When Vinyl Plank first emerged on the flooring market, it was sold as an affordable and waterproof alternative to hardwood and tile, and it was praised as perfect for high moisture areas. Because it is completely impermeable, it performs extremely well in kitchens, bathrooms and entry-ways.
Unlike hardwood, tile and even laminate, Vinyl Plank has no pores so it does not absorb or retain any moisture. Since moisture damage is the most common threat to the lifespan of a floor, Vinyl Plank was considered a very practical and economical solution.
From Rags to Riches
But nowadays, about a decade after its release, Vinyl Plank does not just get used in Kitchens and Bathrooms — homeowners are outfitting their entire homes in the floor covering. To boot, many of these homeowners could afford authentic hardwood and tile but they choose Vinyl Plank. What’s changed? The look. Nowadays Vinyl Plank manufacturers do a remarkable job mimicking the intricate patterns of hardwood, stone and ceramic tile. New, state-of-the-art embossing methods imbue higher end Vinyl with not only a convincing natural pattern, but its textureas well.
With such a convincing aesthetic, and a very practical set of performance attributes to match, many people are opting for Vinyl Plank. So long story short, when it comes to the question of context: where Vinyl Plank works best, the answer is everywhere, but for different reasons. In this blog, I will explain how Vinyl Plank performs in each room and which attributes make it well suited for that area.
Kitchens, Bathrooms & Entryways
What is common between kitchens, bathrooms and entry ways?… Water. Whether it be in little droplets from the kitchen sink, or the bathroom shower, or little pools left in the entry way from melting snow, water inevitably ends up on the floor. Since Vinyl Plank is made of a kind of plastic (typically PVC), and therefore is completely impervious to moisture, it is very well suited to these rooms.
If you were to drop a board of Vinyl Plank into a tub of water and leave it for a week, it would come out in the exact shape it went in, unaffected. The same cannot be said about hardwood, which absorbs moisture like a sponge and warps as a result. While ceramic and stone tiles are also impervious, traditionally their grout is not. Typically ceramic and stone tiles are grouted with cement-based grout, which is porous and can leak water overtime onto the subfloor below. Within an area of Vinyl Plank however, water cannot leak between the boards because the click together system forms an air-tight seal.
In keeping with its remarkable ability to simulate tile, Vinyl Plank, (specifically Vinyl Tile), can be acquired in a glue-down, format. The nice thing about this format, aside from its extra resilience, is that it can be grouted, just like real tile! This makes its tile-like appearance exceptionally convincing. You may think—it’s grouted? Doesn’t that make it vulnerable to moisture like ceramic and stone tile? Actually no because Vinyl Tile is grouted with acrylic grout, which is also completely impermeable. In this way, Vinyl Plank Tile offers the timeless look of tile but the impermeability of Vinyl.
Basements & Condos
What is common between basements and condos? They both have concrete sub floors. Available in both a floating floor and a glue-down format, Vinyl Plank is a very viable option for areas with concrete subfloors. Other types of flooring however, require a plywood sub floor, like hardwood which needs plywood as a nailing surface. Engineered hardwood is an exception and can be adhered down, but it is not always wise to do so: case in point, condos.
Because condos do not use a central humidification system, their humidity levels are at the mercy of the Calgary air. Not ideal. At humidity levels that are too dry, engineered hardwood tends to warp or ‘dry cup.’ Vinyl Plank however, is both impermeable and comes in a floating floor or glue down format and can easily be installed over concrete subfloors. This makes it a great option for basements and condos.
Living Rooms, Dining Rooms, Hallways & Play Rooms
Living Rooms and Dining Rooms tend to be the chef d’ouvre of a home: enjoyable, communal spaces that showcase one’s style. Often times homeowners choose hardwood, carpet or cork as backdrops for these great rooms. But Vinyl Plank too can make an excellent backdrop. As aforementioned, higher end Vinyl Planks do achieve an impressive beauty. Not only do they accurately resemble hardwood and tile, they also come in a large variety of styles and colours, many of which are cutting edge and very much in tune with today’s design fashions.
Last but not least, hallways and playrooms. Both see the most traffic in a house. Day after day, they are stepped on hundreds of times. In the case of the play room, add to the list: rolled on, sat on, and scraped on by toys and toddler shrapnel. Suffice it so say that Hallways and Play Rooms need a durable and cleanable floor. An attribute I haven’t mentioned yet is Vinyl Plank’s durability. Falling slightly short of the hardness of hardwood, Vinyl Plank is resilient enough to weather the storm of childhood. It’s surface is made of a hard yet pliable plastic and is coated with a very strong finish. Even the most rambunctious kids will have a hard time injuring Vinyl Plank. Moreover, Vinyl Plank is especially easy to clean since when you’re mopping, you don’t have to skimp on the water and soap.
All in all, Vinyl Plank is well suited to every area of the home. It has all the good attributes: it is completely waterproof, it has a hard durable surface, it is very cleanable and most importantly, it looks great! If you have any questions about vinyl plank, send us an email or give us a call. Better yet, if you live in Calgary and you’re in the flooring market, stop by our showroom at 525 58th Aveue SE. The Floorscapes team has as much experience as we do passion: combined, we have over 150 years in the world of Calgary flooring. We offer our knowledge, our expertise and our aesthetic sensibility in order to help you create a space that you will love.