Luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring is an excellent choice for homeowners looking to upgrade their home’s look. It offers the look and feel of hardwood floors but with increased durability and cost savings. Before you make the plunge, learn more about Luxury Vinyl Plank, the best brands, different types of flooring, installation steps, and more.
What Is Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring?
Luxury vinyl plank flooring is a type of vinyl flooring that looks like real wood. It consists of multiple layers – a wear layer on top, a photographic layer, a core layer, and a backing layer. The wear layer helps protect the surface from scratches and dents, while the photographic layer gives it its realistic appearance. The core layer provides strength and stability, while the backing layer adds cushion and sound absorption.
The great thing about luxury vinyl flooring is that it offers many benefits of hardwood floors without any drawbacks. For instance, it’s more durable than hardwood floors so it won’t scratch or dent as easily. It is also easier to maintain since you don’t have to worry about refinishing or resealing every few years as you do with hardwood floors. Additionally, because it’s made from synthetic materials, it doesn’t expand or contract like wood when exposed to moisture or temperature changes.
The Best LVP Flooring Brands
When shopping for luxury vinyl plank flooring, several reputable brands exist, including Shaw Floorte, Mohawk Revwood, Armstrong Vivero Best, and more. Each brand offers something unique regarding style options and price points, so be sure to research each one before making your final decision.
- Proximity Mills – This small brand is one that we recommend often. This is because they offer great prices for everything you would need from a luxury vinyl plank.
- Doma – This style-focused brand offers exotic wood grain finishes and colorations you won’t find elsewhere. They also offer natural stone-look vinyl products replicating marble or other natural stone tiles.
- COREtec – This popular luxury vinyl plank brand has a history of great reviews.
- Newton – Newton is a budget-friendly brand that has quickly become one of our favorites for buyers trying to save on costs.
- LifeProof by Home Depot – Home Depot’s flagship brand offers a budget-friendly solution that isn’t as great as the previously mentioned brands. Home Depot spends a lot on advertising, so buyers choose this brand regularly.
- SmartCore by Lowe’s – Better than LifeProof by a small margin; this brand tends to have better reviews while not being the best.
- NuCore by Floor & Decor – This brand has mixed reviews that have it landing near the bottom of the list.
- CoreLuxe by Lumber Liquidators (aka LL Flooring) – While the price tag is tempting, this brand is not recommended. They won’t hold up against the others.
The Different Types Of LVP Flooring
Three main types of luxury vinyl flooring planks are WPC (Wood Plastic Composite), SPC (Stone Plastic Composite), and Rigid Core Floorings. All three offer similar benefits, such as durability and ease of maintenance, but they differ slightly in terms of material and construction.
Wood Plastic Composite contains wood fibers and plastic material to create a hybrid material stronger than wood or plastic alone. As such, WPC luxury vinyl flooring planks are usually thicker than other types, making them more durable against everyday wear and tear. WPC planks tend to be softer underfoot than other types due to their composite construction. Finally, WPC planks typically feature enhanced water protection technology, so they’re perfect for areas prone to moisture.
SPC stands for Stone Plastic Composite, which means that this type combines stone particles with plastic material to create an incredibly strong material. Unlike WPC planks, SPC luxury vinyl flooring planks are generally thinner & lighter weight but still provide excellent durability and stability due to their construction. SPC planks typically come with pre-attached underlayment – meaning less work during installation.
Rigid Core Floorings
Rigid Core Floorings combine multiple layers into one piece, giving them added strength and stability compared to other types. These layers usually consist of a waterproof core and a protective top coat. Like WPC, rigid core planks often feature enhanced water protection technology, making them perfect for wet areas such as bathrooms and kitchens.
How To Install LVP Flooring
Installing luxury vinyl flooring isn’t difficult, but some important steps are involved to ensure proper installation. Here’s what you’ll need:
Tools & Materials Needed
- Tape measure
- Heavy Duty Pull Bar
- Chalk line
- Caulk gun
- Tapping block
- Floor Transition Strip
- Vinyl Floor Cutter
Preparation Steps For Installation
1 ) Make sure the subfloor is level. You must use a self-leveling compound if your floor is not perfectly level.
2 ) Remove any existing baseboards.
3 ) Clean the subfloor thoroughly.
4 ) Install appropriate underlayment.
5 ) Allow underlayment time to dry completely.
Installation Steps For Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring
1 ) Begin laying out the first row according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
2 ) Cut pieces to fit around obstacles if necessary.
3 ) Use the tapping block to secure pieces together.
4 ) Continue until the entire area is covered.
5) Apply caulk seams where needed.
6) Replace the baseboards.
7) Enjoy your new luxurious look!
What are the disadvantages of Luxury Vinyl Plank?
Thankfully, Luxury Vinyl Plank is fairly durable and does not often need repair. However, one of the major disadvantages of a luxury vinyl plank is that it cannot be refurbished. Removing and replacing damaged sections can be incredibly difficult if an adhesive is used during installation.
What is better LVT or LVP?
Luxury Vinyl Tile and Luxury Vinyl Plank are both excellent wood-alternative flooring choices. They are both durable, fairly low cost, and easy to install. LVT offers better sound absorption than LVT, which can be valuable for clients who want to reduce the noise in their space. On the other hand, Luxury Vinyl Plank often doesn’t require any adhesive to be used during installation. Not only does this make for a simple installation experience, but it also makes it much easier to remove later if needed.
Is Luxury Vinyl Plank better than laminate?
Luxury Vinyl Plank and laminate floors have positive features and drawbacks. However, Luxury Vinyl Plank is often considered superior to laminate flooring in terms of durability, ease of installation, sound absorption, and quality over time.