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The look of a wood floor is a timeless, classic option for organizations of all types and sizes. Whether you choose actual hardwood or luxury vinyl tile (LVT) that looks like hardwood, the possibilities of a great wood floor design are possible within your organization. However, knowing what material to select can be a challenge.

Traditional hardwood floors and LVT are two different materials that give similar looks. Depending on your company’s needs, you may find that one better suits yours over another.

Here are five things to consider when deciding which material to choose:

1. Price: There are price differences between LVT and regular hardwood floors. Price will depend on the square footage of flooring needed and the going market rates for both products.

2. Moisture Exposure: Water is an enemy of hardwood. It will expand to absorb moisture and contract once it dries. As a result, gaps usually form in the flooring over time. While LVT isn’t as sensitive to moisture, excessive amounts of moisture can lead the vinyl and seams to split as well. Neither of these products will do well in overly humid environments.

3. Scratches and Repairs: Both hardwood and LVT require care, especially when it comes to preventing and treating scratches; vinyl and hardwood floors can both be scratched by abrasive surfaces. Wood floors will require sanding and sealing, while a polish product can be applied to vinyl to help buff out any scratches. By using a creative design, if pieces end up needing replaced, the design can offset the appearance of new pieces.

4. Subfloor Preparation: Whether it’s hardwood or LVT flooring, the material won’t matter if the subfloor is damaged in any way. This is why it’s imperative to prep the subfloor to be as smooth as possible. Any imperfections in the subfloor will appear and impact the installation of either material.

5. Maintenance: Both hardwood floors and LVT floors require a routine maintenance program. For both materials, low moisture cleaning applications should be used to prevent the above listed problems. Additionally, hardwood floors may need to be sanded or resealed from time to time. LVT needs routine floor polish to ensure durability and resistance to scratches.

As you can see, depending on what your flooring needs may be, hardwood floors or luxury vinyl tile will give you the wood floor look you desire.