As you search for the right floor covering to install in your home, you understandably may be drawn to the exquisite natural beauty of real wood. However, as gorgeous as wood flooring is,
it is not practical in many homes. It can easily be scratched, warped by water and damaged in other ways. Many people have overlooked vinyl plank flooring as an alternative to real wood
floors because they perceive it to be a lower-quality option. The reality is that there have been dramatic improvements to the look and quality of luxury vinyl plank flooring, and this
material is now a top option for many homeowners who are looking for the perfect combination of style, durability and resilience.
Understanding What Vinyl Plank Flooring Is
When you envision a vinyl floor covering, you may think about a single large vinyl covering that is spread over kitchens and bathrooms, and it may have a rather cheap or unstylish
appearance. While this type of vinyl is still available, luxury vinyl plank flooring will transform your perception about what vinyl flooring can be. Vinyl plank flooring is sold in long
strips that mimic wood slats, and each individual slat may be installed to create the look of a natural hardwood floor. Some manufacturers sell luxury vinyl tile planks, which are larger
sections of vinyl plank flooring that are designed to look like several slats of hardwood planks joined together. The benefit associated with these is that they can easily and quickly be
installed, saving you time and energy during the installation. If you opt to install luxury vinyl planks, understand that the length and width of the planks will also impact the
installation time. Planks usually are sold in sizes between 36 and 48 inches long and 6 to 8 inches wide. Depending on the style that you buy, expect your luxury vinyl flooring to have
impressive graphics that mimic the look of natural wood, and they may also have an authentic grainy or polished feel.
What to Expect from Luxury Vinyl Planks
Regardless of whether you lay your vinyl plank flooring in kitchens and bathrooms or in other areas of the home, you understandably want it to look and feel like natural wood flooring.
The size, shape and texture of the luxury vinyl planks are designed to perfectly mimic natural wood, but keep in mind that natural hardwood planks are available in a variety of finishes,
colors and styles. Many different wood species may be stained various hues. They also may be hand-scraped, antiqued, distressed or finished with some other technique. Just as there are
many different styles of wood lock planks, there are also many possibilities for luxury planks made out of vinyl.
The Price of Luxury Vinyl Planks
In addition to not being water resistant, authentic wood flooring is also known for being very expensive. If you search diligently and are flexible about the species and style of wood
floors that you purchase, you may find a reasonable deal. However, in most cases, luxury vinyl planks are more affordable to purchase than natural wood flooring. More than that, because
the floor installer may install the vinyl planks more quickly and easily, the installation cost may also be more affordable in comparison to wood. If you compare luxury vinyl tile or
planks to the alternative of ceramic or porcelain tile, keep in mind the materials cost is similar, but you will not have to pay for special cutting equipment, mortar, grout and more. You
can see that luxury vinyl plank flooring is a cost-effective and beautiful flooring option to consider.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Vinyl Plank Flooring
Before you hire a floor installer to install vinyl plank flooring in your home, consider some of these leading pros and cons associated with it. Benefits: It is easy to install, durable
and water resistant. There are many attractive styles that are affordable and that mimic the look of real hardwood flooring. Some of these planks do not need to be adhered to the subfloor
material. Drawbacks: Thinner vinyl flooring may lack texture and character. Because there is no subfloor material, the flooring can feel harder to walk on. Some buyers may find vinyl to
be less appealing when you sell your home in the future.
What You Need to Know About Inexpensive Alternatives
As you shop around for vinyl plank flooring, pay attention to the thickness of the planks. Because this is a relatively thin material that has no subflooring, every millimeter of
thickness counts. Thinner vinyl flooring is considered to be 2 millimeters or less, and it is most commonly installed in laundry rooms, rental homes and other similar areas. Thicker vinyl
is essential for graining and other types of texture. It is not possible to include this type of realistic element in very thin vinyl. In addition, thicker vinyl plank flooring us more
comfortable walk on and has a premium feel beneath your feet. As you shop around, ensure that you purchase thicker vinyl plank flooring. Be aware that some vinyl flooring may be labeled
as premium or luxury, but it may not have the characteristics required to live up to the name. Always consider the thickness of the material rather than shopping by a label.
The Ease of the Installation Process
Compared to other types of flooring, vinyl plank flooring is very easy to install. There are two unique types of vinyl plans, and these are single and multiple-board designs. A
single-board design has one plank and is much narrower than a multiple-board design. On the other hand, a typical multiple-board design may have six or eight planks connected in a single
piece. As you might imagine, the single-board design may take more time to install as you are working with more pieces. However, in the case of a very small room, working with smaller
boards may be easier. Many types of vinyl plank flooring are self-adhesive, but they also have a locking system to ensure a snug fit with the adjacent pieces. A tongue-groove system is
most commonly associated with less expensive materials. This type of system may be difficult to work with as breakage of the tongue component is common. The superior type of locking
system is a click-lock design. Some homeowners hire a professional installer for vinyl plank flooring, but this is usually a matter of convenience rather than skill. Vinyl plank flooring
is so easy to install that most homeowners are able to complete the installation project on their own without significant skills. Keep in mind that the click locks planks are usually
easier for homeowners to install on their own because they can be repositioned multiple times as needed.
WILL MOISTURE RUIN MY FLOORS?
Vinyl floors have the highest resistance to moisture, making it a better choice for the bathroom, laundry room, basement or kitchen. Wood is an organic material that responds to
fluctuations in temperature and humidity, making it a poor choice for high moisture areas. It is better suited for living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms and entryways. Engineered wood
fares slightly better since the cross-wise layers of plywood provide a more stable structure. Our flooring experts can recommend the perfect solution for each room. You can see that vinyl
plank flooring offers many benefits that you may be eager to take advantage of. Now is a great time to explore the options and to learn more about the gorgeous styles available to choose