What Is Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring and Why Is It So Popular?

Before we talk about luxury vinyl plank flooring specifically, let’s talk about how we got here.

In 1933, vinyl flooring made its debut at the “A Century of Progress International Exposition” in Chicago. However, the materials used to manufacture vinyl flooring were in high demand due to World War II, so it took a while for vinyl flooring to become commercially successful.

By the 1960s, affordable, durable, and water-resistant vinyl tile was everywhere. Groovy florals, checks, and wavy patterns were all the rage. By the 1970s, the vinyl format had expanded to include planks in earth and wood tones that vaguely resembled traditional hardwood flooring.

Fast forward to today and 50 years of innovation have brought us luxury vinyl planks that are light years ahead of their psychedelic ancestors in terms of form and function. This is why luxury vinyl plank flooring is such a popular choice among homeowners and lake house rental property owners and managers.

Let’s take a look at modern luxury vinyl plank flooring and what makes it so special.

What Is Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring?

Luxury vinyl plank flooring is interlocking, plank-shaped flooring designed to replicate the look and feel of traditional hardwood flooring planks and even natural stone.

There was a time when vinyl planks were considered cheap. They were very thin and would attach to the subfloor like a sticker. However, that’s no longer the case.

How Has Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring Evolved?

Modern luxury vinyl plank flooring is far more advanced and sophisticated. There are protective outer layers that guard against scratches, scuffs, and tearing. Below these layers is the design layer, which closely resembles hardwood or stone.

In fact, vinyl planks can be difficult to distinguish from the real thing. Surfaces are textured or even hand-scraped and dinged to replicate natural wood.

The backing layer of vinyl is semi-rigid and nearly five times thicker than older vinyl tiles and sheets. Luxury vinyl planks are now available in glue down, loose lay, and click-locking formats so homeowners can choose the right format based on the environment and condition of the home.

Why Is Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring So Popular?

Let’s start with the obvious reason – price. Luxury vinyl plank flooring is significantly more affordable than genuine hardwood flooring. It’s also easier and less expensive to install than hardwoods in most cases.

Keep in mind that less expensive does not equal low quality or cheap-looking. As discussed, luxury vinyl plank flooring has come a long way since the 1960s and 1970s.

Luxury vinyl plank flooring’s additional layers and thickness translate to greater durability. If you want flooring that can stand up to kids, pets, renters, and heavy traffic, vinyl plank flooring is the way to go.

Because many vinyl planks have graduated from “water-resistant” to waterproof, more homeowners feel confident bringing beautiful, modern vinyl planks into their bathrooms and kitchens.

Maintenance with luxury plank flooring is equally simple. Sweep daily if possible and damp mop weekly with cleaning pads or a traditional mop with mild detergent.

Finally, because luxury vinyl plank flooring is so much thicker, it’s more comfortable and forgiving than hardwoods, tile, and laminates.

The only way to fully appreciate the value, beauty, and function of luxury vinyl plank flooring is to see it in person. Stop by Clarksville Furniture & Flooring and ask for one of our flooring specialists!

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