Two of the most popular flooring options available to homeowners today is Hardwood and Vinyl. Hardwood flooring can be manufactured from a single piece of wood or it can be engineered utilizing several layers of wood. Vinyl is made from synthetic materials and consists of a single layer over rubber. At a quick glance, hardwood is favoured for its durability, longevity, and aesthetic delight. Hardwood has been a primary flooring choice in countless Canadian homes. But with the higher price tag associated with hardwood, many homeowners look for other cost-effective flooring options, and this is where vinyl flooring shines. Not only is it a relatively cheaper option that can be installed quickly and need very minimal upkeep.

Both flooring types have their upsides and drawbacks, if you are contemplating either of these two options for your flooring we will be highlighting their differences below.


When you are comparing durability, people may have different expectations of the comparison. If you are comparing lifespan, hardwood has an edge on vinyl as most damage associated to wear and tear can be eliminated once the flooring is refinished. Where, once vinyl is worn through, you have no option but to replace. Day to day usage, vinyl has the edge here as the finish on hardwood is susceptible to scuffs and damage from shoes, pets, and dirt particles.

The biggest differentiator in durability is each material’s ability to resist moisture. Hardwood floors can easily suffer water damage if there is a lot of moisture, or if spills are not cleaned up in a timely manner. Vinyl is resistant to moisture, so there are no worries about damage, especially in areas of your home that may have spills.


Hardwood is widely considered the most attractive flooring option as the natural grains and shades of the wood itself shine through. Hardwood comes in a range of natural colour tones from light blond to dark brown and even reddish tones depending on the type of wood used. However, you can’t discount the appearance of vinyl, the latest planks are available in a wide range of textures and dyes that can perfectly mimic even the most expensive hardwood flooring. After vinyl has been professionally installed, it is difficult to tell the difference between it and hardwood.


Vinyl is the more cost-effective flooring option as both the installation and the materials are less expensive than hardwood. With vinyl floors you experience an initial savings versus installing hardwood, but there is no residual value as vinyl flooring will not help to increase your property value at all. The price of hardwood varies drastically depending on the type of wood chosen, installation is also a little more complex than vinyl so that will drive the overall price of choosing a new hardwood floor up slightly. However, where you can justify the higher cost of hardwood flooring is your return on investment. Hardwood adds to the overall value of your home and it will last longer than vinyl, meaning you won’t need to replace it as often. If you can swallow the initial cost of installing hardwood, you will benefit significantly more ion the long run. 


No matter what type of flooring you choose, we suggest opting for professional installation as this will guarantee the best result, however any proficient do it yourselfer can install either hardwood or vinyl flooring with the proper tools. Both hardwood and Vinyl can be installed on top of a cement foundation or wooden subfloors, if the foundation is not perfectly level vinyl is a little more forgiving as it has more flex than hardwood. Vinyl can also be installed directly over existing flooring, as long as the area has been cleaned to allow for the adhesive on the back to stick properly. This adhesive also makes it difficult to remove if you choose to change flooring again.


Maintaining your hardwood floors is a little more tasking than vinyl. Because hardwood is susceptible to moisture damage you should use specially formulated cleaners designed specifically for hardwood. You should also protect your hardwood floor from potential damage caused by furniture by padding the legs of your chairs and tables. Vinyl flooring on the other hand requires little special care, regular sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping is all that’s needed, and no specially formulated cleaners are required. To prevent unwanted wear in high traffic areas, consider using strategically placed rugs.

When choosing between Hardwood or Vinyl flooring, both options have their upsides and drawbacks. The choice ultimately comes down to your personal taste, the rooms being floored, and your overall budget.