Ask the Expert

Faux-wood flooring

We love the look of wood flooring but we are also intrigued by the budget-friendly faux-wood flooring options. What are some of the top trends right now for these wood look-alikes? Compared to wood, what are the pros and cons we should know about to make the best choice?

The current top trends in the industry for faux-woods are laminate and luxury vinyl planking. Wood is beautiful and timeless, but doesn’t always fit the budget and can require more maintenance; plus in Alaska, dimensional stability can sometimes be problematic. Luxury vinyl plank (also referred to as LVP) and laminate are more affordable and require less maintenance. Some of the only cons to these options, compared to real wood, is that you cannot sand and refinish these floors, nor do they show the life you live on them – adding new characteristics over time.

Laminate is known for its extreme durability and scratch resistance. The only real downfall it has been known for is its water resistance, but recently, some manufacturers have actually come out with waterproof laminates to help keep them in the game. The newer technologies in the manufacturing process regularly fool our customers into thinking they are looking at wood. There is embossing and beveling to replicate the look and feel of wood. Laminate would be the most affordable alternative to real wood.

Luxury vinyl plank is going to be the newest, most versatile, and most dimensionally stable option. All luxury vinyl is 100-percent waterproof and has great wear layers to provide protection from scratching and denting. Luxury vinyl is also manufactured with those newer technologies to really fool you into thinking its actual wood. Luxury vinyl comes in glue down options, floating options, and multiple thicknesses making it suitable for any room in your home.

Kelsey Hall is a project coordinator and designer for Florcraft Carpet One Floor and Home in Anchorage. For info on laminate and luxury vinyl options, visit