Have you ever looking at a floor somewhere and wondered if it is real hardwood? With technological developments increasing like rapid fire, more and more imitation products are hitting the market that look like wood, but are, in fact, something else. Vinyl plank flooring, for example, is one of those imposters. Like a secret agent, modern vinyl planks pull out all the bells and whistles to trick you into thinking it is something it's not. To encourage the deception, manufacturers have made planks wider and longer to better mimic the look of real hardwood flooring. Planks even have the feel of real hardwood, complete with the look of graining and knots that have been given an emboss that follows the pattern in the print. Below, we will discuss many aspects of vinyl plank flooring to help you understand a little more and narrow down the right options for your needs.
Vinyl plank flooring is taking the world by storm! New technological advances include more durable construction, more realistic hardwood-look prints, and even embossing to mimic knots and graining. Knots and graining is sought after by wood lovers because it displays the natural embodiment of a high end look. Multiple layer construction, enhanced functionality, plus better imagery have many industry leaders calling this category ‘luxury vinyl planks’. Vinyl planks are a nice middle ground between peel/stick and COREtec. Whether interlocking, glue-free or glue down, vinyl planks are becoming more popular in home installations.
We like to refer to COREtec engineered vinyl planks as the “mac daddy” of the vinyl plank industry. These bad boys are extremely durable and feature an attractive, high-quality vinyl top layer and waterproof core that will not expand or contract like other floors. With an included layer of attached cork underlayment - they really thought of everything! Made thick with solid construction, you can install the planks right on your subfloor (as long as it’s clean and flat), without the need for glue. Since these planks are 100% waterproof, no room is off limits like other floor types (ex. wood is risky in rooms with moisture). The high definition images provide the most realistic look that mimics natural hardwood. These amazing planks are definitely worth the money; you will never have to sacrifice durability, a high quality look, and overall flexibility of installation.
Like a grown up jigsaw puzzle, interlocking vinyl planks have a special tongue and groove design that slips in perfectly to surrounding planks. This special design basically locks the entire floor together, one by one, creating a floor that “floats” on your subfloor. The great thing is that you don’t need to bother struggling with any messy glue to keep this beautiful floor in place.
Easier to install than linoleum planks, FlooringInc.com offers a few vinyl planks that are designed to be put directly on the floor without any glue, interlock, or peel and stick mechanism. These tiles are thicker and less flexible than many other options, and may be loose laid with only double sided carpet tape required around the perimeter of the flooring to ensure the planks don't move.
Loose lay products are incredibly easy to install and only require double sided tape around the perimeter of the flooring. These products stay in place, are a piece of cake to install, and look stunning in any room.
If you are going to be installing in a permanent space, planks that are not self-adhesive and do not have an interlocking system can be glued down so there is no movement. Choose a pressure sensitive adhesive so that if a mistake is made, the tile can be quickly and easily pulled up and placed into position correctly.
What is a wear layer?
Wear layers are similar to a coating of nail polish, or a protective coating for paint on a car. A wear layer helps to protect the flooring from scuffs, dents, scratches, gouging, etc. The thinner the wear layer, it will be less resistant to damage. Thicker wear layers can withstand heavier foot traffic and are ideal for busy areas. The thickness of a wear layer is measured in mils, with 1 mil being approximately equal in thickness to a page in a telephone book. Remember, it is always important to have entrance mats at doorways to remove excess dirt and rocks from shoes which could be tracked in and scratch the floor surface.
What does the wear layer "mil" mean?
6 mil is considered “Good” - appropriate for residential use.
12 mil is considered “Better” - great for residential and light commercial.
20 mil is the “Best” - Commercially rated, high traffic environments. Suitable for the home, but could be overkill.
The simple answer is thicker is better. Thin planks do not provide much as far as comfort and durability goes, while thicker planks are more durable, dense, and provide longevity. Thicker planks provide better functionality in high amounts of foot traffic, whereas thinner planks simply can’t hold up to wear and damage.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact one of our friendly Product Heroes at (866) 416-6388.