Buyers’ Guide to Flooring: Hardwood vs. Luxury Vinyl


If you have decided to get new flooring, the first question you may ask yourself is: what kind? If you have your heart set on a hard surface as opposed to carpeting, you have two main choices: hardwood floors or luxury vinyl tile, or LVT for short. How do you know which is the best option for your home and budget?

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Future Objectives

The type of flooring you choose will depend heavily on factors such as whether or not you plan to sell your home in the near future, as well as your budget and your lifestyle needs.

Ask yourself these questions. Do you want to:

  • Build your dream home to grow old in?
  • Remodel your home for a potential sale within the next year?
  • Make this into an investment property for renters?
  • Refinish your basement to increase living space for your growing family?
  • Choose flooring for a vacation home?

What’s your most important objective? Write it down and keep it front of mind as you search for flooring.

Next up, we will offer an overview of an average floor in each category, but remember, there are specific styles and options in each category that will out-perform the average floor within a particular category.

Hardwood Floors

  • Perceived as a high-end luxury options in the flooring industry
  • Top-rated comfort of any hard surface
  • Stays warm in the winter and cool in the summer
  • Timeless beauty and style, ideal for retaining the value of high-end homes
  • High lifetime value
  • Able to be sanded and refinished up to five times
  • Increases home value, particularly when installed in the kitchen and open concept areas

Luxury Vinyl

  • Best durability in floors, perfect for busy families with kids and pets
  • Lowest maintenance of any hard surface
  • Can withstand extreme temperature ranges and humidity fluctuations
  • Ease of installation: many vinyl floors offer click lock systems featuring an attached underlayment
  • Lower cost compared with hardwood, great for investors who want to rent out properties

An In-Depth Look at Objectives

Now, let’s take a look back at those objectives we discussed at the beginning. How does each flooring choice stand up?

  • Build dream home to grow old in: Best choice is hardwood, thanks to timeless beauty and high comfort.
  • Remodel home for potential sale within the next year: Again, hardwood wins, due to the boost in resale value. Some estimates say hardwood floors increase the value of a home by up to 2.5 percent.
  • Investment property for renters: Luxury vinyl wins here. Renters are harder on floors and luxury vinyl is the easiest floor covering to clean and maintain.
  • Refinish basement to increase living space for growing family: Either choice would be fine here. While you want the most value and comfort for your family, you also don’t want to invest the money in beautiful hardwood floors here, as basements are areas most likely to experience water damage. Luxury vinyl floors come as close to waterproof as flooring can be. This is a judgement call for you.
  • Selecting flooring for a vacation home: We suggest luxury vinyl here, thanks to the ease of maintenance. Vacation homes are likely vacant at least 50 percent of the year, so the structural stability of LVT gives you peace of mind even when you can’t be there.

Contact Designer Wood Flooring

Visit our showroom or give us a call at 830-228-4866 in San Antonio or 409-201-1967 in Southeast Texas to see firsthand the hardwood floors and tile options we offer.


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