A Quality, Realistic Alternative to Real Wood Flooring & waterproof, too!
If you have been shopping for flooring for your home lately, you may have seen and maybe even considered luxury vinyl planks (LVP). We visited with Mitch Taylor of Rosie Certified Bram Flooring this week. He tells us that it wasn't but a couple of years ago that they had to introduce shoppers to the product when they stopped by their showroom. However, now it seems that everyone has heard of LVPs and homeowners come in the showroom just to see the product for themselves.
According to Realtor.com luxury vinyl planks are among the top 3 homeowner choices for flooring. They are more durable than laminate and less expensive than the other top 2 most popular floor surfaces: wood and porcelain tiles. Because they are waterproof, they can go in the kitchen and bathroom with ease unlike wood flooring.
Taylor concurs, "about 40% of the floors we are selling are currently the luxury vinyl planks. COREtec and Floorte lines by Shaw Floors are our best sellers. We are no longer seeing sheet vinyl and carpet wall to wall or installed in major traffic areas. Homeowners are also moving away from tile as it can crack and the grout between the tiles is ever in need of cleaning, repairing or replacing."
Luxury Planks 101
Bram installers like the vinyl product because it is easy to install and does not require a lot of maintenance. Vinyl is a floating product, which means it does not get glued into place. Each plank is backed with a foam or cork pad, so the vinyl never touches the floor, only the foam or cork backing does. This technology, which allows the planks to float, also keeps it from being affected by foundation shifting. The planks have interlocking edges, allowing them to be locked in place.
Installation techniques are important, and Taylor's crew knows the tricks. One important tip is that vinyl should not be caulked. Taylor's crew uses a saw to undercut door trim, sliding the planks underneath instead of bringing the vinyl up to the trim and caulking it. This gives a nice professional touch.
Buying A Quality Product
The price for vinyl planks ranges from $2.50 per sq. ft. up to $5 per sq. ft. uninstalled.
There are many grades of this product available. The entry level layer has a thinner protective clear coat. The more durable the coat, the more expensive the quality. Heavy traffic demands a better grade with a more durable surface.
The more realistic the look of the planks the better the quality. For instance. if you look at the places where there is 'knot', you will observe a marked difference. Generic prints do not match the flow of the wood. The more expensive grades texture match achieving a very realistic look.
One way that realism is achieved is through the number of prints per batch. In nature each plank of wood is individual so the more prints per batch, the more realistic the look.
Varying prints start from 5-10 different prints per 1000 square foot. Higher end product will have 50-60 prints for the same area.
Hard surfaces create more sound in a home. The sound level with LVPs is less than tile but, more than carpet. There are several solutions for absorbing sound:
- Sufficient furniture will help to absorb sound.
- Areas rugs are a great way to reduce noise. When using area rugs with LVP they must not be rubber backed as the rubber can wear on the finish.
- There is a thicker grade LVP available where noise reduction is desired. It runs about $5 per sq. ft. It absorbs noise and also creates easier transitions from one type of floor to another.
Once the LVPs are installed they are easy to care for! Unlike hardwood floors, LVPs are cleaned with water and a neutral cleaner. Plus, unlike tile, you never have to mess with grout.
LVP planks will scratch if they are not cared for properly. Moving a heavy piece of furniture across the room will leave a mark. It is best to pick furniture up or to use felt feet for all of your furniture that is moved on a regular basis. A workman who drags a ladder across your floor or a dog with long nails can also leave marks.
Taylor tells us that the luxury vinyl planks from Shaw Flooring come with a 50-year warranty. The warranty does not include scratching or denting but does include discoloration and delamination.
As is always the case, you get what you pay for. Dealers, like Bram Flooring work directly with manufacturers and carry quality products. They are part of the Shaw Flooring Network, ensuring that the product will be installed properly and that the warranty is protected.
Updating your home with new flooring like the waterproof luxury vinyl planks is an easy way to update the look of your home and cut down on maintenance.
Sponsored By: Bram Flooring
Founder Mitch Taylor's goal with Bram Flooring was to focus on serving the customer with a flooring education, providing honest information about their flooring purchases in order to make the best decisions for their individual situations. Bram Flooring has had the mission of being the greater Phoenix area's most reliable resource for commercial & residential flooring products & installation services. Staffed by a fair & honest sales team carefully selected to treat every customer like a partner, Bram Flooring is proud to be respected & trusted by our community.
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