hardwood vs. engineered wood vs. luxury vinyl plank vs. laminate

3 Replies

Just getting started on flipping houses and wanted to understand which flooring type is used for different price points of the house.  Understand that this may vary by region.  I am located in South Carolina.

@Bob Evans Love your biscuits & gravy! :)  Anyway, LVP is my favorite for durability and price. I've been told to stay away from laminate by a contractor and flipper that I know. He says it's basically cardboard pressed together with a strip of laminate on top. They get scratched, liquid spills will cause it to bow, over time they start bowing just because of general moisture in the air. Again, not my experience but I take his word for it. LVP can go in basements and anywhere else. I'd say unless you start getting really high end LVP is a fit for most properties.

Since you are flipping....not buy and hold investments....you are looking for the best "bang for the buck"..... what is going to have the best "pop" for what buyers are looking for......at the lowest price to you.

If it were a buy and hold rental.... LVP....hands down.

Since its a flip, its really dependent on your market....what level of neighborhood...what price point etc. I'd do a bunch of searches for what the other comps in your area have....and likely match that.

Without more info I guess my answer would be laminate.....

LVP is nice and durable etc, but when you really check it out, its still vinyl....its not wood

Hardwood and engineered hardwood are really nice....but cost more $$ in material and install..... so I would only do those if your market demands it....higher end house etc

A decent quality laminate mimics real wood better than LVP, but at a lower cost than real wood etc.....so is often a good "in between" for appeal vs cost.....

Find what's "expected" in your market and follow that lead

I just went through this exercise for a mid-level flip in Northern CA. We went with vinyl (Great Oregon Oak, Water Oak from Flooring Liquidators) that we negotiated down below $3/sq. Here's why:

1) It looks SO much better when you can have one flooring that carries throughout the house (with the exception of bathrooms and maybe bedrooms depending on your market). I WOULD NOT put laminate in a kitchen. Vinyl can withstand water issues much better.

2) The product we found very much looks like wood. It has a nice bevel between planks. It also has a 5 print option (plus the reverse) so it doesn't look overly repetitious. 

3) Depending on your subfloor, vinyl is much more forgiving which means less prep work.

4) As a buyer of real estate (and a woman - don't forget, we make a big impact in the decision-making process) I really don't like the sound of laminate. It's hollow. It's the first thing that I notice when I walk into a property which means that the first thing that I think about when I walk into a property is, "great, I've got to rip this stuff out). Any property that I walk into that has laminate, I immediately add in $6/sq to the discount that I'm going to offer just to get rid of that stuff! That is definitely not the impression you want to make.

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