Not Your Grandma's Vinyl Flooring, or even your Mom's
In the 1930s, vinyl flooring came out and changed the flooring industry. It was an alternative to laminate and had more variety and durability.
Of course, we've all see those ugly vinyl floors, so it wasn't perfect, but let's be real, there were a lot of ugly or "different" design choices back then. It wasn't all the vinyl's fault.
Today, there are so many flooring options! Of course, people love hardwood. Wood plank tile is gorgeous. Laminate has come a long way from where it used to be. And, we now have Luxury Vinyl Plank. This is not your Grandma's vinyl. While sheet vinyl still exists, and other forms of vinyl, Luxury Vinyl Plank, or LVP is really hot right now and there's good reason for that.
Have you thought about getting some LVP? Are you concerned or worried about it's durability? The quality? What it really looks like in your house?
Those are all fair questions. LVP has a lot going for it.
Pros for LVP
1. 100 % Waterproof. This is a big one! Want to have seamless flooring throughout your house? You can put it anywhere and not worry about water damage.
2. Planks designed to look like real wood. The variety of finishes and options is greater than it has ever been. All designed to look give you that wood-like effect.
3. Durability. LVP is rated for lasting between 10-20 years, and honestly, can last a lot longer, depending on a few metrics you should pay attention to. (see below).
4. Low Maintenance. This is related to being waterproof, but it holds up to a lot of wear and tear. Have kids? Have pets? Need to be able to clean everything fast. Unlike hardwood or even laminate, LVP is tough and can withstand claws, toys, furniture being moved, it's really resilient.
What are the most important things to look for when picking out LVP?
1. Thickness. The thickness of the board is measured in MM and will be in the specs for the product you are looking for. Obviously, the thickness determines durability and also feel and sound. LVP is great, but it doesn't sound like hardwood. Think about what you want to hear as your kids and dogs go running through your house!
2. Wear Layer. This is measured in mil and is crucial. This is basically referring to the top layer, how thick it is and how much wear you will get out of it. If you go to a big box store like Home Depot or Lowe's, the cheapest items or the ones you will see on sale are going to have a very thin wear layer, usually about 5 mil. This is considered low-grade residential quality. While these might say they have a 20-25 year warranty, the reality is they won't really last that long. The higher the number for the wear layer, the more durable it is! That seems obvious, but you want to check!
A low commercial grade is 12 mil, and the reality is a lot of commercial spaces won't do anything less than a 20 mil wear layer. Look at the numbers. Don't think only about the initial price. Do you want to replace your floors after 5 years or after 20?
3. SPC of WPC. SPC flooring stands for Stone Plastic Composite. WPC stands for Wood Plastic Composite. While both materials are waterproof, having wood in the core means it can expand and contract. SPC has no foam added, which makes it stronger and more durable.