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Buying Guide

A luxury vinyl plank buying guide written by experts, for everyday shoppers.

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Luxury Vinyl Plank

Also known as LVP, luxury vinyl plank flooring is designed to resemble real wood or tile and is built with multiple layers including a scratch and dent-resistant wear layer, a realistic photographic layer, a strong core center, and a cushioning. Unlike hardwood floors, LVP offers more durability, easier maintenance, and better resistance to moisture.
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Vinyl Plank FAQs

What is vinyl plank flooring?

Luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring is a great option for shoppers looking for something that looks like wood, but is more durable. Vinyl flooring replicates the elegance of hardwood or tile floors but in almost all cases it is more affordable, durable and easier to install.

Vinyl plank is made from several layers, creating both its function and form. The top layer is a wear layer that protects against scratches and dents. Beneath that, a photographic layer provides the flooring with its authentic wood-like or tile-like appearance. The core layer contributes to the stability to the planks, and the most common cores are made from stone (SPC) or wood/plastic (WPC). Lastly there is a backing layer that offers cushioning and sound dampening.

One of the main advantages of vinyl flooring is its resilience to everything life throws at it. It's more durable than traditional hardwood, resistant to scratches and dents, and requires minimal maintenance.

What are the positives of vinyl flooring?

There are many positives to buying vinyl plank flooring, however the most common ones are:

  1. Affordability - LVP offers a wood look floor that looks like hardwood, but for a fraction of the cost.
  2. Durability - It is more durable than most other products due to the wear layer that sits on top of the planks' core.
  3. Ease of installation - Vinyl is installed with a click lock mechanism making installation easy. It can also be installed on top of your current floor making demolition less intrusive.

What are the negatives of vinyl flooring?

Although LVP is extremely popular, it is still not hardwood flooring. The big disadvantage of vinyl flooring is that it does not add to the value of your home like hardwood does. Some shoppers also feel that walking on vinyl flooring is harder and colder than walking on other floor types.

Is vinyl plank flooring epensive?

Vinyl plank is affordable especially as compared to the hardwood alternatives. If you want something even more affordable than vinyl, we would recommend laminate.

Where can I find a store that carries vinyl plank?

You can find any of our store locations by going to the find a retailer tab.

Does vinyl flooring need an underlayment?

The honest answer is, sometimes usually not with vinyl plank.

  1. For Glue-Down Vinyl Planks/Tiles: Underlayment is generally not required for glue-down vinyl because the vinyl needs to adhere directly to the subfloor. Adding an underlayment can interfere with the adhesive, preventing proper bonding.
  2. For Floating Vinyl Planks/Tiles (including LVP/LVT): Most floating vinyl floors do not require an underlayment because they often come with a pre-attached underpad that provides the necessary cushion and sound absorption. However, if the product does not include a pre-attached underpad, or if additional soundproofing or moisture protection is needed, an underlayment may be recommended. Always check the manufacturer's guidelines.

Regardless of the underlayment, make sure that the subfloor should is clean, dry, and level before installing. For best results and to comply with warranty requirements, it's always a good idea to refer to the manufacturer's installation instructions specific to the vinyl flooring product.

What are the differences between LVP and LVT

LVP and Luxury LVT are both types of vinyl flooring but differ mainly in their form and appearance.

Appearance

  • LVP: Designed to to look like planks of wood flooring. It comes in long, narrow strips, which mimic the look of real wood planks.
  • LVT: Designed to mimic the look of stone, ceramic tile, or marble. It comes in square or rectangular shapes, resembling traditional tile. LVT often features realistic textures and can include grout lines to enhance the tile visuals.

Usage

  • LVP: Used in areas where a warm, classic wood look is desired, such as living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, and hallways.
  • LVT: Used in bathrooms, kitchens, and other areas where stone or tile is traditionally used.

Performance:

  • Both LVP and LVT are highly durable, resistant to moisture and scratches, and easy to maintain. They are suitable for high-traffic areas and come with various wear layer thicknesses to accommodate different levels of use. We recommend both of these products.

Why Buy Vinyl Plank

Vinyl plank is a great product for shoppers looking for something durable and resilient but that looks like wood or tile. LVP is also much easier to install than most other flooring products. - Neil Daley (VP of Flooring Merchandising, with 20 years of flooring experience)
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