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keywest230

Vinyl plank flooring in higher-end home?

keywest230
6 years ago

I plan to build a house in SW FL this year. Nice house with pool, on a canal, in a great area.

Would you think it strange if I told you that my wife and I both like the idea of vinyl plank flooring (aka luxury vinyl tile, LVT)? We think it looks great! We really like the way it looks. We like that it is essentially waterproof, maintenance free and will last forever. This seems especially important in coastal Florida.

And, on top of all that, we like that we've been told that it's only about $4/sqft installed! We expect to be pushing our budget with this build and are prepared to make compromises on materials and finishes.

This will be the professionally installed glue-down type which we've been told is superior to the click-together type preferred by DYI-ers. Also being told that at any point in the future we could install engineered wood floors or tile right over top of this.

We plan to live in this house for a long time, and are building this house for ourselves and not for future resale, but I still try to keep future resale in mind as we make decisions.

My builder says LVT is going into every commercial project in SW Florida right now, and in 75% of his new homes. He refers to it as "resilient flooring" which I see as an attempt to take the emphasis off "vinyl".

Am I crazy for thinking about installing what are essentially plastic floors into a new higher-end home? I would love to hear your expert opinions about this. Thank you.

Comments (70)

  • ncrealestateguy
    6 years ago

    This stuff looks fairly nice, but not being able to withstand temps over 80 degrees and being susceptible to sun damage is a big red flag to me.

  • zippity1
    6 years ago

    actually i believe it's the installation which requires the 80 degree temp otherwise there would be no places in the US and few in Canada that would meet that requirement. our installation took place in sept in south texas where the temps didn't go below 85 and many days were over 100 the materials were acclimated in the home with ac running at 78 for more than a week before installation

    unless you're using stone, most materials come with a sun fade warning, that includes wood and carpet, but not ceramic or porcelain tile or stone

    to me, the biggest disadvantage would be the actual material itself, being made from petroleum based materials that are not renewable or maybe folks who just don't like vinyl........

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  • cpartist
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    to me, the biggest disadvantage would be the actual material itself, being made from petroleum based materials that are not renewable

    That is number one as to why I don't like it, but the other reason is if you look at their wood look tile, they are only 36" or 48" long lengths. The engineered wood flooring I am using is 76" long lengths.

  • tete_a_tete
    6 years ago

    cpartist, do you mean that the 'lenths' of the 'floorboards' are short? That was my impression too and I wondered why it was made to look that way. Even I know that floorboards are long.


  • Kris_MA
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Partly because of this thread, we are putting vinyl plank flooring into a 10x10 mud (and snow) room to get our house ready to sell next month. We really like it -- DH put it down in a few hours time last Saturday, and we’re putting the trim and doors back on today. Easy schmeasy. The price was great, it was a 100% waterproof Shaw product from the big box store, and their teak color was 75% less than the other colors, so all in it cost us under $100 including the noise dampening underlayment we opted to use. The room opens to wood floors on two sides and it really looks o.k. next to the real wood - it’s only after you really look at it that you are aware that it’s not real wood. That’s good enough for me, under these circumstances -- we are covering 1972 fake-slate-tile sheet vinyl. To be honest, after seeing it, I would not have a problem at all with putting it into another room, it really has a nice look, and I’m fairly picky (DH would laugh at me using “fairly” in that sentence).

    To the OP: I think you should go for it, it seems like a decent solution, and a floating floor is never a huge problem to take up, so if it’s not the buyers cup of tea, they’ll know it’s a cinch to change it. My guess is that most people who see it will be fine with it.

    keywest230 thanked Kris_MA
  • ncrealestateguy
    6 years ago

    In my 13 years of selling RE, I have never had a buyer comment on whether or not a flooring was "renewable". I don't know of any flooring that would be renewable.

    keywest230 thanked ncrealestateguy
  • adoiron
    6 years ago

    kris ma - i noticed you say it is easy to install. we have never done a floor before so is it easy for a novice?


  • zippity1
    6 years ago

    my kiddos did it 5 years ago they're not at all handy but their floors look great.......

  • Kris_MA
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Not at all hard, just a score and snap process. DH used tin snips to go around the pipes for the baseboard heaters. It really looks professional- no gaps between boards. It was his first time installing it. He did remove the base trim and left gaps that will be covered when he replaces the trim.

  • cpartist
    6 years ago

    cpartist, do you mean that the 'lenths' of the 'floorboards' are short? That was my impression too and I wondered why it was made to look that way. Even I know that floorboards are long.

    The actual board lengths that are click/lock are what I'm talking about. For example, each board of the Kahr's engineered oak flooring I'm looking at is 5" wide x 73" long (My mistake before. I just double-checked and they are 73" long). Most of the other engineered hardwood companies will have random lengths from 48" up to 80" and sometimes 96" I believe. Kahr's is one of the few that has set board lengths I believe.

    Compare that to the 48" length of an LVT board.

  • cpartist
    6 years ago

    PS: When I was selling my house a few years ago, I did use LVT in one of the rooms and it looked great in there. We threw a desk in the room, called it an office/toy room/MIL suite. All the other floors throughout the house (except the bathrooms and kitchen) were 1898 red oak in perfect condition.

  • cpartist
    6 years ago

    I think if I was building keywest's house, I would definitely use the LVT for the ground floor. However (and again, this is what I'd do) for the two upper floors I'd most likely go with engineered hardwood.

  • acadiafun1
    6 years ago

    kris ma - i noticed you say it is easy to install. we have never done a floor before so is it easy for a novice?

    Not kris ma- but DH installed ours. He has laid down four tile floors and refinished our floors so I think he is pretty handy. We used the planks that fit together without adhesive. He said it is not hard but not easy either when laying down approx 450 sq, ft. of the flooring. He told me the biggest challenge was preventing a row of tiles from popping up before the row was completed. You need to leave some space where the flooring meets the wall for expansion. He had to carefully measure everything. It took him days not hours to complete because he took his time.

  • chisue
    6 years ago

    Use what you LIKE.

    However, don't think putting another floor *over* this would be simple. I suspect you'd need to move out, pull out appliances (and possibly cabinetry), remove and replace baseboards, and shorten all your doors.

    keywest230 thanked chisue
  • handmethathammer
    6 years ago

    I was thinking of this thread this weekend as we toured the Parade of Homes sponsored by the local home builder's association. I noticed a huge trend of LVP floors or ceramic tiles that look like wood being used in nearly all of the homes, even the very expensive high end homes. We only saw one house (out of 17) that used actual wood flooring, and I am pretty sure it was an engineered product.

    It seems here, it is ok to use LVP in high end homes, and it looks like people are starting to shy away from wood floors, but still like the look.

    keywest230 thanked handmethathammer
  • cpartist
    6 years ago

    handmethehammer, what price range are the high end homes in your neighborhood? Just trying to get an idea. Thanks in advance.

  • handmethathammer
    6 years ago

    The homes I saw with the vinyl plank floors were between $500,000 and $700,000. I would say anything above $450,000 is in the higher end of the market.

  • zippity1
    6 years ago

    homes i am aware of that have vinyl plank flooring range from 150,000 to 1.5 million south of houston tx which is known to have less expensive real estate prices 3 of the 4 range from 450 thousand to 1.5 million surprisingly the more expensive the home, the more vinyl plank was used




    keywest230 thanked zippity1
  • cpartist
    6 years ago

    Interesting to hear zippity that the more expensive houses used more of the LVT.

    Here in the area of SW FL that both keywest and I are building in, higher end starts at about $750,000 and can go up into the multi-millions if on the water.

  • nosoccermom
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I've been looking at these planks for a basement and find tile too cold. Are both glued down and click-together suitable, just in case there may be water coming into the basement? Also, what about recommendations regarding brands/type, e.g. Allure, Allure Plus, or Ultra?

  • happilady
    6 years ago

    Unless you think you will be selling in the near future put in what you like. I put Amtico vinyl wood look planks in my kitchen, eating area, and laundry room in 2004. It's glued down. In 12 years I haven't gotten a single tear or gorge on the floor, it's very durable. It will scratch but not badly. My kitchen gets morning sun and it hasn't faded at all. I would use it again.

    keywest230 thanked happilady
  • elpaso1
    6 years ago

    If you are not going to move, do what you like. If I were buying a house and it had vinyl flooring, I would plan on removing it and doing hardwood, tile or carpet (in bdms), and make my offer with that reno in mind.

  • loves2read
    6 years ago

    We don't have a high-end Florida house...an older (70s) ranch. Previous owners used LVT in master and its bath, main living areas but not in guest bedrooms or utility room and guest bath. We really like the flooring for its ease of maintenance. The problem we have is that they installed 3 styles--two different wood-look finishes and 1 that is 12" grayish tiles...we would have MUCH preferred doing the entire house in one pattern. I guess they choose 3 styles to separate zones but IMO it makes a 2000 sq ft house seem smaller.

    But would totally recommend it over ceramic tile for Florida home.

    Make sure you get brand that has UV resistance--depending on light coming in from Windows/sliders, LVT can fade over time...get quality installation and buy xtra portion in case you do any remodeling or have problems. We remodeled master bath (was all original) and could not buy more of flooring in there...we didn't want to have another flooring style in addition so made some design choices we didn't really want to to save 2K (cost/labor) for replacing all LVT in master suite...

    keywest230 thanked loves2read
  • kelsie94
    6 years ago

    I'm really liking the thought of installing this flooring but wonder how it holds up to large dogs. Anyone have any advice?

  • rundle0909
    5 years ago

    I'd love to see some photos of this flooring laid!

  • OttawaGardener
    5 years ago

    Here's ours. Holding up well to two dogs, in case kelsie94 is still asking.

  • T L
    5 years ago

    Could someone please just ell me what the most natural looking LVT in a dark color is?? I read everything, but there are SO many choices and I am driving my husbamnd crazy! Thanks a bunch!

  • patty_cakes42
    5 years ago

    My best friend lives in a historic home and had the vinyl planks installed on the first floor. Engineered wood could not be used because of uneven floors which would have cost a fortune to even out. It looks pretty good from the pictures she has sent me, and is a medium brown, similar to a color of the era~original wood is underneath. She's happy with what she has but wishes she would have looked at others a bit higher end since she'll have them forever.

  • babbs50
    5 years ago

    Just saying, vinyl looks like vinyl. Tile and vinyl stops many clients from purchasing a home, including me.


  • ncrealestateguy
    5 years ago

    It may be regional, but here in NC vinyl is not found in the higher end homes. Matter of fact, anything over about $200,000 or so buyers expect ceramic or HW.

  • Bonnie Coakley
    4 years ago
    The answer is yes. I am a Realtor, and as you mentioned you should always build with resale in mind. LVP is being used in high end homes, but just make sure that you get true luxury vinyl. It needs to have the raised feel of wood and be higher quality. It is virtually indestructible, and looks great.
  • swese
    4 years ago

    Here's my two cents, I am currently building and considering LVT as well. I have done a load of research and I think I have decided yes. My home will be well over a million dollars. We currently live in a 12,000 square foot home with hardwood floors we are downsizing now we are empty nesters. We love having many people over. Lots of kids pets and pool water make for a hardwood floor that never really look very great. I think that that LVF will be stress free and after looking at options they look great. I bet it might fool a few of the naysayers. We are looking for high style low maintenance and this fit the ticket.

  • Vincent O
    4 years ago

    After much research and discussion my wife and I put LVP in our entire home except the bedrooms. We decided on a higher end of the LVP choices. It looks great. Easy to clean and maintain. One of our deciding factors was when we will sell this home in about 3-5 years. It will probably be to a family with pets and/or young kids. The durability is great. Upkeep minimal. I believe it will be a great selling point.

  • maifleur01
    4 years ago

    Must be a thing in higher end homes in some parts of the country. Although in ocean or water front homes it would be useful. It would probably be not accepted in this area except in a couple of areas of the house like kitchen, family/entertainment room, and perhaps kids bathrooms. People would look at it and just say no.

  • PRO
    Diana Hathaway Home - Gorgeous Color
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    This is a great thread, as many people are becoming more curious about luxury vinyl plank (LVP).) In my area, most of the luxury home developments are using laminate, which is a turn-off for many buyers. As a designer, the most requested flooring has been luxury vinyl plank. This thread started in 2016, and the LVP products continue to improve, so take that into consideration as you read the thread. Most of the flooring showrooms near me have removed most of their engineered hardwood and laminate, to focus on LVP due to demand. With lives that include wet dogs, muddy feet, and busy schedules, I think the waterproof and easy-case aspect is huge. LVP is not the only option, but it should be a contender (even for high-end homes if you're considering anything other than pure hardwood.)

    As far as deciding which flooring to install, unless you're planning on selling your home in the next 4 years, buy what you love. Though a lot of my work involves helping people do pre-sale makeovers, my hope is that people don't focus so much on resale that they live with things that don't make them happy every day.

  • bcsteeve
    3 years ago

    Interesting read. Our house was gutted in a fire last summer and is being repaired presently. It is time for me to start considering flooring and that's what got me here. In my market (Kelowna, BC Canada - typically dry and is considered a semi-dessert climate), there are plenty of homes in the multi-million range so I can't say we're "high end", but I suppose we're high-middle (or low-high? lol) in the $800k to $850k range for a 2700 sq ft rancher with a modest lake view. We had solid maple flooring, and that's what insurance is paying for, but I'm considering this LVT product for durability reasons. To be honest, we loved the look of our floors when we moved in, but loathed it as the years went by. BILLIONS of cat scratches made it looks shockingly bad when the sun hit it. And soooo many dents and gouges from furniture moves, etc. While experiencing a house fire and the trauma that goes along with it is something I'd never wish on anyone and hope to never have to endure again... I have to admit I smiled slightly when I realized the floor was destroyed.


    I have discovered that none of the local flooring stores sell solid hardwood anymore anyway. They all tell me that engineered is the way to go in our climate, if we want wood, as it is more stable. I'm told that LVT is being put into high end homes here, and I called a realtor who said the same.


    What bothers me, however, is the thought of spotting patterns. I've always been cautious with laminate for that reason. I don't want to look out across the floor and notice the same distinct knot, swirl, or feature that's repeated a hundred times. I have a keen eye for spotting patterns, which makes me good at my job but really annoys me when I see them where they shouldn't be. And on the opposite side of that, I really enjoy the natural aberrations that real wood offers. There was one spot in our hallway that had 3 knots and associated graining that looked like a sad puppy face. Even after 12 years of living there, I would look at that "puppy" almost every time I went down that hall.


    Wow... I hadn't really thought about that since the fire until writing that paragraph. Crazy the kinds of things that hit you that you'll never see again. Now I'm sad :( Stupid, I know. Be fire safe, people.

  • handmethathammer
    3 years ago

    bcsteeve, I am so sorry about the fire and your love/hate for that floor. I hope you find one that you love to replace it.

    I totally get what you mean about the look of the floor. We have hickory engineered hardwood floors on our main level, and we have a "dragon's eye" in the foyer. Hickory is very random in color and pattern. And when we installed it 5 years ago, they said it was the best option for hickory, because it was more "stable."

  • c9pilot
    3 years ago

    bcsteeve-

    I get the pattern thing. We have stone-look porcelain tile and I’ve named two of the patterns that catch my eye because they are so distinct. And I can point out exactly where they are in the house.

    The high-end LVP manufacturers (I know Shaw is one of them) and products have a much larger variety of patterns than the lower end. Be sure to find out which ones before you buy!

  • Kim Jackson
    2 years ago

    We went through this when we built our home and took a chance on the LVP. It has been terrific! My 1 year old lab slides across it with claws out and no scratches! We are now building a lake home and are considering putting it on all floors. We, too, are worried about resale in a high end home, but it's so nice to not WORRY about the floors, think about moving out for refinishing, and mop it easily and regularly with no worries of too much water. Just concerned about resale if we ever had to sell - but hopefully this will be our final home. We used Burbank Oak from Lowes - commercial grade, and it is indestructible!


  • jane__ny
    2 years ago

    What about the sound it makes? When we were looking for a house in Florida, seven years ago, so many had vinyl floors and I hated walking on them because they make a click-clack type sound when walking on it. I learned, quickly, which houses had vinyl and walked out. I told our RA not to show us any houses with vinyl flooring because it sounded so cheap when you came in the door.


    Some looked so real that I didn't realize it wasn't hardwood until we walked on it. Plus it doesn't have that heavy feel underfoot that hardwood has.


    We bought a house with engineered hard wood and that was new to me also. But the floors are beautiful and have stayed that way over the years.


    My fear with engineered hard wood is putting it in kitchens or bathrooms in the event of a leak. We have tile in the kitchen now and I always had tile before this house. Easy-peasy if there's a leak. But engineered hard wood would probably buckle in a flood.


    I'd consider LVP but hate the sound it makes walking on it plus the chance of a flood.


    Jane

  • Kim Jackson
    2 years ago

    LVP is completely waterproof - so no worries there. I have it in every room of the house and it's been perfect in the bathrooms! BUT - yes on the difference in sound. The sound vinyl makes doesn't bother me - but rather the sound it doesn't make. I like the deep sound of wood when walking across so I know what you mean. Truthfully, with 4 kids and a dog, we better because vinyl is quieter, and I'm not awakened by kiddos early in the morning or late at night (they're teens) as they move around. Ditto with guests. If it was just me and the hubby, I'd go with hardwood. But we've got a lot of kiddos, visitors, and a lab - and I'd rather not be worrying about the floors. Life is short.

  • maddielee
    2 years ago

    @jane_ny ...I wonder if the floors you are talking about ( sound you didn’t like) might have been laminate and not vinyl planks? Laminate flooring can have that click clack sound. I’ve never heard it with vinyl planks.

  • Vincent O
    2 years ago

    The LVP in our home is pretty quiet when you walk on it. Also after we installed we noticed the floors were also warmer. Our Coretec LVP has been tested with friends, dogs, kids and we have yet to see one scratch or worn surface after over a year of installation.

  • Davied Davies
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I imagine there's a huge difference in sound between gluing it to a concrete subfloor on the bottom and putting it on top of hardyboard on a 2nd or 3rd floor...


    I walked around quite a few floors today and the first thing that I noticed was the clickity clack hollow sound the highest end, newest LVP has. It clearly is not engineered wood or hardwood no matter how good it looks and how high quality underlayment it is. However, it's clear that there are plenty of people who do not notice this and just like it for the look and ease of use. It's also a popular choice of rentals because it doesnt scratch and is durable.


    For my personal use, I would never use anything other than hardwood or engineered (which doesn't have to be too expensive) and tile for the wet areas. But I am extremely picky and particular about those things, and from all the people I've talked to, it's clear I am in the 1-5% and not the majority. I'm going ahead with the install of LVP in a high end home for rental and not worrying about resale because it's just going to look better where the floors are uniform throughout.

  • Davied Davies
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Other than Shaw and Coretec, what do people think about NuCore from Floor & Decor? Do the brands in Lowes and Floor & Decor compare to the Shaws , Southern Traditions, Farmstead Woods and other premium LVPs you see in specialist stores?

  • Vincent O
    2 years ago

    You want a thick wear layer of at least 12mil. The higher the wear layer the better the quality and the durability of the LVP. When I shopped Home Depot or Lowes they had wear layers of 8mil and the highest was 10mil. They may have improved this over the last few years. Coretec, Shaw and Armstrong are rated very well for LVP. Do you research about how to care for these floors also. Remember to put felt pads under all furniture and especially furniture that is moved often. Also watch the rubber padding in rugs. It can have a chemical reaction with the LVP and cause staining. You can buy a special type of padding for LVP flooring on the internet that is not that expensive. Good luck!

  • Davied Davies
    2 years ago

    Yes, I am only looking at 20, 22 mil layer. I know 30 is for heavy commercial use.

  • Suzy SM
    last year
    last modified: last year

    I would never buy a higher end home with LVP flooring.

    High end homes with LVP proves the saying They Don't Make Them LIke They Used To.

    I have to laugh when the tract builders advertise "LVP standard!" That alone should tell you something.


  • Suzy SM
    last year
    last modified: last year

    It is so hard when people post photos saying something looks great and you look at it and think OMG that looks awful and is so obviously not tile or wood.

    You can't possibly reply, Sorry your floor looks cheap and fake.

    Then the absence of criticism makes other people think "See, it IS OK!"

    Quite the online conundrum.

  • bcsteeve
    last year

    I wonder if you hear how you sound? This thread was from 5 years ago, when LVT was making its way into people's vernacular. Now it is practically a given. Yes, LVT is fine in any home. There are styles and budgets for everyone. It *is* OK to use LVT, and your suggesting that only people trying to be polite world say otherwise shows how out of touch you are.


    The whole concept of "higher end" is tough though. A 2 dollar mansion in rural Florida vs a 2 million dollar teardown in Vancouver. It is all relative. But in any case, LVT as a choice should be more about function than what some old biddy on the internet might think.