Luxury vinyl plank, commonly referred to as LVP, is the hottest flooring item on the market right now. These are attractive, durable, waterproof products that are easy to install and cost less than real hardwood or tile. They are so popular that just about every flooring manufacturer makes them because they sell so well.

But is there a catch? Do these products really live up to the popularity and marketing hype? Are they really kid-proof, pet-proof, waterproof, and just about indestructible? Let’s find out by looking at some of the pros and cons that we’ve come to discover through our time working with these products.

Luxury vinyl plank: Pros

Easy to Install
Homeowners can install LVP on their own even without prior experience installing floors. These products usually click or snap together easily and are simple to cut to work around corners and walls. These can normally be put in “floating” which means no nailing or glue is usually required.

Additionally, in many cases, these products can be installed right over the top of the previous floor without having to remove what was already there. These are definitely the easiest products to work with out of all other flooring options.

Durable (generally)

LVP products are generally durable, and overall are more scratch resistant than hardwood. They are good protection from dog claws and playing children. Quality matters though. LVP has a vinyl clear wear layer on the top of the product. This is what gives the product it’s protection. These wear layers range from 6-30 mils in thickness.

Cheaper products that have a 6-8 mil wear layer can certainly have durability issues and can scratch and show wear relatively quickly. Cheaper products and higher quality products are both marketed as being scratch proof, but be mindful when shopping that you get what you pay for, and cheaper options may not work as well as advertised.

Lots of bang for your buck

These products deliver quality and style at a lower cost than tile or hardwood. They look great and are in style. They are generally durable as discussed before, and the planks are waterproof, so they work great in kitchens and bathrooms. Additionally, most people can install themselves if they wish, further saving on costs.

Luxury vinyl plank: cons

These are without a doubt the hottest products on the market right now, and they look great. However, how long will the luxury vinyl plank trend last? Is it here to stay, or will it fall out of fashion like many other style trends do?

The truth is it’s anyone’s guess and nobody knows for sure. Hardwood and tile (depending on the color) has always been in style and has never gone out of fashion. LVP is new and something worth considering is whether you want something timeless, or something trendy that could possibly go out of style later.

How waterproof are they?

The surface of these products is 100% waterproof and will be resistant to common household spills in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.

However, major water problems such as a flood, recurring leaks in basements, or puddling that goes unnoticed for a period of time can cause discoloring or warping in some products.

It’s not hardwood

Hardwood has proven itself to be a timeless flooring option and always adds value to a home. While this product may look like hardwood, it just isn’t the same.

When it comes time to sell your house you’ll get your money back at least with hardwood, but that will probably not happen with LVP. Additionally, they can’t be sanded and refinished like a hardwood.

So in summary, generally these are great products and look nice when installed. Hopefully these pro’s and cons will help you when starting your next flooring project!

LVP in our showroom

Paramount RigidCore
Shaw Floorte
Armstrong Alterna