We are building a new home and trying to decide between engineered hardwood or vinyl plank wood-look flooring. We have two kids and are wanting durability but want it too look nice too.
1. My husband is a flooring installer and I have helped him many times installing both the vinyl plank tiles and laminate engineered flooring. I prefer the vinyl. Yes, as in everything in the marketplace, there is a cheap product and an expensive product. If you buy cheap it will look cheap and it won't last. If you spend a bit more on a higher quality product it will look better and last longer no matter which way you choose to go. If you are installing this yourselves the LVP (luxury vinyl plank) is much easier....but do you have the proper tools and experience? That makes a difference too. Glue down vs. snap together? either one works. I like the snap together, although it really is a misnomer because it doesn't just "snap" together. The laminate is messy as far as breathing in sawdust, etc and it is not forgiving/hard to get under doorways (must remove baseboards and undercut the doorway jambs). Good luck which ever way you decide to go.
2. Some people say vinyl looks cheap, but if you don't have the money to install hardwood vinyl is the best alternative. We put vinyl in our home because we live out on a farm most of the time we bring in rocks and such in with us and we would rather get more vinyl in 10yrs than having to sand hardwood down in 2yrs. I guess it really depended on where you live and who you want to impress
3. We put down vinyl, 12"x24" in our laundry room and guest bath from Home Depot. It has a matte finish, east to clean can be picked up if need to. Whether I would put it in a formal room, I would have to look at other designs and finishes but, it is definitely durable.