Sometimes when we hear the word hardwood look-alike or imitation hardwood, we may tend to think it won’t look as lovely as natural hardwood. This may have been true in the distant past, but no longer. There have been significant technological advances in creating hardwood look-alikes that offer just as much beauty. Some of these hardwood alternatives even have features that hardwood would be hard-pressed to match up with.

As we go over each of these hardwood alternatives, we’ll describe some of their best qualities and how they may serve your family’s needs at home. Keep in mind as we go over each option that you should be asking yourself some questions about your family’s use of each room you desire to have refloored. These may be questions ranging from “how many people will regularly use this room?” to “will pets and children be frequenting this room?” Let’s dive into our first hardwood alternative below!


In many respects, engineered hardwood is perhaps the closest to a natural hardwood floor. One of the primary reasons this is so is that it actually contains natural wood, which LVP and laminate flooring can’t necessarily claim. Engineered hardwood has multiple layers similar to LVP and laminate but with a catch. Usually, engineered hardwood contains a layer of mixed and compressed natural wood. But the most important feature of engineered hardwood is that it has a top-most layer of natural hardwood. This lair is relatively thin and may only allow for a single refinishing at some point. You cannot refinish LVP and laminate. However, its natural wood gives off a look of authenticity and warmness.

Wood look-alikes such as LVP flooring have great durability. You may be shocked to see how realistic they look!


LVP stands for Luxury Vinyl Planks. What exactly does that mean, though? First off, let’s talk about the “L” in LVP. This type of flooring is called luxury for a reason! Vinyl flooring has made leaps and bounds in both quality and durability in the last decade. It has also made incredible breakthroughs in providing a hyper-realistic wood appearance. This is done through extremely high-definition pictures of natural wood that are printed onto the material. This picture layer is covered by a highly durable transparent top layer that protects the wood appearance for years, if not decades to come. Lower layers include a synthetic material that provides a solid and sturdy core, a level of softness, and often a water-resistant coating. LVP makes an excellent choice for households with children and pets prone to spilling drinks or scratching up the floors with paws and claws.


Laminate is also an excellent artificial option when it comes hardwood like-alike flooring. Traditionally when we think of laminate, we tend to imagine tile or large sheets of laminate flooring. The laminate flooring of today has also progressed significantly when compared to its humble roots. Laminate flooring in the modern era is quite similar to LVP and can easily take on a wood appearance. It is most likely a slightly more affordable option than some LVP or a quality engineered hardwood flooring. Nevertheless, laminate makes a great floor in nearly whatever room you decide to put it in, and its style and color options are near endless. Laminate is generally water-resistant, so pets and children can play on it with less worry than natural hardwood or even engineered hardwood.


The team at Element understands the task of selecting a beautiful hardwood alternative for your home can be a bit daunting at first. We invite you to take a look at our full selection of laminates, LVP, and more on our webpage. If you need help selecting a floor just right for your house in the Fort Collins area, please don’t hesitate to call our friendly and knowledgeable staff today! Our local team of designers and installers have worked on hundreds of projects and can make recommendations that fit your budget, your style, and your home’s needs. Book a free estimate today!