Share “It may look like wood or stone, but luxury...”

It may look like wood or stone, but luxury vinyl fools the eye

BY ALLEN NORWOOD Published: January 26, 2013
Advertisement

It's softer under foot than tile, and stands up to spills and large pets better than hardwood, Fallon said. Hughes said one huge advantage for luxury vinyl is that it isn't damaged by moisture.

“You can soak it in the bathtub and it won't swell or buckle,” he said. “There's no wood inside.”

Hughes still likes the high-end laminates, but manufacturers have never been able to fully eliminate that distinctive — and sometimes objectionable — clicking sound when it's walked on.

Luxury vinyl has a couple of advantages for remodeling projects.

These floors can be glued down, or they can be “floated.” Individual tiles and planks can be clicked together and then installed without glue, to float on special underlayment. Floating floors can cover up minor imperfections in the subfloor during a renovation.

Luxury vinyl is thinner than hardwood, and thinner than stone or ceramic tile installed on the required underlayment. When remodeling, it's easier to match a thinner product to the level of the surrounding existing floors.

Which leads to the one complaint Fallon and Hughes share about luxury vinyl.

There are few good-looking options for the edge, or transition, where luxury vinyl abuts another type of flooring or a floor that's a slightly different level.

“They don't make a transition,” Fallon said. “I sometimes have to use wood, and stain it to match. They make metal, like you'd use on an old vinyl floor. But it doesn't look good.”

MCT INFORMATION SERVICES