There’s a negative connotation with the term “fake.” Fake means: not genuine, something that is not real, or is an imitation designed to entice someone into thinking it is real or original.
This is why the term “fake wood” can leave a homeowner wondering what to select when choosing new flooring.
Every year, traditional hardwood flooring tops the list of wants when people design or remodel their homes. That’s because it’s beautiful, warm, and can last for decades. When you install traditional hardwood flooring, you know you’ll have a flooring that performs as well as it looks, one you’ll enjoy for many years to come.
But here’s the thing; traditional hardwood doesn’t always make sense. No matter how much a homeowner desires to install it inside their home, they know it’s a mistake before they ever sign on the dotted line. That holds them back from replacing existing flooring, wondering what they should do.
Traditional hardwood doesn’t work for every homeowner. It’s not the best choice for certain rooms in your home. That’s where mixed feelings start bubbling up to the surface.
What are your options?
We get it. If you’re a diehard hardwood lover, anything but traditional hardwood may feel like you’re cheating. Anything but traditional hardwood may feel like you’re installing fake wood.
But what’s really happening is you’re putting your lifestyle first. Manufacturers understand that homeowners love hardwood. That’s why they’ve worked diligently to create some incredible products that mimic hardwood, yet serve you better based on your needs and desires.
In most cases, “fake wood” usually refers to several products designed to mimic classic hardwood. They include:
- Engineered hardwood
- Wood-look tile
- Luxury vinyl planks
Manufacturers have worked hard at creating products that look like the real thing, yet offer functionality a homeowner could never get by installing classic hardwood.
Whereas traditional hardwood is constructed with a solid piece of wood, engineered hardwood is created from layers of hardwood and plywood. Each layer is positioned in a different direction for added strength and durability. This unique construction prevents the engineered hardwood from bowing and warping as traditional would may in moist situations. It can stand up better in higher traffic situations.
Engineered hardwood’s advantage over traditional wood is that its solid construction will allow it to be installed in many more places inside the home where traditional hardwood may be a problem. If you want hardwood below ground, engineered hardwood may be your choice, with a protective moisture barrier installed first.
People often prefer engineered hardwood because it’s as close to the real thing as possible. That’s because the top layer is a natural wood veneer that gives the same natural wood beauty as you’d expect from classic hardwood. It’s easy to care for and maintain, and comes in all the looks and style you’d expect from traditional hardwood.
Laminate floors are a hybrid of particleboard wood topped with a realistic image layer, followed by a wear layer that can extend the life of your flooring. While people often think of the Pergo line put out into the flooring industry several decades ago, today’s laminate is a product many homeowners fall in love with.
Laminate floors have a smooth surface area that makes them easy to clean and maintain. A broom or a mop is all you’ll need to keep this fake wood flooring product looking good for years. Its strength and durability make it a perfect choice for homes with high-impact, where high traffic, kids, and pets stay active all day long. It’s well suited for being scratch-resistant, and will stand up to the games of chase your kids and pets can do all day long.
It’s also at the lower end of the price scale, making it a great choice for homeowners on a budget. It gives you the chance to have your “dream” flooring, with better functionality and cost features.
Homeowners may have fallen in love with natural hardwood for some areas of the home, but chances are their second choice is tile. Porcelain tile is another product that can last for decades when well cared for, and provide a quality flooring product that looks great and is easy to maintain.
So when manufacturers created porcelain tile that looks like hardwood, it was considered a win/win for everyone. These products closely mimic natural hardwood, and do it so well that even the experts have to take a second look.
What’s even better is porcelain tile works in every room in your home. If you’ve always wanted hardwood in your master bathroom or even the kid’s bath, now you can have it. It gives water-resistant qualities to places hardwood never made sense before.
What’s more, wood-look tile also makes a great addition over radiant heat. If you’ve been looking at the benefits of using radiant heating inside your home, combining it with wood-look tile may be just what you’re looking for.
Luxury vinyl planks
One of the newer entries into the “fake wood” market is luxury vinyl planks. Yet being new doesn’t take away from its popularity. People are falling in love with luxury vinyl planks because of their durability and classic good looks.
When people think of vinyl, they tend to think of the sheets installed in their parents’ homes. Luxury vinyl planks are completely different from that product line. Luxury vinyl planks are narrow strips resembling hardwood planks. They are created in layer format for strength and durability.
- The first layer is the wear layer, designed to prevent scratching and scuffs
- The second layer protects from more severe tearing and ripping
- A design layer adds the realistic quality of hardwood
- A backing layer of rigid vinyl adds thickness and durability
They are considered to be semi-rigid, in that they maintain their shape in much the same way as traditional hardwood. Instead of needing adhesive or nails to hold the product intact, they come with click-and-lock technology that makes them easy to install.
Why luxury vinyl planks are growing in popularity is that some product lines are waterproof. That makes them the perfect addition to every room in your home – you’ll never worry about the kids splashing too much in the bath with this product installed.
It’s also an affordable option, making it great for any homeowner trying to stick to a budget.
Still think fake wood isn’t for you?
While the concept of fake wood may seem a bit off-putting, don’t let the benefits hold you back.
Traditional hardwood doesn’t make sense in every situation. But if you still want the look of hardwood, there are many other options waiting for you.
How can we help you find the perfect flooring for your home?