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kristie_garner

pros and cons of EVP vs hardwood

Kristie Garner
4 years ago
So I've been torn on what to install in my new construction house. I fell in love with this wire brushed solid hardwood floor called Rattan Maple. Bad thing is I have small children and I'm pretty sure it wouldn't take long for them to rough it up. Pro- it can be refinished. Con-it will take away the wire brush effect I love so much. price: 4.99 sq. ft.
The sales people said I should think about luxury vinyl. Pro-it's very scratch resistant. I took keys and nails to it and couldn't scratch it. its waterproof so I don't have to worry about spills, etc. Con- it's louder so I would want to install a eco-silent barrier to make it less clunky feeling. price: 2.69 sq. ft.
Both floors have a texture to them (which I like) instead of feeling smooth. Both have that rustic feel and different color variations. I have seen both in person and they are really pretty. The evp pic attached doesn't do it justice.
Who has installed EVP or hardwood with little kids? any thoughts on helping me decide? I need around 2,000 sq ft whatever I decide. That could be several thousand price difference. Help!

Comments (44)

  • tatts
    4 years ago

    Real wood will add value to your home for resale. Vinyl? Nope.

    I think a wire-brushed floor is just a silly idea. Completely impractical for cleaning, especially with kids.

  • PRO
    Hal Braswell Consulting
    4 years ago
    If I were going the LVP route, I would choose Modin Rigid which has industry best 40 mil wear layer, cork back, and a rigid center so that within reason imperfections in the subfloor won’t telegraph through. Costs $4/SF.

    Cheap LVP, like sold at big box stores, will not last. Neither would I trust any flooring from Lumber Liquidators.

    Longterm, wood will serve you better. A neutral large format porcelain tile would be a good choice.

    I would be more concerned about long term value than short term savings.
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  • jhmarie
    4 years ago

    It was not my kids that were hard on my hardwood floors. Most scratches are from a bit of sand or similar stuck under a protective felt pad on a chair - and I did not notice till lots of scratches. One winter we had several ice storms - the city kept sanding the streets and we out front entrance and the sand would get in the house - more my fault as a housekeeping issue. The next hardest on the floors has been our puppies - not because of their nails - no problem there - but since one used to eat rugs, towels, etc, we had to ban those from the family room. I had to clean floors all the time. It did not bother me much because they already need refinishing. The dogs are growing up so maybe in another year I will get them refinished. Even with scratches, the floors look pretty.

  • HKO HKO
    4 years ago
    I have a young kid and 4” quarter sawn white oak, finished on site by an old world craftsman. It’s 2 years old and has some scratches mostly caused by dumb stuff I did, not kids playing. I’d take it in a heartbeat over fake wood made out of petroleum products any day....
  • Kristie Garner
    Original Author
    4 years ago
    I am willing to pay whatever cost is going to hold up and last. I don't want to do the wire brushed hardwood and it need to be refinished soon and take that look away that I love. I went to my hometown professional flooring company and while they had nice things, I could not find any colors that I liked there except one LVP which after 2 weeks the sales guy still has yet to tell me the cost and the sample has been riding around in my car since.
  • Kristie Garner
    Original Author
    4 years ago
    Joseph I appreciate that. I thought that as well about changing it down the line. my biggest concern with LVP is walking barefoot on it. The kind in a beach house we stayed in felt like walking on loud plastic crap. I'm hoping because it was cheap and I would find something a little better.
  • chisue
    4 years ago

    Get something you like and something to last. You will forget all about this little 'specialty' once it's laid. You *want* to be able to forget about your floors for a long, long time, and after that, you don't want to tear them up, you just want to refinish them. (Disruption enough!)

  • One Devoted Dame
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Household with 6 kids here (5 boys), and a love of large dogs.

    My flooring guy, after talking with me a bit about what I wanted/needed, did NOT recommend vinyl. It's not advisable to do hardwood on a slab foundation, so he recommended either engineered wood or wood-look tile. Wood-look tile is done *a lot* around here (Central Texas).

    He said I would notice the scratches on the vinyl (I was looking at a dark colored Coretec, $8/sqft installed) as the eastern and southern sunlight hit it, and it would bug me forever. And he's right, lol. He also said that vinyl really isn't "kid proof" and "pet proof" like it's claimed to be; it's simply "water proof." Big dogs' nails are the most damaging, apparently, but that may not even be a concern for you. :-)

    In the showroom, one of their large sample boards had a scratch across it (perpendicular to the grain), and I can't stop unseeing that scratch. What I'm considering is -- assuming I even do LVP -- installing a floating floor (the only kind my flooring guy will do with LVP), and buying extra boxes to replace any future damaged boards.

    Sigh. But I don't think I really want LVP. I walked across the large sample board, and I don't know, I just didn't care for it. :-/ I don't think I'd do a whole house in it....

  • SJ McCarthy
    4 years ago

    The $4.99/sf for solid hardwood is too low. Sorry but that is the truth. A decent hardwood (factory finished) should come in around $7-$9/sf for the 3/4" thick products. If you are working with the lowest end of the solid hardwood category, you might as well jump into the HIGHEST END of the vinyl category (which is NOT $2.69/sf).

    As for acoustic underlayment under vinyl - good luck. I would say 99% of all vinyl products do NOT allow acoustic underlay. Why not? Because the vinyl is TOO floppy and the underlay is too squishy. That means the vinyl edges will eventually "unzip" with all that movement.

    If you find a vinyl that ALLOWS underpad, the mass loaded vinyl underlayment that is "specifically designed for vinyl" will be 1.2mm thick and will cost roughly $1/sf. Suddenly the lower priced vinyl is getting awfully close to the cost of cheap hardwood.

    Of course CoreTec (original) allows 3mm cork underlay. But the CoreTec is NOT $2.69/sf. The CoreTec Plus has 1.5mm of cork underlay integrated into the plank which means it is NOT allowed to have any more. The cost is usually above $4/sf.

    I would be prepared to go WITHOUT underpad with vinyl. That way you are FULLY INFORMED about how this is supposed to sound/work. And vinyl at the mid-range (with is $2.69/sf) has a tough time with direct sunlight AND heat (generated by direct sunlight). That means you must investigate how MUCH UV block your windows have (is it 50%, 75% or 95%???). You want to ensure your windows have the 75% UV block or HIGHER. That means "entry level" Low-E windows are probably not enough. You have to pay to upgrade.

    Whew! All that for vinyl flooring. Wow. The lower price doesn't sound so low any more does it?

  • 3pinktrees
    4 years ago

    I have both LVP and hardwood in my home currently. I was very resistant to vinyl anything when we did a remodel, but found some by Karndean I really liked. We installed it and absolutely love it with our current lifestyle.

    We have six kids and live on a small farm. The LVP is so easy to care for and clean. It's held up amazingly well and still looks the same as when we installed it over three years later, with very very high traffic. The wood is original to the house and it is not very forgiving to traffic or spills. I love real hardwood but would not install it unless I had very good reason to right now.

    Yes, my floor vinyl, but I cannot tell you how many contractor subs walk in to my house, stop, and squat down to rub my floor because it looks like real wood. Then they say, "What is this?" It's definitely not loud at all, no louder than our wood. I can find a hidden spill a day late and nothing suffers for it.


    I know real wood can hold up and is a more 'heirloom' quality product. However, for where we are in life I find a forgiving floor much better suited to us. We put in hardwood in our last house and went through the refinish there as well. Not very fun to have to deal with (We had to move the furniture and move out for several days/nights).


  • Kristie Garner
    Original Author
    4 years ago
    thanks for helping with a good brand. I'm going to look into that. Do you remember the thickness or price point? would you mind taking a pic of it for me please?
  • tatts
    4 years ago

    Joseph. Sorry, she's doing 2,000 sq. ft. That's $5,500 plus installation that you're telling her to flush down the toilet in a few years and then spend more. I can't afford to waste money like that.

    Plus, buying a good floor now adds only incrementally to the mortgage payment. replacing it in a few years in a huge cash outlay (and she's still paying for the original floor).

  • 3pinktrees
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Sure! I'll put the picture here tomorrow. We used the Knight Tile, which is their non-commercial line. They have thicker ones with thicker wear layers. You can see the different lines on their website with all the specs and they'll send free samples too. I had originally wanted to do wide pine planks and white-wash them, but my husband brought me back to reality with the 6 kids and farm life that they would not look good at all. I ended up using Karndean's that mimics that look perfectly, but doesn't get gross and need repainting all the time!

  • RaiKai
    4 years ago

    I have had hardwood in several houses and will not willingly choose it again. I chose laminate in my new house (and I have had several tradesmen ask what it was as they thought it looked and felt great - one is redoing floors in his house and is considering using what we have).

    I am not saying you should choose laminate - that was just what worked best for me - but just saying hardwood is not “always” the best choice or even preferred by all buyers. I don’t add value to hardwood as I just don’t find it all that great. Some of course love it and would “add value” for it.

    Sure, I may need to replace my laminate one day (though good newer laminates can last decades) but it is a heck of a lot easier on you as an owner to replace LVP assuming not glue down (they can rip out and replace in day or two and you can do room by room and shift furniture around, no need to move out) than refinish wood. Have you ever lived through a hardwood floor refinishing? Yuck. You can’t live there, you need a place to store all your furniture (somewhere that is not being refinished). I also don’t know how “rustic” hardwoods are refinished to be honest - you said you would lose the rustic look though so not sure how that is better for you unless you decide you tire of the rustic look.

    I have had two friends put LVP in their $500,000+ homes and it looks and feels great - one of them has two huge dogs (and two kids). It is not uncommon to see LVP or laminate in $700,000+ houses here.

  • PRO
    CellularWindowShades.com
    4 years ago

    The sound of vinyl (luxury or not) drives me up a wall. I agree with others, real wood/tile will add value to your home.

  • Kesha
    4 years ago
    Kristie, I'm also trying to decide on flooring. I want engineered hardwoods but I'm trying to find something in our budget - $6.50 Sq ft. We had a small water leak and they tore out some of our 3 year old engineered flooring. So trying to decide if we are sticking with engineered wood or going to chance it and try out an LVP (a rigid core one) or SCP like supercore.
    I just don't know if I want a floating floor. We are on a slab and we've always had engineered hardwoods so I like that solid glued down feeling. But we too have young kids and two small dogs.
    I want my money spent to last and be well spent. But I don't want to hate my choice in 10 to 15 years.

    If you go the LVP/WPC/SPC route check out Modin and supercore. I didn't care for the wide beveled edges that modin has but I liked the look of their product. Supercore seems like it'd be durable as well since it's a SPC.

    I don't like that LVP fades with sunlight and many people have issues with it expanding and contracting. Unless it's glued down. But from all the LVP installation instructions that I've looked at, the companies say to float the floor.

    Best wishes in your search! I know how agonizing it is. I'm tired of thinking about it and dreaming about flooring. Haha!
  • 3pinktrees
    4 years ago


    Kristie, This was then while we were working on the kitchen, but you can see the floors. Then there's a stock photo of the close-up of the pattern which is very accurate. Let me know if you want any other photos.

  • NewEnglandgal
    4 years ago

    Hi Kristie my daughter bought LVP from weshipfloors.com whom I found through the threads here on Houzz. They have two children, a dog and cat and did not want to pay for hardwoods knowing in a few years they would need to be redone.

    They absolutely love them and are thrilled to have decided on LVP.

    They have had two people ask what it is where they could get it.

    I agree hardwood is nicer looking and great for resale but if you plan on being there and know it will be best for your family then get what YOU want.

    They put in over 1500

    sq feet on the entire downstairs. Here is a picture of it.


  • sheloveslayouts
    4 years ago

    The most durable flooring I’ve had was a wood look laminate I put in my first home in 2002. Loved it. My husband is hearing impaired, so we installed carpet in n our 2015 renovation. With two kids and a dog it’s more stressful than I could’ve imagined. It was a relatively expensive “super stain repellent” carpet that is not.


    Ive been very tempted by LVP (though the echo may drive my husband crazy.) Color options have come a long way in three years.


    Is Cortec still a leading name brand for LVP?

  • One Devoted Dame
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    With two kids and a dog it’s more stressful than I could’ve imagined. It was a relatively expensive “super stain repellent” carpet that is not.

    Seriously, bless you for mentioning this!

    I keep thinking that the builder's grade junk carpet (that lasted less than 6 months before it looked absolutely awful, and I vacuumed 7-14 times a week for the first 3 months before I just flat out gave up) is the problem, but I'm thinking now, in light of your comment, it may just be the nature of the material, no matter how pricey. :-(

    Dang.

    And yeah, as far as I know, Coretec is still a leading brand for vinyl. If it's not, then I'd hate to see the price tag on "the good stuff" since Coretec was $8/sqft installed (and that *did not* include trim and transition pieces along baseboards and where it meets tile).

    That's another thing that would drive me batty -- Transition strips between my dining (tile) and family (wood or vinyl) would get all beat up from the dining chairs. Stupid open floor plans. lol

  • NewEnglandgal
    4 years ago

    My daughter has open floor plan and mo strips. It can be done!

  • One Devoted Dame
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    My daughter has open floor plan and mo strips. It can be done!

    Does she have tile, as well as wood or vinyl? Our tile was soooo much thicker than the wood/vinyl planks, that my flooring guy said I couldn't avoid transition strips, lol. Of course, if the house had been a custom one (it was a tract/production one), then I would've been able to forget about the strips with proper planning. :-)

  • NewEnglandgal
    4 years ago

    They got LVP from weshipfloors.com. they love it. They didnt EST to deal with grout and tile is so hard on the feet that they decided on LVP. Very happy with it.

  • RaiKai
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    @ODD - I have definitely noticed a difference in carpet quality. I have had builders grade carpet that looks like crap within months, and very expensive Berber like quality carpet that looked great after 20+ years (with regular vacuuming, a deep clean 1-2x a year). The quality and materials used matter (some are better for wear or stains or both) but so does colour, some are more forgiving :) The underlay also matters! A lot of builders may choose a cheap underlay and it feels cheap and shows “wear” even with very expensive carpet.

    I had no qualms putting carpet down in our new build on stair treads and second floor bedrooms/den but we upgraded and chose a Sculptured Touch from Mohawk - looks and feels lovely even to lay on - and we have had a lot of people compliment it :) The carpet my builder offered as standard was a no-go for me - I could feel how it would wear in no time even looking at it in brand new homes.

    Still, you do need to vacuum it regularly to stop dirt from grinding in. I love my Dyson cordless for stairs but will be getting a new Roomba for upstairs! I have a long haired cat so it’s a challenge to keep up, but that is same on hard floors too...there I just have to Chase the hair tumbleweeds around ha ha.

    @NewEnglandgal - your daughter avoided transition strips as she has same flooring through the entire floor. When you have different materials, like tile in one room and LVP in another, there is a transition of some sort - how “obvious” the transition is depends on the change in height between materials and so on. Transitions at doorways are not usually a big deal but if you have an open concept and have a room that you sort of extend into from another (like a big dining table) it can be an issue with chairs and such :)

  • Sara
    3 years ago
    NewEnglandgal, Do you know the brand and color of your daughter’s floors? It’s just the color I am looking for!
  • Lisa H
    3 years ago
    3pinktrees
    Would you share which Karndean lip you have?
  • NewEnglandgal
    3 years ago

    Sara I'm so sorry, just seeing this now. My daughter isnt sure. She thinks it is called Everest maybe? It was the darkest LVP they had. Not sure they still sell it but I can tell you they love it and they have 2 kids a cat and a dog. They sweep and wet mop. Very easy to take care of.

  • Ron Natalie
    3 years ago

    A prefinished hardwood floor will be pretty dang hard. The factory finish on those have extra wear stuff in it. What it will not deal well with is flooding water so if you have sloppy kitchen cooks or other activity that goes like that, you'll want to put vinyl.

    We have travertine tile in the foyer with a hardwood border, hardwood throughout the rest of the main level (living, dining, master BR). In the kitchen we went with luxury vinyl (which people think is tile) and real tile under the dining table (sort of an inset "rug", we have sloppy grandkids, etc...). The master bath is vinyl.

    The entire lower level is vinyl. The exercise room has the same tile design as the kitchen. The rest is a style called "Georgian Spalted Maple." Everybody assumes it's wood. All of our vinyl is the Mannington Ardura line.


  • RES, architect
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    The CON side of the discussion is missing.

    There's a reason to not use these materials inside your house and Green Building Supply has explained it well.

    Hardwood flooring will last a century or more. These plastic materials may not even be allowed to be sold in 20 years. And they will be looked down upon like VAT and orange formica counters.

  • PRO
    WeShipFloors
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    RES,

    I'm going to comment a little on the thread you posted from Green Building Supply.

    You should see some of the testing data on the "green" bamboo those guys push.....but you won't because its "exempt" because it's "green".

    They preach against China Laminate flooring but yet they carry HDF Core click lock Bamboo. It's a China product with the same HDF core as laminate. The top wear layer is Bamboo and not melamine like laminate.

    In case any of you are interested in knowing the REAL story of what happened with Lumber Liquidators laminate, I will tell you. Lumber Liquidators received what they specified. When you specify crap, you receive crap. Don't blame the Chinese.

    Can you give me a reason why you don't think a quality EVP floors will be allowed to be sold in 20 years? My SUPERcore product exceed all required emissions standards and it's only manufactured by Green Guard Gold and Floor Score certified factories to my specifications.

    A lot of corners can be cut producing EVP, primarily by the use of recycled materials. This is three fold bad:

    1. Recycle content means the factory has no idea what is in the raw material they are buying.
    2. Because of above they have to add plasticizers to be able to manufacture flooring that will half way perform correctly.
    3. Recycle content floor does REALLY crazy stuff after it is installed like shrinking, expanding, warping, cupping, etc.

    If you see a EVP with a crazy low price, the odds are who is selling it doesn't have a clue what is in the product, All they see is price, price, price. This is exactly the reason I refuse to sell SPC that I do not directly have a hand in producing.

    RES, you may look down upon EVP, but no one else seems to be doing the same. We are selling it into everything from single wides to multi-million dollar homes. Waterproof floors make up well over half our current business. There are very few CON's to it.

    I think people are finally figuring out flooring is mostly just something you walk on and doesn't need to look like a piece of furniture....

    Alan
    Chief Bottle Washer
    WeShipFloors.com


  • MRBr04
    3 years ago
    Kristie, we are in the same boat! I have 3 boys and 2 big dogs and just moved out of a house that we built and lived in for 5 years with real hardwood. It was a very durable, pre-finished hardwood and it made me realize that hardwoods are not for our lifestyle. After 5 years, they were VERY worn and scratched. I actually thought we might have to refinish before selling. And I’m sorry, refinishing my floors every 5 years is not practical. We moved into a new house and plan to replace the current flooring (carpet and tile) with LVP throughout. It’s the best option for nice floors that aren’t hardwood. It’s been a tough decision because we live in an expensive home in a high-end area where hardwoods are the norm, but hardwood just doesn’t work for us. I highly recommend Modin Rigid. We’re putting the Arbor color in about 2500 sq feet of it house soon!
  • Ron Natalie
    3 years ago

    The finish on the hardwood isn't a whole lot "greener" in most cases than the vinyl is going to be. Even if you limit yourself to hardwoods, the styles change over time.
    Full thickness hardwood MIGHT last a century, but it might be trashed in thirty years. And ifyou're not talking full thickness stuff, you'd be lucky to get it to last 30 years.

    I've got a mix of rubber, vinyl, tile, and engineered wood throughout the house. No full thickness as it doesn't do well over the radiant hydronic heat.


  • Emily
    3 years ago

    @Kristie, I noticed the original post date was several months ago. Did you make a decision? Are you happy..., regrets...?

  • Jamie Rentschler
    3 years ago
    Hello Kristy. I'm just wondering if you went with the rattan maple floors? I'm currently considering putting them in my house. Thanks!
  • PRO
    Oak & Broad
    3 years ago

    Kristie Garner , update us on your choice! Pictures too please. Many opinions were given and hopefully they were helpful. One of the things I would like to point out is the look you were considering was very "strong" and to many people it may look artificial regardless of the materials used to make it. I've seen wood flooring companies do the same things with Chinese manufactured Euro White Oak. It just looks over processed.

  • cpartist
    3 years ago

    Isn't LVP a petroleum product? If so then I agree with RES as we're trying to move away from plastics and petroleum based products.

  • PRO
    WeShipFloors
    3 years ago

    SPC is primarily stone dust. Our SUPERcore is 80% limestone dust and 20% PVC.


    Alan

  • PRO
    WeShipFloors
    3 years ago

    Our SUPERcore product is 80% limestone dust, 20% PVC.

  • zaccaii
    3 years ago
    Alan, I am looking at purchasing 3300 sq ft of Supercore Elaine and your 20% Spring Sitewide is awesome! one thing i cant seem to find info on is how hard is it to walk on in barefeet, like compared to ceramic tile as my back cant take that stuff! Thanks!!
  • Kitty Lanier
    3 years ago

    zaccaii,

    I have 1200 sq. ft. of SUPERCore Krypton sitting in my garage. As soon as my husband’s doctor clears him from his surgery we will start to install it. I took the single box I ordered first and clicked it together in my kitchen in front of the stove and sink where I stand for several hours a day. It has a foam pad on the underside and is very comfortable to stand on. I had porcelain and ceramic tile floors in a previous house and there is no comparison.

    The SUPERCore is very comfortable to stand on to me. If you have reservations, why don’t you order a box and test it out. My husband has a bad back, and I have knee problems so we both wanted a floor that was comfortable to walk and stand on since we are in socks or barefoot in the house.

  • zaccaii
    3 years ago
    Good idea! i sent for samples and the sticker on the back of Krypton says 10% waterproof but they advertise 100% waterproof, is yours waterproof? the samples that say 100% also say Xtreme so perhaps Krypton comes in Xtreme as well?
  • Kitty Lanier
    3 years ago

    All of the SUPERCore is 100% waterproof. That is obviously a typo on the sample. When I had the Krypton planks down in front of my sink and stove, I poured water on it with no effect. I just wiped it up. I also put mustard and ketchup on it, and it wiped right off. I think it will be very easy to care for with a PH neutral cleaner, a little water and my microfiber mop.

    The last time I looked, Krypton was only available in the Originals line. That’s what we have.

  • Alexandra Nickson
    3 years ago
    I agonized over engineered wood vd tile vs LVP or similar and did a year of research. In the end with went with an SPC ( stronger than LVP or WPC) and are so thrilled with our decison. We have 2 dogs and 2 kids and wanted something that looked and felt great but was durable!
  • PRO
    Missi Smith Design Co.
    3 years ago

    Alexandra - can I get some more details on the flooring you chose? It's beautiful!

  • PRO
    Missi Smith Design Co.
    3 years ago

    Alexandra - can you share more info on the flooring you chose? It's beautiful!