Home > Flooring > Best Vinyl Flooring Guide: Types, Pros, Cons (2022)

Best Vinyl Flooring Guide: Types, Pros, Cons (2022)

Updated Nov 9, 2022

Updated Nov 9, 2022

Home > Flooring > Best Vinyl Flooring Guide: Types, Pros, Cons (2022)

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There are many types of vinyl plank flooring available from various companies, which can make it difficult to find the best option for you and your budget. In this article, we’re sharing the best vinyl flooring brands and some considerations to keep in mind when switching to different flooring products.

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Types of Vinyl Flooring

Here are the vinyl plank flooring options to keep in mind throughout your buying search.

TypeProsCons
Luxury vinyl planksReasonably priced
Easy installation
Many style options available
Water- and scratch-resistant and durable
Might not have UV-resistant protection
Requires adhesive glue, which might be hard to remove
Luxury vinyl tileEasy to install
Versatile appearance options
Resistant to moisture
Minimal maintenance  
Soft material
Might lead to discoloration
Sheet vinylSimple installation
Stain-resistant
Comfortable to walk on
Durable
Difficult to repair
May become damaged from the subfloor

Luxury Vinyl Planks

Luxury vinyl planks (LVP) are long and narrow and designed to replicate popular wood options. These planks are thicker than other vinyl flooring options, which makes them durable and scratch-resistant.

LVP flooring is crafted with thick PVC with a wear layer that replicates hardwood. This provides a water-resistant finish and adds strength to the flooring.

The top layer is comprised of vinyl, which is available in a variety of colors and textures for the finish, and you can even complete the look with multiple layers for protection against scratches, stains, and marks.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Reasonably priced
  • Easy installation
  • Many style options available
  • Water- and scratch-resistant and durable

Cons

  • Might not have UV-resistant protection
  • Requires adhesive glue, which might be hard to remove

Luxury Vinyl Tiles

Luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) are made up of several flexible and thin layers to replicate stone or real wood. These tiles are durable and provide warmth to a home without the complications of a carpet.

In particular, LVT flooring features a wear layer, which provides lifeproof use and generous durability. This layer also protects the attached underlayment to not mark your floors. Then, the print designer layer adds vibrancy and a striking design to the tiles. Finally, three layers are stacked together on top of this layer to create a strong locking system.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Versatile appearance options
  • Resistant to moisture
  • Minimal maintenance

Cons

  • Soft material
  • Might lead to discoloration

Sheet Vinyl

This option consists of a PVC plastic, rigid core that’s bonded to a foam or felt backing with a printed design on top followed by a transparent wear layer. Dissimilar to other vinyl floorings, sheet vinyl is purchased in large sheet rolls rather than tiles or planks.

It’s easy to install and available in an array of effects, including wood, herringbone, and stone. Sheet vinyl isn’t completely waterproof but can withstand water splashes and spills. However, if it becomes too wet, the edges can curl up.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Simple installation
  • Stain-resistant
  • Comfortable to walk on
  • Durable

Cons

  • Difficult to repair
  • May become damaged from the subfloor

Best Vinyl Flooring

LL Flooring: Best for Most Hardwood Flooring Options

Formerly known as Lumber Liquidators, LL Flooring provides floors in a range of colors, designs, and styles. They mainly focus on hardwood flooring in various finishes, including water-resistant and solid.

LL Flooring sells oak, maple, hickory, walnut, and acacia options, and homeowners can choose from many plank widths and popular brands to completely customize the hardwood. The selection of hardwood includes bamboo, cork, vinyl, wood-look, and laminate flooring.

This vinyl flooring company has more than 400 locations in 47 United States as well as some in Canada. Additionally, LL Flooring offers water-resistant and waterproof vinyl designs.

LL Flooring’s costs look like this:

  • Laminate: from $0.48 per sq. ft
  • Waterproof: from $0.64 per sq. ft
  • Hardwood: from $1.98 per sq. ft
  • Bamboo: from $1.98 per sq. ft

LL Flooring Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Hundreds of locations around the United States
  • Various hardwood flooring options
  • Online tools can help you customize your flooring

Cons

  • The customer service and quality of service might vary in different locations
  • There aren’t any branches in Hawaii or Wyoming

Empire Today Best for Most Transparent Pricing

Empire Today offers vinyl flooring, laminates, carpets, ceramics, hardwood, and even window treatment products. They provide a selection of finishes and different prices to suit everyone’s budget.

This luxury vinyl plank flooring company offers various tile flooring options available in vinyl plank, luxury vinyl tile, commercial vinyl plank and tile, and sheet vinyl. Best of all, all of its vinyl floors come with a warranty to protect against mold and mildew, fading, wear and tear, staining, water damage, manufacturing issues, and structural damage.

Empire Today offers its services to 70 locations in the United States but manages to keep its costs low by not offering a showroom for customers. Instead, a consultant visits a customer’s home to make suggestions and take price estimations.

Empire Today provides financing options to customers. Those who choose a 12-month financing method are eligible for a 0 percent interest rate. Although there’s no pricing information available on the website, they provide a Low Price Guarantee; this means they’ll match the price if a competitive company provides a lower estimate.

Empire Today Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Next-day service available from some locations
  • The online tool allows you to visualize the flooring before the flooring installation
  • Services include carpet flooring, too
  • Regular deals and discounts available

Cons

  • Installation warranty is only limited to a year
  • The solid hardwood flooring selection might be fairly limited

Floor Coverings International Best for Customer Service

Flooring Coverings International is one of the best vinyl plank flooring companies for both home and commercial spaces. They sell a  selection of plank vinyl and laminate designs, and you can personalize the floors from a host of colors, wood grains, and textures.

Flooring Coverings International provides its services in 39 United States and provides carpet, hardwood flooring, ceramic tile, vinyl flooring, natural stone flooring, and laminate flooring options.

At the time of writing this, there isn’t any pricing information on the company’s website. However, Floor Coverings International has a promise to deliver affordable prices to its customers, and there’s even a Price Match program. This means that they’ll match a competitor’s lower price. Also, the company has financing options available, and you can make savings on services when you make a booking online.

Floor Coverings International Pros & Cons

Pros

  • They provide a follow-up assessment after installing the flooring
  • Environmentally-friendly flooring options
  • Home consultations to look at designs

Cons

  • They operate in 39 states, which is fewer than other vinyl plank flooring brands
  • They aren’t any sampling prices on the website

Factors To Consider When Buying Vinyl Flooring

If you’re contemplating upgrading to new flooring, here are some details to keep in mind throughout your search.

Ease of Installation

The good news is that vinyl is one of the easiest flooring types to install. For example, you won’t need any glue or staps for a floating floor; peel and stick the vinyl tiles to the subfloor.

Best of all, you can install vinyl flooring on hardwood, plywood, or concrete — you can even install it on top of existing vinyl.

Warranty

Vinyl can last for up to 20 years if it’s high-quality and well-maintained. Consider researching how long the warranty is for the flooring you want to buy. Some products can have a warranty of up to 15 years. You should also look into what the warranty covers, as most won’t replace vinyl because of stains or scratches.

Stain Protection

The last thing you want is for your vinyl flooring to become stained and worn. Thankfully, many companies feature a stain-resistance layer for additional protection. This helps to make your vinyl flooring longer-lasting, so you can install it in the laundry room, for example.

Thickness

Vinyl usually feels comfortable against the feet, but the level of comfort usually depends on the amount of thickness. Some sheets and tiles have a padded layer for extra luxury and comfort. There’s even the option of resilient floors that include elasticity when you walk on them.

You may also want to consider the thickness and how this relates to soundproofing. Generally speaking, the more padding and layers the vinyl flooring have, the better the sound absorption will be.

Maintenance

Do you want to have low-maintenance flooring, or are you unbothered with regularly cleaning the tiles/planks? The great thing about vinyl flooring is the minimal maintenance. Most of the time, all that’s required is vacuuming/brushing up loose dirt and debris and then running a mop over the surface.

Choose a finish without wax for effortless cleaning and no special treatments required.

Sunlight

Once you’ve decided what room you want to install the vinyl flooring in, check whether that area has lots of sun exposure. Vinyl flooring can fade when it’s exposed to direct sunlight, so you might need to take precautions, such as shutting the curtains during summer.

Alternatively, look into vinyl flooring with a UV-resistant coating to prevent color fade.

Finishes

There are three types of finishes available: no-wax, urethane, and enhanced urethane.

  • No wax: This is for areas with light foot traffic and little exposure to dirt
  • Urethane: Ideal for areas with moderate foot traffic. Durable, easy to clean, and scuff-resistant.
  • Enhanced urethane: Perfect for heavy foot traffic, resistant to scratches and stains, though requires more care.

Pros and Cons of Vinyl Flooring

Should you invest your time and money in home improvement and switch to vinyl flooring? Here are some factors to keep in mind.

Pros of Vinyl Flooring

Durable

Luxury vinyl flooring can last for up to 20 years if it’s made of high-quality materials and well-manufactured. It’s also suitable to use in high-traffic areas without denting, or scuffing easily and is scratch-resistant.

Easy to Install

Install vinyl plank boards with ease, even without a professional contractor to assist you. In fact, vinyl flooring makes an excellent DIY project because many types have boards that slot together. There’s also the option of a glue-down method for a more secure finish.

Easy to Care for

Waterproof vinyl plank flooring is one of the easiest types of flooring to keep clean and maintain. It’s stain-resistant, and grit and dirt on the floor won’t scratch or damage the top layer easily. All you need to do is mop the floor with a cleaning solution to remove any dirt.

Comfortable and Noiseproofing

Compared to wood flooring, vinyl tiles feel softer and more padded underfoot. This is all thanks to its layered construction that not only helps with temperature regulation but adds more support under your feet. Additionally, the vinyl flooring layers create soundproofing benefits to reduce noise and echoes.

Cons of Vinyl Flooring

Colors Can Fade

If you want bright vinyl flooring, you might be disappointed to discover that the colors will fade fairly easily due to too much light exposure. For this reason, there are certain spaces you’ll want to avoid installing vinyl flooring, such as an outdoor patio or in a conservatory. 

Holds on to Moisture

Vinyl absorbs any moisture, so you’ll want to avoid installing it in the bathroom and kitchen.

Can’t Be Repaired

Another downside of vinyl flooring is that once it’s damaged, you can’t amend the affected areas, so the entire floor needs replacing. This can make it unsuitable for those with children or pets.

Tips for Installing Vinyl Flooring

Once you’ve purchased the best vinyl flooring, you might be considering installing the tiles yourself rather than hiring home decorators. If so, here are some tips for installing vinyl flooring (even if you’re not a professional).

Prep the Floors

The first step is ensuring the subfloor is flat with no uneven surfaces; it doesn’t need to be completely flat because most floors aren’t. Remove any debris from the surface by using a scraper or floor grinder to remove any high spots on the floor.

Then, vacuum the floor to remove all dirt and debris, as even the smallest stone on the subfloor can create a bump underneath the vinyl tiles.

Undercutting

The next step is to tidy up the undercutting surrounding the flooring. More often than not, a handheld saw will work effectively to undercut any jambs or casing. This action means you can bury the cuts under the door to hide them and create a seamless installation.

Lay Down the Vinyl Planks

Once your floor is prepped and the undercutting is complete, you can begin installing the first planks. Begin by choosing which side of the room to start at, and lay out the planks in position before gluing/nailing them down.

Remember that you don’t want to start with a full plank because the last plank you install will likely be shorter/narrower than the first one. Instead, cut a couple of inches of the first plank so that the final one matches it (the square foot measurements don’t need to be exact). Doing this will create a uniform look, and the final plank won’t be significantly skinnier than the rest.

Vinyl Flooring FAQs

What are the types of vinyl flooring?

Luxury vinyl planks, luxury vinyl tiles, and sheet vinyl.

How do you clean vinyl flooring?

Vacuum any dirt, debris, and hair. Use a chemical-free cleaning solution (to prevent color fading), and mop the floor, paying particular attention to areas with stains and marks.

What are some ways you can maintain vinyl flooring?

Remove all debris before adding furniture back into the room, as stones and tiny objects can scratch the floor. You may also want to add felt covers to furniture legs to avoid scratches. Also, never pull or drag any objects or furniture across the floor, as this can lead to marks and tears.

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