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Vinyl Plank Flooring – an Honest Review 1 Year Later

Let’s talk about flooring options. I’ll be honest and say that before we bought our home I was really oblivious to all of the available types of flooring out there. It’s incredible how many options there are now for flooring. When we bought our house I knew we’d need new flooring in the main areas right away. When we started looking at flooring options there was just such a vast variety: hardwood, engineered wood, tile, wood tile planks, and vinyl plank flooring. I mean, it was a lot. We opted for an affordable laminate option throughout the main living area and carpet in the bedrooms. Check out below for my vinyl plank flooring review + a vinyl plank flooring review 4 year update.

During our laminate wood flooring installation I immediately regretted not going for new flooring in bathrooms as well. I was complaining to our contractor about the tile in the guest bathroom and our he suggested a vinyl plank flooring product as a budget friendly option. To be honest, when I heard “vinyl plank flooring” my mind immediately went to the rolls of vinyl flooring you see for pennies a square foot that we’ve had in every rental we’ve had before now.

Vinyl Plank Flooring vs. Laminate Wood Flooring

Vinyl plank flooring and laminate wood flooring are both popular choices for homeowners who want the look and feel of wood in their homes without the expense and upkeep of traditional hardwood flooring. While the two flooring options share some similarities, there are also some key differences that set them apart from one another.

One of the most significant differences between vinyl plank and laminate wood flooring is the material they are made of. Vinyl plank flooring is made of 100% synthetic materials, while laminate wood flooring is made of a combination of wood fibers and synthetic materials. This difference in materials means that vinyl plank flooring is generally more water-resistant than laminate wood flooring, which can be damaged by excessive amounts moisture. In my experience if something gets spilt as long as it gets cleaned up in a reasonable amount of time no damage will be done with laminate flooring. The water does tend to soak into the laminate flooring and takes time to dry out though.

Another difference between the two flooring options is their durability. Vinyl plank flooring is generally more durable than laminate wood flooring and can withstand high traffic areas, scratches, dents and areas where water is present like bathrooms or kitchens. However, laminate wood flooring can be more resistant to fading from sunlight than vinyl plank flooring.

Both vinyl plank flooring and laminate wood flooring are relatively easy to install and come in a wide variety of styles, designs and colors. Both flooring options can be made to look like natural wood and can add a warm and inviting feel to a room. However, vinyl plank flooring can be easier to install than laminate wood flooring, as it does not require the use of special tools, adhesives or an underlayment.

Want a more in depth discussion on the difference between vinyl and laminate? Vinyl vs. Laminate Flooring

Vinyl Plank Flooring Review

It was really hard to wrap my mind around a newer flooring concept that looked beautiful but was really affordable and durable. Our contractor told me about many of the perks of vinyl plank flooring like it’s affordability, how durable it is, and how great it is for bathrooms. The next day he brought over some samples and I was sold.

The Low Down on Vinyl Plank Flooring

Here’s the deal, vinyl flooring has come a long way. At the time of this writing, it comes in many colorways and options for installation. I was very impressed with the vinyl plank flooring that look like wood. It’s similar to the wood looking tile that is also really durable and popular right now.

Our flooring contractor brought over some Shaw flooring products to show us and I immediately gravitated towards the gray colored wood looking plank vinyl. He said we could install this flooring directly over the flooring already in the bathroom so installation was really affordable which allowed us to make the decision to go ahead and install the vinyl plank flooring in both of our bathrooms (we’re an easy upsell if you haven’t noticed). Doing so gave our entire house new flooring at the time of move in which was really a great treat. We didn’t think we’d be able to afford to change the bathroom flooring but the cost effective vinyl plank flooring gave us that opportunity. If you are interested in what the flooring looks like in our spaces you can see it here in our master bathroom and in our guest bathroom here.

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Vinyl Plank Flooring Review - Why we decided on vinyl plank flooring

Vinyl Plank Flooring Review and Four Year Update

After four years living in this home we are preparing it to sell as we will be moving out of state (we’re a military family and it’s time to PCS). I wanted to just give a quick update on how the vinyl plank flooring has held up over the past four years. I would 100% purchase this flooring again. For the price and the aesthetic vinyl plank flooring is a great flooring product. It’s stood the test of time against the regular use of the bathroom spaces.

Our girls regularly splashed water out of the tub, left wet bathing suits on the floor, we’ve even spilled nail polish on the flooring and it came up okay. I would highly recommend vinyl plank flooring as an option if you are looking for an affordable and durable flooring for you home. I can really only speak to it’s durability in a bathroom space as we didn’t have the flooring installed in any other areas of our home but I would absolutely consider vinyl plank flooring in other spaces in the future.

I also wanted to answer some common questions I have received since sharing the installation of our vinyl plank flooring. You can read those responses below.

Why did we choose vinyl plank flooring?

The simple answer is that we decided on vinyl plank flooring because it was super affordable. We paid $600 for the flooring itself for two full bathroom spaces. Then our contractor charged us a discounted fee to install it for us since he was already there doing the flooring in the rest of the home. I think the affordability of the flooring was also because the installation was rather simple as the flooring could be installed over the existing tile flooring.

Was it easy to install?

We didn’t install the flooring but it took our contractor about half a day to install the flooring in both bathrooms (he worked alone). As I mentioned above, we opted to have the flooring laid on top of the existing tile flooring. Our contractor told us that this is one of the perks of vinyl plank flooring, you can lay it right over the existing floor if it’s clean and flat since there is no required underlayment or leveling.

What product is your flooring?

The exact vinyl plank flooring product we selected is called De Soto in the color Shadow by Shaw. They come in wide 7×48″ planks and in a variety of colors. You can find the product here.

What’s the quality like? How are they holding up?

To be honest, I’ve been very impressed with the quality. I cannot recommend this flooring product enough. They are really great in looks and in practicality. I think they look even better in a space, in person, than they do in photos or in the box. They have some texture to mimic the feel of a wood plank. I especially love them in the bathrooms since they are easy to keep clean. The flooring is water resistant but like any flooring, you have to be sure to seal all of the edging near water with silicone so that water doesn’t get under flooring.

How do you care for them?

The caring of vinyl plank flooring is similar to tile floor product. You sweep and mop regularly with a damp mop. You could also vacuum them if you prefer but the maintenance is very worry free.

Do you find they get dented easily?

We only have this flooring in our bathroom spaces and after four years, there are no knicks or dents in the flooring. I think you might see some pressure spots where you have heavy furniture on top of the flooring in main spaces but overall I am really impressed with the durability of this flooring.

Overall, would you pick vinyl plank flooring again?

Yes! After we had them installed I told Matt that I almost wish we would have put them throughout our home because of the reasonable pricing and durability. This home is not our forever home as we’re still on active duty orders and will be moving a few more times in the next few years. Becacuse of that, this house will likely be a rental in the next few years. I think the vinyl plank flooring is a great flooring option for a rental property because of it’s low cost and low maintenance.

Also, I am really impressed with how the flooring looks. It truly looks like real wood. The feeling of the vinyl is textured which is different than other vinyl I’ve seen. Under foot you know that it’s not real wood but it’s still an impressive flooring option.

One other thing I want to mention is that I was really hestitant to select the gray color because I felt it was very trendy at the time. I considered that I might get sick of the gray color. After four years, I’m really pleased with the color selection. It is a wonderfuly contrast to the other flooring we have in our home and it is a great backdrop to the casual coastal vibe that I love in my homes.

Overall the vinyl plank flooring color goes well with all of the other neutral colors I use. They have a beachy feel that I love and they are light and bright for a bathroom space. The gray is a versatile color, the vinyl plank is great quality. That’s the long answer – the short answer is that we’re very happy with our selection of vinyl plank flooring! Hopefully you found this vinyl plank flooring review helpful.

Please comment below if you have any questions or feedback of your own on this vinyl plank flooring review!

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  1. We installed vinyl plank flooring in our master bedroom/bath for our remodel. I wanted a seamless transition in the flooring. We are thrilled with the look, feel and upkeep. Everyone who sees the floor is surprised it us vinyl. I placed a large area rug under the bed and the room has a cozy feel. I highly recommend this type of flooring!

    1. That’s great to hear, Kathy! I have a question for you since you used it in your bedroom. Someone asked me if heavy furniture causes any kind of indentation in the flooring. Have you had a problem with that? We only used it in our bathroom so no heavy furniture there.

  2. We are thinking of using the same type of flooring in a finished basement, but I’m really nervous to do it over such a large area and over concrete. Any thoughts?

    1. Hi Mindy, I think it would be a great option for a basement. I would definitely go with the vinyl planks over the sheet vinyl on the roll.

  3. How do the vinyl planks hold up with pets? We need to replace our flooring before we sell our home and I would hate for new floors to get damaged by our dog.

    1. I think the vinyl planks are durable enough to hold up to animals. We have a giant dog and they are fine but we only have them in our bathrooms which isn’t a high traffic area. Hope that helps.

  4. Did you lay this on top of tile? My contractor is worried about the grout lines showing through as small dips. We have the older wider grout lines of the late 1990s.
    It’s beautiful!

    1. We laid it on top of tile in one bathroom and on top of vinyl sheeting in another bathroom. No grout lines over the tile!

  5. I absolutely hate hate my vinyl flooring,it has a dull finish and shows any dirt on the floor and every scuff mark and always looks dull and dirty.It is only 4 months old, I could cry that I chose this floor I have to sweep or vacuum every day I’m older, have no kids and a small dog,I saved up for this floor a long time since I am single and on SS.DONT BUY IT.

    1. Wow Cindy! Do you have this exactly flooring? We love ours. We only have it in the bathroom so I can’t speak to having it in your high traffic living areas but I don’t find those things to be true at all with my flooring. I’m sorry you don’t like yours.

  6. The vinyl floor in your baths look great with your overall coastal décor. I used FirmFit brand LVP throughout my entire open plan new home. I wanted a realistic wood look plank floor that would flow seamlessly throughout the entire home including in wet areas. I used their TOPAZ line in the “Laredo” color (it is a distressed, medium dark brow color with slight tonal changes – not “striped looking” like many distressed plank floors). It has a surface wood grain texture (feels great on bare feet) with micro-beveled edges on planks that are 6 7/8″ x 48″. It has a heavy vinyl wear layer (lifetime guaranteed), a rigid core that contains a large percentage of limestone dust and a mildew proof cork backing for quietness. It is a floating floor with a heavy duty click together locking installation. It has a low luster finish and most people that see it have to be told it is vinyl not wood! It come in many different colors/woodgrains and several lines (TOPAZ is the premiere line). I researched a number of vinyl plank floorings from different manufacturers and the technical data on this flooring from FirmFit is outstanding and what sold me on this product. It is waterproof and pet urine proof, with an extremely scratch resistant wear layer (it can even be used commercially) and may be laid in continuous areas of up to 6700 square feet without transition strips. In addition, it is extremely resistant to cold and heat (it can be used in sunrooms/Florida rooms – many vinyl planks tell you to NOT let direct sunshine on the floor and to pull curtains to prevent this and avoid problems!) it will not buckle, curl or pull apart in extreme conditions and does not need to be acclimated prior to installation. It is easy upkeep – I vacuum once a week and do a daily run through with either my wool SLADUST mop or a micro fiber dust mop, damp mop as needed and sweep up small stuff as needed. Like any floor, darker colors will show dust easier than lighter ones. This is a reasonably priced floor and installation cost is about like laminate. All in all, I am very pleased with his flooring and recommend it highly. Customer service from the manufacturer is excellent an they are happy to help with all your questions about their product and will locate companies in your area that sell and install the flooring. Check out their website.