How to Choose Vinyl Plank Flooring? Helpful Tips To Remember

21 min read

As a result, you’ve begun your search for vinyl plank flooring and are looking for only the best. That’s what we’re getting at! You’re looking for a floor that can withstand the daily wear and tear of a busy household, including animal scratches, occasional spills, and the occasional move of furniture.

We can assist you in locating the ideal vinyl planks. A wide range of options are available to meet your demands, whether you’re searching for a product with a long guarantee, a wood-like appearance, or waterproofing characteristics. Check out the most popular vinyl plank flooring for 2021 now!

How to Choose Vinyl Plank Flooring

In order to make an informed decision, you’ll need to take into account the most crucial aspects of vinyl flooring.

Vinyl Plank Flooring Considerations

  • Vinyl plank flooring is often more expensive the more expensive it is. If you’re on a budget, you may still obtain vinyl plank flooring that transforms your house just as effectively as the more expensive ones.
  • You can protect your vinyl with a “wear layer,” which is the top layer of protection. To put it simply, superior overall protection comes from wearing a thicker wear layer. Wearing layers of 6 mil to 10 mil in low-traffic locations is fine; for improved resilience, we recommend 12 mil and up. Commercial properties necessitate the most maintenance, making a 20+ million dollar investment a wise one over the long term.
  • A strong wear layer and a thick vinyl plank combination are necessary for the optimum outcome. As long as it’s less than 5 millimeters thick, it can handle the stress of normal living.

How to choose luxury vinyl plank flooring

Other Things to Look Out For

  • With vinyl plank flooring, the technique of installation is critical to your overall pleasure. Commercial-grade vinyl planks normally necessitate expert installation, but there are several options for DIY vinyl plank flooring that you can handle on your own.
  • It’s time for the fun part: the warranty! Extended warranties are available on several of our vinyl plank flooring options, giving you peace of mind when making your purchase. Depending on the manufacturer, you can get a 10-year warranty to a lifetime warranty.
  • There has been significant progress in the water resistance of vinyl planks in recent years. A new generation of vinyl planks is now available that are both highly waterproof and impermeable to water, preventing stains and moisture from seeping into the subfloor.
  • Is this for a business or a home? Depending on the amount of foot traffic and your personal preferences, you may have to choose between the two. To be on the safe side, always go with thicker wear layers and planks.

Home Depot LifeProof Vinyl Plank Flooring

Home Depot is well-known for its low-cost furnishings, such as carpeting and rugs. Sometimes, Home Depot makes up for a lack in variety by providing easy access to products that are already in stock.

The LifeProof vinyl plank flooring from Home Depot is impressive, especially considering the inexpensive price. At the same way that Behr paint and Glacier Bay bath accessories can only be bought in Home Depot shops, LifeProof is a Home Depot brand. Luxury vinyl flooring manufacturer Halstead International is situated in Connecticut.

The seaming of thin vinyl plank flooring can be challenging. In contrast, LifeProof’s 7 mm thickness allows the planks to drop and lock with ease and maintain their seams without the obvious parting observed in many vinyl plank flooring.

Because of the LifeProof’s thickness, this vinyl plank floor mimics the look and feel of laminate. Insulation against chilly subfloors is provided by its thickness, which makes it more comfortable to walk on. Because it is built entirely of polymer-based components, unlike laminate flooring, it will never absorb water and decay. LifeProof is the only thin vinyl plank flooring product with an attached underlayment, a characteristic that is rarely found in other products.

Prior to final installation, dry-fitting the boards in the selected pattern can help alleviate the problem of LifeProof’s repeated patterns. Make sure you have a wide variety of planks to choose from by opening multiple boxes at once.

Types of Vinyl Plank Flooring

VPF, or vinyl plank flooring, is divided into three types: luxury VPF, firm core VPF, and waterproof VPF. The following is a breakdown of the various types:

Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

If you’re looking for a real wood look and outstanding quality, this is the flooring for you. It has four layers, including a waterproof core and a top layer that is resistant to damage. As a result of the several layers, the floor is not only visually appealing but also pleasantly soft underfoot.

Rigid Core Vinyl Plank Flooring

Because of the sturdy composite corner, this style is built to last. High-traffic areas like hallways, entryways, and open-concept homes benefit from this type of flooring’s longevity.

Waterproof Vinyl Plank Flooring

Waterproof flooring can be found in a variety of styles, including luxury and rigid core. A kitchen, bathroom, utility room, or other place where spills and splatters are common is the appropriate location for this type of flooring.

Armstrong Pryzm Rigid Core: Best for High-Traffic Areas

As well as being frequently used, high-volume locations are frequently seen. That’s why you’ll want a surface with a rigid core that can hold up to foot traffic and also maintain a beautiful appearance year after year. For homes with an open-concept floor plan, this is an excellent choice.


  • Waterproof
  • Radiant heating can be used with this product.
  • Resistant against most common home stains.


  • Planks are a hefty price to pay
  • Because the planks are so thin, there is no authentic wood sensation when walking on them.
  • Installation by do-it-yourselfers is highly unlikely.

Mannington ADURA: Best for Homes with Pets

We love our pets dearly, but they can do a lot of damage to our floors. Scurrying around on this floor is no problem at all.


  • Can tolerate claw and paw scratches
  • Easy to clean
  • Keeps smells out of the air.


  • DIYers will have a difficult time putting this in place.
  • In direct sunlight, the design appears blurry.
  • Doesn’t give the impression of a real hardwood floor

Shaw Resilient: Best for Kitchens, Bathrooms and Utility Rooms

High-traffic areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, and utility rooms (such as the laundry room) are also more likely to see spills and other problems. Vinyl plank flooring is an excellent choice for these areas because it is both waterproof and easy to clean.


  • A product that is resistant to abrasion and splashing
  • Can be readily cleaned
  • Installing is a breeze


  • Expensive
  • In the long run, it’s possible that this effect will
  • There is a time limit on the warranty.

LifeProof: Best for Basements

The Home Depot brand of waterproof vinyl plank flooring is a popular alternative for consumers on a budget. A wide range of styles and colors are available so that you may find the perfect fit for your home.


  • Non-porous (an important feature to have in basements that are prone to flooding)
  • Over a basement’s concrete slab, a floating floor can be installed quickly and easily.
  • Inexpensive


  • during installation, interlocking tabs have had a history of breaking
  • Home Depot is the only place to purchase this product.
  • The current owner of a residence is covered by a limited warranty, but future owners are not.

SMARTCORE Ultra: Best for DIY Installation

If you were under the impression that installing luxury vinyl plank flooring required the services of a professional, think again. There are some brands that make it easier for you to produce your own products, and you’ll be delighted with the outcomes.


  • The look of real wood
  • High-strength
  • Waterproof


  • obtainable solely from Lowe’s
  • In some cases, it’s tough to put in
  • It’s possible that the effects would diminish with time.

What to Consider When Choosing Best Vinyl Plank Flooring

A person’s aesthetic preferences play a large role in their decision to install vinyl plank flooring. Underneath the enticing surface, however, there are a number of aspects to take into account. Following is an in-depth discussion of the technical differences that will influence your decision.

2022 Vinyl Flooring Trends: 20+ Hot Vinyl Flooring Ideas - Flooring Inc

Types of Vinyl Plank Flooring

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) sheets are used to create vinyl plank flooring, which is a photographic representation of wood grain (or other visual). Additional layers, such as the PVC sheet, can have a significant impact on performance and comfort. Vinyl plank flooring comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, and each one can be set up in a different method.

Thickness is sometimes specified in millimeters (mm) on products made in other countries, and a measurement of one inch is 25.4 millimeters. Low-cost vinyl plank flooring has a 4mm thickness, whereas high-quality vinyl plank flooring has an 8mm thickness. Although they cost more, thicker vinyl planks typically absorb more sound and provide a more comfortable walking surface.

Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

The term “luxury vinyl plank” (LVP) is frequently used, however it might be deceptive. The vast majority of vinyl plank flooring can be referred to as “luxury” regardless of quality, therefore it’s crucial to keep in mind that there is no single finest luxury vinyl plank brand and to thoroughly inspect the product’s characteristics. Alternatively, the term “EVP” (engineered vinyl plank) can be used to describe these materials.

There are three layers to LVP: a vinyl-and-filler foundation, a printed pattern layer (which gives it the wood-like appearance), and a clear-finish layer to protect against scratches, stains, and other damage. When it comes to installing LVP planks, the possibilities are numerous. Gluing them directly to the subfloor, utilizing a click-lock mechanism to keep the planks in place (also known as a floating floor), or loose-laying them can be done.

WPC Vinyl Plank Flooring

It wasn’t until after LVP became a popular flooring option that many customers still preferred the feel of a firm plank in their hands. Wood plastic composite (WPC) flooring is here to stay. Wood pulp and extruded foam form the stiff core of WPC flooring, a waterproof vinyl plank solution that is both light and sound-absorbing. In most cases, a click-locking device eliminates the need for adhesive.

SPC Vinyl Plank Flooring

The successor to WPC flooring, Stone Plastic Composite (SPC), has a limestone-based stiff core (calcium carbonate). When compared to WPC or luxury vinyl plank, these floors are more resistant to indentation from heavy objects like furniture because they are much harder and quieter underfoot.

Vinyl planks put with a click-lock system in prefabricated grooves, just like WPC, do not require any adhesive to be used in the installation process.

Waterproof Vinyl Plank Flooring

When it comes to vinyl plank flooring, it can be difficult to tell whether or not it is waterproof. PVC, a primary constituent, is completely impervious to water. WPC and SPC boards contain plasticizers to allow some flex without splitting, which also helps shed water.

There are several types of vinyl plank flooring that only qualify as water resistant, not waterproof. Bathrooms and kitchens are two places where this should not be utilized because of the potential for excessive humidity and frequent spills. Even though vinyl plank flooring is completely waterproof, it may not be able to withstand floods for long periods of time.

Layer Composition

From product to product, vinyl plank flooring has a somewhat different composition than other flooring options. All vinyl plank flooring has a clear wear layer and pattern layer, regardless of the format. When it comes to rigid-core vinyl plank flooring, either wood or stone composite is used to create the plank’s heft and rigidity. Instead of a core layer, flexible LVP will have a vinyl and filler-based backing. The bottom of some of the best vinyl plank flooring is already bonded with an additional cork or foam acoustic layer.

When installed over a concrete subfloor, vinyl plank flooring that is less expensive is more likely to be noisy due to its three-layer construction. Foam or felt underlayment, which absorbs sound and adds “give,” is typically recommended for underlayment.

High-Traffic Areas: Choose the Appropriate Wear Layer

Choosing the best vinyl plank flooring for a certain section of a house or workplace will be influenced by the amount of traffic in that area. All surfaces ultimately wear, regardless of how long they’ve been exposed to the elements. Thicker vinyl planks aren’t always necessary in high-traffic areas, such as kitchens and dining rooms, as well as entryways and lobby spaces. The wear layer is more important than the overall thickness, which is frequently associated with higher comfort. A mil is actually a thousandth of an inch, which is why wear-layer thickness is measured in mils rather than millimeters (.001 inch).

Good-quality vinyl plank flooring typically has a wear layer thickness of 6 mil or more, which is more than the standard 2 mil.

Residential vs. Commercial

Vinyl plank flooring for household or commercial use is generally distinguished by the wear layer. While 20 mil and higher is considered commercial, for high-traffic places like offices or retail establishments, a 12 mil wear layer is commonly recognized as the line between domestic and light commercial.

“Commercial,” on the other hand, is a more precise term. Businesses should utilize a commercial wear layer, however vinyl flooring planks labeled as commercial can also be used in a home setting. Even if you’ve got a bunch of rowdy kids or pets, this may be the best option.

Length, Width, and Color

If you’re looking for something that will match your home’s style and decor, vinyl plank flooring has a wide range of color and grain patterns to choose from. Planks can be either 36 or 48 inches long, depending on the manufacturer. They can easily be shortened if needed. A utility knife or hand saw can be used, but a miter saw is the most efficient and time-saving method of cutting vinyl planks.. It is common for planks to be between 6 and 8 inches wide. When it comes to physical appearance, this is a crucial factor to keep in mind. If there are no planks of the correct width handy, cutting a few mock-up planks may be a good idea.

It’s common practice to sell vinyl floor planks on a square foot basis. There are no excuses for underestimating the scope of the task at hand. There is a chance of color variations if the entire order does not have the same batch number.

How Much Does Vinyl Plank Flooring Cost?

In what range might you expect to find vinyl plank flooring? Lastly, how much does it cost to have vinyl plank flooring installed?

As an example, let’s say it this way. You may want to compare the cost of carpeting vs. laminate. Cheaper than both are vinyl planks. Most other varieties of flooring can be more expensive than vinyl, depending on the quality.

Average Vinyl Plank Flooring Costs (for Materials)

Depending on the style and quality, vinyl plank flooring can range in price from around $1 to over $10 per square foot.

However, we encourage you to be cautious with any product that costs less than $3/sq. Ft. on average.

Home Depot’s LifeProof vinyl flooring, for example, is not known for its quality. They are short-lived and may release hazardous VOCs into the air.

The Average Cost to Install Vinyl Plank Flooring

The majority of vinyl planks may be installed without the assistance of a professional. A professional installer’s fee will be determined mostly by your location and specific requirements.

Vinyl plank flooring can cost anywhere from $2–$4 per square foot when installed by a professional, which is less than the cost of installing engineered hardwood floors.

How Do You Install Vinyl Plank Flooring?

Installing vinyl plank is among the simplest tasks you’ll ever undertake. There are a variety of ways to install vinyl plank flooring from some of the greatest brands. These are some examples:

  • Floating flooring that snap together with a single click. What is a floating floor, and how does it differ from a traditional floor? There are planks that snap and lock together like a high-tech jigsaw puzzle on this surface. The precise fit of these connections keeps click-together flooring firmly in place and allows it to “float” above the subfloor.
  • Glued-down floors are the preferred option. Industrial-grade glue is used to adhere these surfaces to the subfloor.
  • Floors with a loose-lay pattern. Vinyl with a rubber or rubber-like backing is used to make these surfaces. They rest on a subfloor and are held in place by their weight and friction rather than adhesives.
  • Peel-and-stick flooring options. A utility knife, measuring tape, chalk line and patience are all you’ll need to install these on your own. Peel-and-stick vinyl carpet tiles are akin to this.

The vast majority of vinyl plank flooring, on the other hand, is installed either as a floating floor or as a gluedown to the subfloor.

Laminate vs. Vinyl Flooring: How to Choose | The Family Handyman

What’s the Best Way to Install Vinyl Plank Flooring?

That’s all up to you, my friend!! The technique of installation is frequently determined by the space’s intended use.

While high-traffic retail locations may benefit from glue-down flooring, residential places such as apartments and houses may benefit more from click-together flooring. Vinyl can be applied to almost any surface, as long as it is clean, dry, and level.

How to Identify High-Quality Vinyl Plank Flooring

The greatest vinyl flooring is made up of the same basic components.

Vinyl planks have a wear layer, a design layer, and a core layer stacked on top of each other. You can tell high-quality vinyl plank flooring by looking for these features: There are several ways to do this.

Look for a Thicker Wear Layer

When shopping for vinyl flooring, you simply need to know two measurements:

  • Millimeters are used to measure the thickness of the entire board.
  • Mil is a unit of measurement for the wear layer’s thickness. Millimeters are a thousandth of an inch in length.

The more durable the floor, the thicker the wear layer is—although this advice is the same regardless of the type of flooring you purchase.

The thicker the wear layer, the better for both vinyl plank and laminate flooring. The thicker wood veneers of the best engineered wood flooring brands distinguish them from their competitors. The top vinyl plank flooring brands are no exception!



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