If you ever wondered why floor patterns are irregular, you're about to find out why.
This process is called staggering. You've seen it done on homes regularly, from your parents' house to your rented apartment. Now that you have your own house, you want to know why floorings are arranged this way and if it can be done on vinyl.
This article will give you the main principle in learning how to stagger vinyl plank flooring. You’ll also get a few brand recommendations for you to purchase when you decide to do your own floor-staggering project.
What Is Staggered Vinyl Flooring Installation?
Learning how to install vinyl plank flooring effectively involves the process called staggering. In simple terms, staggering your floor means laying your planks in irregular lengths for each row and cutting vinyl plank flooring on some of the planks you will install on the other rows.
The idea behind staggering is to avoid flooring patterns such as the "H" pattern, where the seams of the planks are arranged to form the letter H. Flooring patterns look unnatural and may draw attention. A staggered flooring looks like the planks are just flowing from one row to the next. Vinyl flooring designs support this method.
In addition, staggering makes your flooring arrangement more stable. Planks won't budge easily if you float them.
The Best Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring Brands
If you're thinking about staggering your flooring with vinyl planks, here are some of the brands you should consider.
Proximity Mills flooring is a private brand that's been growing in terms of sales volume. This is largely due to their quality and experience-focused flooring production. Currently, Proximity Mills has eleven collections of luxury vinyl plank flooring (LVP). Every collection has at least five flooring styles worth $3 to $7 per square foot.
- All LVP is made of a durable Stone Plastic Composite (SPC)
- The brand focuses more on flooring quality
- Recyclable and have low volatile organic compounds (VOC)
- Variety is few for this brand
- A little high on the price range, but the quality justifies it
Armstrong's LVP flooring falls under two product lines: the Lux and the Vivero. Under the Lux line is Rigid Core and Plank, while the Vivero line has a practical name: Good, Better, and Best—an apt name for their LVP products based on the quality of wear layer. The cost per square foot of these flooring products ranges between $2.50 to $5 at the most, which is a good balance of cost and value.
- Unusual and trendy print patterns
- Built-in adhesive called FasTak under the plank flooring
- They cover wood and stone product lines
- Wide application for personal and commercial flooring needs
- Better if every product line has a lifetime warranty instead of just 10 to 30 years
COREtec stands out as a brand because of a certain feature—the built-in cork on their LVP. A common vinyl plank has just the vinyl base material at the bottom part of the plank. For COREtec, there's an added cork underlayment under the base layer of the LVP. This eliminates a step in the floor installation process because you don't have to put a cover on your subflooring.
- Great acoustics because of the cork underlayment
- Material is made of wood plastic composite (WPC)
- Can help level uneven subflooring
- First waterproof plank with a WPC core
- The flooring isn't scratch-proof as most buyers would believe
Shaw may have acquired COREtec from USFloors, but that doesn't mean they're compensating for a lack in their products. The Shaw brand has a power of its own. Shaw has grown a lot since its days of carpet flooring market domination. Now, they offer a wide range of flooring options, and this includes vinyl planks. There's a single LVP product line called Floorte with Pro, Plus, and Pro Plus subcategories costing from $3 to $5.50 per square foot.
- Wide range of options with more than one hundred color and style varieties
- An option to float or glue down the plank flooring
- The Plus product line has an added acoustical padding
- Quality is very good, but not as good as other brands with low variety selections
The Mohawk flooring brand is a pioneer in the flooring business, with roots from the late 1800s. At present, they offer five premium types of flooring products, and one of them is vinyl. Mohawk stays ahead of the flooring game with a new invention called SolidTech, which is also the name of their LVP product line. SolidTech's main value proposition is handling extremes from heat, cold, scratches and dents, and spills.
- Superior variety with 200 color option
- Composed of a solid plastic core (SPC) construction
- Can handle the extreme temperature
- Multifit click-lock design suitable for the floating method
- Warranties could do better on most products
Our Pick: Mohawk LVP
Mohawk's vinyl planks won our approval, mainly because of the innovative SolidTech. It's such a superior technology made by a pioneer that communicates a clear message: performance and style. Performance because it can withstand damages, fades, smells. Style because they offer a variety of colors to suit all design preferences. The cost is also reasonable, at only around $3 per square foot. Mohawk doesn't leave you wanting more.