How to Choose a Luxury Vinyl Plank Floor
Luxury vinyl plank—or LVP—has come a long way in recent years, offering many of the advantages of natural materials at a much more affordable cost. Also known as "resilient" flooring, it's a type of vinyl that has a strong backing to withstand heavy foot traffic and resist moisture and mold. It's easy to install and, because of that, a good choice for DIYers who are looking for an affordable yet durable floor update.
This type of flooring is made up of long planks of vinyl that interlock to form a surface that replicates other types of flooring. It can mimic wood, stone, or even concrete floors. It's a great option for areas like kitchens, bathrooms and utility spaces (like laundry rooms) that are prone to spills and messes.
Unlike some other types of flooring, the best luxury vinyl plank is very durable and resists scratches, scuffs and dirt. It also can be refinished with a special wax coating to renew its shine and stave off stains. It's also less prone to moisture and mildew than most other types of flooring, which can lead to mold and other problems.
Another important consideration when selecting a vinyl plank floor is its thickness and durability. Look for a plank thickness of at least 7.5 millimeters and a protective wear layer that's at least 6 mil thick. The thinner the flooring, the more it will be susceptible to moisture damage and mold.
If you're looking for a more rugged vinyl flooring, consider rigid core luxury vinyl plank. This type of flooring has a solid, dense core that's perfect for high-traffic areas and busy households with kids and pets. It's able to withstand heavy furniture, and it doesn't dent as easily as softer floors, such as laminate.
These floors are designed for ease of installation and can be installed on any flat surface, including wood, vinyl or tile. You don't need to use a special adhesive when installing this type of floor, but you should follow the manufacturer's directions. Be sure to wait at least 24 hours before cleaning the floor to avoid moisture seeping under the planks and damaging the adhesive underneath. You can also protect the finish by using door mats and rugs to trap dirt and moisture, as well as furniture coasters to prevent indentations from heavy furniture. If you want to make the floor more sound-proof, these flooring options have an attached soft silence acoustical pad that reduces noise and improves comfort underfoot. They're also FloorScore certified, which means that the flooring emits low levels of VOCs that can affect indoor air quality.