Vinyl floor planks are an attractive choice for people doing home remodeling projects.
The vinyl floor material has come a long way, and with the latest technology, it can now compete with hardwoods and stones in pricing and aesthetics. But being a discerning homeowner looking to replace the flooring, you can't help but think of the advantages and disadvantages and whether or not you have options. Let this article help you out.
Overview: Vinyl Plank Flooring
You may have researched vinyl plank flooring, but it never hurts to have a quick review. So, to give you the gist, vinyl flooring is a synthetic floor made of several layers with a polyvinyl chloride base. There's a high-definition print layer designed to look like wood or stone, and this print is protected with a wear-resistant layer that keeps the print quality looking good for long periods.
Vinyl floors are often called Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) flooring, but they have other cuts such as tiles and sheets. LVPs are commonly used because they can fit anywhere in your home. Planks look good on your living room, kitchen, bedroom, and other parts of the house, except for the bathroom—that's the domain of vinyl tile cuts.
Vinyl planks have many advantages. That's why it's a preferred material by contractors and even avid do-it-yourself property owners.
Advantages of Vinyl Plank Floors
Installing a vinyl plank has its advantages if you're looking for value at a reasonable price. Here are several things that stand out with this type of flooring.
It can be installed anywhere in and out of the house
We've mentioned it looks good on most areas of your house, but did you know you can also lay planks outside of your house? Your porch can have a vinyl plank, too. Most vinyl floors are resistant to ultraviolet rays, so don't worry about having the sun fade the print.
Designs look just as good as hardwood or ceramic flooring
Hardwood and ceramic floors are luxurious. That's why it costs a lot to get them. Homeowners who want luxury without the hefty price choose vinyl planks because they look just as much like genuine hardwood and stone floors.
Vinyl floors are no doubt a competitive flooring material in terms of strength. A vinyl plank lasts several decades under normal conditions.
Easy to clean and install
You can actually install a vinyl plank yourself. Most vinyl planks have a click-on design that lets you put them together without adhesive. It's also easy to clean because you can use dry and wet cleaning equipment to remove dust and stains.
Disadvantages of Vinyl Plank Flooring
The downsides of vinyl plank materials are few, but for some, it will be enough to consider an alternative. Check the following disadvantages of vinyl planks and see if anything’s a deal-breaker.
It could fade overtime.
Most vinyl floors have wear and UV layers that manufacturers include in their production. In addition, some vinyl planks may have weak UV layers that, when exposed to extreme sunlight, may cause fading over time.
It can be prone to damage.
Some low-quality vinyl floors may cave in when you move heavy furniture around the house. As a result, you'll see scratches, bumps, and scrapped offprints.
Hard to remove when glued to the subflooring
The float method is used to make flooring replacement easy. On the other hand, removing it will be difficult if you decide to glue the vinyl down the subflooring. So, if you're thinking about changing your flooring a few times, you will need to reconsider VLP as your floor material.
Another Option: Laminate Flooring
If vinyl isn't quite what you're looking for, there's another option—laminate flooring.
Vinyl and laminate flooring have similarities in features. That's why it's often confused with the other. But there's one distinction that separates laminate flooring from vinyl, and that’s the core material.
Laminate flooring is made of Fiberboard. There are two kinds: Medium-density (MDF) and high-density (HDF). Fiberboards are made out of materials such as hardwood or softwood. The excess from these materials is broken down into fibers and combined with both organic and synthetic compounds such as wax and resin. Then, with the help of pressure, a byproduct called Fiberboard is formed.
Fiberboards are essentially wood, and a laminate floor's base is composed of this material. Then, it is covered with layers akin to vinyl flooring and thus, has some of its beneficial features.
Is Laminate Flooring Good?
Laminate floors adapt almost the same benefits as vinyl floors, but there are some benefits that make them stand out.
Softer feel under your foot
Several product lines of laminate floors feel great underfoot because of the built-in foam underlayment as part of its layer. This foam absorbs the pressure coming from your foot, so it doesn't produce as much noise when you walk with hard heels.
Lower price than vinyl flooring
Laminate flooring retails lower than vinyl and is a great alternative for those who are on a budget. To compare: low-end laminate flooring would cost around $1 to $2 per square foot, while the same quality vinyl would cost around $3 to $5.
The fiberwood core material is definitely a more eco-friendly option than the PVC vinyl base. So, if you're conscious about caring for the environment, laminate flooring is a great buy.
The Difference Between Vinyl and Laminate Flooring
Vinyl and laminate flooring are almost the same. They both are made of a base material and are layered with printed images that imitate hardwood and stone. But there are also distinguishing attributes.
|Core material||Made of PVC||Wooden byproducts|
|Water resistance||100% waterproof||May swell up if exposed to water|
|Cleaning||Can be cleaned vigorously both with dry and wet cleaning tools||Must be cleaned lightly using dry cleaning materials|
|Lifespan||Can last a lifetime||May have to be replaced within 10 years|
|Cost||Up to $4 per square foot||Up to $2 per square foot|
|Home resale value||Low resale value||High resale value|
|Floor expansion resistance||Does not expand due to a change in temperature||Can expand when exposed to heat or moisture|
When Should You Choose Laminate Flooring?
Based on the comparison we've made, here are the instances when you have to select laminate flooring over vinyl.
If you're on a budget
Your house building budget isn't enough to splurge on something like a vinyl plank, especially if you have a house with a huge floor area. Laminate flooring would cost half the vinyl. That's 50% savings you can spend on other house building materials.
If it's a vacation home
Use laminate flooring if you’re building your vacation home on a budget. Houses with laminate flooring have a high resale value. It’s a practical choice if you’re considering selling it in the future.
If you want to rent out your vacation home for short stays, the laminate flooring won't wear out easily. Compared to your residential home, your vacation home will have less traffic. Before the laminate flooring retires, your rental income will have recouped the investment you made on it.
Vinyl Planks All The Way
We recommend going for vinyl planks as your choice for your home. Most of us venture out to build the house of our dreams, so it's unlikely you'll change your mind and do an overall makeover of your house. Vinyl floors are great for longevity and resale value. This is only a small part of a larger whole. Eventually, all things factored in. Your house will still increase in value even before the vinyl floors.