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20 Mil Vinyl Plank Flooring Pros and Cons

Vinyl plank flooring has become an increasingly popular choice for homeowners and commercial property owners alike due to its durability, versatility, and affordability. Among the various thickness options available in the market, 20 mil vinyl plank flooring is considered one of the best choices due to its impressive performance and benefits.

This type of flooring offers superior resistance to wear and tear, scratches and stains. In this guide, we will explore the various advantages and use cases of 20 mil vinyl plank flooring and why it could be the best flooring choice for your home or workplace.

Table of Contents

Benefits of 20 Mil Vinyl Plank Flooring

As a popular choice amongst homeowners and commercial space managers, 20 mil vinyl plank flooring offers several benefits that make it stand out from other flooring options. This well-structured article will delve into some of the biggest advantages of this type of flooring, such as its durability and longevity, appearance and design options, ease of installation, and wear layer thickness. By the end, you’ll have a good understanding of why 20 mil vinyl plank flooring is a worthwhile investment for your property.

Durability and Longevity

One of the primary benefits of 20 mil vinyl plank flooring is its durability and longevity. Vinyl plank flooring with a 20 mil wear layer offers increased protection against daily wear and tear, making it highly resistant to scratches, stains, dents, and water damage. This, in turn, translates to a longer lifespan than competing flooring options such as laminate or hardwood floors.

As an example, consider a family with young children and pets. A 20 mil vinyl plank floor would provide the necessary protection against accidents, spills, and claw marks. This superior durability extends the lifespan of the floor, reducing the need for frequent repairs or replacement.

Experts in the flooring industry agree that 20 mil vinyl plank flooring is a reliable choice, especially for high-traffic areas. In commercial spaces or busy households, this flooring option can last for decades, ensuring an excellent return on investment.

Appearance and Design Options

Another significant advantage of 20 mil vinyl plank flooring lies in its versatility in terms of appearance and design options. These flooring planks come in a wide range of styles, colors, and patterns, making it easy to match any decor theme, whether traditional or contemporary.

For instance, 20 mil vinyl plank flooring can mimic the look of real hardwood, marble, or even stone while costing less and requiring less maintenance. The use of advanced printing techniques ensures that the final product achieves a realistic texture and appearance. Moreover, homeowners can choose from various plank widths and lengths to create unique patterns and layouts.

It’s worth noting that opting for a thicker wear layer, such as those found in 20 mil vinyl planks, also allows for deeper embossing which enhances the overall realism of the flooring. This is a key selling point for those aiming to achieve a high-end aesthetic without incurring an exorbitant cost.

Easy Installation

Another enticing aspect of 20 mil vinyl plank flooring is its relatively simple installation process. This can be attributed to the innovative interlocking or click-lock system employed by many manufacturers. 20 mil vinyl planks are designed to snap together easily at the edges, ultimately forming a floating floor that doesn’t require adhesive or nails.

This do-it-yourself-friendly feature is highly appealing to homeowners who want to save on installation costs. Moreover, even if professional assistance is warranted, the straightforward installation process results in reduced labor costs and minimal disruption to the household or workspace.

It’s crucial, however, to avoid common installation mistakes, such as failing to acclimate the planks to the room’s temperature and humidity levels or neglecting to prepare the subfloor adequately. Always consult the manufacturer’s guidelines and seek professional advice when in doubt.

Drawbacks of 20 Mil Vinyl Plank Flooring

Environmental Concerns

Some people have concerns about the environmental impact of 20 mil vinyl plank flooring. It is made from synthetic materials and can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. However, many manufacturers have started to make more environmentally friendly vinyl flooring options.

Potential for Damage

Although 20 mil vinyl plank flooring is durable, it is not invincible. It can be damaged by heavy objects or furniture, and it may not be suitable for high-moisture areas, such as bathrooms or laundry rooms.

Limited Resale Value

Another drawback of 20 mil vinyl plank flooring is that it may not add much resale value to your home. Some buyers may view vinyl flooring as a cheaper, lower-quality option compared to hardwood or tile flooring.

Choosing a Wear Layer Thickness

When it comes to vinyl plank flooring, the wear layer thickness plays a vital role in determining its performance and lifespan. Generally, wear layers range from 6 mil to 30 mil in thickness, with 20 mil vinyl plank flooring offering an ideal balance of durability, appearance, and cost-effectiveness for most applications.

Thicker wear layers, such as those found in 20 mil vinyl planks, provide better protection against scratches, stains, and impact damage. Moreover, they offer improved resistance to fading and discoloration from direct sunlight or artificial lighting. Consequently, this ensures that your investment remains visually appealing and maintains its integrity for years to come.

Ultimately, selecting a wear layer thickness should be based on your specific needs and preferences. If your space experiences high foot traffic or has the potential for accidents and spills, then investing in 20 mil vinyl plank flooring is a wise decision, as it delivers increased durability without a significant increase in cost compared to thinner options.

Tips for Choosing the Right Vinyl Plank Flooring

Considering the Room’s Purpose

When choosing the right vinyl plank flooring for your home, it is important to consider the purpose of each room. For example, you may want to choose a more durable and moisture-resistant option for bathrooms and kitchens, while a thinner material may work for low-traffic areas like bedrooms.

Evaluating the Vinyl Plank’s Thickness and Quality

Thicker vinyl planks with a high-quality wear layer will offer better durability and protection against scratches and wear over time. Be sure to check the product specifications before making a purchase to ensure that you are getting a high-quality product that will last for years to come.

Comparing the Cost and Maintenance

Lastly, it is important to compare the cost and maintenance requirements of each vinyl plank flooring option. While some materials may be more affordable upfront, they may require more maintenance over time, making them a less cost-effective choice in the long run.

Thin Vinyl Sheet Cut and Installation Guide

Thin vinyl sheets are affordable, versatile, and easy to work with. Cutting these sheets accurately is essential for professional-looking results, whether it’s for crafting or flooring projects. In this section, we’ll cover different cutting methods, tools required, and helpful tips to get that perfect cut.

Tools and Materials

Before starting the cutting process, ensure that you have the following tools and materials ready:

  • Sharp utility knife
  • Metal straight edge
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil or fine-tipped marker
  • Surface protection (scrap wood, cutting mat or cardboard)

It’s essential to use a sharp blade for a clean, precise cut. Dull blades can lead to ripping or tearing.

Measure Twice, Cut Once

As with any project, the first step is to measure and mark your vinyl sheet accurately. A common industry adage is, “Measure twice, cut once.” Double-checking measurements before cutting will help prevent mistakes and ensure an accurate, professional-looking outcome.

Cutting Techniques

There are two primary techniques to cut thin vinyl sheets effectively and safely:

  1. Score and Snap: For straight cuts, place a metal straight edge along the cutting line. Gently score the surface of the vinyl with a sharp utility knife. Apply even pressure while scoring, and then bend the sheet at the scored line. The vinyl will snap cleanly where it was scored. This method is suitable for crafting projects or installing flooring with minimal curves or complex shapes.
  2. Freehand Cutting: If your project requires cutting curves or intricate shapes, hold the knife at a 45-degree angle and carefully follow the marked lines. Always cut away from yourself and keep your fingers clear of the cutting edge. Freehand cuts take practice, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it perfect the first time. Consider practicing on scrap vinyl before attempting the final cut.

How to Install 20 mil Vinyl Plank Flooring

Vinyl plank flooring is a popular choice for homeowners due to its durability, affordability, and wide range of designs. The thickness of the wear layer on vinyl planks is measured in mils. A 20 mil wear layer offers a balance between durability, comfort, and cost. In this section, we’ll guide you through the process of installing 20 mil vinyl plank flooring, complete with tips and expert advice.


Before diving into installation, prepare the area and gather the necessary tools:

  • Remove baseboards, if required
  • Clean and level the subfloor
  • Leave vinyl planks in the room for at least 48 hours to acclimate to the temperature and humidity
  • Gather necessary tools such as a measuring tape, utility knife, spacers, tapping block, and rubber mallet

Proper preparation will ensure a smooth, successful installation process.

Floating Installation Method

There are three primary installation methods for vinyl planks: glue-down, peel-and-stick, and floating. For this guide, we’ll focus on the floating method:

  1. Layout: Determine the layout by dry-fitting the planks in the desired pattern. Plan the first and last rows such that they have a similar width. Use spacers to maintain a 1/4-inch gap at the walls to allow for expansion.
  2. Lock and Tap: Starting in a corner, connect the first row of planks using the tongue and groove system. A tapping block and rubber mallet gently snug the joints together without damaging the planks. Make sure the joints are aligned correctly to prevent any gaps.
  3. Stagger Seams: To create a visually appealing, balanced look, stagger the seams between rows. Random lengths and varied patterns are preferable for a more natural appearance. Cut planks, as needed, following the “thin vinyl sheet cut” methods mentioned earlier.
  4. Complete Installation: Continue installing rows, working your way across the room. When the entire floor has been laid, remove spacers and reinstall baseboards, if needed.

With careful planning and attention to detail, you can achieve professional-looking results when installing your 20 mil vinyl plank flooring.

Common Mistakes and Tips

For a successful installation, avoid these common mistakes:

  • Skipping proper surface preparation
  • Not acclimating the vinyl planks to the room’s conditions
  • Rushing the cutting process, leading to uneven or damaged planks

Keep these tips in mind for a successful, worry-free installation:

  • Invest in a high-quality underlayment to improve comfort, sound absorption, and moisture protection
  • Ensure your subfloor is clean, dry, and level
  • Choose a vinyl plank flooring suitable for the room’s conditions (humidity, exposure to water, etc.)


In conclusion, 20 mil vinyl plank flooring offers numerous benefits that make it an attractive choice for homeowners and commercial space managers. Its durability, a range of design options, easy installation process, and optimized wear layer thickness make it a smart investment for both residential and commercial properties. By opting for 20 mil vinyl planks, you can enjoy stylish and practical flooring that brings lasting value to your space.


What is the best thickness for vinyl plank flooring?

The best thickness for vinyl plank flooring depends on the location of installation and the level of foot traffic. Generally, for residential areas, a thickness of 5 to 6 millimeters is suitable. For areas with a significant amount of heavy foot traffic or pets, a 20 mil thickness is recommended. Ultimately, the choice of thickness should provide durability and comfort for the users.

Are vinyl floors durable?

Yes, vinyl floors are very durable. They are resistant to scratches, stains, and water, making them a popular choice for high-traffic areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. Additionally, vinyl flooring is low-maintenance and easy to clean, making it a practical choice for busy households. However, the durability of vinyl floors can vary depending on the quality of the material and the thickness of the wear layer. It is important to choose a high-quality vinyl flooring product for optimal durability.

About The Author

Courtney Daily

Courtney is a freelance writer who wears many other hats: kindergarten teacher by day, Broadway diva in the shower. She is a transplant Hoosier who originated in New England. When she isn't writing in her spare time, you will find her reading history books, arguing with her latest knitting project, or being beaten by her kids at most games.

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