Coastal Home Pros is your wood flooring installation expert

Let Coastal Home Pros help you choose a wood floor that works for you

When it comes to flooring, you’ve got a plethora of choices these days. Whether you’re looking for vinyl, tile, or wood flooring, Coastal Home Pros can make sure the ground under your feet performs well, looks great, and fits your budget. 

Wood floors have always been one of the most classic and enduring flooring options for homeowners. From solid wood planks to engineered hardwoods, laminate, vinyl, and wood-look tile, you’ve got lots of options when wood flooring is on your shopping list. Read on for the skinny on all your wood and wood-look options. 

SOLID WOOD FLOORING

For many customers, solid hardwood is the gold standard when it comes to flooring. Solid hardwood floors have a warmth and beauty that has stood the test of time. The durability and beauty of oak floors have made them a popular choice for over a century. Though oak floors are often associated with traditional homes and architectural styles, they can also work beautifully in more modern settings. Other solid wood flooring options include maple, cherry, walnut, exotic hardwoods, and bamboo.

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The classic beauty of solid hardwood floors never goes out of style. Natural wood has a warmth and softness beneath the foot that simply feels good. And although time and traffic will eventually scratch your floors, solid hardwoods can be sanded and refinished multiple times over their life. Finally, solid hardwood floors are always a great investment when it comes to resale value. 

Things to Consider 

Despite solid wood’s many benefits, there are a few things to consider before choosing this option. First and foremost for many buyers: price. Solid hardwood is one of our most expensive options. If you choose a more exotic species, the price can really climb. The upfront cost will typically pay for itself over the long life of a solid wood floor, but if minimizing your cash out now is a prime concern, you may want to consider laminate or vinyl. 

Here Florida’s Panhandle, wood floors can mean extra maintenance. Water and sand are no friends of wood floors, so if you want a carefree indoor-outdoor lifestyle, solid wood may not be your best choice. Even if you’re not likely to come home from the beach dripping and sandy, think twice before installing solid wood in wet areas such as kitchens and baths. Natural wood swells with water absorption and can warp and rot with frequent exposure to moisture. If you want that warm wood look in your new master bath, consider vinyl or ceramic tile look-a-likes that will perform better in a wet setting. 

When it comes to warmth, touch, and feel underfoot, real wood flooring can't be beat
When it comes to warmth, touch, and feel underfoot, real wood flooring can’t be beat.

ENGINEERED WOOD FLOORING

The top layer of engineered wood flooring is a thin veneer of pre-finished hardwood. Under that veneer, the flooring is comprised of a high-quality plywood. 

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Plywood is made of layers that run perpendicular to each other, so this plywood core makes engineered hardwoods more dimensionally stable than solid wood. This gives engineered hardwoods a slight edge over solid wood when it comes to handling small amounts of moisture. Like solid hardwoods, engineered wood floors are considered a premium product when it comes to the resale value of your home. 

Things to Consider

Engineered wood flooring’s premium qualities come at a premium price. The cost for a high-quality engineered wood floor will be roughly similar to that of a solid hardwood floor. But unlike solid hardwoods, engineered wood can only be lightly sanded and refinished a limited number of times before the wood veneer disappears. Finally, though engineered wood handles moisture better than solid wood, it is still not your best choice for wet areas.

LAMINATE

Many people confuse laminate and engineered wood floors, but the two products are really quite different. Unlike engineered floors, laminate floors do not have a veneer of solid wood. Instead, the top layer is a high-quality image of wood grain fused to a thin fiber-core board. A clear wear layer on top protects the image from scratches and damage. 

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Laminate is a great budget-friendly choice for those who want the wood look without the price tag. Installation is relatively easy, and because laminate is a floating installation (not attached to the sub-floor or underlying surface), individual boards can be replaced if necessary relatively easily. When installed properly, laminate offers a bit more moisture resistance than solid or engineered wood. Laminate also stands up well to scratches and dings.

Things to Consider

Laminate doesn’t offer the same resale value as a real wood floor, nor does it offer the warmth of real wood under your feet. We recommend installing a foam underlayment to make the floor warmer and softer. Laminate cannot be refinished.

Laminate wood flooring is a better choice for kitchens where moisture might be a concern.
Laminate wood flooring may be a better choice for kitchens where spills and moisture might be a concern.

VINYL PLANK

Vinyl Plank—also called Luxury Vinyl Flooring or LVF—is another cost conscious option for wood-look floors that is often confused with laminate. Unlike laminate, vinyl planks are 100% synthetic material (plastic.) LVF comes in a wide variety of embossed textures and patterns that mimic real wood—sometimes quite closely.

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Vinyl is budget-friendly and easy to install. It is soft underfoot, very low maintenance, and completely waterproof. Higher-end LVF products have color-through 

Things to Consider

Saving money upfront can come with a cost later, as vinyl floors won’t help your resale value. Because it is soft, vinyl can tear and may dent under heavy furniture. The synthetic nature of vinyl can make it unappealing for sensitive customers; vinyl does not biodegrade, and it emits gases called VOCs that can cause problems for those with respiratory issues. 

WOOD-LOOK TILE

Ceramic and porcelain tile is an increasingly popular choice for those who want the look of wood without the higher cost or increased maintenance of real wood. 

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Tile is a low-maintenance flooring option that is both durable and beautiful. Today’s tile manufacturers are creating options that realistically mimic all types of wood, creating looks that range from sleek and modern to rustic and organic. Tile—especially porcelain options—works great in wet locations and stands up well to foot traffic and pets. Tile is low-maintenance and easy to keep clean, and can be an especially good choice in coastal environments with lots of sand and water. 

Wood-look tile is a great low-maintenance flooring option for those with kids and pets.
Wood-look tile is a great option for households with kids. This low-maintenance option is easy to keep clean and doesn’t harbor allergens and dust.

Things to Consider 

Ceramic tile can be cold and hard under your feet, though that effect can be offset with rugs. Grout lines need to be properly sealed and maintained to avoid stains that are difficult to clean. And although tile is generally a budget-friendly choice, prices can rapidly escalate with higher-end styles.

We’ve Got Wood Flooring Options

Whether you’re modern or traditional, budget conscious or looking to splurge on your forever house, we’ve got options that will give you a beautiful wood floor that goes the distance for your family. At Coastal Home Pros, we know how to handle the humidity, moisture, sand, and salt that accompany our coastal lifestyle. Our flooring experts will help you navigate the choices and install a floor that will work hard and look great today and for years to come. Give us a call today to get started! 

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