Vinyl plank flooring has become increasingly popular among homeowners due to its durability, affordability, and aesthetic appeal. The vinyl flooring used today far exceeds the quality and look of the vinyl that our grandparents once used.
While it’s an excellent option for many households, there are certain pros and cons to consider when purchasing vinyl flooring. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at the pros and cons of vinyl plank flooring so you can make an informed decision that fits your needs and budget.
What is Vinyl Plank Flooring?
Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring, sometimes referred to as LVP, is a type of flooring material made from vinyl that is designed to resemble natural wood flooring without the high cost or maintenance. It is an excellent alternative to traditional hardwood floors. and comes in a variety of styles and colors to match any home décor.
Unlike real wood flooring, vinyl plank flooring is resistant to certain scratches, moisture, and stains, making it a popular choice for high-traffic areas like kitchens and bathrooms.
It comprises of multiple wear layers, which work together to create a resilient and low-maintenance surface. The wear layer protects your flooring from stains, scratches, and water damage. The bottom layer is a flexible base made of PVC for stability, followed by the water-resistant central core layer that provides strength for the flooring.
The thickness of the wear layer can vary. The thicker the layer, the higher the durability and a more solid feel underfoot. Thicker wear layers are often used for commercial floors, while thinner ones are suitable for residential use.
Pros and Cons of Vinyl Plank Flooring
Pros of Vinyl Plank Flooring
There are several advantages of vinyl plank flooring for your home. They include the following:
One of the biggest advantages of vinyl plank flooring is its affordability. It’s a cost-effective option for homeowners who want to give their homes a new look without breaking the bank. Vinyl plank flooring can mimic the look of hardwood, tile, or stone at a fraction of the cost.
In fact, it’s one of the most affordable flooring options on the market. This is because vinyl plank tiles are made from synthetic materials that are easy to manufacture and mass-produce, which drives down production costs. This means that you can get high-quality flooring without spending a lot of money.
LVP can cost anywhere between $1.50 and $5 per square foot, and installation costs are often lower, making it a popular choice for those on a budget.
Vinyl plank tiles are resistant to scratches, stains, and dents, making them ideal for households with active lifestyles and high-traffic areas like entryways, kitchens, or bathrooms. Due to its durability, a vinyl floor can last anywhere from 15-20 years depending on the care measures in place.
It is Water Resistant
Vinyl plank tiles are waterproof, making them a good choice for rooms with moisture and exposure to water.
Vinyl plank flooring is very easy to install making it possible for DIY enthusiasts to complete the project without needing a professional contractor. Also, because vinyl plank flooring doesn’t require specialized tools or equipment, installation costs are significantly lower than other types of flooring materials like hardwood or ceramic tile.
However, keep in mind that misaligned planks can make your floor look unprofessional, so it’s always best to follow installation instructions carefully or hire a professional if you’re unsure about how to install vinyl flooring correctly.
One of the most popular ways of installing vinyl flooring is by using interlocking systems, allowing them to “float” on top of the subfloor. Luxury vinyl planks can also go right over existing hard, flat, or smooth floors, saving time and money on removal and disposal. There is typically no hammering, sawing, or complicated installation techniques required.
Easy to Clean and Maintain
LVP is easy to clean and maintain, which is a plus for busy households. Regular sweeping and weekly mopping are enough to keep these floors looking great. However, it’s best to refrain from using more intense cleaning methods like steam cleaning and ammonia-based solutions, which can damage the floors.
It is very comfortable to the touch and feel of the floor. Vinyl plank flooring is great for homes with a no-shoe policy as the LVP is great to walk on barefoot because of its warmth and softness.
Plenty of Design Options
Vinyl plank flooring offers a wide range of designs, colors, and pattern options that match any decor style. This allows homeowners to mimic the look of other materials, such as hardwood, stone, or tile, at a lower cost, giving homeowners endless design possibilities.
LVP is Family and Pet-Friendly
It is a great choice for families with children or pets. Kids and pets can be messy, but with LVP flooring, it is easy to wipe and clean up messes.
Cons Of Vinyl Plank Flooring
While there are many benefits of vinyl plank flooring, there are disadvantages to be aware of. Here are a few cons to keep in mind.
Difficult to Customize During Installation
When installing the LVP, it may require a labor-intensive process of cutting and trimming planks to fit the shape, sides, and corners of a room. This can be time-consuming and frustrating for DIYers and may sometimes require professional installation, which adds extra cost.
It’s also important to note that installation can be more complicated if the subfloor isn’t adequately prepared.
Less Natural Feel
Some may find that luxury vinyl plank has a less natural feel than other materials. Some may even argue that it lacks the natural look, warmth, and authenticity of natural materials like traditional hardwood or stone flooring.
No Major Value Added
It’s important to note that LVP doesn’t come with the same prestige, elegance, and sophistication as hardwood or stone flooring. It also may not add significant value to the home compared to higher-end flooring options.
Some people may prefer the natural warmth and texture of real wood over the synthetic look and feel of vinyl planks. Ultimately, the decision depends on personal preferences and practical considerations like budget and lifestyle.
Fade with Sunlight
Vinyl flooring is prone to fading over time. There’s a possibility it could fade in direct sunlight.
It Doesn’t Last as Long as Hardwood
While LVP might be more cost-effective upfront, it may not have the same longevity as hardwood flooring and might need to be replaced sooner. However, with the right care, it can last between 10-20 years.
If a plank gets damaged, it can be replaced without having to redo the entire floor. However, replacing plank as a whole can be a bit of a process, requiring disassembling the floor from one wall up to the damaged section and then reassembling it once repairs are made.
What’s the difference: Vinyl Plank Flooring vs. Laminate Flooring
When selecting between vinyl plank flooring and laminate, there are some important advantages and disadvantages to consider. While both have similar installation techniques with click-lock systems, vinyl is easier to cut than laminate since it only requires a simple utility knife.
Additionally, vinyl plank flooring is completely waterproof, softer underfoot, and generates less noise than laminate flooring. One of the biggest challenges with laminate flooring is that it can be noisy and clattery under hard footsteps unless installed with a resilient foam underlayment. Overall, vinyl plank flooring is more durable and offers better performance compared to laminate flooring in many ways.
Can you vacuum vinyl plank flooring?
When it comes to cleaning vinyl plank flooring, vacuuming is an acceptable option. You need to make sure that you are using a vacuum specifically designed for hardwood or laminate floors, preferably with soft bristles and adjustable suction levels to ensure that the surfaces of your vinyl planks are not scratched or damaged. This will help keep your floor looking its best and avoid unnecessary wear and tear.
How do you clean vinyl flooring?
The best way to clean vinyl plank flooring is to use a gentle cleaner formulated specifically for vinyl floors. Avoid using abrasive cleaners and brushes that could scratch the surface of the flooring. For regular maintenance, sweep or vacuum the floor to remove dirt and debris. Then, mop the floor using a mild cleaning solution and warm water. You can also use diluted vinegar or dish soap, depending on your needs.
There’s no doubt that LVP is highly versatile. The pros certainly outweigh the cons. While it has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its durability and low maintenance, it is still important to weigh the pros and cons before choosing vinyl plank flooring for your home.
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