VINYL PLANK FLOORING
Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring update your home without breaking the bank. You can save thousands without sacrificing style. Unlike real wood, you can find quality vinyl for under $4 per square foot. But beware of bargain brands. If they look a little too good to be true — well, you know the rest of that story. LVP starts at $3 per square foot and goes up to $7. The mid-priced lines are usually a sure deal. You’ll get the features you need like waterproofing and scratch resistance without paying for unnecessary upgrades. If you’re hoping to spend less, expect to shop around. At the $3-$4 range, colors and sizes are limited.
Design & Style
The options are endless when it comes to style and design. Whether you’re looking to replicate rich earthy mahogany, silvered barn wood or even natural stone, you’re sure to find the perfect shade. Then it’s time to select a size. Choose between large format tiles, wide planks or traditional 2-3-inch boards. Or, mix and match styles for a one-of-a-kind look. Today’s vinyl comes in a variety of textures like hand-scraped and knotted. Make sure you run your fingers across the boards to ensure the flooring will be comfortable underfoot.
You won’t need to be a carpenter to install your new vinyl floors. If you’ve tackled home improvement projects in the past, it should be an easy task. Vinyl tiles are usually glued down, while most planks come pre-fitted with click clock mechanisms that click into place like a jigsaw puzzle. When deciding between the applications, consider the overall usage. Glue-down tiles are best for rooms with heavy foot traffic while floating floors work best in secondary spaces. Depending on the conditions, you may be able to install vinyl directly on-top of your existing flooring. Remember to check with the manufacturer for product-specific guidelines. Nothing voids a warranty quicker than improper installation.
This is an area where vinyl flooring close relative, are particularly made for: busy households. It doesn’t scratch easily. Better vinyl planks and tiles have through-body coloring. In other words, if they scratchthe damage is less visible. Additionally, most floors feature a protective layer or hardened clear-coat. Vinyl is the perfect choice for homes inhabited by klutzy adults and small children. Unlike stone or ceramic, absorbs shocks. Vinyl won’t crack or chip when a dish jumps out of the cabinet or a cup leaps from your hands.
Vinyl is soft underfoot. As you walk, the flooring absorbs pressure. Like a sponge, it almost feels bouncy. If you’re on your feet cooking and cleaning for extended periods, you’ll appreciate the softness. Especially if you usually suffer from leg and back pain. For the ultimate in comfort, treat yourself to planks that feature added layers of padding.
When it comes to maintenance — it doesn’t get any easier than vinyl. Today’s vinyl doesn’t need added chemicals to hold its shine. Vinyl planks clean-up in a matter of minutes. Use your favorite static dust broom. For a deeper vinyl plank cleaner and damp mop, mild cleaner will suffice. Vinyl flooring can stain, so be sure to wipe up spills before they dry. Worst case scenario replace the individual tile or plank. It’s usually a 5-minute procedure and requires no special skills.
A FEW OF THE BRANDS FOR LUXURY VINYL PLANK FLOORING
NuCORE (Tyson Construction Favorite)
NuCore is an affordable brand that provides a genuine hardwood floor finish upon installation. It is also comfortable to walk on thanks to its cork underlayment, which also helps muffle any sounds.
NuCore comes with an impressive 22 mil wear layer to provide durability, stain, and scratch resistance. However, despite promises about long-term durability, some customers have found that it is more susceptible to scratches and stains than the wear layer would suggest.
Customers have also noted that dirt tends to build up in the grooves between the planks, which can make the floor difficult to clean. The warranty that comes with the floor should also be reviewed closely so you know what is covered.
-This is a nice affordable option for areas where it is unlikely to need to deal with heavy items of furniture that might cause scuffs and scratches and where it isn’t going to be subject to heavy-duty dirt. The price point and easy install certainly make it an option worth considering.
THE PROS AND CONS OF NUCORE FLOORING
• Resembles hardwood
• Easy installation
• Cost effective ($2.35 to $3.80 per square foot)
• Can be purchased online or at more than 100 Floor & Decor retail locations nationwide
• scratches and dents easily despite the wear layer
• Grooves between planks tend to hold on to dirt and grime, making them difficult to clean
• Styles appear to change frequently, which means it may be difficult to find matching replacement planks in the future
-NuCore flooring is at the lower end of the average cost for floors of this type. It costs between $2.35 and $3.80 per square foot depending on what style you go with, with
the top quality textured wood finish being at the top end. But really, these planks should comfortably fit into most home improvement budgets. We highly recommend getting samples before making a purchase. Floor & Decor & Lumber Liquidators offers samples on most flooring options. The price for each flooring sample is $3.00, including shipping, and these samples are three by six inches. Warranty, Returns And Damage Policies NuCore offers a limited lifetime warranty on residential installations of their product, which includes:
• A guarantee that the floor will be free of manufacturing defects.
• It will not stain or fade as the result of exposure to sunlight or artificial light.
• That it will not wear through; wear through is considered a total loss of pattern in a minimum area of two square inches – scratches and loss of gloss are not considered as wear through.
• That the floor will not stain due to pet urine if the floor is cleaned immediately and the urine is not allowed to dry.
• NuCore will replace or refund the portions of the floor in question, but they do not cover the labor portion. But if the claim is approved after one year of purchase, they will only cover a prorated percentage of the material cost, determined by the number of years from the date of purchase.
• The same warranty conditions extend to commercial installations for a period of 15 years, excluding “high traffic” areas such as entry foyers and food preparation areas.
• The warranty specifically does not cover damage caused by:
• Improper installation
• Water erosion
• Extreme heat or temperature
• Cleaning other than advised
Does NuCore Flooring Scratch And Dent Easily?
NuCore has one of the best scratch-resistant ratings for this type of flooring. Most styles have a 22 mils wear layer, which means that it should stay in tip-top shape even under heavy use, such as from the paws of pets or in commercial areas.
Does NuCore Flooring Need Underlayment?
All floors require an underlayment, NuCore comes with attached cork underlayment, so there is no need to purchase or install this separately. However, if you are laying the flooring directly onto concrete sublayers, you should still install an added barrier layer.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN WATERPROOF & WATER RESISTANT FLOORING
Most flooring will end up with some degree of moisture exposure, whether through the air or the occasional spill, it’s critical that your flooring has a layer of protection. Wood floors are the most common example of water-resistant flooring. As long as minor spills are cleaned up promptly, no water will breach the outer layer and damage the core. When you’re considering what flooring will meet your needs, think about location and proximity to water sources. Water-resistant flooring is a great option for areas ith minimal risk of water exposure.
Waterproof Laminate Flooring
With high-traffic water areas of your home that will cause spills and splashes, waterproof laminate is an excellent option for you. Unlike other laminate floors on the market, select Pergo laminate floors feature complete waterproof protection. With Hydroseal-coated planks that click together tightly and maintain pressure, Pergo Timber-craft, Wet Protect, and Pergo Outlast take a multi-faceted approach to keeping water on the surface of the laminate and away from the vulnerable flooring core and subfloor. This revolutionary technology withstands against splashes, spills, and pet accidents to ensure waterproof durability.
Waterproof Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring
If you like the sound of waterproof laminate thats 100% waterproof, then you may want to consider Pergo luxury vinyl flooring like this, you can enjoy the look of wood with the performance of a waterproof luxury vinyl. Pergo Extreme is made from 100% waterproof material from the outer surface through the core, and once assembled, the plank’s locking system keeps joints tight for completely waterproof floors. With a better understanding of the different terms for a floor’s ability to withstand water, making a choice that suits your needs. Water resistant flooring offers a limited level of protection against water intrusion and works best where it will encounter very little moisture. For greater protection, consider a waterproof laminate flooring like which can be used anywhere in a home and offers several safeguards against water intrusion. Lastly, if you want to eliminate any worries about water damage over the lifetime of your flooring purchase, you should look into waterproof Pergo luxury vinyl flooring which offers both beauty and an unparalleled level of protection from water.
What is Laminate Flooring?
Laminate means layers. This is a rigid flooring type composed of a few main layers.
What is underneath Laminate Flooring?
- The "Back Layer" is a heat-fused composite layer that has a few purposes. It resists moisture from below, which is important when installed over concrete. And it helps the planks lay flat rather than curling up at the ends.
- The "Inner Core" is the medium-density fiberboard. Some floors use high-density fiberboard. Both are made of wood pulp/cellulose and glue mixed and pressed for bonding and hardness. It's the thickest layer of the laminate.
- The "Design Layer" is also called the photographic layer, pattern layer and décor layer. It is a high-definition photograph of wood (or stone or tile). The quality of the image gives the floor its realistic look.
- The "Wear Layer" is a tough, clear topcoat often made from aluminum oxide and melamine. It is resistant to scratches and general abrasion.
PROS & CONS TO LAMINATE FLOORING
COST IS AFFORDABLE TO MAJORITY HOMEOWNERS
-This is the main reason homeowners choose laminate vs hardwood, Stone, ceramic, and luxury vinyl planks.
It Looks Like the “REAL DEAL HOLYFIELD”
-It has the look and feel of what it's replicating genuine wood, stone or ceramic tile. It is warmer than stone and tile, so that's an advantage for bare feet and pets in cool weather.
-There are laminate floor styles used for flooring: Lots of red and white oak, but also ample choices in maple, hickory, cherry, ash, acacia, pine, walnut, mahogany and more. Then there are the better cosmetic options –like Brazilian cherry, merbau, tiger maple, chai acacia and bengalwood.
COLORS -Hardwood manufacturers use different stains and techniques to enhance the appearance of wood. Wood can be clear-coated or stained to produce amber, ruddy red, honey brown, milk chocolate and a range of charcoal tones. White-washed, bleached and weather wood looks are available too. That's a small sample of options.
Plank Widths, Shapes and Textures:
-Planks range from about 3.5 inches that have a modern/contemporary look to those from 6 to 8 inches that generally have a more traditional or rustic look.
1-3 STRIP PLANKS This means that a single laminate plank will have an image on it of one, two or three wood planks. This technique allows a wider range of appearances from thin, modern looks to wide, beefy rustic and traditional looks.
CAN BE PLACED ANYWHERE
For a while, you couldn't put laminate in high traffic water areas, ie...bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens. Now, moisture-resistant and waterproof laminate is approved by the manufacturers for those locations and you have plenty of attractive flooring options.
SAFER THAN TILE
This makes it easier and safer to stand on while cooking or cleaning up. And if you have young children roaming the house, falls on laminate are less risky than tumbles on tile.
Other than peel-and-stick carpet and vinyl tiles, laminate flooring is the easy to install. This means that if you're a fairly handy homeowner, DIY is a definite option and will save you a lot of money. Or if you’d prefer pro installation, labor costs are lower than for most other floor materials.
Laminate can be easily cleaned and vacuumed with a hard-floor vacuum or swept with a dry mop. For cleaning, a damp microfiber mop is the best for large area. For small, sticky spots, a little spray cleaner and a cloth do the job.
-Laminate provides their commercial guaranteed 5, 10, and 15 year warranties.
Durability NOT GUARANTEED
Cheap Solution of 7-10 years. Most lasts 10-15 years. Premium laminate should look good for 15+ years. You get what you pay for pretty much. Laminate Flooring will last, as long as you take good care of it & you have a “no shoes on in the house” policy.
Water Can Be an Issue
-Clean up spills & pet residue ASAP -Take off or wipe dry wet shoes before walking on your laminate flooring -Use a wet mop or steam mop.
It can be noisy & annoying
Laminate shares this "con" with other hard surfaces. Hard shoes, hard toys and similar objects make a clickety-clack on it. A thicker underlayment can help alleviate the noise.
Most people do not understand the difference between waterproof and water resistant laminate flooring, when in fact, they are very different from one another.
-Water-resistant laminate has a wood/cellulose core that will definitely absorb water. The resistance to moisture is usually achieved with a tight planking locking system and sealer around plank edges. -Waterproof laminate has a non-absorbent core. Even if moisture gets between planks, it won’t cause swelling and water damage.
ATTACHED UNDERLAYMENT PADDING
-some laminate comes with attached underlayment that saves a step in installation.
-The pad is 2 or 3 mils of foam that slightly softens the flooring feel when walked on. It muffles a bit of noise, though you'll want 6 mil sound-reducing underlayment if the laminate is going on an upper floor of a home, apartment building or commercial building.
The underlayment prevents the backing layer from damage as the floor shifts slightly
with foot traffic and temperature changes.
BEST BRANDS OF LAMINATE FLOORING
SHAW LAMINATE FLOORING
Shaw is right there with Armstrong and Mohawk in offering a huge (100+) selection of laminate styles and colors. The Long Board and Mixed Width collections are visually appealing. The planks in the Long Board collections are 78". Only the 88" planks of the Shaw New England Long Plank collection and Dream Home Long Length 88" planks are longer. The Shaw Repel water-resistant line is comparable to AquaGuard, Armstrong Audacity, Mohawk RevWood Plus and Pergo WetProtect. It guarantees against water damage for 24 hours. Only AquaGuard's 30-hour protection is better. Most Shaw laminate is GreenGuard certified to be low in volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.
There are no stone or tile looks in the Shaw collection, but that's not too unusual. Only Armstrong has a large selection of them.
Shaw makes only two lines with a commercial warranty, and the warranty is just 5 years. Pergo and Armstrong are among the brands with longer commercial warranties – 10 or 15 years. Shaw is one of the largest laminate flooring manufacturers in the world. Most are produced in a handful of colors. Shaw laminate flooring cost is $2.50 to $3.75 per square foot. Shaw flooring is usually much higher than the prices you can find online and in retail flooring stores.
-Hiring a pro installer costs $1.75-$2.50 per square foot.
Shaw Repel Laminate Flooring
Repel is the most popular Shaw laminate collection. There are 9 lines, each 12mm thick with several colors of flooring. The collection gets its name because it is engineered for enhanced moisture resistance.
Shaw Mixed Width Laminate Flooring
Shaw Standard Laminate Flooring
Ellenburg and Dawson Ridge laminate are affordable 8mm flooring backed by a 25- year warranty. The looks are gorgeous. Most feature warm, classic wood floor images with an embossed surface for authentic feel. Iced Oak stands out as the lightest color in this group.
Piedmont features narrower planks and a smooth surface. The effective is an attractive, contemporary/modern look with rich oak graining. The flooring is backed by residential (25 years) and commercial (5 years) warranties. Surprisingly, this is one of Shaw's most affordable laminate lines.
Trestle Ridge is produced in very dark tones with a handscraped surface. The look is classic and traditional. There are four colors of Hickory ranging from rusty brown to dark brown with nearly black grain lines. It's backed by a 25-year residential warranty.
AGUAGUARD WOOD-BASED LAMINATE FLOORING & THEIR DIFFERENT TYPES
-Is specifically sold at Floor & Decor
Aguaguard Authentic Texture Laminate Flooring
-a form is made from real wood planks with prominent wood grain. The molds pick up that graining.
-The Authentic Texturing category is the largest from AquaGuard more than 40 styles and colors in a range of quality levels. Prices range from $2.69 to $3.79.
-All AquaGuard laminate is 12mm thick. -The wear rating is AC5 – among the highest for laminate flooring.
-Lifetime residential warranty and 15 year commercial warranty.
-This flooring in general is a good fit for homes with large & active households.
-This flooring can handle high traffic areas. Because of the stout AC5 commercial wear rating, it's popular for all commercial settings including retail, offices, schools, restaurants and hotel guest rooms and common areas.
AquaGuard Standard Texture Laminate Flooring
-This flooring has a much lighter texturing than the EIR (Embossed InRegister) lines, but it's still enough to provide the look of genuine wood flooring.
-The AquaGuard Textured floor styles include a good mix of traditional, neat and clean wood looks with those showing more character mineral staining in the wood, knots, weathered appearance or the look of reclaimed wood. About half are Oak style. The remainder of this flooring has a great variety of wood styles and colors. A few of the styles have mixed plank widths to add visual interest.
-Like most AquaGuard laminate, the planks are 12mm thick. They have an AC5 residential/commercial wear rating and are backed by a guaranteed 15 year warranty.
-This material stands up to the traffic in a busy home or commercial building.
AquaGuard High Gloss Laminate Flooring High-gloss
-Flooring has a special shine and a special gloss to it, but it shows more imperfections than the other styles. It shows, ie...water spots, scratches, wear and dirt. The gloss might also make the floor more slippery than other finishes. There are more than 10 styles in the AquaGuard High Gloss laminate category, and they're very attractive.
-12mm, AC5 rating, Lifetime residential warranty and 15-year commercial warranty. The edges are sealed for 30-hour protection against water damage and pet accidents.
-This style of flooring finish means cleaning your floors more often. You want the shine without it showing off dirt and debris. And if that dirt gets walked on, it wears on the surface. If you're willing to keep up with the maintenance then AquaGuard High Gloss laminate is one to consider.
AquaGuard Handscraped Laminate Flooring
Handscraped (hand-scraped) wood planks have an old fashioned look, to a time when each plank was worked by hand to the right thickness. The handscraping also helps to expose the richness of the wood grain. AquaGuard handscraped laminate cost starts at $2.69 per square foot. There are various price levels to the most expensive AquaGuard laminate at $3.99 per square foot. The pricey styles have three plank widths and three plank lengths for enhanced beauty and the real look of an old-fashioned wood floor look. Colors are mostly medium grays and browns. You have neutral options like Latte Walnut and Estate Oak Greige.
-AquaGuard laminate: 12mm, AC5 rating and the Lifetime residential and 15-year commercial warranties.
AquaGuard Smooth Laminate Flooring
-It's a small collection that includes wood-look options and tile look alike flooring too. There is zero texturing in this style. Wood colors are medium-dark brown and quite warm. Their smooth surface is a more modern style of flooring. Each tile style show a collection of colorful tile designs rather than being uniform.
-Smooth AquaGuard laminate is a good fit for homes and commercial settings with a modern & contemporary look.
AQUAGUARD BRAND PROS & CONS
-This is quality flooring, and all of it is water-resistant. The wear rating AC5, which means is is ranked among the best. Style is covered well with EIR, handscraped, smooth, and more The warranty coverage is excellent, including the 15-year commercial warranty.
If you're looking for affordability, you'll have to find it in another brand. The quality is good to premium, so cost is higher-AquaGuard is only sold online, so if you like to see large samples before you buy, this brand isn't a good option.
ARMSTRONG TRADITIONAL LAMINATE FLOORING
-Is a Top 5 manufacturer of laminate flooring.
-It provides of large range of flooring. There's a floor type for every budget. It includes affordable 7mm laminate with increasing thicknesses to premium 12.3mm laminate. Most of it is 12mm. Your options include the spectrum of color – Mostly brown, but there's plenty of lights and very darks too. Low, Medium and High gloss flooring to give you the look you want. There's oak, maple, hickory, cherry, exotic wood species and more. If you're looking for specific lines in that have a Traditional Wood look, consider Armstrong Rustic Premiums, Premier Classics and Architectural Remnants. All have genuine wood flooring appearance that will enhance your home.
Armstrong Hand Scraped Laminate Flooring
Handscraped (also hand-scraped and hand scraped) wood has become popular for its texture, rich grain and old fashioned look There are two options in Armstrong hand-scraped laminate: Residential and Commercial. The Commercial flooring is backed by 30-year residential, 10-year light commercial and 5-year commercial warranties. Most is low gloss to hide dirt and superficial scratches. The Residential handscraped laminate is from the Armstrong Rustics Premium and Coastal Living lines backed by warranties of either 50 or 30 years. All Armstrong hand-scraped laminate flooring is 12mm thick for solid footing and long wear.
Armstrong Stones & Naturals Laminate Flooring
Not all laminate flooring manufacturers offer stone and tile looks. You won't find them in Pergo or Shaw, for example. There are over 20 options in Stones & Naturals. The tiles are large, either 11" or 16" wide. All are 48" long. The flooring is 8mm thick and has either a low-gloss or mediumgloss finish. Some mimic stone slab Carmona in 3 styles and Slate in 5 colors. In other words, there are no grout lines, just a field of gorgeous stone. Most mimic traditional stone tile including grout lines. Popular lines are Castilian Block in 5 styles and Porto Alegre in 3 styles. The color spectrum is impressive, featuring a good mix of lights, mediums and darks in warm, cool and neutral colors. The Armstrong Stones & Naturals flooring is protected by a 30-year residential warranty, but no commercial warranty.
Armstrong Audacity Laminate Flooring
Like AquaGuard, Shaw Repel, Mohawk RevWood Plus, Pergo WetProtect and others, it is guaranteed to resist water damage longer than ordinary laminate. A very tight locking system and core that won't absorb water are keys to the waterfighting success. Audacity by Armstrong is available in an impressive number of styles and colors. It is 12mm laminate that includes a 2mm sound-reducing pad that makes the flooring quieter to walk on. The Armstrong water-resistant laminate is protected by outstanding warranty protection, a Lifetime residential warranty and a 15-year commercial warranty.
DREAM HOME LAMINATE FLOORING
Lumber Liquidators launched its own laminate line called Dream Home Laminate, to attract customers wanting the look of wood at a lower cost. Dream Home laminate flooring cost is $.59 to $2.69 per square foot based on factors discussed below. This is the standard Dream Home line, and it is available in 7mm, 8mm, 10mm and 12mm designs. Some have attached underlayment pad for a slightly higher cost but having underlayment included cuts installation costs by eliminating the step of laying the underlayment. 7mm Dream Home is the cheapest laminate made by Lumber Liquidators. No pad is attached, and the colors are limited in number. The warranty is just 10 years. This flooring is a good "spruce up the house" laminate when you don't plan to live in the home for a long time. 8mm Dream Home is available in more colors, some with pad attached. Both domestic Oak in several shades plus exotic woods like African Rosewood and Brazilian Acacia are produced. Cost is less than $1 per square foot, and the warranty is just 10 years. 10mm Dream Home laminate quality is slightly better, but the flooring is still very affordable, starting under $1 per square foot. As the other widths, your options include flooring with and without attached underlayment/pad. 12mm Dream Home laminate flooring offers the best selection and prices still under $2 per square foot. Domestic and exotic hardwoods are included. Most 12mm Dream Home does not include underlay, so you'll have an extra cost there depending on where you install the material. The Warranties are either 10 or 30 years. The 30-year Dream Home is a better choice for long-term and heavy use when standard laminate at a lower cost is preferred to a more water-resistant laminate. Both grades are made in enough styles and colors to fit your home regardless of its architectural style and decorating.
10 years: Dream Home with a 10-year warranty costs $.59 to $1.15 per square foot.
30 years: Flooring with the 30-year warranty costs $1.49 to $2.09 per square foot.
- AGELESS WONDER
Ever wonder why hardwoods so popular? Maybe it’s because hardwood floors transcend time and style changes. That’s why many homeowners opt to pay more for the look. Unlike other flooring styles, hardwood takes much less work to refinish a floor than it is to remove and replace it. Other floors, you have to replace. With hardwood, you are able to refinish your hardwood floors even after 100 years.
Despite its fussy reputation, hardwood flooring is notably durable. Depending on the
species you buy, you may be surprised how much of a beating these floors can handle.
If you are still skeptical, head to your nearest hardware store and test it out
No one likes to spend hours cleaning their floors. Nor should you have to. That’s why hardwood flooring is an excellent choice for busy homeowners. Yes, you’ll have to sweep up or use a hardwood floor vacuum a few times a week. And yes, you should damp mop your floors regularly to keep them sanitized. But in general,
hardwood floors are one of the simplest floors to maintain. The trick is to protect your floors from day one. Make sure you use mats under pet dishes and coasters under your furniture. And if you’re worried about stains, don’t be. Most hardwood won’t discolor as long as spills are wiped up quickly.
- ADDS VALUE TO YOUR HOME
Hardwood flooring provides an excellent return on investment (ROI). Not only is it
cost-effective but it actually adds value to your home, even if its damaged. If you plan
on selling, a beautiful wood floor could help you increase your profit when its time to
sell your home.