These are not linoleum, not big sheets of vinyl stretching from end to end in your room. They are planks, just like laminate and hardwood except they’re 100% waterproof, and both of these are going to be some of the easiest floors to install and to maintain. Let’s go over their similarities and differences.
– Both of these are styles of floating floors. There is no need for nails, staples or glue (though glue can be used with Loose Lay).
– Padding does not go down under these floors.
– Installation still starts in a corner of the room and goes across each row, row to row, until you reach the other side of the room. This is also true of the lock together tiles (they usually come with a glue strip and stick together). With glued tiling you start in the middle of the room, but with a locking system in play, you could use the middle as a reference for planning, but physically start in a corner right at the wall.
– Both are 100% waterproof floors. This means that the flooring cannot be harmed by water, even full flooding. Whatever you have to do after a water emergency, these very planks can go right back into place afterwards. It does not mean that they hermetically seal your subfloor off from flooding. They are very good at holding water on the surface so you can get to a spill, but a flood is still a flood.
– Style versatility. These two kinds of vinyl plank flooring share looks and styles equally, and vinyl plank is coming up right behind laminate in realistically matching wood looks, while the tiles tend to replicate stone looks. Expect these tendencies to blur eventually too (wood look tiles, ceramic styled planks).
– Thickness. The Loose Lay planks tend to be thicker than the lock together ones. Thickness usually equals extra warmth and durability. It’s minor, but it is a difference.
– Really, it’s the installation method that separates them. Our click together vinyl floors are easy. Loose Lay can be even easier. This matters on two main occasions. First is when you initially install the floor, or have it installed. Easy to do means easy for you, if you do-it-yourself. Easy for an installer means it can be much less expensive for you.
The second time this maters is if you do have the water emergency, or just a really bad spill that you know went past the vinyl and down to the subfloor. The goal then is to get your vinyl out of the way so you can take care of the issue and get your place back in order. Both of these kinds of vinyl make that easier than any attached floor, but with Loose Lay you’re looking at much less, and much faster work. When you need to, you can pull Loose Lay right up. You would not have to work to it from a wall into the room if you only had a certain area to which to get, for instance. With the locking floors you would have to start out there.
Here are three videos, one on each installation system, any of which can help you know what you might be looking at
Loose Lay Vinyl Plank Flooring Installation: How-To and Tips
Lock Together (Angle to Angle) Vinyl Flooring Installation Tips
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David is 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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