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Luxury Vinyl Plank vs Vinyl Sheet Flooring: What’s the Difference

If you’re replacing the floors in your home, you may be thinking about installing vinyl flooring. After all, vinyl offers many advantages, including durability, water resistance and easy care.

But should you choose vinyl sheet flooring or luxury vinyl planks? Many people are unaware that vinyl planks are available, and they offer a great alternative to sheet flooring.

luxury vinyl plank samples
vinyl sheet flooring in the kitchen

Vinyl Sheet Flooring – The Pros and Cons

Most people are familiar with vinyl sheet flooring, even if they don’t realize it. This is the classic linoleum that has been around for decades.

There are some advantages to vinyl sheet flooring, such as:

  • Waterproof properties 
  • Stain resistance
  • Affordable cost
  • Easy maintenance

However, there are also some major disadvantages, and these drawbacks are a big part of the reason why vinyl sheet flooring is on the way “out” in home design.

  • Installation and Repairs are Difficult: Because this type of flooring installed as a big “sheet,” it’s very difficult to repair, especially if your design mimics wood flooring. If one area of the flooring is damaged, you’ll need to either replace all of the flooring or patch the affected area. Patches may not blend in well, creating a major eyesore in your home.
  • Discoloration: Vinyl sheet flooring does have a protective layer that’s stain resistant, but unfortunately, this type of flooring is still very prone to discoloration. Low-quality versions of vinyl sheet flooring can turn yellow over time.
  • Subfloor Imperfections: Sheet flooring must be installed on a perfectly smooth surface. Vinyl is a soft material, and if the subfloor is uneven or not perfectly smooth, it can easily damage the material or cause lumps over time.

Simply put, vinyl sheet flooring is the “old-school” option for flooring. Today, there’s a better way to enjoy the benefits of vinyl flooring – vinyl planks.

Mountain Prime Whitney SPCLuxury Vinyl Planks – The Pros and Cons

Luxury vinyl plank flooring can be installed in a few different ways. The traditional installation involves gluing each plank down individually. This is still a very wide used technique, especially in commercial spaces.

However, in recent years, a new installation method has been developed that allows the flooring to be laid down quickly. This new product, called snap-lock flooring, uses a click locking system that allows you to place the flooring down quickly, and then snap the planks into place. The planks are held in place by the locking system.

Available in a Variety of Colors and Styles

Luxury vinyl planks come in a much larger variety of colors and styles. Most traditional vinyl planks will look similar to linoleum and will offer grater benefits.

However, the newer luxury vinyl planks come in styles that mimic perfectly hardwood or stone looks. These newer styles offer a much more realistic appearance along with some incredible properties.

Affordable and Durable

Luxury vinyl planks come in a range of prices from the most affordable (at about 1$/sqf) to the most durable and luxurious (at about 5-6$/sqf). Installation and Repairs aren’t as difficult either. Simply replace the damaged plank.

The Takeaway

Vinyl sheet flooring is quickly becoming the outdated option for vinyl flooring. Luxury vinyl planks offer the benefits of water and stain resistance, durability and easy installation without the drawbacks of difficult repairs and easy damage from sub-flooring.

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