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How to Select and Install Vinyl Plank Flooring
Vinyl plank (often abbreviated as LVP) is a great option for achieving the look of wood floors. While it may not be as authentic as real hardwood, it is durable and budget-friendly. This type of flooring is also hygienic, easy to clean, and offers a wide range of designs and finishes. In this article, we explore the best options available for this flooring type, as well as some tips and tricks to keep in mind when selecting and installing it.
The most important factor in determining the durability of this type of flooring is the thickness of the wear layer. This measurement is typically stated in what's known as "mil"--not to be confused with plank thickness, which refers to the actual thickness of the vinyl plank itself. The thicker the wear layer, the more resistance to scuffing and scratching it will provide. The thickness of the wear layer is an especially important consideration if you have children or pets, who may be particularly hard on floors.
When choosing this type of flooring, you'll want to make sure that the brand you select has a good reputation for quality and durability. Some manufacturers produce products that are known for being less durable than others, so you'll want to read reviews and compare prices and warranties before making a purchase.
One brand of luxury vinyl plank that's highly regarded is Mannington. The company's Adura Max line of products, for example, is a great choice for moisture-prone rooms because it features an attached under-layer that resists mold and mildew. Its ScratchResist urethane finish is also a plus for those who have kids or pets, and it's backed by a 30-year warranty.
Another high-quality brand is Armstrong. Their luxury vinyl planks are available in several styles, including wood-look and stone-look designs. Their Distinctive Plank collection is especially impressive, as it features both classic and more offbeat designs to appeal to a wider range of tastes. It's also available in a number of different surface textures, which helps to add realism and durability.
Like any floor covering, vinyl planks can be prone to scratches and dents, so it's important to protect them. Regular use of area rugs can help to absorb impact, and you should always be sure to roll up office chairs on casters rather than leaving them on the floor. In addition, keeping pet nails trimmed and abrasive household chemicals and cleaning products to a minimum is a good idea.
Installation for this type of floor is a breeze. It's a click-lock system that can be secured to the subfloor with no glue needed. A basic plank can be cut with a utility knife, and tin snips can be used to cut notches and openings for obstructions. Even a skilled do-it-yourselfer should be able to install this flooring in three to four hours, and the finished product will be waterproof and resistant to stains and scratches. In addition, it's environmentally friendly and has a low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) emissions rating.