Flooring is an investment in your home and your lifestyle. While it may not be the first thing you think of when planning for a kitchen design or a home remodel, it is an essential element of your design and must be chosen with care. In a busy home, particularly high-traffic areas like a kitchen, hallway, or bathrooms, your flooring has to withstand constant foot traffic, pets, heavy furniture, and much more.

When choosing a flooring material, consider several criteria, including style, durability, long-term maintenance, and budget. Your flooring selection must work for your home’s needs and fit the requirements of the spaces. For example, some rooms, such as bathrooms and kitchens, are more moisture-prone and require flooring that can stand up to splashes and humidity. You also must be willing to commit to the maintenance and cleaning needs of your flooring.

If you are looking for a flooring material that balances style and functionality, is easy to maintain, and will last for years, luxury vinyl may be the perfect choice for you! Let’s learn more about this versatile flooring option and explore the benefits of choosing this for your busy home.

kitchen with luxury vinyl plank flooring

All About Luxury Vinyl Flooring

Today’s luxury vinyl flooring has come a long way from the old-fashioned standard vinyl flooring you might have seen in your grandparents’ house. With technological advancements, luxury vinyl has evolved to closely imitate natural materials such as hardwood and stone. It typically comes in luxury vinyl plank (LVP), which mimics the look of hardwood flooring, or luxury vinyl tile (LVT), which gives the appearance of stone or ceramic tile.

Luxury vinyl is comprised of layers of PVC vinyl and other materials combined to create a durable and stylish surface for your home’s floors.

  • A urethane coating is the outermost layer of luxury vinyl, which gives the floor its sheen.
  • Below this, the wear layer gives your LVP/LVT its durability, ease of maintenance, and textures, plus impacts the vinyl’s thickness. It makes the surface scratch and stain-resistant and extends the life of your floor.
  • Below this is the print layer, which gives the vinyl the realistic look of whichever material you choose to imitate. With the latest technology, you can achieve a look so close to hardwood or stone that you might not realize it isn’t the real thing!
  • All of these layers sit on top of the vinyl core, which may be mixed with other materials.
  • It may also be attached to a cork or foam layer, which makes the flooring more comfortable to walk on.

Luxury vinyl is thicker than standard vinyl, creating a semi-rigid and more durable surface. It typically comes in thicknesses ranging from 2mm to 8mm, and the thickness you choose tends to impact the longevity of your floor since it often relates to the wear layer.

kitchen with luxury vinyl plank flooring

Pros and Cons of Luxury Vinyl Flooring

There are many benefits but also a few downsides to luxury vinyl flooring. It helps to explore the pros and cons of this popular flooring option when deciding which surface is right for your home.

Here are some of the pros of LVP/LVT for kitchen design, bath design, and home remodeling:

  • Moisture-resistance – It is moisture-resistant, and some are virtually moisture-proof, making it an ideal choice for rooms like kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.
  • Durability – It is highly durable and is resistant to mold, stains, and scratches.
  • Low Maintenance – It is a very low-maintenance surface and will never need to be polished, resealed, or refinished. If a plank or tile becomes damaged over time, you can replace that single plank/tile rather than the entire floor, further extending the lifespan of this versatile surface.
  • Easy to Clean – While you should avoid abrasive cleaning products, it can be easily kept clean by sweeping and mopping with mild soapy water or a water/vinegar combination.
  • Reasonably Priced – This is not a cheap solution, but it is reasonable compared to other luxury products like hardwood flooring. It also has an easier installation process and lower long-term maintenance so it could save you even more money in the long run.
  • Appearance – While it may not be the real thing, luxury vinyl comes very close to mimicking natural surfaces. With technological advances in printing the design layer, LVP/LVT can come so close to the original material that inspired it, you may have a hard time figuring out which one is which.
  • Versatility – This material can be used in almost any room in the home, from your open plan kitchen and living room to the utility room, hallway, bathrooms, basement, and more.
  • Easy Installation – LVP/LVT can be installed using a simple click-together method, which means no need for gluing or nailing down the flooring. This makes it a quicker, simpler, and less expensive surface to install.
  • Longevity – Luxury vinyl, when well-cared for, can last for 20-25 years, so is an investment in your home.
Is Luxury Vinyl Flooring Right for Your Home? 2024

While there are not many cons when it comes to luxury vinyl flooring, it’s important to consider the downsides too:

  • Dents – LVP/LVT is a highly durable surface, but it is not indestructible. It can dent or scratch, especially when impacted by heavy objects such as large pieces of furniture or dropping heavy items on it. Take care when moving furniture and put felt pads on the legs of furniture to mitigate denting and scratching.
  • Longevity – While it is an easy-to-maintain surface, LVP cannot be refinished like hardwood floors. The ability to refinish hardwood multiple times means it can last almost indefinitely and you can change the look and finish every time you refinish the surface to update your design style. With LVP, you can replace a single plank if it gets damaged, but you can’t refinish it and you have to be happy with the style and finish you choose for the duration of the flooring.
  • Fading – LVP/LVT can fade if exposed to high levels of sunlight over a long period. You can mitigate this by moving around furniture or using window treatments to protect from direct sunlight.
  • Natural Appeal – While luxury vinyl can closely mimic natural hardwood it does not have the exact feel of the natural product and does not feel as warm underfoot. It also tends to repeat patterns of knots and grains, which gives it a uniform look but does not match up to the uniqueness of natural hardwood.

Best Applications of LVP/LVT in the Home

What are the best applications for luxury vinyl in the home? This is almost a trick question because the answer is: everywhere! Luxury vinyl is ideal for any high-traffic and moisture-prone areas in the home since it is durable and resistant to moisture.

It looks great in a kitchen as an alternative to hardwood flooring and will stand up to moisture, grease splatters, food spills, and foot traffic. You could pair it with hardwood flooring in adjacent areas, such as the living room, and match up the style and finish as closely as possible. Or use LVP throughout your first floor for a durable and stylish look that unifies the spaces.

You can also use it in less visible but busy spaces, such as laundry and utility rooms, and be sure it will last in these areas. Bathrooms also work well with LVP/LVT, as do basements, due to the moisture-resistant nature of the surface. In a bedroom, you could pair LVP with an area rug for added warmth.

Is Luxury Vinyl Flooring Right for Your Home? 2024

Style Options for Kitchens, Bathrooms, and More

Since luxury vinyl uses the latest technology to print realistic patterns on the design layer, you can achieve almost any look you want. It comes in a range of sizes, colors, and designs, so you will be able to find the perfect option to complement your kitchen or bath design. Here are a few things to consider when choosing your luxury vinyl product:

  • Which room or rooms are you remodeling?
  • What is the style of those rooms?
  • Are you trying to match your luxury vinyl to existing flooring in an adjacent space?
  • How big is the room and how much light does it get?
  • If you are embarking on a kitchen design or home remodel, what other materials and colors are you selecting for this space?
  • Do you prefer a luxury vinyl plank that imitates hardwood or a luxury vinyl tile that imitates stone tile?

Remember with LVP that you are committing to the style and finish you choose for the lifetime of that flooring, since unlike hardwood, it cannot be refinished. Your flooring choice must work together with other design elements, from the wall color to countertops, custom cabinetry, and more. Working with a kitchen or bath designer in a full-service design showroom allows you an opportunity to get expert advice and to place product samples side by side to see which choices work best.

Is Luxury Vinyl Flooring Right for Your Home? 2024

Installation Process

One of the benefits of luxury vinyl is the ease of installation. It typically uses a click-together method where the planks or tiles interlock. This means that no gluing or nailing down is required, though some luxury vinyl offers a glue installation method. Unlike tile flooring, there is no grout to worry about. It floats over the subfloor so there is very little prep work to do before you can start laying this flooring, though it must acclimate for about 48 hours before installing it. If you are using the click-together method of installation, you can walk on your new floor straight away!

Is Luxury Vinyl Flooring Right for Your Home? 2024

Budgeting for Luxury Vinyl

LVP and LVT are luxury products and therefore an investment in your home. Still, they are less expensive than some natural counterparts, such as hardwood flooring. One big advantage with LVP and LVT is the ease of installation, meaning your installation costs will be lower with this product, whether you decide to install it yourself or have a professional do it for you.  There are cheaper options available for flooring, but luxury vinyl is a smart choice for your remodeling budget as it enhances your home’s style and functionality.

Is Luxury Vinyl Flooring Right for Your Home? 2024

Is Luxury Vinyl Flooring Right for Your Home?

Choosing flooring for your home remodeling project is a big decision. Floors cover a large area in your home, they impact your room’s style, and they affect how you live in your home with their durability and ease of maintenance. Luxury vinyl has grown in popularity in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. Natural materials like hardwood and stone will never go out of fashion, but the latest advances in luxury vinyl do a great job of imitating them with a surface that is more suitable to a busy home.

It helps to see these materials in person when selecting the ideal choice for your project. Visit our Lansing, MI design showroom to speak to a member of our design team and to browse products and styles to inspire your remodeling plans!