The Downsides of LVP Flooring You Should Know - Home & Texture
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Here's Why You Should Avoid LVP Flooring in Your Home

While it’s less expensive, there are plenty of red flags that might make you reconsider.

March 18, 2024 at 8:32 PM PST

Picking out flooring for your home is a major renovation—and one that can be extremely costly. So it makes sense that you’d shop around to find the best option that balances quality with value. Hardwood flooring is undoubtedly an attractive choice, but if you have a lot of square footage, or aren’t comfortable with spending that much, you can still find something similar for a fraction of the price. In some cases, homeowners might turn to LVP, or luxury vinyl planking. However, while it’s less expensive, there are plenty of red flags that might make you reconsider. Here’s why you should avoid LVP.

Light flooring
Photo Credit: Jill Burrow

Why It’s Popular

At first glance, LVP seems like the best of both worlds. You get the elegant and classic look of hardwood flooring and pay significantly less. It typically ranges from $2 to $5 per square foot for materials alone, with additional costs of $4 to $13 per square foot when factoring in labor. These figures may vary depending on factors such as the quality of the material, installation method, and geographic location, of course. It also has a pretty straightforward installation process that makes it an appealing choice for both DIY enthusiasts and those seeking to cut down on installation costs. Meanwhile, most hardwood flooring projects can cost around $6 to $12 per square foot, averaging $6,000 to $23,000 for a 1,000-square-foot room. Yikes.

The Dark Side of “Luxury”

Beneath the glossy exterior lies a few unsavory truths. Despite its claims of luxury, this material can lack the warmth and authenticity that genuine hardwood or stone provides. While it may mimic the appearance of natural materials from a distance, upon closer inspection, the synthetic nature of LVP can be pretty apparent, ultimately diminishing its appeal.

Durability or Deception?

It’s not impervious to wear and tear. In fact, one of the most significant drawbacks is its susceptibility to scratches. Despite its durable reputation, the photographic layer that mimics the appearance of natural materials can easily be marred by everyday wear and tear. Unlike hardwood floors, where scratches can be sanded and refinished to restore their original beauty, LVT flooring lacks this restorative capability. Once scratched, the damage is permanent, necessitating the replacement of affected flooring pieces.

Floor materials
Photo Credit: Ksenia Chernaya

Beware of Sun Damage

It’s also prone to heat damage, particularly from prolonged exposure to sunlight. Areas of the flooring that receive direct sunlight throughout the day can become warped and start to buckle at the seams between boards. This issue is well-documented among luxury vinyl flooring users and can lead to ongoing maintenance headaches and the frequent replacement of damaged sections.

The Environmental Impact

Despite its modern appeal, the production of vinyl flooring entails the consumption of fossil fuels and the emission of harmful pollutants, contributing to environmental degradation. Additionally, the disposal of it at the end of its lifespan poses further challenges in terms of recycling and waste management.

Modern room
Photo Credit: Max Vakhtbovycn

Indoor Air Quality

One of the most overlooked aspects is its impact on indoor air quality. That distinct “new floor” smell may initially seem innocuous, but it’s actually the result of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, being released into the air. Prolonged exposure to these chemicals can pose health risks, including respiratory issues and allergic reactions, making it a cause for concern, especially in households with children or pets.

The Cost of Convenience

While this option may offer cost savings upfront, you’ll want to consider the long-term implications. Cheaper varieties may compromise on quality, leading to premature wear and deterioration. Conversely, investing in higher-end options may come with a hefty price tag, raising the question of whether the added expense is justified in the pursuit of a “luxurious” flooring solution.


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