What is vinyl plank flooring? And 5 characteristics that make it the best flooring option on the market!
Vinyl plank flooring is a multi-layer engineered flooring that has gathered the best characteristics from other types of flooring. Easy click-in floating installation from laminate, waterproof ability from sheet vinyl, and luxury wood look from hardwood. Normally luxury vinyl plank is 4-7 inches wide, 36-48 inches long, and 3-8 millimeters thick and equipped with click-in locks around the edges.
The upper visual layer is printed and can look like any type of hardwood that exists in the world. But the strongest side of luxury vinyl plank flooring is its affordable price, compared to hardwood, tile, or even some brands of laminate.
5 things that make vinyl plank flooring outstanding
As a consumer, it’s important for you to understand why you should buy or install this flooring. Let’s go over the pros of engineered vinyl plank flooring.
- Waterproof. Most laminate and hardwood products are afraid of water and moisture. Because of this manufacturers do not advise installing it in areas where water damage can occur, for example, bathrooms, laundry, kitchen, basements, etc. But waterproof vinyl plank flooring is 100% water-resistant what makes him a perfect flooring candidate for those areas. Also, because it looks luxurious you can also install it in the living room, bedroom, corridor, or even stairs.
- Affordable. Cheap vinyl plank flooring starts from $1.59 per square foot, the most expensive brands are sold at $6 per square foot, the average price is around $2.50-3.50 per square foot. It’s three times cheaper than hardwood and at least two times cheaper than tile. And we are talking only about material price. The installation price for vinyl planks starts from $1.99 per square foot, compared to $6 per square foot for tile.
- Looks like expensive wood. Because the visual layer of vinyl planks is printed it can look like the most expensive wood in the world, but still be affordable. Don’t get me wrong, you can easily feel the difference when you walk on expensive hardwood compared to luxury vinyl planks. But visually it looks very similar if you buy a high-quality product.
- Extremely durable. If you drop a cup or plate from a table, it won’t crack or chip like the tile would. If you spill wine or coffee it won’t have stains as a carpet would. Also, it won’t expand, if you walk soaking wet into the room where it’s installed like laminate or hardwood would. Vinyl plank flooring is scratch resistant what makes it kind and pet friendly.
- Easy to clean and maintain. As I mentioned above any kind of dirt or debris is not a problem for vinyl planks. You can mop, broom, wash, or vacuum clean easily. This feature is especially useful in high traffic and commercial areas. Wear layer will protect your flooring and keep it like new for years.
Bonus. Even so, I’ve already mentioned five pros of engineered vinyl planks, I want to mention it’s soundproof and insulation characteristics. The first one is very important if you install vinyl plank flooring on the second floor or if you live in a condo. Because most condo associations have minimum sound proof standards, and our flooring meets Impact Insulation Class (IIC) 72. For more information visit our flooring store. Another important characteristic is insulation. Vinyl flooring stays at room temperature and even in the hottest summer, it will remain cool.
What is the best vinyl plank flooring?
Here at Best Flooring Honolulu, I’m asked this question at least three times a day. Unfortunately, there is no universal answer to this question. Each brand of vinyl plank flooring has pros and cons, some have:
- a better price
- attached underlayment
- a bigger color selection
- better or easier to click-in locks
- bigger wear layer
- wider, longer or thicker planks, etc.
As you can see it all comes to personal priorities and needs. But there are brands and suppliers that outstand in a different category – popularity. Notice, I didn’t say they are the best, they are popular even so they have their own flows. Let’s name them, by the way, we can install all of them for you.
Home Depot vinyl plank flooring. Home Depot is a web of construction supermarkets all over the United States and beyond. They exclusively sell a number of brands, here are some of them:
- Lifeproof vinyl plank flooring – LifeProof floor is one of the most popular vinyl plank solutions they sell. The price starts at $3.19 per square foot, plans are wide and have a big selection of colors. Most of them are in stock and can be bought at any Home Depot locations. Also, they carry matching color quarter rounds, t-molding and multipurpose reducers. The three things I don’t like about LifeProof: one, wear layer is only 6 mil, which is three times less than the Viloor flooring we sell. Two, matching quarter rounds are not vinyl and absorb moisture. Three, their lock are not the best, they break easily and if the leveling is not perfect – they open.
Lowes vinyl plank flooring. Same as Home Depot, Lowe’s is a web of construction supermarkets. They sell a number of brands, we are installing vinyl plank flooring that Lowe’s sells for our customers. Let’s take a look at the most popular one:
- Shaw vinyl plank flooring – their cheapest line starts at $1.49 per square foot and goes up to $4.59 per square foot. The colors are really nice, the price is super affordable, and everything is in stock. Also, 25-years of residential warranty sweetens the deal. But here are two things I don’t like about them. One, wear layer, same as Lifeproof it’s only 6 mil, which is super low. Two, the thickness is only 3.2 millimeters (the flooring we sell has 7.5 millimeters thickness). The thinner the vinyl plank, the higher the leveling requirement it has.
Best Flooring Honolulu vinyl plank flooring. Because we live and serve our community on Oahu, we prefer our brands: Viloor flooring and Arcade Green flooring. And here is why:
- The wear layer on both vinyl planks is 20 mil. Which is much better compared to 6 mil that Home Depot and Lowe’s has to offer. Also, at Arcade Green flooring we have a commercial grade live with a 30 mil wear layer.
- Thickness. Planks of both brands are over 5.5 millimeters. Which will forgive small leveling issues. Also, Viloor flooring has underlayment attached to each plank.
- Flooring availability. Because warehouses are not on the mainland, but here on Oahu, most colors and lines for both brands are in-stock. Also, we have a showroom for each brand where you can see and touch each flooring.
- Trims and base availability. Both brands have matching baseboards, reducers, t-molding, and end caps in stock. Compare to 4-6 weeks of special order delivery time in supermarkets.
- A wide selection of colors. Viloor flooring has over 15 colors in the line. Arcade Green flooring has over 15 colors too.
Please, feel free to check our flooring store for colors and prices. Or order a free flooring estimate and our specialist will bring samples to your place.