Vinyl Plank Flooring Review And Tips
Bathroom makeovers are a nice investment in your home, especially with Smartcore Natural Floors sold at Lowe’s.
One of the first projects that we wanted to tackle, once we were settled into our new home, was both of our bathrooms. It was easy to pick the smaller bathroom of the two to start with. Silke was less than enthused with the over-sized and outdated vanity and I wasn’t moved by the old flooring. The same wall color was used throughout the whole house so a different shade of paint was going to help out with setting the bathrooms apart from the rest of the house. Getting rid of the old, nasty flooring was a must.
Working from the bottom to the top. On the first day we took out the vanity and looked at the old, worn and dated linoleum that remained. We wanted it gone but I was even more reluctant to see what was underneath. The floor was fine structurally but of course the linoleum had been glued and it would be a huge mess to try and get rid of it.
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Procrastinating pays off. We really weren’t too keen on the idea of laying more linoleum. Silke just doesn’t care for it and I had kicked around the idea of putting down laminate flooring like the kind we had put down back in South Carolina.
It looked good, see picture above, but I wasn’t really sure if this was a smart move to make because this floor was going into a bathroom. Moisture build up was going to be a constant issue. Then we talked about tiling the bathrooms, we even went to a ‘How To Lay Tiles’ class at Home Depot one Sunday afternoon. It was while looking at tiles and laminate floors in the store that we first came across vinyl plank flooring.
There was another couple looking at flooring when we came across it. They had laid out a couple of pieces right in the isle and he was examining how they looked and pointed out that they easily snapped together. It looked really good and the wood grain on the pieces actually had a nice feel to them. The thing that really garnered my attention was that this type of floating flooring is 100% water proof.
After taking home several flooring samples and reading a ton of reviews we decided to give Smartcore Vinyl Plank Natural Floors a try.
The bathroom floor being wet is really not an issue anymore, and just when I didn’t think it could get any better, I read that this type of flooring could be ‘installed directly over other existing hard surface floors‘. Rather than ripping up the existing linoleum we could bury it… a fitting resting spot to it’s well lived life.
I was excited! We had something that looked good, is sturdy (the planks are 5.5 mm thick), and easy to install. Best of all, it fits the bill for our bathroom remodel. The cost is around $2.80 / Sq. Ft., we only needed 1 1/2 boxes for our small 6′ bathroom… there are 12 – 5″ x 48″ planks in a box.
Smartcore Vinyl Plank Flooring by Natural Floors
- 100% waterproof and can be installed in wet areas, planks will never swell when exposed to water
- Can be installed directly over other existing hard surface floors
- Easy-to-install, drop and lock profile without glue and with no acclimation time needed
- Dimensional stable; will not expand or contract
- Limited lifetime-residential and 5-year light-commercial warranty
Installation is a snap. Literally! You just snap the pieces together. Relying on our experience with putting together our laminate floor, we forged ahead with putting down the SMARTCORE premium engineered flooring. The planks are very sturdy, inflexible and the tabs do not easily break off.
For our previous laminate floor project we bought a table saw, which we sold again after the flooring was laid. Owning a table saw wasn’t necessary with this luxury vinyl plank flooring. All we used to cut the pieces was our miter saw and for the cuts around plumbing fixtures we simply scored the pieces with a utility knife.
Our little bathroom got even smaller with both of us trying to work together to measure and put the proper pieces in place. We quickly got a system down… Silke would pick out the pieces so that we didn’t have the same pattern running together (we noticed 5 different patterns in a box). We measured together, then I cut them in the garage and handed them back to her so she could lay them down.
Vinyl Planks Floor Laying Tips
- Measure your room side to side and corner to corner to figure out if the room is square
Our room wasn’t square. We split the difference between the two sides and we were able to cover the difference with the 1/4 inch trim.
- Take your room dimension and divide it by 5 (width of plank) to figure out how many rows of planks you need (for instance, we needed 12.8 rows)
- If you end up with .6 or less for your last row, cut your starting row in half
- Don’t cut the length of your boards less than 6 inches
- Use a rubber mallet and a wood or rubber block to get a tight seam
This flooring may be made out of vinyl, and is quite sturdy, but I really didn’t feel comfortable pounding on it with a conventional hammer. One thing I did notice is that when Silke applied pressure from the end of the row using a crowbar while I pounded on the seam on the other end, we could hear a definitive snap as the two pieces joined.
- Watch this how-to DIY Plank Flooring video to learn more
This is really a good video to watch and learn even if you’ve already laid out floating flooring before.
With each piece of flooring that we added we saw the bathroom take on a completely different feel.
Even in this very small space we didn’t have any trouble making the pieces fit together. We used a rubber mallet and a rubber block to ensure that the seams butted up together tightly. You can hardly see the seams at all now and water beads right up on the surface.
Once the trim was added we couldn’t help but marvel at how well it at all came together. We love the look of the planks, the color we chose is dark brown with a touch of gray. These vinyl planks feel surprisingly real, like actual wood, since they have ripples on top.
To finish our bathroom redo project we installed a smaller, bright white vanity which makes the room look a lot bigger. It is nicely accentuated by the new darker flooring.
We are more than happy with how things had turned out and already calculated how many more boxes of vinyl floor planks we will need to purchase to finish the second bathroom.
Find SMARTCORE vinyl flooring in several different colored wood grains at Lowe’s.
We love the classy look of our bathroom now and highly recommend the vinyl planks by SMARTCORE Natural Floors Sold Exclusively At Lowe’s.
If you have any thoughts or experiences with vinyl plank flooring please share by leaving us a comment below.