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Genuine hardwood vs engineered or vinyl plank. #5134757 06/15/19 08:01 AM
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pezzy669 Offline OP
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So hopefully some realtors or property appraisers here that can shed some light on the actual "value" of hardwood vs engineered laminate or vinyl plank.

Mid-range 1/1 condo. Has genuine hardwood in the main living areas with carpet in the bedroom and stone tile in the bathroom and laundry. Floors are original from 2001 and are beat to [censored], I snagged the condo because the people who put an offer on it right before me were scared off by the condition of the floors. They are fully functional just really banged up. On top of that my elderly dog who has started having some incontinence issues in her older age has now caused some damage in 3 favorite pee spots she always goes to - she won't be with me much longer and new floors will not be put down until she crosses over to her new life.

Everyone is telling me I am crazy for contemplating ripping them up and laying down a new floor but opting for a lower cost engineered laminate or vinyl plank system. I have looked into the refinishing of the existing floors and found I would have to temporarily relocate for the project for possibly up to 5 days, then even after moving back be fighting dust and the coating smells for some time afterwards. It just seems like such a huge ordeal.

Most of the same floorplan units around here I have seen go on the market all have pretty much been engineered laminate or vinyl plank, I honestly don't know if I have seen one with genuine hardwoods. They command market value prices (Mid-high $160k) and go under contract within days/weeks unless the owner is asking stupid pricing for a unit that has not been updated.

Is the perceived value of genuine hardwood worth the hassle of a full refinishing (complete sand down and refinish)? I am planning on selling in ~1-2 years if the housing market stays on course so slowly but surely have been updating as funds allow.


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Re: Genuine hardwood vs engineered or vinyl plank. [Re: pezzy669] #5134771 06/15/19 08:22 AM
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Wolf359 Offline
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I always prefer real hardwoods to engineered or vinyl. Basically you can only sand real hardwoods and sanding around here is actually pretty cheap depending on who's doing. It's usually in the $1-$1.50 range a square foot which is much cheaper than putting down a new floor. But that's usually with oil based poly. They usually cheat and call it 3 coats, but they basically put down a sealer coat which takes an hour to dry and then a coat over that and then come back a day or two later after that dries for the 3rd coat. If you don't want the smell, you can do water based poly, but that seems to be lighter in color and also takes 5 coats instead of 3, cost may also be higher. I sand rental units all the time so I don't really account for the smell. Basically real hardwood is worth about $5+ a square foot just for materials, your other methods are in the $1.50-$2 or $3 range so it's cheaper. The quality usually isn't there though, you get gaps and you can't really fix damage to the floor unless you keep some extra pieces around, also more limited lifetime, maybe 10-20 years depending on how well it's kept up. Buy some extras to keep around, they will stop making a particular style/color after a few years. Real hardwoods you still see around that are 100+ years old.

Re: Genuine hardwood vs engineered or vinyl plank. [Re: pezzy669] #5134775 06/15/19 08:28 AM
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MrHorspwer Offline
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I'm in the exact same boat, except this will be our home at least until our kids finish school (10 years or so). I am curious to see others opinions.

Personally, having installed quality engineered laminate (not the $1.50/sq ft junk) in our previous house and seeing how nice it came out and how durable it was compared to real hardwood, I wouldn't hesitate to do it again. I don't know that I would do it in an area that sees much moisture, like a bathroom, but I think a nice tile looks better there anyway. I haven't really kept up on luxury vinyl, so I can't comment there.

Re: Genuine hardwood vs engineered or vinyl plank. [Re: pezzy669] #5134778 06/15/19 08:31 AM
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MParr Offline
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We bought a 5 year old home, last year. We took out all of the carpeting in the bedrooms and hallway. We replaced it with Armstrong Luxury Vinyl plank. We used their top of the line stuff. It installed like a floating floor and it is waterproof. I really like it. I couldn’t care less about perceived value. We plan on this being our last home.


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Re: Genuine hardwood vs engineered or vinyl plank. [Re: pezzy669] #5134785 06/15/19 08:41 AM
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dblshock Offline
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for now go to HD a buy rugs...later refinish it if it's solid 3/4" nailed in with long wide boards it has value over the knock-offs...nothing walks like the real thick wood.


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Re: Genuine hardwood vs engineered or vinyl plank. [Re: Wolf359] #5134801 06/15/19 09:22 AM
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Cujet Offline
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Originally Posted by Wolf359
I always prefer real hardwoods to engineered or vinyl.


Me too.

However, a well done, high end, engineered floor system can be quite nice and completely trouble free.

It's difficult not to damage real wood floors.

Last edited by Cujet; 06/15/19 09:22 AM.

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Re: Genuine hardwood vs engineered or vinyl plank. [Re: pezzy669] #5134817 06/15/19 09:53 AM
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AZjeff Offline
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Only someone familiar with your local market preferences can give you a valid answer. You don't have a realtor you can ask?

Nothing else walks like real wood, as noted, but it's delicate compared to other alternatives today. The floating planks are nice and go down quickly but I haven't found one yet that doesn't sound hollow when the dogs walk on them or you're wearing hard soled shoes.

We had Hallmark glue-down luxury plank put down in the entire new house and have no regrets. Soft underfoot, no hollow echo, warmer than tile.


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Re: Genuine hardwood vs engineered or vinyl plank. [Re: pezzy669] #5134845 06/15/19 10:24 AM
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Somewhere in between is Bamboo.
Unfortunately, all of them come from China where Bamboo is in abundance.

You can get the type with tongue and groove, may still want to glue the groove but it is easy to put on and no nail.
Make sure if the base wood is screwed down instead of nailed.


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Re: Genuine hardwood vs engineered or vinyl plank. [Re: pezzy669] #5134866 06/15/19 10:48 AM
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sloinker Offline
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Engineered floors are more uniform and many allow a couple of sandings depending on product. That being said, actual hardwood brings a premium. The cost advantage requires more info and your local market to see if it is a good investment to replace the existing floors.


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Re: Genuine hardwood vs engineered or vinyl plank. [Re: pezzy669] #5134880 06/15/19 11:02 AM
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One thing to consider is that in a condo, there is always a flood risk. It happened to my Sister's condo twice, once right after a new floor was installed. If it floods, that hardwood or laminate floor is toast. That's the reason why flooring is marketed as waterproof, along with basements.

That wood floor is going to be glued, not nailed to a concrete floor. About a decade ago my dad installed hardwood in a super high end condo (Yorkville). The adhesive he used also had soundproofing attributes. When it dried it was almost like a foam but it didn't expand.

In a house I think real hardwood outside of the basement is a great idea. I think you should just get the equivalent of what everybody else has. I'm not sure you will see the return on investment in a condo, the buyers are going to want to pay what other units in the building sell for.

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Re: Genuine hardwood vs engineered or vinyl plank. [Re: pezzy669] #5134965 06/15/19 12:42 PM
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When we were shopping for a new home a few years ago our preference was for hardwood or (limited amounts of) tile or stone. Yes hardwood scratches but it can be refinished several times. Hardwood in good condition would be considered a positive feature (to us anyway), as part of an overall high quality package.

Being out of your home for a few days shouldn't be a decisive factor.


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Re: Genuine hardwood vs engineered or vinyl plank. [Re: pezzy669] #5134974 06/15/19 12:58 PM
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For me, genuine hardwood is just plain beautiful. Today's finishes are so much better.
I would refinish.

We have high end Pergo and love it.
But it ain't hardwood.


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Re: Genuine hardwood vs engineered or vinyl plank. [Re: pezzy669] #5134989 06/15/19 01:22 PM
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philipp10 Offline
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Engineered flooring is basically throw away flooring after about 10 years. Real hardwood will last a lifetime....plus. You would be a fool to tear it up. Kind of like siding a stucco home with vinyl (I know people that have done that). Move out for 5 days and use oil based poly. The water looks hazy.

Re: Genuine hardwood vs engineered or vinyl plank. [Re: pezzy669] #5135025 06/15/19 02:02 PM
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AZjeff Offline
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That the OP plans to sell in 1-2 years factors into his decision. He wants ROI not warm and fuzzy.


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Re: Genuine hardwood vs engineered or vinyl plank. [Re: pezzy669] #5135033 06/15/19 02:14 PM
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Last month the Family Handyman ran an article about what upgrades are worth the most for resale value. Surprisingly flooring came in at the very bottom. They said that people rarely look down to floors. Nicely done kitchens and bathrooms were at the top. I have engineered hardwood in my house and I am happy with it. It seems durable and looks great. In my bathroom I recently installed vinyl plank flooring and absolutely love it. It is water proof and looks so good and easy to clean. I recommend it for bathrooms.

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