For homeowners shopping for a new floor, there are two flooring choices that are quickly gaining in popularity – vinyl plank and engineered wood. Both are able to mimic the authentic look of true hardwood and are considered affordable alternatives. They also boast a number of excellent features, making it difficult to decide which is the best floor for your lifestyle. To help you decide, here is a list of how vinyl plank and engineered wood compare in 5 important categories:

Resistance to water

One of the main design features of engineered hardwood was to resist moisture which is often associated with typical hardwoods. The plywood base acts as a barrier against light moisture but cannot withstand anything heavier. Vinyl plank, on the other hand, is renowned for being 100% waterproof, making them ideal for spaces prone to moisture like kitchens and bathrooms.


Engineered hardwood has an identical look and feel to solid timber at a fraction of the price. Vinyl plank also has a strong resemblance to real wood however it is much softer underfoot, losing that wooden sound associated with a natural timber floor. This can be an advantage though, as some people favour soft textured floors, especially in areas where you stand for long periods like the kitchen.


Engineered and vinyl floors require minimal maintenance as they are made from resistant materials. Both are stain resistant, making spills and mess easy to clean. They are therefore both good options for families with children or pets.


Both floors have the benefit of being able to be installed directly over existing subfloors. Depending on the brand of engineered hardwood, floors can be installed by glueing, stapling or floating, all of which are considered easy installation options and may even be done by the homeowner. Vinyl planks vary between glue and lock-in installation, which again are simple, hassle-free processes.

Scratch resistance

Though neither floor is scratch-proof, engineered hardwood is extremely hard-wearing and does not scratch easily when it comes to daily activity. Vinyl plank is also durable however it can be dented by sharp or heavy objects.

As you can see, there are many similarities between the two floors and both would be durable, long-lasting additions to any household. However, there are distinctions that may suit floors to certain lifestyles and spaces. Vinyl plank is ideal in wet areas and for families with young children and pets where spills and mess are more likely. Engineered hardwood is best for homeowners that crave the look and feel of real timber.

To find out more about engineered wood and vinyl plank, talk to one of our experts here at Floormania.