What Are The Pros and Cons of Vinyl Plank Flooring?
You're shopping around for new flooring for your new home, but nothing seems to satisfy, and of course, your budget isn't limitless.
You need something that will look good, that will not look cheap, that will be easy to install, and will be durable for many years to come, right?
Well, there is no perfect flooring. Once you accept that fact, it will be much easier to make the choice.
The purpose of this article is to explain what is vinyl plank flooring and give you the answers to all other common questions that you might have.
Let's start off with a simple list of pros and cons, before getting into further details and explanations.
Looks like natural wood
Completely water and moisture resistant
Comes with a good wear layer
Reinforced with fiberglass
Can be installed on laminate, tiles, granite, or cement
Can be glued down to any flat surface
Requires very little maintenance
Doesn't feel like hardwood or laminate
Not resistant to punctures by sharp objects
Quite hard to remove after being glued down
Let's face it; the first thing you'll check, no matter the flooring of your choice is the price. This is why it's good news that vinyl plank flooring is one of the cheapest ways to make your home look good.
One thing you need to steer clear of is various bargain brands that are present on the market. If it simply looks too good to be true, you must suspect that there is something wrong with those vinyl planks.
Mid-priced products are always a good choice, because they will be scratch resistant and waterproof and you won't be breaking the bank.
The lower the prices, the more limited the features, colors, and options will be. Simple as that. While you're browsing the internet for choices, you can sign up for various discounts on the manufacturers' websites.
Vinyl is such a material that there are virtually no limits to its styling and pattern design. You could go for a replica of some other popular material such as natural stone, silvered barn wood, or perhaps some earthy mahogany. There are virtually countless different styles available, depending on the manufacturer of your choice.
When style is concerned, the next thing you need to do is choose the size of your vinyl planks. What is vinyl plank flooring unless you mix and match different plank sizes for quite a unique look? You could go for wide planks, tiles of larger formats, or perhaps just 2-3-inch boards.
Another thing that might catch your eye is the choice of different textures. Just running your fingers across a vinyl plank will provide you with the feel of the texture, such as knotted or scraped. Make sure you choose a texture that will give you a comfortable feel under your feet.
Whatever the style you choose, think long-term goals. Don't go for something trendy because you wouldnÃ¢â¬â¢t want to change your floor planks every two years.
Always ask for samples and take them home with you so you can check how they match the interiors of your home.
Installation Is an Easy Process
The first thing you need to know is that vinyl plank flooring doesn't require any carpenters. If you're not super clumsy, you can actually do it on your own.
A good thing with vinyl plank flooring is that it doesn't have to be glued down to the hard surface beneath it, but if you want to, you can do that, too. Just remember that when the day comes to get rid of it, it's going to be really hard to pull off. We don't recommend using any glue, as vinyl planks come fitted with a click & lock mechanism. They are as easy to put together as a jigsaw puzzle.
What is vinyl plank flooring if not the easiest flooring system to install? Whichever method of installation you choose, make sure you take into consideration the overall usage of the area. If you're planning on installing vinyl plank flooring in an area which will see heavy traffic, perhaps it's better to glue the tiles down after all.
There's no need for glueing them down in secondary spaces, such as your bedroom. Don't forget the fact that these planks can be installed over existing floors.
Here's to the main advantage of vinyl plank floors over any other sort of flooring, especially wood ones. You can use it in damp areas. Yes, it is completely water resistant, so you don't have to worry about any accidental spills.
This is why it's probably the perfect choice for your kitchen and even your bathroom. You can expose it to as many splashes or spills and it still won't be susceptible to any discoloration or rotting. One great thing leads to another, so you may even consider using it for the basement floor.
It will still look like real wood, but without the troubles associated with natural materials.
If you're still not convinced, you can even consider installing vapor barriers beneath the flooring. Vinyl planks designed for use in damp areas commonly include these in the package. These barriers are highly efficient at preventing the buildup of moisture under the flooring or seeping in through the seams between the planks.
You can always invest in a good dehumidifier, just to be sure.
How Durable Are Vinyl Floors?
Another great advantage over wood and other natural materials is that vinyl floors are built to last and are extremely durable. If your house is a busy one and involves a lot of traffic and movement you should definitely go for vinyl plank floors.
They are very resistant to scratches, unless of course you're using very sharp objects to scratch them on purpose. Have your kids brought in some mud and snow? No worries, vinyl plank floors can take it all.
Some manufacturers even utilize a process called through-body coloring. This means that if the planks get scratched, you won't be able to see the damage that clearly.
Most if not all vinyl planks come protected with an additional hardened clear layer of coating.
What is vinyl plank flooring really good at? Absorbing shocks, that's what. This is a great thing if you're around clumsy people who've developed a habit of dropping things to the floor.
Vinyl won't develop any cracks when exposed to hard objects being dropped.
Just make sure you don't drop any sharp objects, as vinyl planks can't really defend themselves against such attacks.
A Comfortable Walk
One of the most important things to consider when buying new flooring for your home is how comfortable it is. This is where vinyl plank flooring really nails it. No matter which style or texture you choose, it will still be very soft under your feet.
Vinyl planks almost act like a sponge as they absorb pressure when you walk over them.
This may not seem that important to you at first, but just imagine standing up for a long time, for example when making dinner. It's when you'll start to appreciate this important attribute.
Those who suffer from chronic or acute back and leg pain surely shouldn't look for any other flooring options. If you really like to get spoiled, opt for luxury planks which come fitted with additional layers of padding.
During the winter months, you always wish you'd gone for flooring with the best insulation. This is exactly what you get with vinyl floor planks, and you won't have to tiptoe from bedroom to bathroom.
While we're on the subject of insulation, it's worth pointing out that vinyl plank floors are very good at absorbing noises. This is why they are probably the best choice for the upper floors in your house.
Unlike other flooring options, vinyl planks don't require any additional chemicals to make them shine. No waxing, no polishing, just like that.
Waxing the vinyl can even damage its surface so you should definitely avoid it. To keep it clean on a regular daily basis, you just need an ordinary anti-static broom.
If it calls for any deeper cleaning, just use a damp mop in combination with a mild cleaner.
If it becomes stained, you can even replace an individual plank or tile, which isn't something you can do with other types of flooring. In just a few minutes you'll have a new plank in place.
Considering its many pros, what is vinyl plank flooring when compared to other options available on the market? It's cheap, it offers you many styles to choose from, it's very durable and very comfortable at the same time, and it's extremely easy to maintain. Sounds like a champion in our book.