Vinyl Plank Flooring vs. Vinyl Sheet Flooring: Which is Better?
When it comes to vinyl flooring, two main types are vinyl plank and vinyl sheet flooring. Both have pros and cons to consider before making your selection. Let's break down the key differences to help you determine which vinyl floor option is better suited to your needs.
Vinyl Plank Flooring Overview
Vinyl plank flooring resembles hardwood or tile with interlocking strips that click together for a floating installation without glue or fasteners. Individual planks are rigid and durable, standing up well to foot traffic and resisting dents and scratches.
Easy DIY installation without special tools
Water resistant for use in kitchens and bathrooms
Wide selection of faux wood and stone looks
Hides subfloor imperfections
While vinyl plank costs more upfront than vinyl sheet flooring, its long-lasting durability and higher resale value offset the initial investment over time. Homeowners appreciate the plank floor's realistic appearance and the convenience of floating installation.
Vinyl Sheet Flooring Pros
Thinner and more affordable on a square foot basis, vinyl sheet floor is rolled out like traditional linoleum and adhered using contact cement or acrylic adhesive.
Inexpensive material and installation costs
Suitable for low-traffic areas like bedrooms
Simple maintenance and repairs
Comes in solid colors or woodgrains
As the most budget-friendly vinyl flooring option, sheet vinyl makes sense for spare rooms, craft areas, or temporary installations before a remodel. Its low cost also appeals to homeowners on tight budgets.
Vinyl Plank vs Sheet: Key Differences
Vinyl plank edges lock together for stability, making it highly durable under foot traffic in high-use areas. Vinyl sheet can depress or ripple over time with heavy use. Plank wins for longevity.
While both vinyl types are water-resistant, plank floors are less prone to moisture damage due to their compact structure. Plank is preferable for bathrooms and kitchens with spill risks.
Vinyl sheet requires an extremely smooth, level subfloor for proper adhesion. Plank's interlocking design masks minor subfloor irregularities. Plank has more flexible subfloor requirements.
Floating plank clicks together in minutes, while sheet vinyl involves time-consuming prepping, measuring, and gluing. Plank installation is far easier and faster.
Individual damaged plank or tile can be replaced without rerolling the whole floor. Sheet vinyl necessitates reworking large sections for any repair.
Plank can be relocated or removed/replaced as rooms change. Sheet floor is more permanently adhered down and costly to modify later.
Plank's expansive styles mimic hardwood, stone, and tile at realistic depths. Sheet offers limited patterns in basic solids or basic fakes.
Vinyl Plank vs Sheet: Recommendations
For overall versatility, durability, and appearance, vinyl plank flooring tends to be the better long-term investment, especially in high-traffic core living areas.
Vinyl sheet maintains a place as an affordable entry-level choice for lower-used spaces like bedrooms where appearance matters less than budget. It also works well for rentals and short-term housing.
The right choice depends on your specific needs, style preferences, budget, and whether short-term affordability or long-term value is more important. Consider traffic levels, intended use, and subfloor conditions when deciding vinyl plank vs vinyl sheet.
Both vinyl products offer value, durability, and style. But vinyl plank flooring generally outperforms vinyl sheets with its water resistance, ease of installation, flexibility on subfloors, realistic looks, and longevity under foot traffic. Plank flooring creates a beautiful, long-lasting surface throughout homes at a reasonable price.
For high-use core areas, vinyl plank is the better overall choice. Sheet vinyl still makes sense for bedrooms and spaces where cost trumps durability concerns. Evaluating your specific project needs will point you toward the optimal vinyl flooring solution.