Vinyl Plank Flooring

20 Replies

I'm looking to purchase either floating or glue down vinyl plank flooring for a single family home renovation. Anyone know of any good building materials supply companies, or other supply sources that offer similar quality to retailers like Home Depot, Lowe's, etc. at lower prices?

In general, I am very interested in any input you might have regarding sourcing vinyl plank flooring materials.

Floor & Decor (several Chicago area locations) has a pretty good selection of LVT. They have the peel and stick (not a fan), the glue down and the click together variety. We have installed several times in basements and it has been very well received.

For rentals I would not recommend click/lock type.  It is difficult to repair, I recommend glue down vinyl plank, just get s few boxes extra for future repairs.  Repairs can get done very easily, one piece at a time instead of pulling up whole sections.

@Stephen DiNanno   I'm also interested in Vinyl Plank Flooring for a Chicago rental. 

I'm considering Lifeproof brand (rigid core vinyl plank) from Home Depot, but still need to do more research on other brands.  

@Ann Folan , is there a brand that you have had a good experience with?

I'm looking to save on the installation costs -- has anyone installed these floors DIY?  I have no experience with flooring and I'm going into the project as a complete novice.   I've been watching Youtube videos, and it seems like a task I can could handle.  

Does anyone have advice on DIY installation of vinyl plank flooring?  Is it something a novice can complete?  I'd likely save around $2000 if I install myself.  Plus, I'd like to develop the skill for future projects.   

** If anyone in Chicago has an upcoming project of this nature and would like additional help for the job, I'd be interested to gain experience ** 

Both vinyl plank and laminate flooring is easy to install. I'd give it a 4/10 on a difficultly scale. You only need a few tools. The biggest time saver is a cutting tool. It makes quick work on cutting straight lines and creates no dust! The hard part fitting pieces around the doors. I would watch YouTube videos on it and take your time in those places. 

https://www.homedepot.com/b/Flooring-Flooring-Tools-Materials-Floor-Installation-Tools-Wood-Laminate-Vinyl-Tools-Wood-Laminate-Vinyl-Cutters/N-5yc1vZcdtq

@Brie Schmidt @Erin M. @Stephen DiNanno

I've installed a number of click-lock LVT/LVP floors and definitely prefer the click lock system to glue down. The mechanical connection between click-lock planks/tiles is solid and allows the floor to float as an integrated system rather than individual, glued down pieces. Installation is a breeze with a bit of practice and the proper tools. That said, @Gary Siver makes a valid point on the ease of peeling off a single glue down plank when repairs are needed.

Home Depot's LifeProof brand is solid, with consistent manufacturing and a great price point. For higher end projects - such as a single family homeowner client vs one of my rental units, I'll typically go through a flooring supplier such as Yonan, where quality is generally higher and colorways are truer to genuine hardwood. 

@Stephen DiNanno @Erin M. We always find it to be priced/brand quality the best consistantly at menards.  We have been buying this style for abotu two years now with no issues.  We do get a 10% discount there based on our valume but they do offer that to many contractors and they do have their 11% discount a few times per year.

https://www.menards.com/main/flooring-rugs/vinyl-flooring/vinyl-planks/shaw-reg-citadel-floating-vinyl-plank-5-91-x-36-84-18-14-sq-ft-pkg/mr30000755/p-1444453422201-c-6617.htm

@Erin M.  to date we have used a couple of different brands, with great success, all from Floor & Decor. If you want to send me a message I am happy to send some pictures of the finished product. And I am married to a GC so I have never installed it myself (and everyone is happy about that I tend to be the klutziest person on any jobsite!!).

@Mark Ainley thanks for the Menards tip! Their rebates a big PITA but can really add up when you buy a lot of material.

We have used Luxury Vinyl Plank from Home Depot. W narrowed down the colors to all of our acceptable choices and worked with the Pro Desk to send all of our acceptable colors to the "Bid Room".  Each color comes back from corporate at a different price point but we were able to find one at around a 30% discount from the in store advertised price. So far so good but it's only been about a year.  A little nervous as we sorta went "all in" and started using it on every one of our rehabs without a long term test. Fingers crossed.

Vinyl plank will still scratch but not tear. I give all tenants felt pads when they move in to place on all furniture. Two things mentioned in this thread NOT TO DO! I am not trying to step on toes just trying to help others out.

1. Use glue down NOT click in if your sub flooring allows. If you have a damaged place any where but the edge of click down flooring it is a pain to replace and will cost substantially more. Glue down you simply take a heat gun go over the damaged piece to warm up the clue, remove the piece and replace it.

2. Go with a major manufacture Lumber liquidators sucks they discontinue their product lines all the time and you will be left with flooring you can’t repair in the future. That’s one of the greatest things about plank its super easy to repair.

As a contractor, I have installed over 50k sqft of LVP flooring, different types from different manufacturers. Without a doubt LifeProof has been the best overall product and the easiest to install. It is readily available at Home Depot, great colors and realistic wood grain, very durable, low manufacturing defects, and by far the easiest to install. We haven't had any plank separation so far on any of our jobs. Prepare the sub floor, float low spots, sand down high spots, take your time with the install, verify edges aren't damaged, maintain a clean working area, inspect and clean the channels before installing each plank, ensure a complete lock and verify seams are running square/even. You will need to make adjustments to the entire floor occasionally, especially in the beginning when there isn't a lot of weight/friction. It is a good idea to stack several boxes on top of flooring on the first few rows to add wight and prevent movement while tapping new rows in place.  

Looks like this group has a pretty good handle on when to use Click Lock and when not. To just add a few bits of info;

1) with Click lock try and stay at 4 mm thickness NOT including the pad if your subfloor isn't the smoothest . Anything thinner will telegraph the highs and lows. 

2) if you need or want to glue down and heat or moisture is a issue, DON'T use a pressure sensitive adhesive EVER! Use a hard set that sets up fast (you can't spread the whole floor) and roll constantly during the install  to make sure your plank in in the glue when it sets. Hard sets are basically dead once set(cured) and very hard to remove from a floor but everything stays down if you install properly.

3) Please give yourself at least a 3/16" space around the perimeter of a floating floor install to eliminate call backs from peaking planks due to movement; Houses breathe so they expand and contract.

4)Always buy a floor with ha good FINISH. Wearlayer is NOT finish. Even a 6mil with perform very well in residential settings with a good Aluminum oxide finish.

Good Luck and good installs.