13 Replies Latest reply: Aug 3, 2013 10:44 PM by cartertl RSS

    For owners: Vinyl plank flooring?

    Senior Contributor

      It's that time of year when I assess my high season profits and begin planning for my reinvestments into our VR.


      I'll be replacing my tile kitchen flooring this fall/winter and wonder if anyone has experience with the new vinyl plank flooring. Our home, built in 1896, has heart pine thoughout all but the family room, and the kitchen. It looks like it would go nicely with the wood flooring, but be more durable.


      This new stuff looks good and I've read product reviews, but I always like to get real feed back from reliable folks (like here in these forums).



        • Re: For owners: Vinyl plank flooring?
          New Member

          Hi Debj,


          I have installed the laminate wood flooring in my basement and it looks great. I'm also going to put it in another rental property. I've priced it at Home Depot and an independent competitor where I learned a lot. It's a snap and click process to install so you just want to compare the price per square foot/quality. For instance, product around .99 per sq ft is thin and the veneer will evenutally chip. I'm pretty happy with at $1.79 from the independent guy now going to compare at Home Depot. I've seen .99cents per sq. ft. to $3.99 just depends on your budget.

          If you have someone who has installed it before it's a pretty quick project.


          Hope this helps,



          • Re: For owners: Vinyl plank flooring?
            jan.stevens Active Contributor

            Hi Debj, I have laminate flooring in one of my vacation rentals. It cleans up great although it was a discontinued pattern. I now want to eliminate the carpet that buts up to the laminate as I just can't get the spots out. So I am considering vinyl tiles (similar to the vinyl wood planks) that will coordinate with the discontinued laminate. It is very durable and hopefully quieter than the laminate flooring. We didn't install the sound proof underlayment to quiet the tap tap tap when walking on laminate...........wish I had. 


            One of my favorite TV shows is Income Property and he often uses the vinyl plank flooring for rental properties. He uses it in older homes with uneven subfloors and on floors where there may be a moisture problem.


            Hope that helps.........Jan

            • Re: For owners: Vinyl plank flooring?
              New Member



              I agree with you on the tap, tap, tap sound when walking on laminate - didn't realize there was a soundproofing underlayment, I just used the mositure barrier. What's your opinion on the walking surface of the vinyal as it's a very thin material so does it feel "hard" with no give when you walk on it?





                • Re: For owners: Vinyl plank flooring?

                  I have the flooring in a regular residental rental and have been very happy with it.  But, I used the commercial grade.  In about 8 years service there is only one gouge where something very heavy fell.  It was not too hard to repair with the off the shelf materials. 


                  I looked at how the commercial grade product held up in retail envrionments and was very, very impressed.  I compared that use and wear to those that I knew who installed the off the shelf stuff from Sams Club, Walmat, HomeDepot, etc. In my opinion, it was night and day how the two products appearance and durability. 


                  I do not regret the extra cost of the commercial product.  Do your due dilligence. 

                • Re: For owners: Vinyl plank flooring?

                  We used Armstrong Lux-Plank in our basement bathroom remodel last year, and are absolutely thrilled with it.  http://www.armstrong.com/flooring/diy-luxe-installation.html



                  I have done quite a bit of remodeling, and these plank things are just amazing problem solvers.


                  Our objectives:


                  1. Must be waterproof / water resistant - going in a bathroom with a tub and toilet, as well as the potential for water leaks (no history, just always the potential).


                  2. Must be easy to install in small areas (separate toilet, sink and tub ares).


                  3. Must be able to "float" over a concrete floor that has had high spots ground down, but does have a few hills and valleys / ripples.


                  We ruled out any kind of real wood or laminate-over-masonite type products, the potential for water damage was too high.

                  We ruled out sheet vinyl - it's a pain to install in small areas and not really well suited for the do-it-yourselfer.

                  We ruled out self-stick tiles as they really don't stick that well to concrete unless the surface is perfect (and warm!)

                  We ruled out ceramic tile as the floor isn't perfect, and cutting tiles for all the individual rooms would have added so much time and mess to the process.


                  The vinyl planks were a bit more expensive, but they met all 3 of our objectives perfectly - I was able to install 210 SF, broken into 3 separate rooms, in one night with just a metal straightedge, a tape measure, and a regular box-cutter knife (with extra blades).  I also had a few scraps of plywood as a cutting surface so I didn't dull the knife when cutting.



                  1. It went in wonderfully, looks very authentic, and gets lots of ooo's and aaaa's from guests.  It's super easy to clean with a Swiffer pad too.


                  2. So far there have been no scratches, cuts, etc.  It is holding up much better than the hardwood floor we just ahd installed in the dining room too. 


                  3. As a vinyl, it is also a bit warmer under foot in the winter than tile or even real wood.


                  4. It has just a bit of softness to it that would make it perfect for a kitchen where it might be less likely to cause dishes to break when dropped.



                  1. It's not impervious to damage.  We "slid" a washing machine across it, and just as you'd see with any other vinyl product, it is a bit shinier where the feet slid as they burnished the surface.  If it had been wood it would have been scratched.  Not sure whether ceramic tile would have scratched or would have been OK.  Regardless, the marks are only visible when the light is right...


                  2. Since it is a floating install, and the floor underneath isn't perfect, in the few places where there is a bit of dip in the floor you can hear it "tap" as you walk over it.  I'd imagine if it was on a fresh, smooth sheet of plywood it wouldn't be a problem.  You might even be able to lay down that 1mm foam lining before putting the planks down to help alleviate it - I don't know.






                    • Re: For owners: Vinyl plank flooring?
                      Senior Contributor

                      Thanks for all the tips for all!

                      TC, I love the way your floor came out. Very similar to what I'm going for.


                      I've looked hard at the Armstrong Lux quite bit.  Anyone who's owned a 100+ year old home on the coast knows there's no such thing as a level floor, let alone true corners!!  And the moisture really plays with flooring.


                      I installed an Armstrong tile in our VR family room 2 years ago and it's held up VERY well to traffic and wear and tear. And is a breeze to clean, with a damp mop.  


                      Armstrong also makes a higher cost (there are 2 levels) vinyl plank that doesn't "click" together. It is thicker, but more flexible - like a square tile. I saw it at Lowe's last week, but it's a speical order.


                      I wish I had a small room here in my permanent home that I could test it out.


                      I make just have to hold my nose and jump in!

                      Thanks again!


                        • Re: For owners: Vinyl plank flooring?

                          FYI - the plank I used doesn't "Click" together.  They're flexible, so you can bend it to slide one end under the molding even in tight quarters to get a nice edge-to-edge look.   Like the Armstrong link shows, one long edge and one end overlap with the next set of planks, so they are glued together but not to the floor.


                          The two bonding surfaces have slightly different adhesives that are only semi-sticky individually, but when they are mated together bond.  Until you really press them together you can get them apart to reposition them, but once you've got them lined up and run your hand over the seam, they only come apart by pulling the adhesive away from the underlying vinyl - and it is FAR from easy.  It's a permanent solution for all intents and purposes.


                          We got ours at Home Depot in stock, Lowes said they'd have to order them.

                      • Re: For owners: Vinyl plank flooring?
                        carol Premier Contributor

                        I used the stock Thomasville engineered hardwook laminate from Home Depot when redoing my kitchen 4 years ago.  The wood was Jatoba (Brazilian Cherry?)  -- I LOVE the look!  I also love the feel of it -- it's not as hard as tile or stone so it is better on the feet.  


                        I've had two major water problems in the kitchen since installation -- one when a renter used dish soap in the dishwasher instead of dishwasher detergent, and the bubbles overflowed and covered half my wood floor.  The other was when our mini-split AC system leaked and I found 1/2 inch of water over part of the kitchen - and it had been there for at least an hour.   In both cases, the flooring looked as good as new after it was mopped up and dried.    In four years, no renter has scratched or dented it, and it looks as good today as when it was originally installed.  

                        • Re: For owners: Vinyl plank flooring?
                          Senior Contributor

                          I haven't used the Armstrong vinyl plank flooring, but I do have the Armstrong sheet vinyl flooring that looks like a wood floor in my vacation home.  It was installed seven years ago and I have been very happy with it.  (You need to have it installed by a professional.)  It looks great and hasn't scratched or dented.  It''s in a kitchen, bathroom, and den. 

                          • Re: For owners: Vinyl plank flooring?
                            New Member

                            With that old type of house, of course in every renovation you will make must retain the historical value, wood flooring would be best, and if you want, that are some of it that is eifs base coat finish for moisture resistant and it will keep the flooring very clean.

                              • Re: For owners: Vinyl plank flooring?

                                I agree.  I have a historic cottage and I wouldn't do anything that is not in keeping with the original character of the design and structure.  Guests like seeing the old wood floors that I had restored and anything else just wouldn't do the cottage justice.  And, the historic nature keeps guests coming that are into that sort of thing. 


                                It's like a trip to the past with all the modern amenities and conveniences.

                              • Re: For owners: Vinyl plank flooring?
                                New Member

                                We just recently got Vinyl Plank Flooring installed and I hate it.  We were going to go with hardwood and the salesman sold us on this Vinyl Plank Flooring which is supposed to be more durable and easier to keep clean. The materials were cheaper but the labor was almost as expensive as having the real stuff installed.  So what else do I hate about it?  You can't mop it with any chemical cleaners such as Mr. Clean, etc. If Swifter cleaners are a no-no.   You are supposed to mop it with water only and a VERY damp sponge.  You can mix a little vinegar in with your water but you should only do that about once a month.  We bought the best sponge mop you can buy with a built in wringer and no matter what, little dots from where the water stayed on the floor show through.  So it basically doesn't even look clean right after cleaning it.  Really wish I would have done more research rather than assuming someone else had my best interests at mind.