Sheet vs. Plank Vinyl Wood Flooring

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Vinyl wood flooring is an alternative to real wood.
Vinyl wood flooring is an alternative to real wood. (Image: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

With so many products available to resurface floors, it is a challenge to pick the best flooring material for your home or office. Researching the pros and cons of sheet vinyl vs. vinyl plank wood flooring may save you time and money by knowing the facts before you begin your next project.

Installation

One of the biggest differences between sheet and vinyl plank is in the installation and maintenance of the products. Sheet vinyl is installed in one continuous application, unless the product is not wide enough for the room and a seam is required. Unfortunately, this application is usually best installed by a professional – especially when seams are involved. However, vinyl plank flooring is installed in individual planks and the average homeowner can install an entire room over a weekend.

Cost

Depending on the manufacturer and quality of materials, both sheet and plank vinyl wood flooring are comparable in price. Both can range from $1 to over $10 per yard, as of 2011. However, the cost of installation is what sets the two materials apart. Since sheet vinyl is best installed by a professional, the total cost is usually much more than plank vinyl. In some cases, the installation cost of sheet vinyl can actually exceed the cost of the materials.

Total cost of flooring goes up when professional installation is required.
Total cost of flooring goes up when professional installation is required. (Image: Chad Baker/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Aesthetics

When it comes to the look and feel of sheet vs. plank vinyl, plank vinyl has a much more authentic look to it. Since the materials are installed in planks, it resembles the planks of an actual wood floor as opposed to the grooved lines in sheet vinyl wood flooring. You can also stagger the planks, as desired. Some vinyl plank is so realistic that some people have to look carefully to see that it is actually vinyl.

Durability and Maintenance

When properly installed, vinyl plank is much more durable than sheet vinyl products. The vinyl wood plank product is harder and it does not mark, dent, scratch, tear or damage as often as sheet vinyl. Vinyl plank also has greater water-resistant properties than sheet vinyl – which also makes it easier to clean. In addition, if a vinyl plank floor is damaged, a homeowner can make the repair themselves, while sheet vinyl requires professional repair.

Water-resistant properties make easy cleaning.
Water-resistant properties make easy cleaning. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

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