If you’re among the 65.4% of Americans who call themselves homeowners, keeping your space in top shape is likely a priority. This means replacing your flooring at least once a decade as well as maintaining it regularly.
If you’re looking to get new floors installed, vinyl plank flooring is definitely an option to consider. Here, we’re going to talk about what exactly this residential flooring is and unpack the various varieties that you can choose from. Read on for some pros and con of vinyl plank flooring!
The Basics of Vinyl Plank Flooring
Vinyl plank flooring is often mistaken for laminate flooring, but they are not the same thing. While laminate comes in square tiles, vinyl plank options come in long, narrow strips. They simulate thin hardwood planks and are extremely flexible.
Vinyl planks are made up of four layers. The backing is made of rigid vinyl that gives the planks some durability. They won’t bend or break when walked on or during the installation process.
The main layer that you’ll see- the design layer- simulates the appearance of real hardwood or stone. There are a plethora of different designs including oak, maple, and other hardwood aesthetics. Marble-look planks are also available, as are those with a granite or soapstone appearance.
The upper layers are made from a clear film and an aluminum oxide layer respectively. These top coatings protect the flooring from rips and tears to keep it from needing frequent replacement. They also stop the surface from scratching to keep it looking great for many years to come.
The Types of Vinyl Flooring
There are two main types of vinyl plank flooring. The first, standard plank flooring, is fairly resistant to damage and mimics hardwood floors. It’s water-resistant and can withstand significantly more contact with water than the wood that it’s made to mimic can.
While standard planks generally only mimic hardwood, luxury vinyl planks can provide you with a more diverse range of aesthetics. They can have antiquated appearances as well as heavily-distressed looks. They are also slightly more durable than their standard alternatives.
Bathroom floors a well as kitchen area require flooring that won’t stain at the slightest exposure to water.
Vinyl plank flooring is also usually water resistant enough for outdoor spaces like decks and patios. Some people also choose to use these flooring options for pool surrounds, though they are not fully waterproof and will need eventual replacement. Talk to an expert if you’re unsure if these vinyl planks will seamlessly integrate into a certain area of your home.
The Benefits of Vinyl Plank Floors
As one of the best flooring options on the market, there’s a lot to love about vinyl plank styles.
The first is that it’s really easy to install, especially compared with hardwood alternatives. You won’t need to snap boards together precisely or sand any edges. Instead, you can just remove the backing, reveal the adhesive, and lay the plank down on a prepared floor.
DIY projects are also convenient because our professionals will deliver planks directly to your door. You won’t need to pick them up, transport them, or haul them into your home. You also save on installation fees since you’ll be laying the vinyl down on your own.
- More affordable than other flooring alternatives
- Extremely durable- will last much longer than carpet and most hardwoods
- Comfortable to walk on
- Easy to maintain and keep clean
- Spills won’t stain when immediately mopped up
- There are tons of unique patterns and textures available for those who want diverse options
- Thick surfaces to prevent indents from furniture sitting on top of it
All of these advantages make vinyl plank flooring an attractive option for families that want high-quality and durable floors.
The Downsides of Vinyl Flooring
The dark side of easy installation is that vinyl floors can be tough to remove. While their durability gives them a long lifespan, you’ll need to pull your planks off the floor in 20-30 years. This can be a challenge because the adhesive is strong and the planks are too close together to pull on.
You would need to cut the floor into 12-inch strips using a utility knife and pull it up piece by piece, using a scraper tool for tougher areas. This is possible, but it’s a nuisance.
Still, since professionals can assist you, it isn’t a deal-breaker. You’ll already have saved a lot of money by buying inexpensive vinyl, installing it on your own, and DIY maintenance, so professional removal is nothing compared to the money you saved.
Other disadvantages include:
- There’s potential for inconsistent quality since some planks are more prone to damage than others (though you can lessen this impact by seeking out a quality provider)
- It has low UV resistance an may discolor in too-sunny areas
- Has a lower resale value than hardwood flooring (less lucrative for those actively looking to sell their home)
Ultimately, none of these cons are so terrible that vinyl plank flooring is an unattractive choice. There are far more good things about these floors than bad. However, you also have other options such as tile flooring, hardwood, laminate, and carpet floors, so you can look into other alternatives if need be.
Get Started With Your Home Renovations
While there are many flooring types that you can choose from during your next home renovations, vinyl plank flooring is definitely one to consider. It’s extremely versatile and durable while still being affordable.
Now that you know the pros and cons of vinyl residential flooring, it’s time to get started. Jorgensen is committed to helping you find the perfect plank floors online or in our showrooms. Get started by using our flooring visualizer tool before giving us a call at (253) 352-2487.