Are you considering LVPs (Luxury Vinyl Planks) in your home? Flooring can make a huge difference and with all the talk and rise in popularity of LVPs-you might be wondering if they’re the right choice for you. Are LVPs all they’re cracked up to be? Listen to the episode above, or read below, to find out more.
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What are LVPs
Luxury vinyl planks (LVPs is a flooring made of layers of man-made materials and vinyl, which is a form of a plastic. They’re made to look like hardwood with printed wood images. They come in a wide range of colors, styles, and widths so you have a lot of options when it comes to luxury vinyl planks. Many of them claim to be waterproof and scratch-proof.
LVPs can either be attached by gluing them down, or what’s more common is floating. Floating floors is a click and lock system that is placed on top of a current floor or subfloor.
LVPS-Are they a good flooring choice or not?
Are LVPs Good or Bad?
Well, there isn’t an easy answer to this. Some people love them, while some people hate them. Some contractors love them, while some others hate them.
It really comes down to what you want and what your expectations are with flooring.
Before investing in flooring ask yourself these questions:
- What do you like? Not just from the look standpoint, but from the function of it.
- What is your budget?
- Do you have large pets?
- Do you have a lot of sun exposure?
- What’s the weather like where you live? Do you live in a very humid or damp area?
- Do you have elderly in the home and have a fall risk that you want to consider with the type of flooring you include?
And what about the costs?
With LVPs, there is a large range of pricing. They used to be the budget-friendly option at only a couple of dollars a square foot, but I’m seeing LVPs in the seven to $10 plus range, which is now starting to be the cost of what a hardwood floor would cost.
A metaphor for LVPs
Let’s use a metaphor about steaks vs burgers to help explain how LVPs compare to hardwood flooring.
Steak vs burger metaphor
- Both are “good”, they’re just different, and depending on what you want a steak might be better, or a burger might be better.
- There are different ranges of steaks based on the cut or grade cost (Filet is considered higher-end than a sirloin.)
- Burgers can also range in price and quality (Burgers from cheap fast food places or fancier gourmet burgers.)
- You don’t expect your burger to be a steak, especially when it comes at a lower cost.
- And you might like or want burgers more than steaks. And that’s okay. (They’re easier to hold, you don’t need to use a fork and a knife.)
- But, if your burger costs the same as a filet, maybe get the filet instead due to better quality. You’ll get more bang for your buck.
LVPs and Hardwoods are the same-neither is good or bad, it’s about what your needs are, what your budget is, and what you value or want in flooring.
Pros of LVP
Luxury vinyl planks to have some great features that might make the right choice for your home. Some pros of LVPs are:
- LVPs can be installed over existing floors. (Note: it’s best to fill grout gaps so there aren’t any hollow spaces between the floor and subfloor.)
- Installation costs are lower because it’s easy to install.
- If you need something quick that looks good to sell a home or make an investment property look good easily-LVPs can do that.
- Many say they’re waterproof.
- Vinyl planks looks great. Especially the higher-end ones really look like hardwood.
- Floated LVPs are easy to change up and replace since it was just a click in place floating floor. (Although you do need to move all the furniture and change up the baseboards which isn’t as easy)
Cons of LVP
Companies have done an amazing job marketing LVPs. They sound like the ideal solution for your home, but there are problems with them.
- LVPs can fade in the sunlight. If you get a ton of natural light in your home they can fade. (Note hardwoods also fade in the sunlight.)
- Waterproof(ish) (see more below)
- The hollow sound you get walking on floated LVPs. Not necessarily a con, as long as you are aware of that common featuregoing in
- LVPs aren’t bullet proof like they’re made out to be. (see more below)
- LVPs can’t be repaired. you have to replace the board which isn’t as easy. (read more below)
LVP Cons Explained
Let’s talk about waterproofing. Is it really waterproof? Well, the product or the plank itself, yes…it is waterproof. BUT, the seams between the planks are not waterproof. So if you have any gaps, and water goes through those seams, you can actually warp your boards from below. You might not see any water or moisture above your floors, but you might get warping or cupping or other issues that can happen like boards splitting and separating. The cause can actually be moisture below.
Another thing to mention about LVPs with their durability is they are not as durable as they are made out to be. Yes, they’re more durable than softer hardwoods can be. But desk roller chairs can scratch them and heavy furniture can dent them.
LVPs can’t be repaired, sanded down or filled with wood filler like hardwood flooring when you have scratches. You’ll have to replace the board, which isn’t as easy to do. With a glued down floor you can remove one board, but with a floating installation, you’ll need to remove boards until you get to the edge at the baseboards. And then you remove the baseboard. Hopefully, if you get a damaged board it’s near the edge and not the middle.
Two flooring sources that I trust have both shared their concerns with LVPs and that they have a lot of problems with it. So much so that one might not want to carry it anymore despite how popular it is.
All right, we covered a lot in this episode and you still might have some questions. If you do, then I invite you to reach out to me. You can find me on Instagram @nestorations and just send me a DM. We can open up a conversation about this.
if you’d like more help choosing floors for your home, I invite you to book a design consultation. Simply go to nestorations.com/contact to get on my calender. I can’t wait to connect with you.