Design Dilemma

Vinyl vs. Laminate Plank Flooring

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

My friends, I am up to my ears in plank flooring samples and could use some insight. We want to replace the stained Berber carpet in our studio above the garage and we’re finally ready to tackle replacing the flooring.

Originally, I thought we’d go with hardwood or engineered wood but the more we thought about it, we decided to go with a laminate or vinyl plank flooring. It’s a small studio, not used for anything other than extra storage and styling right now, but it will be occupied by a tenant in the future so we need durable good looking flooring in the bedroom/living area that flows into the kitchen (seen here), and potentially the bathroom (seen here) and a product that won’t break the bank.

I’m drawn to the weathered plank look in grayer tones, and the ones that look and feel more like wood are favored.

vinyl and laminate options

I’m really so surprised how far laminate and vinyl products have come in the past few years! So many of these really do look and feel like wood but bonus for those of us on a budget, they lack that higher price tag. Prices range from $1.50 for more basic products to $4.50 a square foot for more luxury products. We prefer to keep the price as low as possible, don’t we all :)

Thankfully these samples are all the easy click/lock together styles so the replacement doesn’t require professional installation and is simple enough for us (or any DIYer) to tackle. We will have to remove existing baseboards but it’s all very doable with an underlayment and the right supplies.

I like the feel of the laminate options, the samples I have are textured and feel more authentic given they’re a faux wood plank product. The boards are longer, the install is simple, but the price point is a little higher.

laminate flooring options

Then there are vinyl plank products, waterproof instead of water resistant so great for kitchens and bathrooms, but some of the cheaper ones are thin, lack warmth, and feel more like plastic to the touch. Will these vinyl options hold up better than the laminate?

vinyl flooring options

I’d love commentary from those of you who have installed and lived with either laminate or vinyl plank wood lookalike flooring.

How durable are yours? Are you satisfied with the look after living with the floors for a period of time? If they are laminate, how are they handling water in wet areas such as the bathroom or kitchen? Did you order from a local merchant or from an online source? Is there a brand of laminate or vinyl plank flooring or company you recommend? .

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Hardwood v. Lookalike Tile

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Question friends, what do you think of all the wood lookalike tile that’s available to homeowners now? As much as I adore and I mean adore true hardwood, I’m drawn to the idea of a lookalike tile products that are now available from several sources.

Lookalike wood tile caught my eye last year in a restaurant in Canada and I thought it was so cool I got down on my knees to caress that floor, no joke. I’ve seen it installed in restaurants in the Bay Area too which makes sense since it looks like reclaimed or hand scraped wood but has the benefit of repelling moisture while maintaining a great look, even with tons of traffic.

wood look porcelain tile

via

Like wood, you can install it in side by side plank formation or get creative with a herringbone pattern.

wood lookalike tile daltile

south cypress wood look tile

sources 1 / 2

dana frieling tile floors

via Make Them Wonder

And have you seen some of the barnwood and shapely options for floors and walls?

wood lookalike tile

source  12

If you’ve ever wanted the warmth of wood in a bathroom but the practicality of tile, this product seems to be just the thing to get the best of both worlds.

ariana floor tile

via

Tile is cold and hard underfoot which is fine by me in summer but in winter not so much, so radiant heat is definitely a consideration (and additional expense). I love the fact that up close it looks pretty amazing, and when grout lines are tight or close to non-existent, the tile looks so much like the real thing.

hardwood lookalike tile floor

The idea of a surface that will take the wear and tear of foot traffic, pets, and kids has a lot of appeal. But there’s always that lingering question of how it will affect resale value and whether the product will stand the test of time.

I’m curious what you think. Is wood lookalike tile fakey faux or modern and fab? Have you installed a wood lookalike porcelain tile in your home? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

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