Home Design Showcase: Wood Vinyl Plank Flooring

Posted: March 25, 2024 | Categories: Why Buy New | Design and Decorating | Pet Friendly Homes & Communities
By Highland Homes

Updated on March 25, 2024: This story was originally published on December 17, 2018, and has been updated with new information.

Luxury vinyl plank flooring in the living area

Technology is constantly advancing, and we aren't just talking about smart home tech - Cutting-edge building techniques and design products continue to push the envelope for innovation, style, and longevity.

Flooring products have seen impressive innovation in recent years. The days of hard flooring options being limited to tile, expensive wood, or dated linoleum are far past. Today’s flooring choices are extensive, and perhaps the product that has made the biggest leap forward is vinyl flooring.

When people think of vinyl, many immediately think of sheet vinyl or a similar product, linoleum. Luxury vinyl plank flooring is something entirely different - No longer is vinyl limited to rolls of printed designs.

One of today’s top flooring trends, luxury vinyl plank flooring is installed as individual planks and looks almost identical to hardwood flooring, but is a fraction of the price, providing a low-cost, low-maintenance, water-resistant, and durable surface that can be used in rooms where real hardwood can't go (more on that below).

We began offering vinyl plank flooring at the Highland Homes design center in 2017 and it quickly became a popular choice in our Florida new homes. Today, vinyl plank flooring is available in a wider range of colors and styles than ever before and has surpassed ceramic tile to become the most popular hard flooring option among our Florida homeowners.

What is Vinyl Plank Flooring?

Luxury vinyl plank flooring is an affordable, durable alternative to hardwood flooring. Photorealistic and 3D printing techniques have allowed flooring manufacturers to create planks that look indistinguishable from traditional hardwood but are made from durable synthetic materials. With the improvement of manufacturing techniques, the vinyl planks even have a texture that resembles natural wood. And, unique plank designs virtually eliminate pattern repeats which you see in some other types of flooring.

Mohawk  luxury vinyl flooring layers
Courtesy of Mohawk

Wood vinyl plank flooring is manufactured with multiple layers:

  • A backing layer provides a foundation to sit against the subfloor.
  • A core layer provides stability.
  • A print layer using a photorealistic, high-definition wood print.
  • A clear wear layer provides a durable, protective finish.
  • Some vinyl planks include an additional stain shield, enhanced urethane, and/or PVC layers.

With individual vinyl planks installed using either a glue-down or click installation method, you will be hard-pressed to see the difference between this and traditional hardwood flooring.

Benefits of Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

With a realistic wood look, affordable pricing, and easy maintenance, what's not to love?! Luxury vinyl plank flooring provides many benefits.

It's Water-Resistant (or Waterproof!)

Vinyl plank flooring in a bathroom

Because vinyl as a material is water-resistant, vinyl plank flooring can be installed in rooms where traditional hardwood isn’t recommended due to moisture.

Even better, our luxury vinyl plank flooring by Mohawk is 100% waterproof - This means it can withstand spills and pet accidents so that you can live without worry! And, it's optimal for rooms where water is likely to get on the floor, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.

Of course, it isn't limited to wet areas - This on-trend flooring is also a popular option to have throughout your living area thanks not only to its beautiful appearance but also durability and ease of maintenance.

It's Durable

Vinyl plank flooring in a living area

It survives moisture, absorbs shock, won't crack or chip, and is easy to maintain and clean up spills. This makes vinyl plank especially popular in high-traffic areas and households with kids and pets.

  • Vinyl plank is non-porous. So, if Fido has an accident, not only will this waterproof flooring keep that accident on the surface making it easy to clean, but it won't absorb the odor.
  • The wear layer on vinyl plank is scratch-resistant and makes the surface resistant to dings or dents, unlike real hardwood.
  • It's long-lasting and easy to clean - More on this below!

It's Comfortable

Compared to other hard floorings, luxury vinyl plank is preferred by many for its comfort. Because of its multi-layer manufacturing, it has a more comfortable underfoot feel than sheet vinyl, tile, or hardwood. And, it's temperature stable, meaning you won't have a cold floor underfoot (a common complaint by people with ceramic tile).

How to Clean Vinyl Plank Flooring

This really may be the top benefit of luxury vinyl plank flooring - Cleaning and maintenance are a breeze! Thanks to its high durability and water resistance, you can live worry-free - and spend minimal time doing housework!

  • If you have a spill, surface liquids normally won't affect the flooring though you should wipe up spills as soon as possible.
  • Sweep or vacuum your floors regularly to remove loose dirt. Avoid vacuums with a rotating beater bar.
  • Keep your floors sparkly clean by simply wet mopping. If more elbow grease is needed, use a non-abrasive, neutral pH floor cleaner or diluted bleach solution (1 part bleach to 10 parts water).

On the no-no list, avoid using abrasive cleaning products, mop and shine products (which can dull the surface of vinyl), soap-based detergents, floor wax, ammonia, and undiluted bleach.

To protect your flooring and keep it looking great for years to come, it is recommended to use furniture protectors on the bottom of chairs, tables, and sofa legs, so they don’t dent or scratch the finish. And, invest in high-quality floor mats for your home's entrances to trap goo off your shoes such as oils, sand, and grit.

Selecting Vinyl Plank Flooring for Your New Home in Florida

Vinyl plank flooring was so popular among our new homeowners, it's now included in all of our Florida new homes in the wet areas (foyer, laundry room, kitchen, and bathrooms).

ohawk Ballard 4.5 Sweeper Beige SolidTech Waterproof Vinyl Plank Flooring
Mohawk Ballard 4.5 Sweeper Beige Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

Many homeowners choose to install it throughout the main living area, as well, thanks to its high-end appearance and low maintenance. Particularly if you have children, pets, or accident-prone adults (I'm raising my hand for this one), luxury vinyl plank is a top flooring choice for the entire living area and provides a great look in today's open-concept home plans by flowing seamlessly from the foyer through the gathering room, kitchen, and dining spaces.

In addition, a high percentage of our Florida homeowners opt to have it installed in high-traffic hallways and flex-use rooms such as dens. It's an available option in bedrooms, as well, though many homeowners opt for the soft underfoot feel of carpet in bedrooms.

At the Highland Homes design studio, we offer high-quality, long-lasting, industry-leading Mohawk luxury vinyl plank flooring, with multiple colors to choose from.

Mohawk Westward and Ballard Luxury Vinyl Planks are included in wet areas, and available to add as an upgrade to other rooms in your home. The popular option to add throughout the main living area and hallways will run you about $2,000-$3,000 on average, depending on your new home's size.

  • 10 color choices
  • Click installation
  • 4.5mm thick planks with beveled edges, providing an elevated look and feel of individual wood planks
  • 12 mil wear layer
  • Waterproof, stain-resistant and pet-friendly
Mohawk Westward 4.5 Turntable Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring
Mohawk Westward 4.5 Turntable Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

For a more traditional look in your new home in Florida, the Ballard Sweeper Beige and Westward Triple Bock gives the look of traditional oak hardwood. For a rustic look, the Westward line offers more color-varied planks with the Turntable offering our favorite rustic wood finish. And, if you are looking for a light wood floor, the Ballard Sailcloth and Westward Marscaopone vinyl planks provide the look of distressed whitewashed wood. And, if you like the on-trend greige (grey-beige) tone for flooring, the Ballard Desert Sunset, Bllard Simply Ecru, and Westward Granite Valley lead the pack in popularity.

Our interior designers at the Highland Homes Personal Selection Studio will walk you through designing every room in your dream home and selecting the features, colors, and finishes to suit your lifestyle and budget.

Get design inspiration and start planning your dream home by favoriting options in our online Inspiration Gallery, and call or email our Florida New Home Specialists to start building the new home of your dreams today!

Tags: Design features Design trends Interior design Kitchen design Bathroom design Personal Selection Studio Personalize your dream home