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The Three Vinyl Plank Flooring Types

Have you noticed how vinyl plank flooring is taking the design world by storm? It's becoming the go-to choice for many, and for good reasons! Forget the days when hardwood was the only option for a chic look.

Sure, hardwood has its charm, but let's talk about cost and practicality. That's where the magic of vinyl plank flooring types comes in—they're not just stylish, they're also a wallet-friendly and durable alternative to traditional flooring.

Key Takeaways

  • Vinyl planks, including LVPs and WPCs, provide a durable, water-resistant, and stylish flooring solution for various settings.

  • Vinyl plank flooring offers multiple installation options like tongue and groove, glue down, and loose lay, accommodating various preferences and skill levels.

  • For an extensive range of high-quality vinyl plank flooring, turn to America's Carpet Outlet, your trusted flooring supplier, offering expert advice and exceptional customer service.

What is Vinyl Plank Flooring?

Luxury home with vinyl flooring imitating real wood

So, what exactly is vinyl plank flooring? Imagine a flooring solution that combines the durability of plastic with the elegance of traditional designs.

Yes, there's a whole world of vinyl out there! From the cozy corners of your living room to the busy spaces of offices, different types of vinyl are ready to transform any area. Each type comes with its unique set of layers and cores, offering a tailored solution for every flooring need.

The Different Types of Vinyl Planks

Let's take a look at the different vinyl plank flooring and discover the variety they offer.

Luxury vinyl planks (LVPs)

Luxury vinyl flooring for a minimalist living room

Luxury Vinyl Planks, commonly known as LVPs, are the gems of the vinyl flooring world. They're elegantly designed to replicate the timeless beauty of hardwood or stone.

What truly sets LVPs apart is their remarkable durability. They're constructed to be robust and thick, boasting a scratch-resistant surface that can withstand the daily wear and tear of high-traffic areas. This durability is attributed to their thicker grade wear layer, which acts as a shield against scratches and impacts so that your floors look pristine for years.

Not only do LVPs mimic hardwood floors and stone tiles with incredible accuracy, but they also come in a variety of designs and patterns. These planks can also mimic ceramic tiles, providing the elegance of stone or ceramic without the associated cost and maintenance.

LVP flooring is also a champion of practicality. It's water-resistant, making it an ideal choice for areas prone to spills or moisture. This feature, combined with easy installation options, makes LVPs a favorite among homeowners and contractors alike.

Wood plastic composite vinyl planks (WPC)

wpc flooring in kitchen

Wood plastic composite (WPC) vinyl planks are like the superheroes of the vinyl flooring universe. They are the epitome of functionality and style, boasting complete waterproof capabilities. No matter how busy or moisture-prone an area is, a WPC floor is ready to rise to the challenge.

WPC vinyl planks blend wood and plastic to create a core that's both sturdy and waterproof. This unique composition not only ensures the flooring's durability but also enhances its comfort. Unlike some other flooring options, WPC vinyl planks are thicker and softer underfoot, making them a joy to walk on, even during those long hours on your feet.

These planks come in a myriad of designs and styles, adding visual appeal to their list of attributes. Whether you're looking for the rustic look of traditional wood, the elegance of genuine hardwood, or something more modern and unique, WPC vinyl planks offer versatility in design.

The high-quality printed layers of these floors can mimic an array of materials, from stone to ceramic tiles, with stunning accuracy. This versatility allows you to achieve the look you desire without compromising on practicality.

Rigid Core Vinyl Planks (SPC)

SPC vinyl flooring in a restaurant

Rigid Core, or SPC (Stone Plastic Composite), represents the pinnacle of durability in the vinyl flooring family. Known for its unparalleled toughness, SPC flooring is a marvel in both residential and commercial spaces. Its 100% waterproof nature makes it a formidable choice for areas prone to moisture or heavy foot traffic.

The distinctive feature of SPC lies in its core—a robust combination of stone and plastic, which lends it exceptional strength and stability. This composition ensures that your floors can withstand the rigors of daily life.

This type of flooring is also celebrated for its versatility in design. While it may not offer the same warmth underfoot as WPC, the design options with SPC are abundant. From the classic elegance of stone or ceramic tiles to the natural charm of wood flooring, SPC planks come in a variety of styles to suit any decor.

These vinyl floors incorporate high-quality printed layers that replicate the look of more traditional materials with astonishing accuracy. Additionally, their wear layer makes them resistant to stains and scratches so that floors not only look exquisite but also maintain their appearance over time.

SPC plank flooring is also a practical choice for modern living. Its easy installation process makes it a suitable project for DIY enthusiasts or a quick task for professionals. The rigid core technology has advanced to offer fewer seams and tighter spaces between planks, enhancing the overall look and feel of the floor.

Thickness of Vinyl Planks

When it comes to choosing the right vinyl flooring, one of the key factors to consider is the thickness of the planks. This often-overlooked aspect plays a crucial role in determining where and how your vinyl flooring can be used most effectively.

Thickness is measured by mils, and each mil equals one-thousandth of an inch. This measurement is key to determining the durability and suitability of vinyl planks for various environments.

For those cozy residential areas where comfort is key, a 6-mil thickness is often sufficient. These planks are designed to provide the durability needed for everyday home life while offering a level of softness underfoot. They are perfect for rooms where you spend a lot of time on your feet, such as kitchens and living rooms.

In contrast, 12-mil vinyl planks are better suited for light commercial spaces. These areas, which might see a moderate amount of foot traffic, require flooring that strikes a balance between durability and comfort. The 12-mil thickness ensures that the planks can withstand regular use in environments like small offices or boutique stores.

For the busy world of commercial areas, where durability is paramount, vinyl planks with a thickness of 20 mil or more are ideal. These heavy-duty planks are engineered to endure the high foot traffic and constant use found in larger commercial settings. They're designed not just to resist wear and tear but also to maintain their appearance over time, making them a smart and cost-effective flooring solution for businesses.

Vinyl Plank Designs

vinyl flooring samples

The world of vinyl plank flooring is a treasure trove of design possibilities, a far cry from the limited choices of the past. Today's vinyl plank floors offer an inspiring range of designs, from the timeless elegance of classic wood and stone finishes to contemporary metallics, bold geometric patterns, and a vibrant spectrum of colors. The options are virtually limitless.

Modern vinyl planks come equipped with features like water-resistant layers, stain resistance, and a durable wear layer, making them as practical as they are stylish. The printed layer of these planks is where the magic happens, offering high-quality coverings that can flawlessly mimic real wood, ceramic tile, or even more exotic materials.

Installing Vinyl Planks

Installing vinyl planks is an endeavor that combines ease with versatility, offering different methods to suit various preferences and skill levels.

Tongue and groove or interlocking

One of the most popular methods for laying vinyl planks is the tongue and groove, which is also similar to the interlocking method. These two approaches are wonderfully DIY-friendly and eliminates the need for messy glues. The planks neatly lock together over existing flooring, creating a stable and seamless floating floor.

Glue down

If you're aiming for a more permanent solution, the glue-down method is your go-to. By securely adhering each plank to the subfloor, this technique provides additional stability, making it a wise choice for high-traffic areas or commercial spaces.

While it requires a bit more work during installation, the result is a sturdy and enduring floor, ready to withstand the rigors of daily life.

Loose lay

For a quick and straightforward installation, consider the loose lay method. This technique is perfect for those seeking a hassle-free option.

The planks are designed with a special backing that grips the subfloor, allowing them to be laid down without any adhesives or locking mechanisms. While incredibly convenient, it's best used in spaces with lower foot traffic, as the planks are more prone to shifting compared to other installation methods.

Benefits of Vinyl Planks Over Other Flooring Types

mop on vinyl flooring

When it comes to choosing flooring, vinyl planks offer a multitude of benefits that set them apart from other types. Here are some of the key advantages to consider:

Easy to clean

Vinyl planks are known for their hassle-free maintenance. A simple sweep or damp mop is all it takes to keep these floors looking pristine.

Highly durable

Durability is a hallmark of vinyl planks. They are built to withstand heavy foot traffic, resist stains, and endure daily wear and tear, making them a long-lasting flooring solution for both homes and businesses.


Another significant advantage is their water resistance. Vinyl planks can handle spills and moisture, making them an ideal choice for areas like kitchens and bathrooms where other flooring types might not be suitable.

Versatile design options

With vinyl planks, the design possibilities are nearly endless. Vinyl offers a variety of styles to complement any décor.


When it comes to cost, vinyl planks offer great value. They are generally more affordable than traditional hardwood or stone flooring, providing a cost-effective way to achieve a high-end look without breaking the bank.

Sound absorbing

Vinyl planks also have sound-absorbing qualities, making them a quieter flooring option compared to harder surfaces like wood or tile. This feature adds a level of comfort and tranquility to your space.

Other Vinyl Floorings

While vinyl planks are a popular choice, the world of vinyl flooring doesn't stop there. Let’s explore some other types of vinyl flooring that offer their unique benefits and styles:

LVT (Luxury vinyl tile)

LVTs, or Luxury vinyl tiles, bring a different dimension to vinyl flooring. These square-shaped tiles offer the same stylistic versatility as vinyl planks but in a format that's reminiscent of traditional tile. They're perfect for those who love the look of ceramic or stone tiles but want the practical benefits of vinyl.

Sheet vinyl

For those on a budget, sheet vinyl presents an attractive option. This type of vinyl comes in large, continuous sheets, making it a fantastic choice for creating a seamless look. Its softer texture offers comfort underfoot, and its ease of installation makes it a practical choice for quick renovations.

Discover the Perfect Vinyl Flooring with America's Carpet Outlet

As we've explored the various types and benefits of vinyl flooring, it's clear that this versatile material can meet a wide range of needs.

If you're ready to explore an impressive selection of vinyl flooring options, America's Carpet Outlet is here to guide you through every step of your flooring journey. With our extensive range of luxury vinyl tile, wood-like planks, and other high-quality vinyl options, you're sure to find the perfect match for your style and needs.

Our team is dedicated to providing you with not only the best products but also expert advice and top-notch customer service. We do installations too!

Don't wait to give your space the makeover it deserves. Contact us today to learn more or get a flooring estimate and take the first step towards a beautiful, durable, and practical flooring solution. Remember, the perfect floor is just a conversation away!

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of vinyl plank flooring is best?

The best type of vinyl plank flooring depends on your specific needs. For high-traffic areas, choose a thicker plank with a high wear layer. For moisture-prone areas, waterproof options like WPC or SPC are ideal.

What are the three types of vinyl flooring?

The three main types are:

  • Luxury vinyl tile (LVT): Mimics stone or ceramic tile.

  • Luxury vinyl planks (LVP): Imitates hardwood planks.

  • Sheet vinyl: Comes in large, continuous sheets.

What are the different types of vinyl plank flooring installation?

The three common installation methods are: Tongue and groove/interlocking, glue down, and loose lay.

What is the key difference between vinyl plank and luxury vinyl plank?

Vinyl plank generally refers to a basic vinyl composition, while luxury vinyl plank (LVP) typically has a more realistic look and feel, a thicker wear layer, and a more robust construction, offering enhanced durability and aesthetic appeal.


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