We often view hardwood flooring as sturdy, versatile, and durable. While this is largely  true, traditional solid planks have a few surprising challenges – and we’re seeing one of them play out with the seasonal changes. Fluctuations in temperature and humidity can have a surprising impact on solid hardwood planks. This is especially true with the extreme changes we see in Alexandria.

Fortunately, there are still many alternatives that perfectly mimic the look and texture of hardwood without the limitations. We’ll discuss a few of them here.

Engineered Hardwood

Eclipse Oak Engineered hardwood flooring

For an authentic hardwood option, engineered planks are the best choice. They are composed of the same species as solid wood, but feature a multi-layered (engineered) design. Each of these layers are built around a stable core. The surface is covered by a wear-layer.

Together, these layers maintain the plank’s integrity through temperature and humidity fluctuations. Some engineered hardwood floors don’t even need an acclimation period after installation. They also have more tolerance for humidity fluctuations.

Tile & Stone Flooring

Macedonia wood-look porcelain tile flooring in a kitchen

When you think of wood aesthetics, stone is probably the last thing that comes to mind. However, tile flooring is increasingly designed to mimic wood. Why? Because stone floors have a degree of durability, versatility, and longevity that traditional hardwood just can’t match.

Porcelain tile is especially popular. It brings the hardwood look to kitchens, bathrooms, and even backyard patios and other areas that prove too much for some hardwood floors. Plus, tile & stone floors are often (but not always) protected by longer warranties.

Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP)

Rustic-wood look LVP flooring in a living room

Luxury vinyl flooring is quickly gaining popularity as it continues to advance in terms of style and performance. It can now be designed to perfectly mimic the look and texture of hardwood planks. It can also be used to add more color options than are available with natural hardwood.

Like tile & stone flooring, LVP is completely waterproof. However, it’s also much more affordable than stone and hardwood. In fact, it remains one of the most affordable flooring options on the market. It’s also much easier to install, with many using click installation, a process that clicks each piece together like a puzzle.

Learn More

New flooring is a big investment, but we make the process easy! If you’re ready to make an informed choice, visit Alexandria’s leading flooring experts at Arnquist Home Center.