Before we jump into the pros and cons of luxury vinyl plank, it may help to read our “what is luxury vinyl plank” blog post first. We cover where is the majority of it manufactured, quality to expect, and how to qualify a good vinyl plank floors from a bad one.
Luxury vinyl plank flooring has become a really popular option among homeowners these days. Vinyl plank is designed to resemble hardwood flooring, but it comes in long strips and is more water-resistant. Vinyl also comes in a variety of styles, and often you’ll see it mimicking a specific type of wood like oak among many others. With vinyl plank flooring, you can get the look of hardwood without dealing with the stressful maintenance and installation. We’ve put together a list of the pros and cons of luxury vinyl plank flooring so you can decide if this flooring is a good fit for your home.
100% Moisture Resistant
If you’re looking for flooring for your kitchen or bathroom, then vinyl plank flooring is one of the best options. Vinyl is waterproof, so it’s perfect for high moisture spaces. You won’t have to worry about water damage.
Solid hardwood flooring takes a lot of maintenance to keep it looking good. Vinyl plank flooring doesn’t require as much maintenance as other flooring options. You do still have to sweep and damp mop the floor, but not as often as you would for hardwood flooring.
Choosing vinyl plank will save you money. On the low end of the spectrum, you can spend as little as 50 cents per square foot. If you shop around you can find a good deal. The installation is possible without hiring a contractor which will also save you money when you install your flooring.
There’s no doubt you want to pick a long-lasting floor. When looking at the pros and cons of luxury vinyl plank flooring, you’ll notice that this flooring is extremely durable. The vinyl sheets are fiberglass reinforced, making it resistant to damage. However, if any of the planks get damaged for any reason, then it can be removed and replaced.
Similar Finishes to Hardwood
Most wear layers of today’s vinyl plank options consist of a polyurethane. The best vinyl plank (and the best hardwood) will have an aluminum oxide finish to protect against high traffic scuffs and dents. Shaw Floors’ new luxury vinyl lineup of Floorte Pro features aluminum oxide wear layers. You can learn more about Shaw’s Floorte Pro here on our blog.
WPC & SPC Rigid Core Construction
WPC stands for Wood Composite Core, and SPC stands for Solid Polymer Core. WPC cores is a softer floor that absorbs noise and foot traffic. SPC cores are more rigid products, so a padded back is recommended to remove any unwanted sound.
Most people install luxury vinyl plank floors without glue. Using the common click-lock features of LVP allows for an easy do-it-yourself installation.
Difficult to Remove
Vinyl plank flooring can be challenging to remove if it is glued down. If for any reason you decide to replace the flooring with a different option, then it can be hard to remove. We recommend you don’t use glue in the installation process. A big pro to using luxury vinyl is you can float the floor, and it’s a relatively simple do-it-yourself job.
Not the Same as Solid Hardwood
Luxury vinyl plank flooring has the look of real hardwood, but not necessarily the same feel. Hardwood purists will be able to tell the difference between a vinyl plank floor and solid hardwood floor. Most homeowners are okay with this, but if you feel you need to have solid hardwood floors, you might be disappointed with this option.
WPC & SPC Construction
The WPC core is soft and is susceptible to dent. The SPC core is rock-solid, so it is recommended to purchase a padded back version to prevent unwanted noise out of your floor.
75% of Luxury Vinyl Plank sold in the US are imported products from China. You can find out why in our vinyl plank blog posted above. Choosing a well-known American seller like Shaw Floors or Mohawk will typically honor a warranty, where a Chinese company may not.
Luxury vinyl will not increase the value of your home like a hardwood floor or tile will.
The New Engineered Vinyl Plank Flooring
This new type of vinyl floor has a vinyl core surrounded by an engineered back and a wood veneer or wooden top to the plank. Technically you can call EVP a more water-resistant engineered wood because moisture changes won’t affect the vinyl core like a layered engineered core.
The performance of EVP or engineered vinyl plank over time is yet to be proven. This pros and cons list does not include this type of technical vinyl plank flooring.
The Wrap Up
When looking at the pros and cons of luxury vinyl plank flooring, you can see that the pros outweigh the cons. If you’re looking for affordable flooring for a high moisture space in your home, then we would choose vinyl plank flooring. It’s up to you to decide what works best for your home. At ReallyCheapFloors.com, we offer a variety of affordable floor options. Browse our luxury vinyl plank flooring to get a feel for what you want to install in your home.
If you’re interested in what we think is the best luxury vinyl plank out there, check out our Shaw Floor’s Floorte Pro or COREtec flooring blogs to see what sets them apart. We breakdown why it could be a value for you and how to spot the difference from a good vinyl floor to a bad one based on its specifications.