Vinyl Plank Flooring Pros and Cons
Vinyl plank flooring, also known as luxury vinyl tile, is by far the most popular choice among homeowners, business owners, and remodeling contractors when replacing an existing floor covering, for two reasons: it is durable and water-resistant. It is the perfect flooring solution for high traffic areas and for folks that have pets.
Today’s vinyl plank flooring is far superior to older products in both material composition and design/color options. Most vinyl planks can be installed right over your existing floor, saving you time and money on your project while providing a beautiful new look that will maintain its value for years to come.
Let’s consider the pros and cons of vinyl plank flooring.
What is Vinyl Plank Flooring?
Simply explained, it is vinyl flooring that has been cut into easy to handle strips. Vinyl plank flooring is considered a luxury vinyl tile option because of its thickness,durability, ease of installation, and beautiful design patterns that replicate real wood and stone flooring.
The flooring is made by a pressure-heat process, combining 3 different layers together: a vinyl backing, a film, and a wear layer. In the final process, a polyurethane coating is added for durability and protection before being cut to size, edged-prepared, and shipped.
Vinyl tiles have always been popular, but they have usually been viewed as a cheap alternative to wood or ceramic.
Pros of Vinyl Plank Flooring
Easy to Install
The benefits of vinyl plank flooring over out-dated peel-and-stick tile is a much-improved, thicker wear layer, with a water-resistant core, and engineered edge design that allows for quick professional installation, and it is a winning project for the do-it-yourselfer. There’s no expensive equipment required for the average homeowner installation. A rubber mallet, utility knife, and tapping block are the main items needed as well as a few tools that most people will have in their tool box. For the flooring professional, you may not have to add anything to your tool box except a tapping block.
Can Be Installed in Kitchens and Bathrooms
Unlike carpet and most hardwood and engineered flooring options, luxury vinyl plank floor tiles can be installed in wet areas. Many homeowners want to maintain the look of their flooring in the kitchen, bath and laundry areas but until recently, that wasn’t an option. Even a small amount of water could ruin the floor and result in costly repairs. Installing a high-quality vinyl tile allows you to maintain your flooring design in any room in your home
In addition to being installation-friendly, vinyl plank flooring won’t break the budget compared with other types of upscale floor coverings. This is especially important if your project covers more than a thousand square feet.
Compared to Hardwood flooring
When looking at the cost of real wood flooring you can easily be fooled by advertised square foot material pricing. Quality vinyl plank flooring will cost between $2.49 -$3.49 and many hardwood flooring patterns are in the same price range. The big difference is installation. Most vinyl plank flooring can be installed for about $4.50 to $5.50 a square foot, while hardwood flooring can be priced at two to three times that amount.
Compared to Ceramic Tile
There is no doubt that ceramic tile flooring comes in beautiful color and pattern selections and like high quality vinyl plank tiles, ceramic is waterproof. However,the downside is in the cost of installation. A professionally installed ceramic tile floor can cost as much as $15-20 dollars per square foot.
As a homeowner, you are constantly trying to figure out how to keep your to-do list as short as possible and as a professional flooring installer, you want to be able to offer products to your customer that are a great value and require minimum upkeep.
Luxury vinyl plank flooring is an “install once and done” flooring option. With the exception of any occasional damp mopping to remove everyday stains, today’s modern vinyl flooring will maintain its beauty for years. A hardwood floor will require serious maintenance over the life of the floor:
- to apply additional finish coats, and
- resand and seal.
Ceramic tile floors may require you to replace cracked ceramic tiles when a coffee cup or bowl falls on the floor.
- Grout can come loose or hold stains.
Cons of Vinyl Plank Flooring
- The biggest disadvantage of vinyl plank flooring is the old opinion that it is a cheap product. This view goes back to days of thin peel and stick tiles that had ugly patterns and colors and never seemed to have enough glue on them to keep the tile in place. In addition, some of the older tiles actually contained asbestos which is a health hazard.
- Older styles of vinyl tiles could not be installed over existing floors.
- Most glued-down vinyl flooring products had a paper backing and were not waterproof. Once the glue was wet, it would change colors and the flooring would have to be replaced.
- Older tiles were not as thick and could easily dent and lose their sheen in a short amount of time.
How to Find High Quality Vinyl Plank Flooring
All of the negatives associated with the old vinyl tile have been overcome with the introduction of today’s luxury vinyl plank flooring. The following are 4 of the most notable benefits of luxury vinyl.
1. Completely waterproof.
2. Wide assortment of colors, shapes, sizes and patterns.
3. Longer warranties.
4. Superior glueless installation methods.
At BuildDirect, we have over 300 choices for waterproof vinyl planks in a variety of thicknesses with superior wear layers to protect the core and ensure that your flooring lasts for years. We also offer free shipping on some flooring options.
If you are a builder/remodeler, you may be able to take advantage of BuildDirect’s Pro Rewards program that can save you time and money on your next project. BuildDirect truly is your one-stop-shop for all your flooring needs. Become a BD PRO rewards member today..
Your Best Bet for High Quality Vinyl Plank Flooring
There are many things to consider when choosing a high quality vinyl plank tile and BuildDirect offers expert advice on the phone as well as a website that is full of helpful articles and videos on installation. You are never alone when you choose BuildDirect as your supplier of premium high-quality building materials. We will be here with solid advice from an experienced staff to ensure that you get the best value for your dollar.
Check us out today and see how we can help you complete your next flooring project.