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Vinyl Plank Flooring – 100% Waterproof Vs. Traditional Vinyl Flooring

Updated: Feb 23, 2023


Vinyl flooring is one of the most popular, if not the most popular, type of flooring found in homes and businesses today. Vinyl is cheap, versatile, and available in various designs compared to other flooring options. Regardless of your style preferences, you are bound to find the vinyl flooring that is just right for you.


But this was only sometimes the case with vinyl flooring. When the material was first introduced after WWII, it was on the back of the non-availability of linoleum. Vinyl quickly became the go-to replacement for this more established material because it could be styled to look like wood or linoleum flooring.


This is why if you look back at the way vinyl flooring was made, you will find that it worked hard to mimic linoleum. Back then, vinyl flooring was just linoleum made with a different material. But all that has changed. Today’s vinyl flooring is an entirely different product from those earlier versions.


While vinyl flooring is still being manufactured to imitate the aesthetics of wood or stone flooring, Granite Foundation Repair suggests it has become a worthy alternative to both materials. This post shows you just how far vinyl flooring has come.


Vinyl Plank Flooring (100% waterproof) VS Sheet Vinyl (traditional vinyl)


Although they are both made from the same material, sheet vinyl and plank vinyl flooring, look different that they are two different types of flooring.


  • Sheet vinyl comes in large rolls like linoleum flooring and is installed in much the same way as linoleum.

  • Plank vinyl flooring, on the other hand, is manufactured as individual planks installed almost the same way as tile flooring.


Other than their appearance and installation, what are the important distinctions between sheet vinyl and plank vinyl flooring?


1. Aesthetics

Since sheet vinyl is manufactured in large rolls with a photographed pattern underneath its top layer, it presents many design limitations. The sheets come in geometric patterns with printed-on grout lines to create the impression of seams. This design doesn’t really deliver an authentic feel.


Conversely, the individual planks of vinyl plank flooring may be installed in various shapes, patterns, and designs. It is even possible to add grout between the seams of vinyl plank flooring to achieve the three-dimensional look of wood or stone flooring.


2. Cost

Each square meter of vinyl sheet costs less than a square meter of plank vinyl. Where you pay around $30/sqm of sheet vinyl, you would pay $55-$90/sqm of plank vinyl. But plank vinyl is still the more cost-effective option because it is more stable and durable in the long term. Sheet vinyl is more complex and more costly to repair.


3. Water-resistance

Because it comes in solid pieces, sheet vinyl is excellent for dealing with moisture. The absence of seams in the material means there is no opening for water to penetrate your flooring. Plank vinyl also comes as a 100% waterproof product.


If plank vinyl flooring comes with click-lock installation, the seams are completely watertight to prevent moisture infiltration from above or below the flooring.


4. Durability

Sheet vinyl’s thin layers are incapable of hiding imperfections in your subfloor. Any dents or bumps in the subfloor will be visible through the sheet and can even damage the flooring. Plank vinyl flooring, on the other hand, comes in rigid planks capable of hiding up to ¼” imperfections on the subfloor. The rigidity of plank vinyl makes it more resistant to foot traffic than sheet vinyl.


5. Longevity

Over time, sheet vinyl tends to curl around its edges. If this happens, the fact that the flooring is not made from natural wood or stone becomes embarrassingly apparent. This does not happen with a vinyl plank; its rigid core gives it long-term stability. Vinyl plank delivers the authentic look of wood or stone with the additional advantage of being water-resistant and longer lasting.


6. Ease of installation

Vinyl plank is the better of the two options when it comes to ease of installation. Because it comes in small planks installed individually, anyone can install vinyl plank flooring. Vinyl sheets require professional installation since they come in large rolls that need precise cutting. Installing vinyl sheet flooring can be very frustrating because it is so easy to mess up the cuts.


7. Maintenance

Compared to vinyl sheets, vinyl planks are easier and cheaper to replace. If a section of plank vinyl flooring is damaged, you only need to remove and replace the damaged plank. Fixing sheet vinyl is more complex; if a section of the flooring is damaged, you must replace the entire flooring or cut out the damaged section to fill it with a new piece (that is if you can find a matching piece).


Finally, vinyl plank does a better job of boosting the market value of your home than sheet vinyl ever will. Using sheet vinyl in your home could actually hurt its resale value.


If you need help choosing new flooring for your home, contact us today to see how we can help you.

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