What is Vinyl Plank Flooring? 

Vinyl plank flooring is resilient, robust, and cost-efficient, making it a great choice for redoing the flooring. As it mimics natural wood flooring, many homeowners wonder what is vinyl plank flooring made of. Learning about the manufacturing principle of vinyl plank flooring will aware of its capability, usage, and maintenance process.

\Following, we have briefly discussed the preparation process of vinyl plank flooring as well as its benefits, drawbacks, choosing, and maintenance tricks to give you a clear understanding of it. Let’s begin by knowing what vinyl plank flooring actually is?

What is Vinyl Plank Flooring used for? 

Vinyl flooring comes in different styles, and vinyl planks are one of the more popular types. Vinyl plank flooring is designed in strips and normally printed to give a wooden finish. The vinyl plank flooring includes a groove and tongue system that makes the installation process easy. So pushing the tongue one by one into a groove and snapping together you can have a strongly bonded floor finish to endure harsh use. You need the best saw for cutting vinyl plank flooring precisely.

Vinyl plank flooring is mostly waterproof and highly durable. Hence, homeowners install this vinyl plank flooring in the kitchen, bathroom, and dining room to prevent moisture on the surface even after using water regularly.

What is vinyl plank flooring Made of?

Vinyl flooring consists of a layer of different materials. Those layers are made up mainly of the following:

  • UV acrylic coating
  • Wear layer
  • Print/pattern layer
  • PVC (vinyl) layer
  • Core
  • Built-in underlayment

The top layer is finished with a UV acrylic coating to save the flooring from sunlight. This layer makes the vinyl floors well suited for sunny rooms. In the next wear, the layer makes the vinyl flooring scratch-resistant and durable. Manufacturers make this layer in different thicknesses. But maintaining the right thickness is essential for a new look and toughness, and 20 mil is commercial grade.

The film layer is another important one, and its quality makes some manufacturers superior to others. The quality of this film layer also makes the vinyl flooring less or more convincing.

The vinyl layer covers the core from both sides and greatly contributes to the depth of the vinyl flooring. It also makes the product more supportive and stable.

The core adds the main weight of the vinyl flooring. This layer is waterproof and made of a combination of plastic and stone or wood.

The final layer offers foundational support to the vinyl flooring, and its built-in underlayment makes the product easier to install on the rough subfloor. This layer also boosts thermal insulation and noise without extra costs.

Vinyl plank flooring-benefits

Vinyl flooring brings lots of benefits to the homeowner who wants to redecorate the flooring. Vinyl is completely waterproof and incredibly versatile, making it suitable for use in high-moisture areas. So homeowners use this vinyl in the kitchen, bathroom, and basement. Its water handling ability makes the vinyl handy for an unpredictable family with kids or pets.

Vinyl flooring is extremely easy to clean. Unlike high-maintenance floors, vinyl flooring doesn’t need much time, cost, or energy to remain clean. Its smooth surface also allows you to sweep away the floor quickly and perfectly. Vinyl flooring includes click-lock milling, making it easier to install. So whether you are a seasoned pro or a first-time user, this DIY flooring project won’t hurt you.

Vinyl plank flooring- Drawbacks

Vinyl flooring can be affordable yet durable, but it’s not very environmentally friendly. Along with the other materials we have mentioned, the manufacturer also uses toxic chemicals to complete vinyl flooring. The chemical may continue to emit after installation. However, you can handle this problem by using vinyl flooring that is low in VOCs. Low-VOC vinyl flooring still includes some toxic chemicals like phenol, and it can build up later, even in a properly ventilated room, and find its way into the human body.

One study state that people who use vinyl floors suffer from reproductive, skin irritation, and respiratory disorders. If vinyl flooring causes a fire, it will produce toxic gas and hydrogen chloride, and it can be deadly if inhaled. Once again, due to being waterproof, vinyl flooring makes it hard to extinguish.

With proper care, vinyl flooring can endure many years. But after the usage, you will have a few recycling opportunities. So many homeowners leave it on the land, and the vinyl flooring continues producing toxic chemicals in the environment.

Vinyl plank flooring- Alternatives

Linoleum is a worthy alternative to vinyl flooring as it is more environmentally friendly. It is natural and affordable, though slightly costlier than vinyl. Although you will need a little extra effort to keep the linoleum water-resistant, giving wax once per year will boost its longevity.

Vinyl plank flooring- buyers guide

Vinyl flooring comes in a variety of types. So, fixing a specific type before checking other specifications will lower the difficulty. If you already have vinyl flooring, then your whole searching process will be different as you will only need vinyl sheets to lay on top of the existing. It is economical and easier to apply as well. Because of their moisture resistance, vinyl sheets are well suited for humid and damp rooms and are the top choice for bathrooms, kitchens, and other utility rooms.

But if your existing vinyl or subfloor has any kind of imperfections, you should consider something thicker. In this situation, using tiles or planks as sheet vinyl can cause indentations or dips.

Another option is cushioned vinyl, which will allow your floor to put a spring in your step. When it comes to the design, you will get almost any color and can even mimic the ceramic, stone, or wood for imagination-free decoration.

Vinyl plank flooring- Installation

Vinyl is so easy to install that even a novice DIYer can get a great result. Vinyl also doesn’t take more than three hours to install for most rooms. So, patience and good preparation, along with a smooth and level subfloor, will give you the best result when installing vinyl.

For vinyl planks, you must have a proper plan before starting. It means you should detect the exact position of the cut. So if you don’t have confidence in installing flooring, leave it to an expert. Except for the complicated patterns like vinyl planks, vinyl flooring installation is a quicker and more cost-efficient task.

Vinyl plank flooring- maintenance tips

The beauty of vinyl flooring is that it takes the least effort to look great. Simply vacuum or brush the flooring regularly to remove debris and prevent the sharp edge from denting or scratching the surface.

Wash the vinyl flooring every week. Through a mix of one cup of white vinegar per gallon of warm water works well, you can use floor cleaner to make the floor shiny. Cleaning the vinyl flooring doesn’t leave soapy residue, so don’t need to rinse.

But don’t use a floor cleaner that has alcohol. A floor cleaner that contains alcohol can damage the vinyl quickly, and wax can make the floor slippery. So avoid this type of cleaner.

Despite don’t use anything with abrasive surfaces like a mop or broom. Instead, use microfiber mops. The thing with scouring brushes isn’t also good for vinyl floors. Lastly, place some felt pads under the furniture’s legs to prevent leaving dents and avoid tears that can be caused by pushing the chair back.

FAQs on What is Vinyl Plank Flooring?

How long will the vinyl plank flooring last?

Vinyl plank flooring is very tough. After installing properly, if you maintain the vinyl plank flooring correctly, you can have 10 to 20 years of service. Therefore, many homeowners install this vinyl plank flooring in the room that gets the most foot traffic.

Can I place a refrigerator on vinyl plank flooring?

A single vinyl plank can carry around 500 pounds. And your refrigerator won’t fit on one vinyl plank. It means you can confidently put the refrigerator and other bulky furniture on the vinyl plank flooring. Home appliances won’t crack or damage the vinyl plank flooring as it is highly durable.

Is vinyl plank different from laminate?

Vinyl planks and laminate are similar in their looks and the way they are installed. But the main difference is that vinyl planks have a core that is made of wood and bonded with resin. Its top layer is hard, and the wear layer covers the printed layer.

Final words

With a combination of durability, affordability, and aesthetics, vinyl plank flooring is the most renovating way to redo the floor. Therefore, vinyl plank flooring is growing in popularity among homeowners, especially for high moisture spaces. Despite learning what is vinyl plank flooring is made of can help you find some new spots to install in confidently and enjoy its benefits. Throughout, we have offered some basic information on vinyl plank flooring in a range of criteria to help you decide whether you should invest in it or not. Now the decision is yours!

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Sam Morgan is a general contractor based in Charlotte, North Carolina. He does home renovations, extensions, landscaping maintenance, and general handyman jobs for homeowners. He is also the part-time content writer at Machine Handyman and a lifelong tools enthusiast. Sam loves hand tools, power tools, machinery, and DIY gadgets of all shapes and sizes! He is always researching the different types of home improvement tools that will get the best results. This site will cover products like power drills, air compressors, saws, nail guns, screw guns, grinders, cutting tools, and many more.

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