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5 things to look for when choosing luxury vinyl flooring

Luxury vinyl floor is great. Stylish, practical and best of all, completely waterproof. But not all vinyl is made the same. Here are 5 things to check before parting with your hard earned cash.

1. Wear layer

One of the first things to look for in a luxury vinyl plank is the wear layer. The wear layer is a protective film that covers your decorative print layer (which we'll come onto later). We recommend at least a 12mil wear layer for residential properties, however for heavy traffic households, we can go up to a 22mil wear layer.

The thicker your wear layer, the more protection your flooring will have from scrapes, scratches and dents. But keep in mind, heavy furniture will still create dents in some floors depending on the core material. Which brings us on to our next point. SPC vs WPC.

2. Print quality

Almost joint first in things you should check, is the quality of the print layer. Those who remember the first luxury vinyl offerings will remember a plasticky, shiny look that had no resemblance at all to real wood. We've also seen pixelated prints on flooring that just screams cheap.

3. SPC vs WPC

SPC stands for Stone Plastic Composite. WPC stands for Wood Plastic Composite.They're the core of the board. Wood is a little softer underfoot, but is also less resilient and more likely to dent under heavy furniture. Stone is a little harder underfoot, but much more resilient and less likely to dent. A top tip here is to buy the little foam furniture pads to keep your flooring looking new.

We prefer SPC, due to the extra resilience and the ability to keep cooler, which in Florida is a huge plus point.

4. Total Board & Pad Thickness

The overall thickness of the board and pad makes a world of difference. A thicker pad boasts extra comfort and sound proofing, whilst a thicker board shows higher quality and is much easier to install. We no longer offer anything under a 5mm board, due to our installers complaining that tapping in thinner boards often results in cracks and increased wastage.

But a thick board alone doesn't necessarily mean a good quality floor, especially for you DIY-ers. The final thing, in my opinion, is the most important.

5. Locking system

The locking system, or the way the floor clicks together is so important, it should actually be first. Imagine this, you have paid a small fortune for a beautiful luxury vinyl floor. It's got the best features, the best Floorscore, the thickest, plushest pad and looks identical to real wood. But every time you try and click it together, the locking system snaps.

We see this so often with flooring purchased from big box stores. Great price, great features, but the usability of the product is just not quite there. As a DIY-er, there's a high chance you don't have the required tools and know-how to be able to install a brittle floor. Even our best installer struggles with that, and he's been in the business for over 30 years.

So there you go. 5 things to look for when purchasing luxury vinyl flooring. For more information on luxury vinyl flooring, feel free to come in store or give us a call. We're always happy to help educate potential customers, to make sure that they make the right decision. We're in North Port on the corner of US41 and Grobe St. Not from North Port? Don't worry, we also cover Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, Englewood, Venice and surrounding areas. Give us a call on 941-426-4648 to speak to one of our flooring specialists.

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