The Best Vinyl Plank Flooring Picks for Your Home
Vinyl plank flooring is a modern miracle that gives homeowners the luxurious look and longevity of hardwood floors without the warping, water damage, staining or scratching. The look of classic hardwood floors for less money and upkeep? Yes, please!
Transitional White Entryway Welcomes Guests
The 150-year-old home is updated with clean white walls that highlight the elaborate moldings. Dark hardwood floors contrast against the walls, while a geometric light fixture adds a contemporary nod to the space.
Solid hardwood floors have an extensive history steeped in status and luxury that dates back hundreds of years. The posh plank flooring continues to be one of the most revered and sought-after interior features for homeowners and designers today — and for good reason. Hardwood flooring provides homeowners with endless versatility, longevity and unmatched resale appeal.
So, what’s the catch? Well, while hardwood floors do offer lots of advantages, they also come complete with a hefty list of cons to consider.
Hardwood Flooring Cons
Hardwoods are synonymous with luxury because — you guessed it — they’re expensive. The average materials alone start around $4 per square foot, and that number climbs when you factor in labor costs. Solid hardwood flooring is difficult to install and usually involves professional outsourcing because the planks must be installed on a subfloor and often require staples, nails or full-spread adhesive to secure in place.
Other issues to keep in mind? Hardwoods are susceptible to scratching and scuffing in high-traffic areas (or homes with pets and kids!) and are vulnerable to water damage and the warping, creaking and leaking that comes with it. Wood floors require vigilant care to maintain appearances and will require repair and refinishing over the years.
Here's the good news: If you’re in love with the look of solid hardwood flooring but aren’t emotionally or fiscally prepared to commit to the expensive, long-term relationship outlined above, you’re in luck.
A Quick Guide to Vinyl Plank Flooring
Vinyl Plank Flooring Creates Look of Wood Floors for Less Money
Sick of your old, dated carpet or linoleum? Get the look of wood floors, but with even more durability and less maintenance, with vinyl plank flooring. This is an excellent option for homeowners with basic DIY skills since all you'll need to install the flooring is a utility knife.
Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions
Vinyl plank floors are a modern miracle that provide homeowners the luxurious look and longevity of hardwood floors without the warping, water damage, staining or scratching involved with their natural counterpart. Plus, vinyl plank flooring is typically a fraction of the cost for materials, and some varieties cut out labor costs all together with DIY-friendly, click-and-lock installation.
There are three main types of vinyl plank flooring: luxury vinyl plank flooring, rigid core vinyl plank flooring and waterproof vinyl plank flooring. Each of these options has similar characteristics, but some may be better equipped for your home than others based on your needs.
- Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring (LVP)
Luxury vinyl plank flooring — or LVP — is a fan favorite for its convincing wood-like looks, high-quality construction and comfort underfoot. LVP flooring is crafted with four layers including a waterproof, PVC vinyl core and a scratch- and stain-resistant top layer perfect for pets and kids.
- Rigid Core Vinyl Plank Flooring
Rigid core vinyl plank flooring is equipped with a dense composite core that’s engineered for both longevity and durability in high-traffic areas. The planks are available in a variety of core materials, but the most common are SPC (stone plastic composite), WPC (wood plastic composite) or a hybrid variation. Rigid core floors are ideal for busy hallways and anywhere with heavy foot traffic. The life-proof planks are also waterproof and serve as a fail-proof flooring solution for open floor plan designs.
- Waterproof Vinyl Plank Flooring (WPC)
Waterproof vinyl plank flooring — or WPC — is similar to rigid core and luxury plank floorings but distinct in their advanced, 100-percent waterproof engineering. The waterproof planks are constructed with four layers and contain a waterproof core built to withstand spills and splashes. Put WPC vinyl floors at the top of your must-have list for your kitchen, bathroom and utility floor makeovers.
Feeling overwhelmed and not sure where to begin when it comes to picking the vinyl plank flooring best for you? We’ve got you covered. Keep scrolling to check out our picks for vinyl plank flooring based on your needs.
Best for Pets + Kids
It’s important to invest wisely when selecting floors for a home blessed with active kids and pets. These vinyl plank floor picks are built to withstand all the action in high-traffic areas and lively households with textured finishes, sound-minimizing cores and scuff-proof design.
Best for Kitchens + Bathrooms
Never cry over spilled milk again! Make a splash in your kitchen or bathroom with these striking waterproof vinyl plank designs. The realistic wood finishes yield classic appeal and promise to elevate your kitchen or bathroom design from underfoot.
Easiest DIY Installation
Roll up your sleeves, throw on some work gloves and transform your home over a weekend with easy click-and-lock vinyl plank flooring. The unique click design allows for quick and seamless DIY installation atop any existing flat subfloors including granite, tile, laminate and cement.
Best for Scratch + Stain Resistance
Scuffs, scratches and stains will be a thing of a past with these ultra-durable plank flooring picks. Each of the vinyl plank floors is equipped with strong cores to withstand foot traffic and life-proof surfaces that will continue to shine even in life’s messiest moments. These floors fit the bill for both action-packed utility spaces and elegant entryways.
Most Convincing Wood Finish
Achieve a natural wood look in your cottage, farmhouse or country home with these wow-worthy rustic planks. Their weathered finish and textured top layer come together to create a convincing dupe to charming reclaimed wood without the instability that comes with the real thing.
Each of these popular flooring options has its strengths and weaknesses. But the right choice often comes down to where you'll be installing your new flooring.
This affordable, vinyl plank accent wall is not only easy to make, but it's a great way to hide unsightly cords and cables.