Both for residential and commercial applications, vinyl plank flooring is second to none when you need a waterproof floor. Due to its popularity, there are varied types of them.
But should you have it too?
To answer that, you need to learn all the pros and cons of vinyl plank flooring. And I will do that. I will recommend some brands as well if you are interested then.
Quick Ups & Downs of Vinyl Plank Flooring
|Stylish & varied designs.||Not real wood.|
|Inexpensive, NOT cheap.||Discoloration/fading issue.|
|Highly durable & water-resistant.||Maybe punctured from sharp objects.|
|Easy installation.||Messy removal if glued down.|
|Can be installed in wet areas.||It’s not wood; can’t be refinished.|
Advantages of Vinyl Plank Flooring
Despite having some problems with vinyl plank flooring, let’s see why it’s so popular in today’s world among homeowners:
- Incredible Designs
Your options are very limited when it comes to carpeting or hardwood flooring. With vinyl plank flooring, your design choice is limited only by your imagination!
Only the vinyl plank flooring has vast variations in patterns, colors, textures, etc. to meet everyone’s needs. They come in patterns to mimic, stones, woods, real and living things as well!
Sometimes, it gets too hard to differentiate vinyl plank floor and real hardwood floor. Certainly, a lot of your guests will!
You can have the actual feel of stone, tile, or hardwood flooring without paying the higher price tag. It does not matter whether you have a traditional or contemporary house, you will find your perfect match.
- Cost Effective
To make a big impact on your house, you need a big budget. Not so true with vinyl plank flooring! That’s probably the biggest selling point for vinyl plank flooring.
It is insanely inexpensive in comparison to other flooring options like hardwood, carpeting, or laminated floor. When compared with the genuine article, it’s at least 5 to 10 times less expensive.
Even the luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring will cost you $ to $5 per square foot depending on the brand. Whereas, most engineered wood will cost you not less than $15 per square foot.
It’s a big bargain!
Even the most expensive vinyl flooring will cost you less than wood. Also, the installation charge will be fairly less expensive as well due to the easy installation process.
- Highly Durable
Usually, cheap stuff does not last that long. But vinyl plank flooring is very durable. With proper maintenance, you can enjoy your vinyl plank flooring for many years to come.
It can outlast even the most durable wood flooring!
Please keep in mind that you won’t have to worry about termites’ invasion with vinyl flooring. More so, it’s completely indifferent to heat and humidity.
So, where you can’t have wood flooring due to humid conditions, you can opt for vinyl flooring easily!
Of course, it’s water-proof but it’s dent or scratch-resistant as well. It can take a load of any active traffic of a household full of active kids.
Since they last almost forever, most manufacturers of vinyl plank floor offer a lifetime warranty.
- Easy Installation
Among all the flooring options, you will find the installation of the vinyl plank flooring the easiest. That’s another big selling point for this flooring type.
You don’t need any specialized instruments or tools like a hammer, saw, etc. It’s not labor-intensive and complicated at all. Completely worry-free process!
Not every brand, but some brands offer their vinyl plank flooring with a “peel-and-place” backing. Meaning, just remove the backing and press the strip onto your floor, Totally effortless!
More so, it can be tailored to your space and you can even install it over your existing flooring!
- Versatile Applications
Being water-resistant, you install it in wet areas of your house where other flooring options like laminate won’t work. It can go places where real wood can’t go!
To be more specific, you can install it in your bathroom, kitchen, mudroom, basement, etc. Literally, there is no limit to application areas!
- Comfortable Too!
They feel good for your underfoot feel. Yes, vinyl plank flooring may not be as snugly as carpet but it is more shock-absorbent than most other flooring options.
Besides, to make it more comforting, you can put special underlayment between the vinyl plank and subflooring (rough surface right below the finished floor).
In short, it is easier not only on your feet but also on your back and knees.
- Better Insulation
Often not discussed, but vinyl plank can actually improve insulation! To be more specific, WPC can insulate your floor. Overall, it can help keep your utility bill lower.
- It Can Dampen Sound!
Not every one of them but some of the best vinyl plank flooring brands offers sound dampening vinyl flooring. It will reduce sound throughout your home if you install it everywhere.
So, if you want to keep the noise level of your kid’s room, music room, etc. down, vinyl flooring is great; especially WPC flooring.
- Easy Maintenance
When it comes to easy maintenance, nothing can beat the vinyl plank flooring. Your regular sweeping will be more than enough to keep them shiny.
However, you should clean it with a damp mop at least once a week. But avoid steam cleaning or any sort of rigorous cleaning. Because of the wear layer, vinyl flooring should not be waxed or varnished either.
You should find the repair task easy too. Usually, the planks get damaged and the manufactures will always give you a box of such planks leftover.
- Adds Resale Value
I know a lot of people won’t agree with the fact that awesome vinyl plank flooring can add resale value to the house. Maybe they are right!
But I have seen people getting a good deal because of that nice flooring. And it makes sense since home buyers know they are getting a beautiful floor that will last almost their lifetime!
Disadvantages of Vinyl Plank Flooring
Okay, some people immediately think of sheet/flooring when they hear about vinyl plank flooring. Well, they are wrong.
But yes, it’s not real wood either. And nothing comes without a catch, right? So, obviously, there are some problems with vinyl plank flooring too.
Here is a list of such disadvantages:
- It’s Not Real Wood
Let’s get real. Vinyl plank flooring is not real wood. Some people immediately feel cheap about that fact.
And if you think getting such flooring will increase the resale value of your house, you are hoping too high. It may happen, but don’t set your expectation too high.
It does not happen a lot sometimes the quality of such vinyl plank flooring varies. That’s why I always recommend getting thicker vinyl flooring for added durability and resiliency.
- Stinky Installation
Yes, it’s easy to install it but it requires glue. Gluing the vinyl plank flooring to the subfloor requires time and foul odor when the glue dries.
Also, whenever you need to replace them, it gets too hard since releasing the flooring from the glue is not easy.
There is a topcoat in vinyl plank flooring. And that topcoat is not UV resistant.
So, when exposed to direct sunlight for a long time, such floorings can show signs of discoloration or fading. To me, that’s a big problem with vinyl plank flooring.
You may need to rearrange your furniture once such fading happens to hide the spot. It’s not a good experience in general.
Of course, there are some brands you can get where such fading won’t happen. So, choosing the right brand is crucial to avoid this issue. Make sure to check the UV-resistance feature.
But you should keep the sunlight exposure limited nonetheless.
- Puncture Problem
Vinyl flooring is water-resistant and very durable. But they are not puncture-free. If you drop any sharp objects like a kitchen knife or slide chairs with metal legs, you are risking puncture to the flooring.
If not punctured, there will be signs of a dent when you put heavy objects on top unless it’s a high-end flooring.
- Can’t Be Refinished
Unlike hardwood or another type of flooring, you can’ refinish the vinyl plank flooring once damaged or faded.
Since there is only a single wear layer over the design layer, you can’t refinish vinyl flooring. You must replace the old flooring—partly or entirely.
Depending on the type of vinyl and the amount of damage, you may have to replace the entire flooring to keep the consistency of the flooring.
- Messy Removing Process
For some reason, if you have to remove the flooring and you have glued down the flooring, it will be a messy and difficult process.
I have seen people change their minds once it’s installed. It’s not impossible to remove them but most of the time you will need professional help.
- Can Be Pricey!
So, how come something can be both affordable and pricey at the same time! Well, I don’t know about you but whenever I pick a particular product, that turns out to be a very expensive one!
So, like everything, vinyl plank flooring has different types and comes in a lot of varieties of options.
If you go nuts with lots of options like print, base layer material, wear layer material and so on, such flooring can be still highly expensive for lots of people.
- Not Environment-friendly
Manufacturers use lots of toxic chemicals to manufacture vinyl flooring. Once installed, they are known to emit harmful VOCs (if made from recycled contents) that can potentially affect the indoor environment.
Besides, such flooring is not biodegradable. It’s not something you can recycle easily as well. So, for environmentally conscious people, it’s one of the major disadvantages of vinyl plank flooring.
Trusted Vinyl Plank Flooring Brands
Now that you are fully aware of all the ups and downs of vinyl plank flooring, do you plan to get it for your house?
If so, great! But I always recommend getting such stuff from only the trusted brands. That way you can keep its negative sides down.
Here are some of the high-end and trusted vinyl flooring brands:
- Karndean Korlok
- Proximity Mills
- Forbo Allura
- Armstrong Luxe Planks
- Mohawk SolidTech
- Cali Vinyl Pro and Plus
- Pergo Extreme
- Mannington Adura Rigid Plank
As you can see, there are lots of trusted brands out there considering the huge popularity of vinyl flooring. Let’s talk about a few of these popular brands in brief.
With unique colors and designs, Congoleum offers top-quality waterproof planks. Some of their best plank lines are Triversa, Impact, Structure, and Endurance.
For a natural wood look like Oak, Applewood, or Elmwood, you should pick the Triversa. For a subtle look, pick the Impact plank line. For an exotic look, the Structure line will be best.
Did you know Shaw is not fully owned by Berkshire Hathaway?
From high-end to affordable, Shaw offers a wide range of vinyl planks with impressive patterns and designs. Sadly, low-budget family, they don’t have many options.
The reason their planks are expensive is that they produce only thicker vinyl planks. They have no planks that are not at least 5mm thick!
And as you know—the thicker the planks, the better. They may not offer the cheapest option, but you can rest assured that you are getting the most reliable vinyl flooring for sure!
- Karndean Korlok
For both residential and commercial flooring, Karndean Korlok is a renowned worldwide brand. They are in the market for the last 40+ years and so far doing great delivering quality vinyl planks.
All of their vinyl floorings are waterproof and scratch-resistant. Most of them come with foam padding too with a lifetime warranty.
Apart from mid-range to high-range expensive vinyl planks, they offer low-range affordable options too. Their planks mimic natural items like stones, wood, etc. mostly.
Apart from the wide range of their product lines, they even accept custom orders! You can get your own decorative ideas yourself!
Apart from flooring that needs to be glued down, they also sell floating floors. Their mid-range planks are the most affordable and their high-end planks are expensive than other brands.
Since they use cork underlay for the vinyl planks, all of their plank lines are more durable and offer extra comfort. That’s how they can offer a lifetime warranty for most of their product lines.
Their main two lines are COREtec Plus and COREtec Pro. COREtec Plus flooring is reinforced with limestone for extra strength and stability.
COREtec Pro is highly waterproof as they come with compressed polymer and vinyl core.
It’s true that there are only a few vinyl flooring options available at NuCore but all of them are of decent quality. And most importantly, you can get your favorite flooring at a very reasonable price!
All of their floorings come with cork underlay and a 22 mil wear layer. The cork underlay works as a sound-dampening mechanism. And their flooring is soft as well!
And to give you a little confidence boost, all of their floorings are waterproof, 100%. Lastly, don’t be concerned about the indoor environment because NuCore has a lower VOCs rating.
Installing & Removing Tips For Vinyl Flooring
With the installation, you can keep lots of the vinyl plank flooring problems in check and at a minimum. You need to follow the right removal process too.
No special equipment and tools are required. Only a utility knife and your hands will do the trick!
Follow these below-mentioned DIY steps for installation:
- The first step is to level the underlayment where the vinyl will adhere to.
- Use a utility knife to trim any planks to fit to your space.
- Now, remove the backing from the vinyl planks and lay them.
- Once each plank is laid, it’s recommended to use a hand roller to strengthen bond.
- And you are done!
Removing vinyl flooring requires professional help. But it’s also doable if you are handy. And all you need is to get your hands dirty.
But keep in mind that you can’t damage the subfloor while removing the vinyl-and-glue layer. You need to be careful here.
Here are the steps to follow while removing vinyl flooring:
- First of all, you need to clear the room. That means removing furniture, baseboards and if possible—trim!
- Use your utility knife to cut the vinyl into 12-inch strips and manually pull up those strip one by one.
- Sometimes, the flooring will resist and to deal with such hardened glue, you can use a scraper tool and a chisel. To soften the hardened spot, you can use a hairdryer to apply heat directly to those spots.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Not comfortable to walk on barefoot, does not look as great as natural hardwood, once glued, it’s hard to remove, and lastly, you can’t refinish them.
Depending on the brand, quality, and maintenance, they can last anywhere between 5 years to 20 years.
No, it won’t decrease the value of your home. It won’t increase the value as much as laminated flooring too.
LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile), hardwood, and carpet are the most popular flooring in modern days.
No, vinyl floors don’t get scratched easily. That’s another reason why it’s so popular nowadays.
Like every flooring option, there are both pros and cons of vinyl plank flooring as well. This is not wood but that does not mean bad.
But when you need something low-maintenance and resilient that can also get the job done, it’s still a good choice. It’s only not ideal only if you are trying to sell your house.
Being durable and waterproof, you need this type of flooring if you have kids and pets. Share your experience with vinyl plank flooring in the comment box!