Luxury vinyl plank flooring attractive and durable option for families

Luxury vinyl plank flooring attractive and durable option for families

You don’t need to worry if your boots are wet — luxury vinyl flooring stands up to moisture and everyday wear and tear.

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Floors can take a beating. Drops, spills, muddy boots, pet scratches and everyday living can leave a mark. For years traditional hardwood flooring has often been the hard surface flooring of choice for builders and homeowners, but the durability of luxury vinyl plank (LVP) has recently made it a popular option for builders and renovators.

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Adam Brown, co-owner of Western Carpet One, reports more customers are requesting LVP or LVT (luxury vinyl tile). Both boast the durability of vinyl while looking like traditional hard surface flooring. LVP has a wood grain printed on it to mimic the look of a wood product.

Some LVPs are glued down, and others come in a loose lay format with planks clicking onto each other, creating a floating floor.

“It’s a vinyl product; it will stand up well to water,” says Brown. “It won’t scratch as bad as a real hardwood.”

Not being affected by water makes most LVP a good choice for entrances without having to worry about rain or snow damaging your floor or causing swelling at the joints.

“It is nice for a main floor, where you can have it from door to door. You don’t need to worry about if your boots are wet. It’s not going to affect the floor,” says Brown.

LVP flooring can even be used in a bathroom, such as a main floor powder room, meaning an entire main level of a home could have the same flooring which can make the design flow better.

While LVP can be used in larger open areas, it’s important to check with the manufacturers’ guidelines for transition needs. A floating floor installation in large areas may require additional transitions to stabilize the surface.

Brown is quick to note that, as with everything in life, you get what you pay for. An inexpensive LVP might not stand up to the demands of a high-traffic area. The specific needs of your living space need to be considered.

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“Usually, the more money you would spend on a product, you’re going to be getting a more superior product. It’s going to stand up to scratches. The locking systems are stronger,” Brown explains.

When looking for a product that stands up well to pet scratches or wear and tear, Brown says to look for an LVP that has a thicker wear layer.

Less expensive LVPs may not have as much pattern variance in each box. The installation team may have to take extra care in planning out which plank goes where so the same patterns aren’t side by side. A more expensive box of LVP will have more pattern variance which will make it seem more like real wood.

While LVP can be installed over top of current flooring the thickness could create problems with door clearance and cabinetry. For some homeowners, removing existing hardwood flooring might be a better option when looking at LVP.

When it comes to installing LVP over real hardwood, Brown suggests staying away from the LVP that requires glue for installation.

“There’s a chance of the real wood underneath expanding and contracting with the different seasons and that could possibly interfere with the glue product that was on top,” Brown explains.

While LVP offers the beauty and look of a hardwood floor and the durability of a vinyl product, there is no way to truly replicate the luxurious feel and look of traditional hardwood flooring.

“There is still something to be said about wood. It does have that real feel and real look. Some people will put wood in their house and never shy away from it,” says Brown. “But having an LVP is an excellent option. Some might walk in and you can’t even tell that it’s vinyl.”

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