CASTLE BESPOKE BLOG

Is fake wood flooring even safe?

Posted by Castle Bespoke on Jul 30, 2020 10:02:59 AM

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How do I decide between LVP (Luxury Vinyl Plank) and Wood Flooring?

In order to make an educated decision between any flooring products, it is likely that you will be considering at least 4 points.

  • Style (Is this stylish now, and will it be stylish in the future?)
  • Price (what is the initial, and also lifecycle cost)
  • Longevity (how long will this last)
  • Safety (heath benefits or risks)

 

LVP or luxury vinyl plank has made a strong entrance into the flooring world, and many consumers lured by the low purchase price (initial cost), are opting for this material, but is it really a better choice? Let’s do some side by side comparisons.

 

STYLE

There is no doubt that as technology has developed, these fake materials have been made to look more and more like “the real thing”. There are vinyls now that are almost indistinguishable in appearance from a wood floor.   However, an important thing to note is that once you have selected a vinyl, you are LOCKED INTO THAT COLOR for the life of the product. Unlike wood floors, which can be sanded, and re-stained to the current color fashion, vinyl is a total color commitment. On this score, wood is the clear winner. It feels better underfoot, It is the “real thing”, and the color/sheen can be changed to keep up with current trends.

PRICE

This one is a little tricky, as it may appear like LVP is the less expensive choice, and it DOES have a lower original purchase price, however, the distinction becomes less clear if you spread this out over the life of the product. A good quality pre-finished wood floor will last at least four times as long as a vinyl floor. You will need to plan on replacing your vinyl floor every 10-20 years. This will involve the added labor costs to remove (and dispose) of your vinyl floor, and installation of a new floor. In conclusion, a real wood floor, properly cared for, is actually a very good investment, and also will be less hassle in the long run.

 

LONGEVITY

Vinyl floors last approximately 10-20 years on average, while a good quality wood floor can last 80 – 120 years. A key point to note is that real, natural wood products can be sanded and refinished, or repaired. Even damaged planks can be replaced with new wood pieces which can be finished to match. With a vinyl product you are stuck with the exact color and plank size. Down the road, if you have damage to one of your vinyl planks, and that particular plank style is no longer being carried, then you will likely need to replace your entire floor due to that one single damaged plank. Wood, and other natural products are the clear leader here.

SAFETY

This is where is can get really scary! Did you know that most vinyl is made from repurposed plastic in factories in China? Items that your vinyl floor may contain, includes lead, cadmium, toxic phthalates, flame retardants, and other toxins. Wood on the other hand is a natural product, and when finished with a zero VOC natural oil, it is a very safe and natural choice. Below are some of the info sources.

 

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/vinyl-floors-expose-children-to-harmful-chemicals

https://medium.com/treeusable/floored-the-shocking-concerns-about-vinyl-flooring-93bf9509429a

https://toxicfreefuture.org/key-issues/chemicals-of-concern/phthalates/

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