Pros & Cons of Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring
Whether renovating to achieve a preferred style or to prepare for sale, brand new flooring can do wonders to elevate the look and feel of a home. While there are countless excellent flooring options available, there is a strong case to be made for LVP. Unlike traditional sheet vinyl, luxury vinyl plank (LVP) has a much more durable construction that consists of four layers:
- an aluminum oxide top layer to protect against light scratches and scuffs;
- a transparent film providing extra strength;
- a design layer of life-like images, usually of wood or stone;
- and a water-resistant bottom layer made of rigid vinyl.
Before you go all-in on LVP flooring, it’s important to know its pros and cons so you can decide if it’s right for your home-making goals.
Pros of LVP
Luxury vinyl plank flooring is becoming an increasingly popular choice for homeowners. It’s no wonder when advantages like the following offer a stylish yet practical solution for any room of the home.
- Easy to Install – LVP installation is a relatively quick and simple process. Many types of LVP have an adhesive on the underside, which sticks to the subflooring when pressed down. In other words – no need for your hammer and nails! Plus, the planks snap together at their edges and ends, which means you won’t have to deal with an interlocking system if and when you need to replace them.
- Low Maintenance – When it comes to cleaning, luxury vinyl of any kind (planks or tile) only needs an occasional sweeping and mopping. LVP cannot be sanded down, but your flooring installation should come with enough planks to have a few left over. Replacing and installing planks is easy enough for the average DIYer to handle.
- Wide Variety of Designs – Many people who choose LVP are actually in love with the look of hardwood or stone. LVP offers a wide variety of textures and colors designed to imitate these natural materials.
- Affordable – Hardwood and tile are both excellent flooring options. However, you can achieve the same warmth of hardwood or elegance of tile with LVP for a fraction of the cost. LVP ranges from $2 to $5 per square foot. Compare that to hardwood’s cost of $3 to $10 per square foot and tile’s at $3 to $20 – and that’s just for materials, not including labor.
- Resistance to Damage – If installed properly, LVP flooring will last 10 to 20 years. It is highly durable, standing up well against scratches, not to mention more water-resistant than laminate. LVP is a smart choice for high-traffic areas, bathrooms, kitchens, and mud rooms.
Cons of LVP Flooring
If it sounds like you’ve hit the jackpot with LVP flooring, just hold your horses a moment. Like any material, this one has its disadvantages as well.
- Hit-or-Miss Quality – Unfortunately, luxury vinyl is prone to greater variability in product quality, even if you purchase a more expensive option from a top-tier brand. To hedge against this chance, make sure to pick out LVP planks with greater thickness, which correlates to higher durability.
- Tricky Removal – As easy as installation may have been, uninstallation can be a pain if you used adhesive planks. The glue sticking them to the subfloor is powerful stuff, and it is not recommended to perform the operation on your own.
- Sunlight Is Its Kryptonite – UV rays are known to fade hardwood flooring over a long time, but LVP is even more vulnerable to them. If your home receives a lot of natural sunlight, you may notice your luxury vinyl flooring start to fade, leaving clear delineations where furniture and rugs have been placed.
From ease of installation to price point and maintenance requirements, LVP boasts an impressive list of attributes at first glance. However, it also has considerable drawbacks, such as weakness to UV light and unpredictable quality.
It’s essential that you weigh these diverse pros and cons equally to make an informed decision before you buy. If you decide that luxury vinyl is the right fit for your vision, know that its stylish and hard-wearing nature will live up to the “luxury” in its name!