Luxury vinyl flooring. Sounds like an oxymoron right? My husband and I certainly thought so at first (we were envisioning those old school peel-and-stick tiles in your elementary school hallway). But after consulting with my mother-in-law, researching online and visiting some flooring stores, our minds were changed!
Earlier this year, my husband and I were looking to redo our flooring on the main level. The previous flooring was a very light blond wood laminate and it was pretty banged up when we bought our house. We knew we wanted something durable so that Izzy (and future children) wouldn’t dent or scratch it. We also wanted something that wouldn’t require a lot of upkeep like hardwood floors would. Plus, we knew we wanted a classic, modern wood feel…and that’s where vinyl plank flooring came in!
According to this Charlotte Observer article, sales of luxury vinyl is growing rapidly, up 13% in just one year. The article also highlighted the advantages of vinyl flooring:
–Appearance: there are all kinds of different flooring options ranging from tiles to planks. You can even grout the vinyl to make it look like ceramic or stone. The planks feature rich colors and textures (seriously, our wood vinyl planks look just like real wood. It’s crazy.)
–Feel/durability: vinyl planks are easier on the feet than tile, and its stands up to spills and pets better than hardwood. It also isn’t damaged by moisture since there isn’t any wood in it. No swelling or buckling here! It’s also a lot more quiet when you walk on it…none of that “clickety-clackity” that you get from laminate flooring.
–Installation: vinyl is relatively easy to install. It can be glued down or “floated.” It’s also thinner than hardwood or tile so if you are remodeling, it’s easier to match vinyl to the level of the surrounding existing floors. Our vinyl planks were floated on top of the under-layment and connected to each other by a one inch adhesive strip.
We ended up going with the Armstrong brand based on reviews, recommendations and options offered. It also had a lifetime residential warranty (and 10 year commercial warranty). They use this stuff in high traffic locations, like mall stores, so we knew we were getting materials to last!
My husband and I did this project together. We removed our old flooring, took the time to fix the squeaks and put down a primer/sealer and then installed the flooring. We both took a week off from work and got it done in about 5 full days (since it was our main ground level, which included the kitchen, family room, dining room and living room.) We wanted to buckle down and do it all at once. Luckily, we were able to drop off Izzy at my parents’ house and were able to get it done fairly easily and uninterrupted. We still have a few last baseboards to put up, but will likely do that when the temps get nicer since we have to paint them anyways. But at least the hard part is done! Phew!
Installation was a breeze. Just peel away the adhesive strip and attach it to the previous piece. To go around things like our kitchen island and doors, you just cut to fit with a utility knife. Sure beats using a table saw! WAY faster and cleaner!
It definitely wasn’t the cheapest flooring we could have bought, but also wasn’t the most expensive. We got our flooring for around $5 a square foot. But based on it’s durability and reputation, we were ok with this investment.
It’s also super easy to clean. After vacuuming, I mop the floors with a mixture of vinegar and warm water and use my Rubbermaid Reveal Spray Mop Kit and it looks (and feels) really clean!
We love how it turned out!