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Plank Vinyl Flooring

Thinking About Plank Vinyl Flooring? Your Questions Answered...


Plank Vinyl Flooring

Single vs. Multiple Board Vinyl Plank Flooring

Copyright Lee Wallender; Licensed to About.com
Plank vinyl flooring has skyrocketed in popularity in the last several years. I think this rise can be attributed to two things. First, plank wood flooring--and I mean the real stuff--is a fresh look. Second, resilient flooring manufacturers have greatly improved the look and feel of vinyl flooring, converting buyers who may not have previously bought vinyl flooring.

Single vs. Multiple Board Plank Vinyl Flooring

When buying plank vinyl flooring, you will find two distinctly different products. Be careful, so that you're buying the right thing:

  1. Single Board - A wide vinyl plank that reproduces the look of a single board on that plank. Example: the vinyl plank is 6" x 36" and replicates a board of the same dimensions.
  2. Multiple Boards - A wide vinyl plank that reproduces the look of multiple, smaller boards on that plank. Example: the vinyl plank is 6" x 36" and replicates the look of 6-8 boards that are 3" wide by various lengths.
Know what you're buying!

What is Plank Wood Flooring?

To begin, let's look at real wood plank flooring. After all, we need to know what we're trying to replicate in the first place.
  • Six Inch Width – Wood plank flooring is wide. Exactly how wide is debatable, but generally you can say six inches or more defines plank flooring.
  • Planks Are Long – Again, length is flexible. Some plank flooring manufacturers sell wide plank in 1-2' lengths. My take on the matter is that you need at least 6 foot lengths to call it plank. I would even go another step and say that real wood plank flooring should be around 8, 10, and 12 feet long.
  • Distressed, Antiqued – Completely optional, but you'll find that much of the wide plank flooring out there also has a heavily antiqued or distressed look--hand-scraped, dinged, scratched, and peppered with nail holes. My description does not do the product justice: good distressed wide plank flooring looks fantastic.
  • Costly – Kellogg Hardwoods, one of the few suppliers of authentic wood plank flooring, reports that prices of wide plank flooring range from $4.00 to $12.00 per square foot.
  • Hard to Install – Solid wood is difficult enough for the inexperienced DIY remodeler to installer, and increasing the length and width of the boards makes the job even harder.
Are there any similarities or differences between wood plank and vinyl plank flooring?

Width of Plank Vinyl Flooring

Chalk one up for the flooring manufacturers. You'll find plenty of plank vinyl flooring in the 6" range and even up to 7 3/4".

Length of Plank Vinyl Flooring

You will rarely find plank vinyl flooring over three feet long, due to manufacturing and shipping concerns.

Surface Treatment

Because resilient flooring is cooked up in the test tube, as it were, and stamped out in a factory, any kind of surface treatment is possible. So, you will find both heavily distressed plank vinyl flooring and "like-new." It's your choice.

Plank Vinyl Flooring Cost

In the price category, resilient plank flooring has the wood version beat, hands down. We're looking at prices in the range of $3-4 per square foot or as much as $5-6. But rarely will the vinyl plank floor reach the level of wood plank prices.


Very easy to install. Whether self-adhesive or glue-down, resilient plank flooring is always easier to install than wood plank. Practically any homeowner can install vinyl plank by him/herself, though it must be noted that glue-down plank is more difficult to install than it appears.
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