Comparing Different Types Of Flooring: Hardwood vs. Laminate vs. Vinyl (LVP)

hardwood vs laminate vs vinyl

Your home can see a lot of traffic which means your floors take the brunt of all the action! If you are looking for hard flooring options then hardwood, laminate, and vinyl flooring offer a multitude of options to pick from. The following article addresses the key difference between the three floor types that can help you make a more informed decision when investing in flooring for your home. 

Which Is Better? Hardwood vs. Laminate vs. Vinyl

Hardwood vs. Laminate

If you are looking for something more timeless and aesthetically pleasing, then hardwood flooring is better than laminate. However, laminate is a great flooring material for functional settings where practicality is your utmost priority. Laminate is a good option to install in a child’s playroom, in the family den, or in parts of the house where children and pets spend most of their time running around. Hardwood flooring can stain and it can also change colour if exposed to direct sunlight for long periods. On the other hand, laminate is stain-resistant (can be easily wiped) and its colour will not fade in direct sunlight. Laminate is easier to install than hardwood flooring, as most laminate uses click-and-lock assembly which avoids the use of nails or glue. If you are looking for an easy-to-install, practical, and low-maintenance flooring option then laminate is better suited for you than hardwood flooring.

Hardwood vs. Vinyl

Vinyl is scratch-resistant, and its colour does not fade easily when exposed to direct sunlight for long periods. Also, vinyl is waterproof whereas hardwood flooring is not. This makes vinyl a great option to install in washrooms and kitchens where accidental water spills can curl or shrink hardwood floors. In addition, hardwood floors can be resanded every 10 years, and vinyl floors can only be replaced and not repaired. Moreover, hardwood flooring is a renewable resource whereas vinyl flooring is not environmentally-friendly because it is made from PVC resin. Vinyl is a very low-maintenance and durable type of flooring and is increasingly being used in commercial applications for these reasons.

Laminate vs. Vinyl

Laminate and vinyl may seem similar to each other on the surface, and both are easier to install than hardwood flooring. However, there are some differences between the two that can influence your decision. For example, if you want to choose a flooring that is aesthetically pleasing, laminate offers options that are similar to hand-scaped hardwood, stone, and ceramics, among other materials. When it comes to water resistance, vinyl flooring is more water-resistant than laminate. As a matter of fact, all kinds of vinyl flooring are considered waterproof since sheet vinyl, LVT, and LVP are made with waterproof materials. In addition, when comparing laminate and vinyl, vinyl flooring is the easiest to clean and can even be wet mopped, unlike laminate which is not water-resistant and can get damaged by water sitting on it for too long.

Now you know what is the difference between hardwood, laminate and vinyl flooring.

Smith Bros. Floors has been in the flooring business for over a decade, and our expert team has the know-how of all the newest flooring trends! Contact us today. We will help you find the best laminate, hardwood, or vinyl flooring options tailored to your specific needs.


Pet-Friendly Flooring

Pet-Friendly Flooring

Your pet is a part of your family, loved and loving. 58% of Canadian households report owning at least one pet. You adore your pets but they can be hard on your floors; leaving scratches, shedding hair requiring frequent floor cleaning and having accidents that cause staining and persistent odours. What do you do when your pet wreaks havoc on your floors? What type of flooring will stand up to life with the animal member(s) of your family? The following is an overview of some of the most popular types of flooring and how well they do or don’t handle the daily presence of your furry friends.

  • Vinyl flooring is a great option for families with pets. Luxury vinyl tile and vinyl sheets are highly durable, long-lasting, and resistant to moisture, scratches, stains and dents. They hold up well against accidents and food/water bowl spills. Vinyl is easy to clean, easy to install and affordable. It will even soften the sound of pet nails and reduce skidding! 
  • Rigid core flooring combines the best attributes of many flooring products for the ultimate in dent, scratch and stain resistance. It’s a click-type plank vinyl flooring that doesn’t require any adhesives, is budget-friendly, comes in a wide range of styles and can realistically mimic the looks of both hardwood and tile. Rigid core flooring is waterproof making it perfect for water bowl spills and pets that are wet from the rain or a bath. 
  • Engineered tile: With engineered tile, you can achieve the authentic look and feel of traditional tile (stone or ceramic) with a scratch-resistant surface that is warmer and kinder to you and your pets. It is stain and soil repellent, easy to clean and absorbs sound. Wet or dry, it is slip-resistant, perfect for families with pets. 
  • Laminate flooring stands up against the scratches and stains of having a pet but is not typically fully waterproof. Moisture or puddles left to sit will be absorbed and may cause swelling and buckling. Laminate is not noise resistant and the slippery surface can be problematic for ageing pets.
  • Solid wood flooring: Excessive moisture will warp and ruin this flooring but it is resistant to surface moisture, spills and accidents. Waterproof options are available and provide some moisture protection. Hardwood is susceptible to scratches, may be difficult underfoot for pets and the typical dark colours show dander and pet hair. Though hardwood flooring may be sufficient for small pets, it is unlikely to withstand the wear and tear of large dogs. 
  • Engineered wood floors give you the best of both laminate and solid wood floors. The wear layer may be able to be sanded and refinished if scratches or spills become problematic. Choose a finish that has a “rustic” or distressed look. These styles already look worn, and any scratch marks will naturally blend in.
  • Cork flooring is a great choice for pet owners. It is antimicrobial, resistant to the development of bacterial growth, mold or other harmful allergens. It is scratch-resistant and sound-absorbing so cuts down on pet noises. Choose a lighter shade of cork flooring to minimize the look of any scratch marks. It requires little maintenance or daily upkeep and is an eco-friendly flooring that is good for the planet. 
  • Tile and stone flooring is water-resistant, stain-resistant and easy to clean. It can handle anything your pet throws its way. It is one of the best options when it comes to pet-friendly flooring. However, these floors are hard and cold making them uncomfortable for many pets. Make sure you provide soft area rugs or a pet bed somewhere in the house.
  • Bamboo flooring is extremely durable, stain-resistant and scratch-resistant. Choose a style that has a high hardness rating. Food and water spills or pet accidents won’t damage these floors. Plus, bamboo is very sustainable.


There are plenty of pet-friendly flooring options on the market. Even with a scratchy, furry, accident-prone pet at home, it’s possible to have beautiful floors. You just need to find the right type! 

Looking for quality flooring that can withstand the wear and tear of your pets? Contact Smith Bros. Floors, one of Canada’s oldest flooring companies; family-owned and operated. We use industry-leading flooring and finishes because we want your flooring to last! With a tested crew of installers and finishers and a lifetime guarantee on workmanship and longevity, Smith Bros. quality cannot be beaten! Call us at 403-255-7791 for a free consultation.