What Is Luxury Vinyl Planking?

Luxury Vinyl Planking is a synthetic flooring material made with layers of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), resins and stone. This product is meant to mimic natural wood with high resolution images printed on the surface and a textured feel. Furthermore, LVP products have a tongue and grooved edging, creating an interlocking click system. Additionally, all vinyl products have either a built in rubber or cork backing-providing cushion and support. Most vinyl planking products are 100% waterproof so it is suitable for all areas of a home or commercial building. Overall, LVP is a hard-surface, easy to install flooring option.

Important Product Specs to Know

Wear Layer– This measures the top layer that protects the design and color layer from wear and tear. It is measured in mils- usually ranging from 6-28 mils. Overall, 12 mil is suitable for residential applications with moderate traffic and pets. While 20 mil is applicable to commercial areas with high traffic.

Thickness- The thickness measures the width of the plank itself, which will indicate its durability. Furthermore, it is measured in millimeters, typically ranging from 2-8mm. For residential purposes 4-5 millimeters is recommended while commercial requires 5.5 or higher.

 

What are the Benefits of Using Luxury Vinyl?

Quick Installation- The ease of installation is what draws many people to this flooring product. It can be placed over existing tiles or concrete with little to no prep necessary.

Appearance Luxury vinyl is easily identifiable by its sleek and authentic look. Many homeowners love the zero grout lines provided by this material compared to standard tiles.

Cost Effective- The pricing of the material is comparable to that of other flooring options such as porcelain, ceramic or carpet. However, the savings are in the installation process. With little setting materials, time, and tools needed it is a much more cost efficient flooring option.

Water Resistant- LVP is 100% waterproof, meaning that water will not harm the product itself. Thus, it can be placed in areas where natural wood would not be recommended: Bathrooms, kitchens, and wash rooms. *However it is not recommended to have the product fully submerged- as moisture could potentially seep through the product affecting the substrate.

Comfort- Vinyl Plank is notorious for providing a more cushioned and flexible feel compared to other hard surfaced floors. The flexibility and nature of the product feels softer when walking and standing.

How Do I Install LVP and What Do I need?

Many homeowners decide to take on this project themselves due to the simplicity with little setting materials or experience needed. First the majority of tools and supplies you will need are all common tools you probably already own!

Tools

  • Luxury Vinyl Plank flooring
  • Moisture Barrier*
  • Moisture gauge
  • Tape measure
  • Utility knife or vinyl cutter
  • Rubber mallet
  • Tapping block
  • Level
  • Jigsaw or handsaw (for intricate cuts)

*Moisture barrier is strongly recommended to ensure that moisture from your substrate does not seep through causing gaps, separations, or lifting.

Prepping Process

Now you can start the preparation process which includes thoroughly cleaning the subfloor to ensure it is dry and level. Additionally, you will need to remove the baseboards while you are installing and then reinstall them on top of the flooring once finished. In some cases this step is unnecessary, you will just need to leave a gap from the subfloor and baseboard to allow the flooring to go underneath and expand over time. The final step would be to plan your layout. Such as the direction you want the planks to run. Typically, planks are laid parallel to the longest wall or front entrance.

Install

Finally you will be ready to install. Start in a corner and lay the first plank with the tongue side facing the wall. To install click-lock vinyl plank flooring, start by fitting the first row together like a puzzle, ensuring a 1/4-inch gap between the wall for expansion, which will be covered by baseboards. When cutting the planks, use a straight edge and a utility knife to score both sides before snapping the piece along the score line for a clean cut. For the second row and beyond, stagger the joints by approximately six inches to ensure a proper and visually appealing installation.

Watch this Step by Step video for more Information!

Luxury Vinyl Planks and Materials at PCC

If you decide LVP is the right flooring choice for you- PCC Tile has your back! We have a large selection of in stock and special order options- with varying color ranges and sizes to fit any of your flooring needs. View all PCC Vinyl options.