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Trying to choose which type of flooring to buy nowadays can be confusing to say the least!
One type of flooring which has been growing in popularity over the years for both residential and commercial use is vinyl plank. You might have seen this type of flooring in offices, cafes, and other commercial places. It’s durability, aesthetic appeal, and budget friendliness make it a top choice among many homeowners as well.
In this article we aim to clear up some of the confusion surrounding vinyl plank flooring and the different types. We’ll go over the benefits, as well as the disadvantages so that you can make an informed decision.
Quick Overview of the Pros/Cons
- Has a commercial grade wear layer
- Can go on granite, tile, cement, laminate and more subfloors
- Click lock, glue down, and loose lay are easy to install
- Many different decor options like wood, cement, stone
- Low maintenance and easy to clean
- Many options are affordable
- Moisture resistant
- WPC, SPC and rigid core construction options
- Sharp objects can still puncture it
- Excessive UV exposure can fade it
- Hard to remove it it’s glued down
- Heavy objects can leave dents
Types of Vinyl Plank Flooring
As we mentioned there are a couple different types of vinyl plank flooring. This article is more of a broad overview but if you want to get into the nitty gritty of each type then check out our articles on each type here.
- Luxury vinyl plank (LVP)
- Rigid Core Vinyl Plank
- SPC vinyl plank
- WPC vinyl plank
- Hybrid vinyl plank
Related: Best & Worst Vinyl Plank Flooring Brands
Vinyl Plank Flooring Pros
Probably the biggest advantage of vinyl plank flooring is that it’s 100% water-resistant. In layman’s terms, this means minor spills won’t damage the flooring.
You can use it in rooms like kitchens, basements, restaurants, cafes, and bathrooms without worrying about damage. It can even be used in homes with pets, provided accidents are not left too long.
If you’re looking for something that is competitively priced then vinyl plank is a good option. Vinyl plank flooring delivers quality without breaking the bank. You get the benefits of vinyl without the cost of hardwood.
Maintaining vinyl plank flooring is a piece of cake. For daily maintenance, all you have to do is sweep and vacuum. For less frequent cleaning, mopping with warm water is usually good enough. Just make sure to avoid mopping with a built-in scrub brush because it could damage the flooring. If you follow these tips then you’ll be able to maintain this flooring easily.
These days you have a seemingly endless choice with vinyl plank flooring design. The imaging technology for designing the layers can make it look any way you want it.
Compared to normal wood planks, vinyl planks are definitely softer to walk on. If you need to stand for long periods of time then vinyl plank is going to be more comfortable in the long run.
Another benefit that’s not talked about too often is the fact that the temperature of vinyl plank doesn’t fluctuate too much. You won’t have to worry about getting cold feet on a chilly winter day.
Even though it’s not as durable as other flooring like porcelain tile, vinyl plank is quite durable compared to other types of flooring. It can withstand heavy foot traffic so it can be used in both the kitchen and bathroom without worrying about wear and tear.
It doesn’t scuff, scratch or chip easily so pets and kids are not a major concern either. Because of these factors, it’s a pretty versatile flooring option.
Commercial spaces can use glue down vinyl installation for added durability.
There are many options available with varying durability. You can get vinyl plank that comes with an attached underlayment, and thicknesses of up to 8mm+.
Vinyl Plank Flooring Cons
The installation of vinyl plank flooring is not easy because it often requires glue. Gluing the subfloor takes time and leaves a nasty odor while it dries.
It can also be difficult to replace because the glue might not come off easily. Some types of vinyl plank are harder to replace than others so check out our guides on each specific type if this is a concern for you.
If you’re looking for flooring that can handle exposure to direct sunlight then you might want to think twice about getting vinyl plank. UV rays over time will discolor budget vinyl plank flooring so it’s obviously not a good choice for the outdoors or any place that gets lots of natural light.
Also some rubber materials can cause the vinyl to lose color.
Vinyl planks are unfortunately not biodegradable. It’s even hard to recycle some brands and types. There are programs that will handle the recycling of vinyl flooring but they can be difficult to find depending on what city you’re in.
If being environmentally friendly is important to you then you might want to consider another type of flooring.
Not as good as wood
This may seem obvious, but vinyl plank flooring is not in the same league as hardwood. It can’t be refinished. It’s not ideal for everyone and won’t add the same value to your home as real wood does.
Over the last several years, vinyl plank flooring has come a long way. We see it getting even better in the future with advancing technology.
If you’re looking for flooring with medium durability and high moisture resistance at an affordable price, then vinyl plank may be the right one for you.