Trends come and go but one of the most popular types of flooring right now is luxury vinyl planks. If you’re not familiar with this type of flooring, we are here to help. This article will answer a few questions like the benefits and why you should choose luxury vinyl plank floors. We’ll help you with how to maintain it and the 10 best luxury vinyl plank floors to use.
Why Choose Luxury Vinyl Plank Floors
Luxury vinyl flooring has a simple definition. Instead of traditional square flooring, it comes in narrow strips or planks. According to The Spruce, there are the usual lengths and widths:
- Length: Boards typically are 48 or 36 inches long. It is rare to find boards that vary from this standard. As a note of comparison, authentic wood plank flooring ranges in lengths from 8 feet to 12 feet.
- Width: Plank vinyl flooring widths will vary considerably. Most widths are in the 6-inch range; some go up to 7 3/4 inches wide. Six inches or more is the width of authentic wood plank flooring.
There are many reasons to choose this type of flooring and here are a few:
Instead of cold and hard stone or tile, luxury vinyl plank floors are more comfortable. You can even add an underlayment that makes it less stressful on your feet. This is ideal for areas where you do a lot of standing like a kitchen.
One of the most important things about a flooring investment is knowing what you installed is durable. Whether you need it to last under the pitter patter of children or the paws of your furry friend – vinyl plank floors have durability.
Simple upkeep makes vinyl floor planks even more attractive. Just using a broom or a mop is the basic way to care for your flooring. It’s resistant to stains, mold, and bacteria. There’s no resurfacing, refinishing, or re-sanding to worry about.
Whether you do it yourself or have the pros do your installation, luxury vinyl plank floors are surprisingly easy to install. In fact, they make take half the time of ceramic tile installation. Some feature a glue-down installation while others have the click construction.
Ideal for Wet or Tropical Areas
While luxury vinyl planks are ideal for tropical areas, that doesn’t mean that’s not an important feature to homes with a desert atmosphere. This just means that it’s perfect for wet areas like the kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room.
Are you doubting that luxury vinyl planks are sustainable? Well, surprisingly they are in a different way than you might think. While they are made from materials that are not typically sustainable in a traditional way, the mere fact that their lifespan can be up to 25 years makes them more sustainable. Instead of using raw materials over and over, the need for raw materials, energy, capital goods, etc. necessary to produce more periodic replacements is minimized.
Benefits of Luxury Vinyl Planks
As mentioned above, the benefits are many. Here are just a few in addition to those already mentioned:
Vinyl planks look like real wood planks. You also have the choice of a variety of styles and looks. For instance, some have a distressed look or one that is heavily antiqued. Others even look scratched and have “nail holes” that make them look like authentic wood.
While luxury vinyl plank floors cost more than some forms of flooring, it is much cheaper than real wood flooring. You get the look of wood without the cost. And there are no extras to get like grout, thinset, and more.
We mentioned earlier about how it is easier to install than other types of flooring. What was not mentioned is that it does not have to be attached to the subfloor. This is due to the floating floor installation.
How to Maintain Luxury Vinyl Plank Floors
One of the earlier benefits mentioned was the ease of maintaining luxury vinyl plank floors. Here are tips on exactly how to do that:
Use a Doormat
This may seem like a simple thing but a doormat helps keep your floors from getting dirty in the first place.
According to Reader’s Digest:
A doormat helps keep out your vinyl floor’s two greatest enemies: dirt and chemicals. Tracked-in dirt means extra broom time. Grit acts like sandpaper, removing the finish from your floor. And even though you can’t see them, chemicals from asphalt can stick first to your shoes and then to the floor, causing it to yellow.
Sweeping is an ideal way to keep your luxury vinyl plank floors cleaner. Not only does it remove the debris like dirt and dust, but it also protects the floor from ground-in dirt. Try to make it a habit by doing it daily at a certain time like after dinner or after doing the dishes.
Use Light Cleaning Methods
Heavy duty cleaning products aren’t needed for luxury vinyl plank flooring. In fact, low-impact methods work sufficiently. Sweep with a soft broom, use soap designed for your floors, and wipe up spills immediately. It’s really as simple as that.
Choose the Right Cleanser
Choosing the right cleanser is important in keeping your floors clean as well as extending their longevity. If your floors are no-wax vinyl, choose a cleanser made for no-wax floors. No harsh chemicals are needed and usually, soap and water work just fine. If you find that you have hair product build-up, using a shampoo works well. Just make sure to rinse well to alleviate any residue.
10 Best Luxury Vinyl Plank Floors to Use
Now that you know about luxury vinyl plank floors and their care, here are the 10 best luxury vinyl plank floors to use.
A name that is familiar, Armstrong offers just a single plank line – Luxe Plank. It then has three quality designations to choose from – Good, Better, and Best. Simple, right? Their wood-style planks have the typical walnut, maple, oak, and jatoba. However, their Best category offers some of the more trendy looks like the exotic amendoin (a Brazillian oak) and weathered barn wood.
The thickness is around 4mm these use a self-stick adhesive to join the boards called FasTak.
This familiar brand has quite a few offerings. In the Timeless collection, these are waterproof planks. There is Triversa, Structure, Impact, and Endurance. Each one is quiet and offers unique colors.
Triversa comes in a variety of wood looks such as Acacia, Applewood, Elmwood, Oak, and more. This one focuses on natural beauty wood looks.
Structure has looks that are more exotic like Barn in Aspen White or Bear Cub. Structure focuses on quiet, dependable, and tough.
Impact offers more subdued and subtle looks like Highlands Kilmarnock Sage and Highlands White Wisp. The Impact line is exotic woods in a glue-down and format.
The Endurance line is more simplified with wood looks like Maple in a variety of colors, Oak, and Rustic. The Endurance line is enhanced reality wood looks.
Mannington brand divides its looks into two premium offerings – Distinctive Plank and Adura, which is an entry-level plank. Adura is going to be more cost-effective yet still has a respectable 4mm thickness. Adura features looks that include maple, oak, and teak.
The Distinctive Plank line is an upgrade from the Adura line. This is a higher grade of plank, has soothing colors, and micro-beveled edges. The thickness is the same as the Adura line but everything else is elevated.
Tarkett features luxury vinyl plank flooring in a variety of collections. The choices are Progen, Premier, Transcend Sureset, Transcend Click, Permastone, Aloft Click, Aloft Glue-Down, Origins, Access, Vista, Ingenuity, and Vericore.
The Access collection features 10 woodgrain designs. These include Acacia, Cherry, Chestnut, Hickory, Maple, Oak, and some have vintage looks like the Reclaimed Oak or Vintage Oak Auburn.
It has a total thickness of 2.05mm and has a Floorscore certification.
Amtico is a popular brand which is well-known by Arizona people. Its selection of stunning vinyl flooring options has mesmerized lots of people, and so it can attract you as well. Amtico luxury vinyl flooring has tons of design patterns which can amaze any flooring lover. These beautiful luxury vinyl flooring options are sustainable. Lots of people love their signature mark designs. So, it’s always a good option for people who strive to install popular flooring.
A name that is well-known, Shaw offers a myriad of options. In fact, there are seven unique lines. Each line offers between seven and 13 species variations and colors. Shaw also runs the gamut within high-end vinyl plank flooring. This means the cost may be a bit more but the product is premium. In fact, Shaw’s Premio and Classico lines have the most thickness – at an industry-topping 6.5mm thick. Along with Premio and Classico, Shaw offers lines like Easy Street, Navigator, and Aviator.
This is not necessarily a familiar name in the United States, but the UK Karndean brand is one that is showing up in American homes.
According to The Spruce:
Karndean’s Art Select brand is one of very few that offers up a wood parquet-look vinyl that looks amazingly similar to the real wood product. Content to let other companies push trendy reclaimed woods and effects like chipped paint and whitewashes, Art Select hews to classic looks like lush oaks and maples, all in planks that are 4 1/2 mm thick and with a 20 mils wear layer.
This is a brand that has a multitude of collections. There are 12 types that fall under the COREtec Original umbrella. COREtec claims to be kid-proof and pet-proof with a 20mm wear layer. They offer wood looks in Oak, Acacia, Maple, and more. Each COREtec Plus Enhanced plank or tile has an attached cork underlayment for a quieter, warmer vinyl floor that is naturally resistant to odor-causing mold and mildew.
9. Mowhawk SolidTech
Mowhawk has a new line called SolidTech. This line of luxury vinyl planks offers hand-scraped textures and muted tones. SolidTech is a vinyl plank hybrid featuring waterproof core construction and comes in three collections. These include the Grandewood collection, Relevance, and Variations.
Grandewood has 12 colors and designs and comes with a respectable 5.5mm thickness. The tones are deep and the lines are simple yet elegant.
Relevance is a more traditional line of luxury vinyl planks. These are 6.5mm thick and feature graining and coloring found in real wood.
Variations is a more trendy line with unlimited options. The colors range from silver to sand and within the four shades, you can make subtle patterns or bold looks.
10. Forbo Allura
This is another name that may not be as common but this brand offers more than 100 sizes and styles. Their Alura Wood luxury vinyl flooring comes in 34 unique natural wood-look designs.
The wood styles are fairly basic alone. Woods like Oak, Pine, Cherry, and Beech are mainstays. However, there are beautiful looks achieved by mixing dark and light color planks.
Forbo Allura is based out of the United Kingdom but has flooring options in the United States, too.
Why Choose Express Flooring?
With Express Flooring, we bring the store to you. Just contact us for an in-home consultation so you can talk to a designer who will help you choose the best options for your needs.
We offer discounts, move your furniture, and can install your flooring the next day as soon as it’s in stock.