In the last few years, many major manufacturers have come out with waterproof flooring, which has addressed many concerns homeowners have had with laminate, real wood, or other glue down products. Prior to this, when a homeowner wanted a durable, scratch resistant, and low maintenance floor, she would turn to laminate. While laminate has these attributes, it is certainly not waterproof. Laminate is essentially a wood or tile “print” put on an HDF core or what I like to call glorified cardboard. If water or any other liquid sits on laminate for an extended period of time, the core board will expand and thus ruin that plank. If the liquid is spread over a larger area the homeowner will have several planks that are ruined.
Enter vinyl plank flooring. Vinyl has come in sheet or roll forms for years. The main problem with this archaic form of vinyl is that it is very easy to scratch and tear. Once she has a tear in a sheet of vinyl, the entire sheet is “damaged” and can only be repaired by replacing it in its entirety. Therefore manufacturers have condensed the vinyl and cut it into planks and tiles. These new planks and tiles are four to five times harder than their sheet good counterparts. So not only are they very difficult to damage, but if they are damaged by knife falling in just the right way or a high heal dragging across them, the home owner can simply replace one plank or one tile.
In addition, vinyl is completely impervious to water and other liquids. However, when these products first came out, they required adhesive to install them. While very durable and scratch resistant, if water or other liquids got between the vinyl tile or plank and subfloor, the moisture would cause the adhesive to break bond with the materials and thus most times both the flooring and subfloor were ruined. Because vinyl tiles are generally installed in kitchens and bathrooms where there are ice makers, dishwashers, toilets, and sinks all hooked up to water lines, this was definitely a concern. To address this, manufacturers have added a click-together system to these products very similar to that of laminate. Instead of the sides and ends of the planks or tiles simply butting to each other and having to be held in place with adhesive, the new locking mechanism has made it possible to install the products without adhesive. So, now we have impervious vinyl that does not require adhesive- thus WATERPROOF FLOORING. If liquids are spilled on the surface of the vinyl, the planks or tiles will not expand, discolor, or ruin. If liquids get between the “click together vinyl” and subfloor, the homeowner can simply unclick the floor, dry or replace the subfloor, and click the vinyl floor back together.
We at Jack’s Tile and Carpet carry waterproof vinyl plank and tile products from many manufacturers including Shaw, Mohawk, and US Floors. We have over a hundred styles and colors available which will be sure to meet your style and performance needs. Please visit our website or give us a call to have a complimentary in home consultation in which we can bring products to you, measure, and discuss your style and performance needs in the comfort of your own home.