Vinyl Tile vs. Vinyl Plank Flooring

Vinyl Tile vs. Vinyl Plank Flooring
The title of this post suggests that there might be many great differences between tiles of vinyl flooring and vinyl plank flooring. One reason you may find very little on the internet covering this topic is that not much separates them. Both are waterproof. Both can be installed either as floating floors or via adhesive. They can both go above or below grade. They can have the exact same levels of scratch and wear resistance. They each come in varieties of thicknesses, and can bear the full range of finish looks from matte to high gloss. The discount flooring available at Floors To Your Home includes both at great savings, and usually you even get your flooring with free shipping. Vinyl plank, tile and sheets, taken together as a team of flooring options under the broad group "vinyl," come in as the second most popular kind of flooring, just after carpet.

So what does separate the two? Really it's just aesthetics, the look of the flooring. It's not too much of an oversimplification to say that the big difference between tiles and planks is that tiles are shaped like squares, and planks are shaped like rectangles. What these shapes lead to is where you'll find the biggest factor in your choosing one over the other. It has to do with the types of flooring vinyl tiles and planks are made to resemble.

(all images can be clicked for larger versions)

Vinyl Plank Flooring

Washington Cherry Colorado Oak
Sugar Maple Exotic Cherry

The plank shaped vinyl products are made specifically to resemble hardwood flooring in the same way that laminate flooring planks were originally designed to do. Laminate came to the US in the 90's as a way of getting a hardwood look with some different durability factors. It tended to be more scratch resistant, and less affected by environmental changes, for instance.

Vinyl Plank Flooring has been developed to cover the last major issue with home flooring - water. However well some hardwoods and laminates can handle moisture, neither of them are fully waterproof, and vinyl, to put it simply, just is. With vinyl plank, you can continue the hardwood look you have established for the rest of your house all the way into your basements, bathrooms and kitchens without worry of steam expanding your boards, or spills eventually seeping between planks.
Distressed Kempas Distressed Oak
Distressed Pine Rustic Hickory

Vinyl Tile Flooring

Casa Cream Waterproof Self-Adhesive Vinyl Tile Casa Gray Waterproof Self-Adhesive Vinyl Tile
Vinyl tile flooring has usually been designed to resemble slate and stone floors, which also usually come in square cuts. The advantage you get with the vinyl is that if you drop something heavy, like a serving dish or a rounded stone, the vinyl floor will not crack or chip away.
Casa Cream Waterproof Self-Adhesive Vinyl Tile in a Room Casa Gray Waterproof Self-Adhesive Vinyl Tile in a Room

Vinyl tile can also come in basic colors or abstract patterns, so you can have your floor just be one solid color, or a pattern, calm or striking. Think of the looks you could achieve . . . Black Lodge . . . oooh. All we need now is a backwards dancing, eerie host.

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David has written and made videos about flooring products and installation since 2011 at Floors To Your Home (.com), where he is also the PPC Manager, a Researcher, a Website & Marketing Strategy Team member, Videographer, Social Strategist, Photographer and all around Resource Jito. In my spare time I shoot and edit video, put together a podcast, explore film history, and mix music (as in ‘play with Beatles multi-tracks’). Connect with  W. David Lichty


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