A Budget: Hardwood Alternatives From Loudoun Valley Floors
So–you want a new floor for the holidays but are on a budget. You want to take advantage of the cost savings that new flooring materials offer but still achieve a flawless look. Loudoun Valley Floors can help. The secrets to hardwood glam without hardwood prices are top-quality materials and professional installation. Many homeowners think laminate is easy to DIY, but it’s trickier and more time-consuming than it looks. If you want a seamless and durable floor, it’s best to go with the pros. Loudoun Valley Floors works with top suppliers in whatever material you choose, so you get a full range of choices in color and style. As always, we want you to find exactly what you’re looking for: on budget and on point.