Engineered Hardwood, LVP, Flooring Choices

When deciding on flooring for your home, you’re likely to encounter a sea of options. Among the most popular choices are Engineered Hardwood and Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP). If you’re a homeowner in San Diego, looking for a mix of aesthetics, durability, and value, understanding the key comparisons between these two can greatly inform your decision.

  • Engineered Hardwood offers the timeless elegance of real wood, with a layer of hardwood on top and multiple layers (like plywood) beneath. It feels authentic because, well, it is.
  • LVP (Luxury Vinyl Plank), on the other hand, is a synthetic product that mimics wood remarkably well, is water-resistant, and generally comes at a lower cost.

Quick Glance:
Installation: LVP is more DIY-friendly. Engineered Hardwood typically requires a professional.
Cost: Initial installation of LVP is less expensive. Engineered Hardwood offers better long-term value.
Moisture Tolerance: LVP wins with superior water resistance.
Maintenance: LVP is easier to clean and maintain. Engineered Hardwood can be refinished.
Longevity: Engineered Hardwood has a longer lifespan, provided it is well-maintained.

Choosing the right flooring is pivotal. It affects not just the look of your home but its functionality, upkeep, and even resale value.

Comparison infographic of Engineered Hardwood Flooring vs LVP including key features such as installation process, cost-effectiveness, moisture resistance, maintenance needs, and durability. - engineered hardwood flooring vs lvp infographic comparison-2-items-formal

Before making a decision, consider what matters most to you: the luxury and warmth of real wood, or the practical, cost-effective nature of vinyl. Either way, both options can dramatically enhance your living space, reinforcing the importance of choosing a flooring type that aligns with both your lifestyle and aesthetic aspirations.

Understanding Flooring Options

When diving into flooring, especially when weighing engineered hardwood flooring vs LVP (Luxury Vinyl Plank), it’s vital to consider three key aspects: Materials, Durability, and Aesthetics. These factors play a significant role in how your choice will impact your home’s look, feel, and longevity. Let’s unpack these elements to make your decision-making process a bit easier.


  • Engineered Hardwood: This option boasts a real wood veneer atop multiple layers of plywood or high-density fiberboard. This construction offers the beauty of hardwood with added stability.
  • LVP: Made primarily from PVC (polyvinyl chloride), LVP includes multiple layers, with the top layer being a photographic image layer to mimic the look of wood or stone, followed by a clear protective layer.


Durability is a major deciding factor for many homeowners. Here’s how these two stack up:
Engineered Hardwood: Its real wood surface can be susceptible to scratches, but it’s also possible to sand and refinish certain types, extending their life. Its plywood base provides added stability, making it less likely to warp compared to solid hardwood.
LVP: Known for its resistance to moisture, scratches, and stains, LVP is a hard-wearing option suitable for high-traffic areas and homes with pets or kids. However, it can’t be refinished like engineered hardwood.


The look and feel of your flooring can transform a room:
Engineered Hardwood brings the warmth and classic appeal of real wood into your home. It can add value to your property and is available in various wood species, stains, and finishes.
LVP offers a wide range of designs and patterns, thanks to its photographic image layer. While it does an excellent job of imitating wood and stone, the texture and depth may not fully replicate the natural material’s feel.

wood texture - engineered hardwood flooring vs lvp

Both flooring types have their unique selling points and potential drawbacks. Engineered hardwood offers the timeless elegance of real wood, with the possibility of refinishing to extend its lifespan. LVP, on the other hand, provides exceptional durability and moisture resistance, making it an ideal choice for areas prone to spills or humidity.

When considering engineered hardwood flooring vs LVP, think about your home’s specific needs, your lifestyle, and what aesthetic you’re aiming for. Whether you prioritize the authentic charm of engineered wood or the practical benefits of LVP, both options can significantly enhance your home’s appearance and functionality.

For further insights and a deeper dive into flooring options, exploring resources like Wikipedia’s page on flooring can provide additional context and help in making an informed decision.

Continuing on, let’s explore the pros and cons of each flooring type to further clarify which might be the best fit for your home…

Engineered Hardwood Flooring Explained

When you’re considering engineered hardwood flooring vs LVP, understanding what engineered hardwood really is can make a big difference in your decision-making process. Let’s break it down into simple terms.

Real Wood Veneer

At the heart of engineered hardwood is the real wood veneer. This isn’t imitation; it’s actual wood, but just a thin layer of it. This layer gives the floor its natural beauty and unique grain patterns, just like solid hardwood. Whether you’re a fan of oak, hickory, or maple, the veneer on engineered hardwood will show off that wood’s genuine appearance.

Plywood Core

Beneath the veneer lies the core, usually made of plywood. This isn’t ordinary plywood, though. It’s a high-quality, sturdy base that provides the floor with stability and resistance to changes in humidity and temperature. This core is what differentiates engineered hardwood from solid hardwood, making it less likely to warp or buckle over time.


The thickness of engineered hardwood can vary, but it’s an important factor to consider. The overall plank thickness might range from 3/8″ to 1/2″, with the veneer (wear layer) being about 2mm to 3mm thick. Thicker planks and wear layers mean a more durable floor that can even be sanded and refinished, albeit a limited number of times compared to solid hardwood.

Understanding these components helps illustrate why engineered hardwood offers a great balance of beauty and practicality. It’s real wood, so it has that warm, inviting look many homeowners crave. Yet, its construction makes it more adaptable to different environments than solid hardwood.

As we continue exploring the pros and cons of each flooring type, keep these details in mind. Engineered hardwood offers a unique blend of aesthetics and performance that might just be the perfect fit for your home. Now, let’s dive into the specifics of Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) to see how it compares.

Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) Overview

When we switch gears to Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP), we’re entering a world where innovation meets practicality. LVP is a dynamic player in the flooring market, known for its robustness and versatility. Let’s break down what makes LVP stand out.

PVC Material: At the heart of LVP is polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a type of plastic that’s both durable and flexible. This material is the foundation of LVP’s resilience, allowing it to withstand heavy foot traffic, drops, and spills without breaking a sweat. The PVC composition also contributes to LVP’s cost-effectiveness, offering homeowners a budget-friendly flooring solution without sacrificing quality.

Water-Resistant: One of LVP’s superhero traits is its water resistance. Unlike natural wood, which can warp or swell when exposed to moisture, LVP takes on water challenges with ease. This makes it an ideal choice for areas prone to dampness, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. With LVP, the worry of water damage fades away, allowing for peace of mind in every spill or splash scenario.

Design Layer: The magic of LVP doesn’t stop at its practical benefits. What truly sets it apart is its design layer, where high-resolution imagery is used to mimic the appearance of natural wood (and even stone) with astonishing accuracy. This layer is sealed under a clear, protective wear layer that guards against scratches and scuffs, ensuring the floor maintains its beauty over time. From rustic oak to sleek cherry, LVP offers a wide range of styles, enabling homeowners to achieve their desired look without breaking the bank.

In sum, LVP presents a compelling case for those seeking durability, water resistance, and aesthetic flexibility in their flooring choices. It’s a testament to how modern technology can create solutions that meet the demands of today’s lifestyles, offering a practical yet attractive option for virtually any room in the home. As we continue exploring the pros and cons of each flooring type, keep these details in mind. Engineered hardwood offers a unique blend of aesthetics and performance that might just be the perfect fit for your home. Now, let’s dive into the specifics of Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) to see how it compares.

Learn more about what LVP is made of

Key Differences Between Engineered Hardwood and LVP

When it comes to choosing between engineered hardwood flooring and LVP (Luxury Vinyl Plank), several key factors come into play. Here’s a breakdown to help simplify your decision-making process:

Installation Ease

DIY-friendly LVP: LVP flooring shines in the installation category. It’s designed for easy, snap-together installation, making it a great weekend project for the handy homeowner. No need for professional tools or skills, just a willingness to follow instructions and the patience to see the project through.

Professional for Engineered Hardwood: On the flip side, engineered hardwood often requires a professional touch. While it’s possible to DIY, the process involves more complex steps like nailing or gluing down planks. For those seeking a flawless finish, hiring a pro is the way to go.

Cost Comparison

Initial Expense: Generally speaking, LVP offers a more budget-friendly upfront cost compared to engineered hardwood. The material and installation costs are typically lower, making it an attractive option for those looking to maximize their flooring investment.

Long-term Value and Resale Impact: While LVP might be kinder to your wallet initially, engineered hardwood can increase your home’s value and has the potential to last for decades with proper care. It’s a long-term investment that could pay off if you plan to sell your home down the line.

Moisture and Water Resistance

LVP’s Superiority: If you’re dealing with high-moisture areas like bathrooms, kitchens, or basements, LVP has a clear advantage. Its composition makes it highly resistant to water damage, ensuring it keeps its shape and appearance over time.

Engineered Hardwood’s Limitations: Engineered hardwood, while more moisture-resistant than solid hardwood, still has its vulnerabilities. Prolonged exposure to moisture can lead to warping and other water-related damages.

Maintenance and Upkeep

Easy Cleaning LVP: LVP is the champ of low-maintenance flooring. A simple sweep and occasional mop are all it takes to keep these floors looking new. Plus, its stain and scratch resistance make it a worry-free option for busy households.

Refinishing Engineered Hardwood: Engineered hardwood requires a bit more TLC. Although it can handle the occasional mop, it also benefits from periodic refinishing to restore its top layer. This process, however, can’t be done indefinitely due to the thickness of the veneer.

Durability and Longevity

Scratch Resistance and Lifespan: LVP is designed to resist scratches and dents, making it ideal for homes with pets or children. Its lifespan varies based on quality, but high-end LVP can last up to 20-30 years.

Refinishing Potential: Engineered hardwood’s true advantage lies in its ability to be refinished, extending its life and allowing for style updates. With proper care, engineered hardwood can last even longer than LVP, making it a durable choice for those willing to invest in its upkeep.

In conclusion, when weighing engineered hardwood flooring vs. LVP, consider how these factors align with your lifestyle, budget, and long-term home goals. Both options offer unique advantages, but the right choice depends on what’s most important to you and your family.

Pros and Cons of Each Flooring Type

Engineered Hardwood Pros and Cons

Look & Feel: Engineered hardwood provides a natural look because it has a real wood veneer on top. This gives your home a warm, authentic feel that many homeowners love. The texture and the grain patterns add to its appeal, making each plank unique.

Durability: While engineered hardwood is durable, it can be susceptible to scratches and dents. However, the ability to refinish the surface can extend its life significantly, making it a long-term flooring solution for many.

Cost: Generally, engineered hardwood is more expensive upfront than LVP. But, it can add more value to your home and has the potential to last a lifetime with proper care.

Moisture Tolerance: Engineered hardwood is more resistant to moisture than solid hardwood, but it’s not waterproof. Its susceptibility to water damage makes it less ideal for bathrooms or basements.

Cleaning & Maintenance: Regular cleaning is straightforward, but you’ll need to be cautious about water use. The option to refinish engineered hardwood can also mean maintenance is more intensive over the years.

LVP Pros and Cons

Look & Feel: LVP can mimic the look of hardwood very closely, thanks to high-definition printing technology. However, the synthetic feel might be noticeable, especially to those who are familiar with real wood floors.

Durability: LVP is highly resistant to scratches, dents, and stains, making it a great option for homes with pets or children. It’s also less prone to damage from heavy furniture compared to engineered hardwood.

Cost: LVP is generally budget-friendly, both in terms of initial installation and maintenance over the years. It offers a cost-effective way to achieve the look of hardwood without the higher price tag.

Moisture Tolerance: One of the strongest advantages of LVP is its water resistance. Many options are completely waterproof, making LVP suitable for areas like kitchens, bathrooms, and basements where moisture is common.

Cleaning & Maintenance: LVP is easy to clean and maintain. It can handle wet mopping and doesn’t require special cleaners. Unlike engineered hardwood, it cannot be refinished, but its durability means it’s less likely to need repairs.

In summary, both engineered hardwood and LVP have their unique sets of advantages and disadvantages. If you’re after the natural look and feel of wood, and are prepared for the maintenance it requires, engineered hardwood could be the right choice. On the other hand, if you prioritize water resistance, ease of maintenance, and a more budget-friendly option, LVP might be the way to go. The best choice depends on your specific needs, preferences, and the conditions of your home.

Frequently Asked Questions about Engineered Hardwood Flooring vs LVP

When diving into the engineered hardwood flooring vs LVP debate, several common questions arise. These aim to address concerns regarding moisture resistance, the ability to refinish, and how each flooring type impacts home resale value. Let’s explore these questions with clear, straightforward answers.

Is LVP or Engineered Hardwood Better for High-Moisture Areas?

In areas of your home prone to moisture, like bathrooms, kitchens, and basements, LVP (Luxury Vinyl Plank) is the clear winner. LVP’s composition allows it to be virtually immune to water damage, making it an ideal choice for spaces where spills, humidity, and direct water contact are common. On the other hand, engineered hardwood, while more resistant to moisture than solid hardwood, still has its limitations. Prolonged exposure to water can cause warping, swelling, or mold issues. Therefore, for high-moisture areas, LVP is the safer bet.

Can Engineered Hardwood Be Refinished Like Solid Hardwood?

Yes, engineered hardwood can be refinished, but there’s a catch. The ability to refinish engineered hardwood depends on the thickness of the top layer of real wood, known as the veneer. Thicker veneers (around 2mm to 6mm) can often be sanded down and refinished, giving the floor a fresh new look. However, this can usually only be done once or twice over the life of the flooring, unlike solid hardwood, which can withstand multiple refinishing sessions. So, while engineered hardwood offers some level of refurbishment potential, it doesn’t quite match up to the longevity of refinishing options available with solid hardwood.

How Do LVP and Engineered Hardwood Affect Home Resale Value?

When it comes to increasing your home’s resale value, engineered hardwood generally has the edge over LVP. Engineered hardwood floors are often seen by potential homebuyers as a premium upgrade due to their natural wood top layer, which can make your home more appealing and potentially increase its market value. LVP, while durable and visually appealing, is still considered a less luxurious option than real wood flooring and may not contribute as significantly to home valuation. However, the impact on resale value can also depend on the overall market trends and preferences in your area.

In conclusion, both engineered hardwood and LVP have their own set of advantages and drawbacks when considering high-moisture resistance, refinishing potential, and impact on home resale value. Your choice between engineered hardwood and LVP should align with your specific needs, preferences, and the particular conditions of your home. Whether you lean towards the natural beauty and potential value increase of engineered hardwood or the moisture resistance and cost-effectiveness of LVP, both flooring options can provide a stunning foundation for your living space.


When it comes down to choosing between engineered hardwood flooring and LVP, it’s not just about picking a floor. It’s about choosing a foundation that reflects your lifestyle, meets your budget, and harmonizes with the aesthetic of your home.

Personal Preferences: The decision often hinges on personal preferences. Do you yearn for the warmth and classic appeal of real wood? Engineered hardwood flooring might be your calling. Or perhaps, the practicality and water resistance of LVP better suit your bustling, spill-prone household. Each option has its unique charm and set of advantages that cater to different tastes and needs.

Budget Considerations: Your budget plays a pivotal role in this decision-making process. Initially, LVP might seem like a clear winner due to its lower cost and ease of installation. However, it’s crucial to consider the long-term perspective. Engineered hardwood floors might come with a higher upfront cost but potentially offer a longer lifespan and the ability to refinish, possibly enhancing your home’s resale value over time.

At California Flooring & Design, we understand the importance of balancing these factors. Our selection of both engineered hardwood and LVP flooring is carefully curated to meet our clients’ diverse needs and preferences. With options ranging from high-end to budget-friendly, we’re here to guide you through making an informed choice that you’ll be satisfied with for years to come.

The right floor can transform your home, not just in style but in value and comfort. Whether you lean towards the natural elegance of engineered hardwood or the durable, stylish versatility of LVP, we’re here to ensure that your flooring not only meets but exceeds your expectations.

Explore our collections, consult with our experts, and find the perfect foundation for your space at California Flooring & Design. Your dream floor is waiting.

home flooring options - engineered hardwood flooring vs lvp

Choosing between engineered hardwood flooring and LVP is a journey of weighing aesthetics against functionality, tradition against innovation, and cost against value. In the end, the best choice is the one that turns your house into a home. Let us help you make that choice with confidence and ease.