1. vinyl plank flooring in Prescott AZ

    What is Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring?

    What is Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring?

    There is one type of flooring that has grown in popularity faster than any other type in recent years: vinyl plank flooring. It is also known as “luxury” vinyl plank flooring or “waterproof” flooring. So what is it exactly and why is it so popular? Let’s take a look.

    What Vinyl Floors Used To Be

    Most people are familiar with vinyl flooring in their kitchen and baths, which is mostly referred to as “linoleum,” although it is technically not linoleum at all, but a sheet vinyl made to imitate linoleum. This form of vinyl is inexpensive and waterproof. However is it also soft, so it dents and scratches easily, and it also has a typically shiny and plastic-like appearance. This form of vinyl flooring is fast disappearing, and for good reason. There’s a much better option.

    The Vinyl Plank

    The vinyl plank is based on the idea of a laminate plank. In other words, a plank about five feet long that locks together with other planks and simulates the look of wood. It is also a “floating” floor that sits on a thin pad or has a pad attached to the back. However there are some critical differences to vinyl plank.


    The primary one is that the vinyl plank is composed of 100% waterproof ingredients. This means that this type of floor can literally be submerged in water and not be damaged. Not so with laminate. Practically this means that spills, accidents, pets – no problem. Bathrooms, wet areas – you bet.

    Quiet Underfoot & Won’t Expand and Contract

    Unlike the softer versions of vinyl flooring the vinyl plank has a rigid, dense core. The best ones all have what is referred to as an SPC core, or Stone-Polymer-Core. This means that there is literally ground up stone content mixed with polymer (glue) to form the core. Why? Two reasons: First, it makes the plank dense and heavy, which means it absorbs sound wonderfully. No more “click-clack” sound when you walk over it, like old-school laminates. Second, the stone content renders the expansion and contraction of the plank to almost nothing. This means your floor won’t move, expand, open up or separate when temperature changes, the sun hits the floor, etc.

    Durable Surface

    On top of that rigid dense core the layer of vinyl is adhered. In a good product, this should be 20 mil thick and will typically give the plank its lifetime residential warranty. The vinyl layer is also sealed with aluminum-oxide urethane, making it tough and scratch resistant. This a pretty worry-free floor, meaning kids, traffic, dogs and dog nails, etc. are no problem, unlike wood floors. After installation we will still protect a vinyl plank floor by putting felt pads on the legs of all your furniture, but that will make moving and sliding furniture over your floor a non-issue.

    Looks Awesome!

    This is what gets a lot of people. Many ask: is that real wood? This has come a long way from the shiny, fake look of old vinyl or old-school laminates. The surface of each plank is typically embossed with a grain texture, and the finish has a more matte, natural look. This is one big reason why vinyl plank flooring is going into high-end homes more and more instead of real wood.

    Affordable & Easy to Take Care Of

    Although a good vinyl plank typically costs more than laminate, it still comes in around half to two thirds the cost of a wood floor. That’s hard to argue with, if budget is a priority. Then there’s the ease of care: sweep it, vacuum it, wet-mop it, Swiffer it – anything goes. The main thing to remember is not to treat it with any special sealers, waxes or oil cleaners. The vinyl plank’s finished surface needs no special cleaners or treatments. Just water is really enough. Specific hard surface cleaners like Bona are fine, but not required.

    For more questions about waterproof vinyl plank flooring, or other hard surface flooring, please contact Desert Hardwood Flooring at (928) 925-3084 or visit www.DesertHardwoodFlooring.com

    Sylvan Incao is the owner and lead installer of Desert Hardwood Flooring, and a Prescott resident since 1992. Desert Hardwood Flooring is a small craftsmanship-oriented company focusing on quality workmanship and attention to detail in the arena of hardwood flooring and other hard surface flooring. Their showroom is located at 115 E. Goodwin St. Suite A, in downtown Prescott and is by appointment only.




  2. Vinyl Plank Flooring: What it is and Why it is so popular

    You may have heard of vinyl plank flooring or luxury vinyl plank flooring lately. Vinyl floors have come a long way since the “linoleum” floors of the 50’s and 60’s. The original linoleum flooring was made of linseed oil and other natural ingredients, and is actually still made today. However it was replaced with sheet vinyl and the flooring of choice for kitchens and baths, but still generally referred to as “linoleum” by the public. This sheet vinyl flooring, still quite available, is durable and inexpensive, but lacks a little class. It’s generally softer and can be cut or dented easier by dropping things, and has a very repetitive manufactured pattern. It also tends to have a glossy finish and looks very much like, well… vinyl.

    Vinyl plank first showed up as a denser, tougher kind of vinyl flooring than sheet vinyl, but in the form of thin (2mm) gluedown planks. Gluedown vinyl tiles called VCT (Vinyl Composition Tile) had already been used for decades in commercial settings, and still are. Gluedown vinyl planks are generally meant for commercial environments, but can be put in residences as well. Thicker vinyl planks that are installed as a floating floor have been around for years now, but they have been greatly improved upon lately. That brings us to today’s vinyl planks.

    Vinyl planks have a rigid core and a layer of vinyl on the surface. The planks are typically between 4-8mm in thickness, with wear layers varying from 2mil to 28mil. 20 mil is rated or commercial. However there have been plenty of issues with vinyl planks in the past, due to inferior locking systems, unstable cores and poorly made wear layers. The most notable issue was that vinyl plank floors expanded and contracted with changes in temperature – particularly direct sunlight, to a great degree. This meant that whole floors would expand and bubble up when sunlight came through a window. The reason for this was that even though the core was rigid, the wear layer of vinyl would expand under the heat and light of the sun, pulling the whole floor with it. These cores were (and many still are) made of PVC and other plastic composites, and are not stable enough.

    The latest generation of vinyl plank flooring has gone to what is called SPC or a Stone Composite Core. The core literally has ground up stone elements within it, that resist expansion and contraction and hold the vinyl layer steady even under extreme conditions. Another version is WPC – Wood Composite Core. These planks are waterproof, extremely durable, and very realistic in appearance, feel and texture. They lock together like laminate flooring, installed over a thin pad. So a vinyl plank is like a laminate plank in many ways, except that it is 100% waterproof. As the core material is also denser and heavier, vinyl planks are also quieter under foot. Vinyl planks are so tough they are typically warranteed for commercial settings 10-20 years and for a lifetime for residences. They are also more expensive than laminate, as could be expected.

    So vinyl planks are a great option for homes and businesses today. Although they do not add the same value to a home as a hardwood floor, the embossed grain wood-look surfaces are more realistic and beautiful than ever, and the durability is unmatched, especially for homes with pets or in wet areas. Ask us more about vinyl plank flooring. Call Desert Hardwood Flooring at (928) 925-3084.