Vinyl Plank Flooring Made Simple: What You Need to Know

Vinyl Plank Flooring Made Simple What You Need to Know

Thanks to today’s technology, vinyl flooring continues to revolutionize, and with that, there are a few new techniques and aspects to be aware of. Vinyl plank flooring has become one of the most popular types of vinyl, and that is because it is low-cost but also very durable. 

Plus, there is a lot of vinyl plank flooring to choose from, so it’s easy to find just what you want. You can install it in applications such as mobile homes, RVs, basements, enclosed porches, sunrooms, or temperature-controlled outdoor spaces. (Below) in this article, I’ve put together crucial questions and answers about aspects of vinyl plank flooring to help you choose the right plank flooring for your home. 

Does Vinyl Plank Flooring Need Underlayment on Concrete

Most flooring products installed on the concrete below grade will require a vapor barrier or underlayment. Check the instructions if your floor has an attached pad. I recommend using SmartCore underlayment because it provides several benefits, including moisture protection, thermal insulation, acoustic insulation, compressive strength: 65 psi, odorless materials, and easy-to-install. 

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Can Vinyl Plank Flooring Get Wet

One of the great selling features of vinyl plank flooring is waterproof. However, waterproofing does not mean that water will not pass under the vinyl plank flooring, but rather that water leaks will not damage the vinyl plank flooring. For example, if a water leak happens, the water will continue to pass through the vinyl plank, where they are clicked and locked. 

So you will need to use the proper equipment to dry the subfloor and all areas that have become wet due to a significant leak. The drying process may include the removal of the vinyl plank flooring. Even so, in the worst-case scenario, the vinyl plank flooring will not be damaged by water and will only need to be dried and reinstalled. Now, suppose you’re worried about getting in and out of your home on a rainy day. In that case, the vinyl plank will be fine and be sure to place a mat in the entryway to prevent your shoes from bringing water from outside into your home. 

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Does Vinyl Plank Flooring Scratch

Vinyl plank flooring is scratch-resistant but not scratch-proof. Many homeowners buy it thinking it won’t scratch, but dragging things across it will eventually scratch it. Scratch resistance does not mean it is scratch-proof, as it is still vinyl and can get scratched if there is a sharp nail on the underside of any piece of furniture. So take care of it, and you can still polish it and salvage it in many cases, but scratch resistance and scratch-proof are two different things. 

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Is Vinyl Plank Flooring Hard to Install

Vinyl plank flooring is straightforward to install, and the only areas where you may run into some problems are the cuts around door jambs. Besides that, vinyl plank flooring is straightforward to install and easy to do. Side Note; more vinyl plank products are coming to the market now that are easy to install because there are fewer and fewer flooring installers in the marketplace. Therefore, flooring product manufacturers need to make vinyl plank flooring even easier to install for do-it-yourselfers to get their flooring and lay it. 

Can Vinyl Plank Flooring Be Installed Over Ceramic Tile

The short answer is that you can install vinyl plank flooring over ceramic tile. Many homeowners pick to install vinyl plank flooring over ceramic tile because removing tile is a tremendous effort and adds more labor costs. 

Is Vinyl Plank Flooring Good for Bathrooms

Vinyl plank flooring is trendy and a good choice for bathrooms and wet areas because it is 100% waterproof. Let’s look at four essential things to know when installing vinyl plank flooring in a bathroom.

Tools You’ll Need

The essential tools you’ll need for vinyl plank bathroom installation include:

  • Utility knife 
  • Rubber mallet 
  • 1/4″ spacers 
  • Right angle ruler 
  • Ruler (measuring tape, level, or yardstick) 
  • Oscillating multi-tool (to cut door jamb) 
  • Circular or table saw (to cut door bottom if over existing tile) 
  • Transition strip (if needed) 
  • Miter saw (optional) 
  • Knee pads (optional) 
  • Aviation snips (optional) 

Pull and Seal the Toilet

Never cut the vinyl plank around the toilet, and take the time to flush and pull the toilet to install the vinyl plank correctly. Once the floor is installed, seal and reinstall the toilet, and be sure to put in a new wax ring.

Undercut the Door Jamb

Avoid cutting the vinyl plank around the door jamb. Get an oscillating multi-tool to cut under the door jamb to slide the sheet underneath. Cutting underneath the door jamb will ensure a nice, smooth, finished appearance. 

Remove and Seal Baseboards

Avoid cutting the vinyl plank around the baseboard. Remove the baseboard, and be sure to seal it after installation. It is important to remember that sealing all access points is crucial to prevent as much water as possible from entering below the vinyl plank. As I mentioned earlier, water will continue to pass through where the vinyl plank clicks and locks slowly, giving you time to extract the water from the bathroom floor if a leak occurs. 

Water runs everywhere, and you may have sealed around the tub, but it could get to the edges and get behind the baseboards. Not only can it get under the subfloor, but it can also get up the wall and create problems with the drywall behind the baseboards. If you are doing a quarter-round molding, seal the baseboard first and then seal the quarter-round to add a double layer of protection and prevent water from creating significant problems down the road. 

Can You Put Vinyl Plank Flooring in a Mobile Home

Vinyl plank flooring is a popular choice and can be installed on mobile home floors because it is easy to maintain, flexible, and looks fantastic. In addition, vinyl plank flooring is also an excellent choice for cold climates because it doesn’t absorb moisture. It’s also available in a wide variety of colors and textures to find the ideal floor match for your mobile home. 

Things to Consider Before Installing Vinyl Plank Flooring in a Mobile Home

Suppose you are thinking of renovating the floor of your mobile home. In that case, there are a few aspects to consider before installation, including: 

  • Age of mobile home. 
  • The general condition of the mobile home. 
  • Records of maintenance work: any previous maintenance that has been done to the mobile home, preferably documented, such as inspection of the skirting, roof, or moisture barriers, to name a few. 

Suppose you have lived in your mobile home for a while. In that case, this information should already be known to you, as you would be the most familiar with the current condition of your home. If you have recently purchased a pre-owned mobile home, ask the previous owner to give you any documentation they have on the services performed on the mobile home. 

Now, if you are thinking about buying a pre-owned mobile home, I strongly recommend having the home inspected. Ensure the person you hire for the inspection is licensed and familiar with mobile homes. You don’t want someone who only does site-built home inspections doing your mobile home inspection. Here’s why. Mobile homes are very different, and they require someone who knows what to look at to make sure everything is functioning correctly and complies with regulations. 

Condition of the Subfloor

The most important thing to consider when it comes to mobile home flooring is the condition of your subfloor. Ensure that you check the condition of the moisture barrier underneath your mobile home. If the moisture barrier hasn’t been inspected in several years, it would be crucial to do so before any renovations. 

Suppose the moisture barrier is damaged or not adequately secured in some areas. In that case, your mobile home may be subject to many different types of damage, including water damage. And one way to tell if there’s water damage on the subfloor is when you walk on it. You will feel a slight bounce, or the floor may feel damp. This is a good sign that moisture has entered the subfloor, and there is a good chance that your moisture barrier has been compromised in that area. 

Ensure that the moisture barrier is undamaged and is working as it is supposed to be to keep moisture out. If you find damaged areas in your subfloor, you must repair them before installing a new floor. Do not waste your money installing new flooring on a damaged subfloor. You don’t want to remove the new flooring to repair the subfloor in a year. 

Current Type of Flooring

Suppose your moisture barrier is intact and functioning correctly, and the subfloor is in good condition. Another thing to consider is the flooring you currently have in your mobile home. If you have carpet, pull it up along with the tack strips. You should also remove current floorings such as vinyl or laminate. Just be sure to clear away any debris such as nails, glue, or any other type of material that would prevent the surface from being smooth. 

As I mentioned above, vinyl plank flooring is a good choice for mobile homes, but now you have to choose what type of flooring you want in your mobile home. The decision is entirely in your hands when choosing a floor for your mobile home. And no need to be concerned about choosing anything in particular, as your options are virtually the same as if you were in a site-built home. 

For example, other alternatives to vinyl plank flooring would be solid wood flooring, carpet, or vinyl flooring. Your options are not limited just because you are in a mobile home. The only precaution I would give you is for tile flooring. The majority of flooring contractors use traditional tile in mobile homes with caution. 

The tiles are not frequently used in mobile homes because they are built to be transported. The concern is that when a mobile home is moved, the tiles, mortar, and grout are more likely to crack. Therefore, to reduce the likelihood of additional costs associated with damage to the home during transport. 

Builders and manufacturers often use materials less likely to be damaged during transportation, such as vinyl and wood. This doesn’t mean you can’t install tile if you want to. So, other than tiles, your options are endless; whatever flooring you decide to purchase, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and installation instructions. 

Is Vinyl Plank Flooring Better Than Laminate

Let’s compare luxury vinyl plank flooring or LPV to laminate flooring in five different key categories to help you better understand and make the best decision for your home, including: 

  • Durability 
  • Water resistance 
  • Aesthetics 
  • Price 
  • Environmental Impact 

These are the five key areas you need to understand to evaluate your home’s flooring. 

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The durability of vinyl plank products is generally less than that of a laminate product because it is vinyl. As I mentioned earlier, vinyl materials tend to be softer and scratch more than laminate products. On the other hand, laminate flooring has a more rigid top layer and will scratch less. However, suppose you drop something heavy and sharp on the laminate flooring. In that case, it will chip, and the vinyl product will dent. So laminate flooring is easier to repair, but it’s also harder to damage. 

Water Resistance

Vinyl plank flooring is exceptionally water-resistant and, as I mentioned earlier, is ideal for many wet area applications, both residential and commercial. I have seen situations where an entire room was flooded with vinyl plank flooring, and the contractor pulled up the vinyl, dried out the room, and put the vinyl back down. So vinyl plank flooring is very water-resistant because it’s 100% vinyl, making it a perfect choice. 

When we talk about the water-resistance of laminate products, we’re talking about something that’s much more complex, especially how the industry has moved in the last couple of years. So with laminate products, you have a lot of degrees of difference. For example, you have a laminate on the low end, essentially a composite wood product with a layer of paper on top.  And if you get water on it, it disintegrates, swells, creates some adhesion problems, and is not water-resistant. Most major laminate flooring manufacturers have moved toward the water-resistant laminate product. 

Manufacturers are now making high-end water-resistant laminate flooring with a wood core with organic resins. So it is one hundred percent water-resistant all the way through, and it can be soaked, which is the best choice for laminate flooring. Now other manufacturers are taking another approach by making waterproof laminate flooring. What they do is that the paper surface is water-resistant, and if you spill something on it, it evaporates before damaging the floor. 

However, the core is very similar to some older laminate products, and it is not water-resistant. So there are favorable and bad things about that, but what it means from a waterproofing perspective is that, as I mentioned earlier, you’ll have to caulk with silicone around the edges of the room. And you’ll have to worry if you chip the surface because that’s where it could get water-damaged. So if you’re using one of these modern laminates with a waterproof feature, you’re generally better with the vinyl plank flooring (LVP). 


Now let’s cover aesthetics because we all know that the faux woods in laminates, vinyl planks, and other products have improved a lot in the last few years and started to look good. So, does an LVP or a laminate look better? As a general rule, I like laminate better from an aesthetic standpoint because the technology is better at matching the grain pattern to the visual impression. And the way you can tell this is to take a sample of a laminated product, hold it up to the light, and start tracking the quality of the pattern with the light. 

Now, vinyl plank flooring has improved a lot over the years, but the technology is not the same on most of them to match the print pattern to the actual grain pattern. What I mean is that the texture of the vinyl plank matches the actual visual, and if you look at it in the light, you won’t see that it’s a great texture compared to the laminate. So in terms of aesthetics, I would go with a laminate product. 


In general, luxury vinyl planks have a price range that depends on the installation. For example, suppose you’re doing an LVP glue together. In that case, it’s generally going to be on the lower end of the price spectrum. And if you’re doing a click together, it’s going to be on the higher end of the spectrum. 

I prefer a click together because it’s thicker; you don’t telegraph things through so much. So, in general, click together is usually priced between $3.50 and $5.50 per square foot. Laminate products have a wide price range. However, suppose we exclude water-resistant laminate, which is what I recommend. In that case, you can find anywhere from $2.50 to $4.50 per square foot. So the cost changes depending on the manufacturer, the brand, and where you’re getting it from. 

Again, you’re generally looking at probably a little less expensive for the laminate product. It’s important to mention that you’re only going to see a significant price difference if you’re buying a lot of laminate flooring, so that’s a driving decision factor. 

Environment Impact

There are two ways of looking at this. First, you have to look at the world in terms of manufacturing. Second, you have to look at the environmental impact of the house, the air quality, and the volatile organic compounds that the flooring can release. So when we compare these two products, essentially, we’re talking about a wood-based product in a laminate. And a vinyl product which is a mixture of sort of petroleum and chlorine plastic-based products. So when we look at these two products, wood is a very renewable resource because if the forests are managed sustainably and responsibly, it will continue to give for a long time. 

Wood-based products are a good option if you want to be responsible for your choices and put products in your home. On the other hand, the petroleum-based product is less environmentally friendly, so it’s a plastic-type product, harder to recycle, manufacture, and harder on the environment. If you’re looking for the ideal option in terms of environmental responsibility, I would generally choose a laminated product. 

Now you’re going to have to look at the manufacturer to find out where they source the material. And what kind of resins they’re applying to the product to make it waterproof because it could be that it’s a product that’s not coming from an environmentally sustainable forest. Or that it’s a product made with a lot of artificial resin, which is generally not an environmentally friendly product. As I mentioned before, some manufacturers use 100% sustainable forests. They also use 100% organic material that goes into the resins that make it waterproof.