Vinyl plank flooring is one of the hottest flooring trends. It’s being used in wet areas such as kitchens and bathrooms as well as living areas and bedrooms. Vinyl, in general, has been given a bad reputation over the years. However, the flooring has evolved considerably over the years and is stronger, scratch resistant, cost effective, water resistant and more attractive than ever before.
What You Need to Know
Vinyl plank gives you another flooring option when it comes to choosing flooring for your home (or business). A significant amount of advanced technology is being used to create better flooring. It’s more realistic than ever, mirroring some of the higher-end flooring options such as hardwood and bamboo.
There are a few different types of vinyl plank flooring that you will be able to find.
- WPC: Wood Plastic Composite Waterproof vinyl is capable of withstanding moisture, making it great for laundry rooms, bathrooms and kitchens.
- SPC: Stone Plastic Composite. Durable waterproof vinyl flooring option, will not expand or contract and remain stable in high-low temperature. Great anywhere in the home.
- LVT: Luxury vinyl tile is the higher-end flooring with more textures and looks available.
- LVP: Luxury vinyl planks is also high-end with various widths of planks for you to choose from.
- Rigid Core: Vinyl designed to withstand heavier use and can withstand indentations easier.
Vinyl flooring is comprised of PVC chips formed into solid sheets that vary in thickness using heat and pressure. The thickness is an important characteristic that you will want to look at when choosing flooring. While 1/8” is the most common, there are some thicker and thinner.
The cost generally goes up with thicker wear layer. The benefit, however, is that they can mask more sound and also withstand more traffic without showing signs of wear and tear.
The colors of vinyl flooring are inspired by a number of natural materials, ranging from wood to bamboo to marble. As such, the colors are abundant. You can find white, gray, tan, silver, black, and other colors. You can also choose to mix the colors in order to create a truly unique space.
Exploring all of the options will allow you to choose flooring that works well for the aesthetic you are trying to achieve. You can have it professionally installed (or do it yourself) and enjoy the floors for many years to come. There is a significant amount of research to do so that you can determine what is available and what will look best within your home or business.
The Pros of Vinyl Plank Flooring
There are a lot of pros to using vinyl plank flooring. It is similar in nature to that of linoleum but much stronger. You will find that it is more durable with more options available to you. Plus, it’s less expensive than many of the other flooring options available to you.
Durability is perhaps one of the top reasons why people are choosing vinyl planks. It is comfortable to walk on and can handle a significant amount of foot traffic. Depending on the subfloor, you can reduce a significant amount of noise by laying this flooring down, too.
The resiliency is great, allowing you to have pets and children on the flooring without having to worry about small scratches and scrapes. Many of the new flooring planks are finished in such a way that they are scratch, stain, and scuff resistant. It makes it easier for you to keep them looking new and clean for longer.
Easy to Clean
Whenever you choose a type of flooring to install, you want to look at how easy it is to clean with damp mop. You don’t want to choose something that requires a significant amount of maintenance. Vinyl (typically) doesn’t have grout to clean, so it’s easier to work with. There’s also a protective finish that will help to repel most of the dirt and spills that occur.
You won’t have to use harsh chemicals to get the flooring clean. Instead, you can sweep up most of the dirt. Then, a light wet mop will take care of the rest.
Broad Range of Options
There are a considerable number of options for you to explore with vinyl plank flooring. First, the colors range from whitewashed to espresso and everything in between. The texture is also changing, which is a result of the new technologies. You can find distressed, wire brushed, and hand scraped textures in addition to smooth, allowing your flooring to mock another flooring that you love.
The aesthetic that you achieve with vinyl can be to look like something else. You can find vinyl that looks like wood, metal, marble, concrete, slate, and even travertine. The layouts, too, can vary significantly.
Not only can you find large planks but also mixed width, large format tiles, hexagonal, herringbone, and more. It allows you to have greater control over what the floors look like in every room of your home or business.
Regardless of the type of vinyl plank flooring that you get, you will find that they are a less expensive option to some of the more traditional flooring that you can have installed. Particularly as you start to explore vinyl that looks like hardwood, slate, and marble, the cost savings can be substantial.
In some instances, hardwood flooring can be two to three times more expensive than luxury vinyl tile. Plus, you can experience inconsistencies in hardwood, such as knots, wormholes, and more that may take away from the overall aesthetic.
As a result of the cost savings, it will allow you to choose a higher-end product to experience the durability as well as the style options that are available.
The Cons of Vinyl Plank Flooring
Some cons exist with vinyl plank flooring that you should know about. Much of this has to do with determining where the flooring will be installed and what goes on in that area.
Doesn’t Stand Up to Heavy Loads
Vinyl plank flooring, while durable, can experience various indentations with heavy loads. If you’re going to be pushing carts or anything else heavy across the floor, this might not be the most ideal flooring. This is particularly important if you’re looking to install the flooring in a business where your staff will be pushing carts or you will have a lot of customers in wheelchairs.
Fades with UV Exposure
Placing vinyl plank flooring in an area where there is direct sun can be dangerous. You may find that the color fades quicker than some of the other flooring materials. If you don’t have direct sun, you won’t have to worry about the damage of the UV exposure. However, it is why this type of flooring isn’t recommended for outdoor use or indoor/outdoor use.
Damaged by Extreme Temperatures
Finally, you want to consider that vinyl except for SPC Vinyl can be damaged by extremely cold or extremely hot conditions. If you are installing this in an area where there isn’t any kind of temperature control, you may find that the vinyl will crack and wear down. This can result in having to replace it considerably sooner than you would otherwise have to worry about.
Vinyl Plank Flooring Installation Options
There are quite a few options that are available to you when installing vinyl plank flooring. You can choose to take the DIY approach or have them professionally installed. However, you will want to look at the flooring and how they’re applied to help you determine what’s available.
Peel and stick vinyl plank flooring is certainly the easiest to install. However, it may also peel up if the adhesive isn’t capable of adhering properly to the subfloor.
Most of the vinyl plank flooring available on the market is easy to install with a click lock or loose lay system being laid down as planks where the edges are scored and a tongue is cut. The joints are then staggered. With tiles, they can be grouted so that they look more like ceramic or marble tiles.
The key to a successful installation is prepping the subfloor. Vinyl can be laid on virtually any type of subfloor, but you will want to get rid of as many of the imperfections as possible because they will show through the flooring as bumps. A well-sanded plywood base is the best subflooring.
There are various DIY installation kits on the market. However, many people choose a contractor because it can result in a smoother and more professional aesthetic. It can also increase the overall life of the flooring because the installation was handled properly from start to finish.
In order to keep them clean, you can use a mild detergent with warm water. It will keep your floors looking their best for many years.
Ultimately, vinyl flooring allows you to install beautiful flooring in a home or business. You will want to choose a color and design that will work well for the space. The planks can be all the same size or in varying widths to create a more rustic and unique look. From there, they’re installed.
When you take care of vinyl plank flooring, you can expect them to last 10 to 20 years, providing you with a great overall value. With the new technology, the flooring can look like what it has been modeled after and most people won’t be able to tell the difference.
Learn more: How big is global vinyl flooring market size