During the selection process in your Sunshine Coast renovation, we always start our interior selections with the flooring. Visually, the flooring can be a showstopping feature, or alternatively the neutral, receding workhorse that allows your other selections to shine.
Budget allowing, there are many flooring possibilities to choose from- polished concrete, hardwood timber flooring, bamboo, tiles, and vinyl plank are just a common few. We regularly install tiles and/ or 5mm vinyl plank throughout our Sunshine Coast renovations. There are two main variations in vinyl plank- the traditional vinyl plank, and hybrid vinyl plank. Let’s discuss the differences between the two so you can make an informed decision on selection day.
The technology behind vinyl plank has come forward in leaps and bounds. Vinyl Plank comprises of a core layer of PVC which has a degree of flexibility and is waterproof. Encasing this is wear layers which are clear coatings providing scratch, stain and fade resistance above a layer of digitally enhanced photographic imaging which attaches to the vinyl core layer to give the appearance of natural timber. There are also protective backing layers which helps vinyl plank flooring to be impervious to water, mould, and mildew.
Many brands of vinyl plank are backed with a felt product. When installed, this feature translates to a softer floor with more give. The top will look like hardwood and have that strong feel, but standing on vinyl for long periods of time is easier than standing on real timber. Additionally, objects are less likely to break when dropped on vinyl, which is good news for glasses and mugs.
Vinyl is quiet to walk on, so you won’t hear people in the home clicking around on the floors. This sound absorption makes it a great option for unit renovations or second storey additions.
Vinyl flooring is regularly touted as water resistant, and is often recommended as a great choice for bathrooms, laundries and kitchens. Although some vinyl options are completely waterproof, we prefer to lay tiles in wet areas!
Vinyl plank can be installed directly on top of your subfloor, making the process quick, cost-effective and easy (given that the subfloor is in good condition). When you remove your old flooring, inspect the subfloor to make sure it’s in good shape before adding vinyl on top.
If you don’t want put a lot of effort into maintaining your floors, vinyl plank is a wise choice. The product is long-lasting, requiring only routine cleaning (i.e., sweeping and occasionally mopping) to keep it looking like new.
Vinyl does not contract or expand, meaning you don’t require scotia which can look untidy from a design perspective.
Vinyl is a long-lasting flooring product and can last up to 20 years. Once it’s down, you’ll have a great floor for years to come.
You can install in-floor heating beneath a number of vinyl flooring options if you’re looking for ways to increase luxury in your home.
If you damage or scratch a plank, it is generally a straightforward repair process, where you simply remove the existing plank and glue a new one down in its place.
Non-recyclable. Although you may not think of it in these initial stages of your Sunshine Coast renovation or home extension, in twenty years or so down the track, if you remove your vinyl planks to lay new flooring, the vinyl plank is not biodegradable and may sit in landfill for many years.
While vinyl will hold up for many years, you can damage it. Dropping a glass or moving heavy furniture can result in scuffs and gouges that are difficult to remove. If you do rearrange furniture, be sure to cover the feet with felt, or lift the piece off the ground before moving it.
Unlike hardwood, vinyl does not add much resale value to your house. So, if you’re renovating in order to increase the value of your home, vinyl may not be the best option.
Toxins. Like many manufactured products, toxins such as dioxins and phthalates in small amounts may be present during and after installation. This may be a consideration if you prefer a more eco-friendly product for your home such as tile, polished concrete or hardwood.
Hybrid vinyl plank
Hybrid flooring combines the durability and strength of laminate and the soft and appealing look of luxury vinyl planks. It is a fantastic floating floor which is perfect for Sunshine Coast homes.
Hybrid vinyl plank is a composite of vinyl PVC, recycled wood, bamboo dust and limestone powder. It is similar to luxury vinyl plank, however it is generally thicker than luxury vinyl, making it more comfortable to walk on as well as more durable. The extra thickness and durability makes it more expensive. Both traditional luxury vinyl planks and hybrid floors can be installed over existing floors.
Hybrid is 100% waterproof, meaning it does contract or expand when exposed to water and spills.
It’s durability means it is UV resistant as well as scratch resistant.
Easy to clean and maintain for decades- many brands offer 20 year warranties.
It is dearer to supply than vinyl plank
Emissions. Trace amounts of Volatile Organic Compounds may be present in both vinyl plank and Hybrid planks.
One of the associated benefits of Hybrid Vinyl is its sound absorption qualities. However, in our expert opinion with years of building and renovating experience, we would say that the hybrid flooring has a more hollow or clicky sound underfoot than the luxury vinyl plank which is glued straight to the floor. So to compare vinyl plank or the dearer Hybrid plank, the vinyl plank is quieter as well as more cost-effective.
Some Hybrid planks click together in a click-lock system, meaning if one plank gets damaged, you may need to pull up several planks to replace the one. This is more complicated than glue-down luxury vinyl planks.
Essentially, there are only minor differences between luxury vinyl planks and Hybrid vinyl. They are both fantastic products which look and feel similar to solid hardwood, at only a fraction of the cost. Talk to your builder to discuss which application will best suit your Sunshine Coast renovation or home extension.