Wondering what’s the best thickness for vinyl plank flooring? I’ve got the answer for you.
No matter if you’re in the process of making your new home or in the midst of renovating your old one, and you’re interested in installing vinyl plank flooring, you’re probably wondering if thicker is better?
The rule of thumb is to utilize 4mm-6mm thickness in high traffic rooms of the home and 4mm or below for rooms like the bedroom. In this article, I will teach you how to choose the right thickness for you.
I will also explain why the thickness matters and share a bunch of helpful tips, so let’s begin.
Table of Contents
How Thick Is Good For Vinyl Plank Flooring?
The overall thickness of vinyl flooring isn’t that important since it doesn’t affect the durability. However, the thickness of the wear layer matters. It’s what determines how long your flooring will last.
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That being said, overall thickness matters in click flooring only. With this type of flooring, the denser the plank, the easier the installation is because the click system is more secure. According to many tests and expert feedback, you shouldn’t settle for anything below 5mm when buying click luxury vinyl tile.
Another factor to consider when selecting denser over thinner luxury vinyl tile is the transition between rooms. Having flooring that’s either too shallow/ too tall will make uneven floors that look weird.
Also, keep in mind that high-quality flooring has the thickest wear layers. However, it’s more expensive. Contractors prefer a wear layer of at least 28 mils for commercial and 12 mils for residential use.
You can see this video to know more:
Watch video: Learn More About the Thickness of Wear Layers for Luxury Vinyl Planks
Best Thickness For Vinyl Plank Flooring
There’s a list of questions you will need to ask yourself before you decide on what is the best thickness for vinyl plank flooring for your property. For starters, where is the flooring being installed?
It is a high-traffic room? What type of subfloor is it going over? What’s the condition of the subfloor and what type of vinyl do you prefer? These questions can help you make a better final decision.
Is Thicker More Durable?
As I already stated, overall thickness isn’t really important. It’s the thickness of the wear layer of flooring that matters the most. So, a thicker floor isn’t always a stronger and long-lasting option.
It’s the wear layer that keeps your vinyl flooring safe from dents, different scratches, water damage, and stains. Usually, people prefer a thicker wear layer in high-traffic rooms such as the living room.
You would also want a thicker wear layer in the kitchen, hallways, waiting rooms, and around the office. So, If you’re looking to add comfort in low-traffic spaces such as the bedroom, pick a thinner layer. Still, having a denser vinyl tile/plank or sheet will provide additional comfort and stability underfoot.
The thickness of vinyl flooring goes from 2mm-8mm+ with the higher end of the range mainly utilized in commercial areas. In this case, the denser the tile/plank, or sheet, the more durable it is.
How To Calculate Thickness?
To determine the depth of a vinyl plank, you need to take into consideration the backing, core, and wear layer. However, to make a better option, you will need basic knowledge of how manufacturers assemble vinyl planks. You can find diagrams and in-depth videos explaining the process online.
Keep in mind that companies usually display the thickness of the wear layer as opposed to the thickness of the plank and as most of these items ship from overseas, they represent the metric measurement. So, for the actual overall thickness of the vinyl flooring, you’re looking for measurements in mm.
They’re available in a wide array, with low-quality planks being 4mm and high-quality planks going 8mm and thicker. Will there be a transition from your new vinyl plank flooring to another flooring?
If so, you will need to consider that detail when determining the planks’ thickness. Awkward transitions between areas in your property will make your new flooring unattractive and uneven.
Type Of Subfloor
The subfloor plays a key role in the selecting of the thickness as well. So, if you have a concrete subfloor that’s even, opt for a slimmer vinyl flooring. This type of subfloor is durable enough that you don’t need additional support. If your subfloor is slim, on the other hand, opt for thicker vinyl flooring.
What’s A Wear Layer?
The wear layer sits between the urethane finish and the printed design. As I already said, this layer plays a key part in your final decision. It determines how well your floor will hold up over time.
Therefore, if the wear layer falls apart, the printed design will eventually fade and damage. High-quality vinyl planks have wear layers that come with a protective topcoat. This coating usually has additives like ceramics or other materials to enhance the hardness level of the planks, so choose carefully.
In the production process, these materials need to connect to the flooring via the process of curation. If this part of the manufacturing isn’t done properly, the coating won’t be helpful and effective.
Check your warranty for details on manufacturer defects. The thickness of the wear layer is measured in mil (a 1,000th of an inch). However, mil isn’t the same as a millimeter, as 40 mil equals 1.0mm.
A denser wear layer is more resistant to denting and scratching, so professionals prefer a min of 28 mils for commercial and 12 mils for residential use. You shouldn’t settle for anything less than 12 mils. Also, if you have large pets or small kids, opt for something stronger in the range of 20 mils or thicker.
Keep in mind that even with a denser, stronger wear layer, your flooring won’t last as long as you would think. Things such as maintenance, installation, and plank construction will play a key role.
Cores And Bottom Layers
LVP features a WPC or solid wood plastic composite core. WPC doesn’t have wood. Instead, it’s created from wood flour joined with calcium carbonate and thermoplastic.
This type of flooring is safer for your home because it’s phthalates-free. Planks with a firm center ensure greater stability and improved durability. They’re water-resistant and disguise small imperfections in the subflooring, making them a preferred flooring option when installing over existing floors.
The bottom or backing may include soundproofing materials like corking. These coats provide underfoot cushioning. Thus, the denser it is, the warmer and more comfortable it will be to stand on.
Some planks come with an attached underlayment for better heat retention and sound reduction that’s quite useful in second-floor applications. But not all vinyl planks include an underlayment.
Most of the reputable and popular brands utilize bottom layers created from recyclable materials. While eco-friendly, these backings have been proven to fall apart faster.
Residential Or Commercial?
Another crucial factor to consider when choosing the best thickness for vinyl plank flooring is the rating. Is it rated for commercial or residential traffic? Both options ask for the same maintenance steps.
However, planks intended for business settings can handle excessive use. Also, compare the residential warranty with the commercial. Usually, a long commercial warranty signifies a thicker wear layer.
If you’re looking for flooring for a high-traffic room, it’s recommended that you opt for a thicker vinyl floor as it will deliver more support and sturdiness.
Additionally, thicker vinyl floors can handle imperfect subfloors. Therefore, if you’re worried about your subfloor, pick a denser floor. However, I always suggest installing brand new floors over a clean, dry, and even subfloor. Also, don’t forget about the moisture barrier.
It’s a necessary piece, especially if you’re installing brand new floors over a concrete subfloor. It will stop any moisture from the subfloor from going up into your floor.
If you opt for glue-down vinyl flooring, you won’t need an underlayment. Keep these tips in mind when shopping for vinyl plank flooring and make a smart buy.
You can see this video to know more:
Watch video: The Wear Layer for Luxury Vinyl Flooring Explained in Detail
Is 2mm Vinyl Flooring Good?
If you’re searching for glue-down flooring, opt for luxury vinyl planks or tile as they’re too slim to have a click-lock mechanism. They’re also more affordable than denser vinyl flooring options.
And since they’re glued down right onto the subfloor, the installation doesn’t require an underlayment but will ask for extra supplies such as a trowel and glue. It’s a straightforward DIY process.
However, if you don’t have any experience with installing flooring, leave the task to professionals. They will also take care of your subfloor and provide a smooth, level surface for the best results.
Take note that you can’t walk over your new floor right after it’s installed. Finally, keep in mind that this thickness can’t handle heavy use, so it’s highly recommended for low-traffic areas only.
Is 4mm Vinyl Flooring Good?
Most of the 4mm vinyl plank flooring options have a click-lock mechanism that joins the planks and gives a simple installation. This is why thicker vinyl flooring costs more than thinner options.
You can place these floating floors over almost any existing subfloor or floor since they’re not glued right onto the surface. While no nails, staples, or glue are required, you will still need a vapor barrier.
It will ensure moisture protection between a concrete subfloor and vinyl. The 4mm and over vinyl floors can handle high traffic, so it’s suitable for commercial installations and active households.
You can see this video to know more:
Watch video: 10 Mistakes You Need to Watch Out for When Installing Vinyl Plank Flooring
How To Maintain 2mm And 4mm Vinyl Flooring?
What I like most about these two products is that they’re both low-maintenance flooring options. This is one of the main advantages of both flooring options since they use the same cleaning tactics.
Regular cleaning with the right vacuum is necessary, so if you decide to vacuum your floors, make sure to forgo the beater bar. Otherwise, you may damage your new luxury vinyl plank or tile flooring.
I would also suggest that you give up your manual vacuuming and turn to robot vacuum machines. They will be a lot gentler on your vinyl flooring. The best part? There’s less work for you and you can schedule your robot vacuum to work while you’re at work. You can also mop your flooring with a cleaner.
However, make sure that whatever solution you utilize doesn’t have chemicals or harsh detergents that can leave a dull film. Keep in mind that high-alkaline products can loosen any solvent-based polishes and adhesive. If your flooring is brand new, wait at least 2 days after installation before you mop it.
You can see this video to know more:
Watch video: 10 Interesting Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About LVP
What’s The Difference Between Warranties?
Always read the warranties carefully before making a purchase. Different products come with different warranties for both commercial and residential applications.
Some thicker, higher quality flooring for home use may have a lifetime limited residential warranty while other slimmer products may include a limited 8-year warranty or something similar.
For commercial install, the warranties range because the flooring will withstand high foot traffic. Present warranties could range from 6-20-year light commercial use. However, some options that can withstand heavier foot traffic include a 10-15-year commercial warranty.
Does Thickness Of Vinyl Flooring Matter?
The best thickness for vinyl plank flooring for high traffic rooms of your home is 4mm-6mm whereas the right thickness for regular use, you can settle for something around 4mm or less.
Back in the day thicker always meant sturdier and better. Meaning, a thicker plank was often denser and more stable underfoot. However, when SPC vinyl plank flooring entered the flooring industry, all of that changed. They’re super thin, extremely strong, and made from stone-plastic composite.
Today’s vinyl flooring comes in a broad array of lovely colors, different thicknesses, and realistic designs. Therefore, it’s important to choose the right thickness, color, and design for your property.
Also, don’t forget about the installation method. If you’re not confident in your skills, hire a professional. Lastly, consider the transitions between rooms so your floors don’t end up looking weird.
Now that you know more about the thickness of vinyl plank flooring, dive deep into the market and find the right flooring for you. Do you have any questions? If so, drop a comment below.
What thickness of vinyl plank flooring is best? ›
The rule of thumb is to use 4mm to 6mm thickness in heavily used areas of the house and 4mm and below for areas like the bedroom.Is 5mm vinyl plank thick enough? ›
Testing and expert feedback reveals that click luxury vinyl tile should be at least 5 mm thick or more. Another thing to consider when choosing thicker over thinner LVT is the transitions between rooms.What is a good wear layer thickness for LVP? ›
Keep in mind that the wear layer thickness is measured in mil, which is one thousandth of an inch. This is not a millimeter, so don't get confused. At a minimum, you should choose a wear layer that is at least 12 mil, but if you have an active family or pets, it should be at least 20 mil.Is 6 mil wear layer enough? ›
This depends on the level of traffic in a particular area. Residential flooring with moderate traffic may benefit from a wear layer of 6, 8 or 12 mil, while commercial flooring prone to high traffic may need a wear layer of 20 mil or thicker. The thicker the layer, the more expensive the floor will be.Is 20 mil good for vinyl plank flooring? ›
Residential projects with foot traffic in an entryway or households with pets should stay in the 12-mil to 20-mil range, while lesser-used areas could handle a lower wear layer. For commercial projects, stick with a 20-mil to 40-mil wear layer for the best protection possible.What is the difference between 12 mil and 20 mil vinyl plank flooring? ›
12 MIL has 12 coats, 20 MIL has 20 coats, etc. The more MIL's a product has the stronger the wear layer is. So, a 6 or 12 MIL product will work for your home, but not for a commercial setting. A 20 MIL product will work for your home, AND work for a commercial setting.Does thickness of vinyl plank flooring matter? ›
The overall thickness of your vinyl floor is generally a less important specification since it has little to do with durability (the wear-layer thickness is what determines how long the floor will last).Are wider vinyl planks better? ›
Wider luxury vinyl planks provide a more modern tile feel and are excellent for larger or wider rooms. Bigger rooms allow for wider 6- to 8-inch planks since smaller planks will make it appear too busy. Narrower planks may give a more traditional feel and be better suited for smaller spaces.Does 5mm LVP need underlayment? ›
If you're laying the LVP over an existing cushion-backed vinyl floor or a below-grade tile floor, then you won't need to use an underlayment. However, you'll want to use one in every other application including covering existing hardwood floors, vinyl flooring that isn't cushioned, and concrete floors.What is the best mil for vinyl flooring? ›
The more mils, the more the vinyl planks can hold up to pressure and scratching. For household use, 12 mil is a common choice in flooring, though 20 mil is recommended if you've got pets or heavier foot traffic. For commercial applications, 28 mil is often used for even greater durability and support.
How do I choose a luxury vinyl plank? ›
Wear Layer Thickness
The thicker the wear layer, the better the overall quality and the longer the flooring will last. Pay attention to the manufacturer's recommendations for the wear layer. As a rule of thumb, 8 mil is a good choice for a residential area with moderate traffic.
When shopping for the best LVP flooring, you'll want to make sure it has scuff, stain, and scratch resistance. Customer reviews have told us that most people love Armstrong vinyl plank flooring because it's thicker and more resilient than low grade vinyl that you'll typically find at a big box store.How much is labor for LVP? ›
For professional installation of luxury vinyl plank flooring, you should expect to pay anywhere between $1 and $5 per square foot.Is there a difference between vinyl plank and luxury vinyl plank? ›
The only difference between the two is the form. Luxury vinyl flooring (LVF) can be cut in either plank (LVP) to mimic hardwood or into groutable squares for stone and tile looks, called luxury vinyl tile. What is LVF?How long will 20 mil wear layer last? ›
Vinyl plank flooring is available in a number of thicknesses ranging from 2mm to 8mm+ thick. When you buy vinyl flooring it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. Just as laminate flooring, the thicker the floor, the sturdier it is, but this is not the main factor in determining durability.How thick is premium vinyl flooring? ›
LVT is available in various thicknesses from 2mm to 5mm and greater. Thinner products like a 2mm thickness are generally considered for residential and multi-family use, or for light commercial areas that see minimal foot and rolling traffic.What MIL is life proof flooring? ›
The wear layer thickness is measured in mil and a higher number indicates that the vinyl floor will be resistant to wear and tear and last longer. For products within Lifeproof Vinyl Plank Flooring, the mil ranges from 6 MIL to 22 MIL.Is 2mm wear layer enough? ›
Normally, we recommend a wear layer of at least 2mm, with 3mm being the most common thickness nowadays on high-quality engineered floors.What should be the thickness of flooring? ›
There are four standard laminate-flooring plank thicknesses on the market. As you might expect, the thinner the plank the less expensive the laminate floor. Our planks come in the three thickest measurements: 8 millimeter (8 mm), 10 millimeter (10 mm) and 12 millimeter (12 mm).
Is 3mm vinyl plank flooring good? ›
Select planks between 3.2–4.0 mm (0.13–0.16 in) for high-traffic areas. Most of the common areas in your home, including the living room and the kitchen, will be best suited by a high-quality plank that is either 3.2 mm (0.13 in) or 4 mm (0.16 in) thick. This thickness is a good balance of durability and affordability.What color vinyl planks makes a room look bigger? ›
Darker flooring offers an inviting feel and opens up a space. Whether you choose rich colours or softer dark colours, they both have their advantages when it comes to expanding the appearance of a room.Does wide plank flooring make a room look bigger or smaller? ›
Think Big with Wider Planks
Larger planks stretch the eye, giving the appearance of more square footage. On the other hand, it's important to avoid narrow or thin planks, as the many small lines offer a more crowded atmosphere. Whether you're installing hardwood, laminate, or luxury vinyl planks, wider is better.
Normally, luxury vinyl planks should run lengthwise in narrow spaces, such as corridors and hallways. Also, installers usually lay them down parallel to the longest wall. Doing so will make small spaces appear wider and bigger.Do you install LVP directly on subfloor? ›
Unlike laminate flooring, most vinyl floors are designed to lay directly on top of the subfloor.Does floor have to be perfectly level for vinyl plank flooring? ›
But, just like with any other permanent product, it's imperative that the existing floor is clean and dry, in excellent condition, and most important, level. A flat and level floor is key so that the adjoining vinyl plank flooring don't have varying heights.Does vinyl plank flooring need a vapor barrier on concrete? ›
In short, yes. It's a misnomer that Luxury Vinyl Planks do not need a moisture barrier. If you are putting this type of flooring over your concrete and the contractor does NOT do a moisture, calcium chloride or RH test on your concrete, then they must put a moisture barrier down.What is the best vinyl flooring for kitchen? ›
Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) and vinyl roll (also known as sheet vinyl), are both suitable for kitchen floors. They're durable, moisture-resistant, and easy to clean and maintain. Kitchen spills and splashes from cooking and washing up are no problem for vinyl's durable and water-resistant surface.What flooring does Joanna Gaines recommend? ›
Throughout the Magnolia Homes new build, the rustic, natural qualities of Adela Rich Request pair perfectly with more contemporary design elements. Deceptively engineered, this LIFECORE hardwood floor makes it a perfect option throughout the home —from the kitchen and dining rooms to the bedroom and living rooms.What color flooring is in for 2022? ›
Color and cool tones also make the list of flooring trends in 2022. Green, blue, dark brown, ashy white, and gray add to an airy feel in the home and leave so much to the imagination because of the options in flooring colors. Gray is the most popular when it comes to flooring colors.
What's a good price for LVP flooring? ›
Vinyl plank flooring costs approximately $2 to $10 per square foot installed, and luxury vinyl plank flooring costs between $1 and $6 per square foot for materials, plus $1 to $5 per square foot for labor.What is considered luxury vinyl plank? ›
Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) or Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) has incredible hardwood floor, ceramic tile, or natural stone visuals. These products are much thicker (5mm up to 12mm) than traditional sheet vinyl floors (2mm) and can usually be installed over existing floors where sheet vinyl would most likely need a new subfloor.What is high end vinyl flooring? ›
A high-end vinyl flooring system is exactly what it sounds like — it is flooring made of quality material that is both highly durable and functional.How much does Home Depot charge to install LVP? ›
Sheet vinyl installation starts around $15 per square yard, while vinyl tile installation and vinyl plank click-lock installation starts around $2 per square foot. For additional details, visit our vinyl flooring installation cost guide.Does LVP increase home value? ›
The answer may surprise you - not only does LVP often help homes sell faster, but it can also lead to a higher sale price. Here's a closer look at why LVP is such a popular choice among home sellers and buyers.Is LVP worth the money? ›
By far the major advantage of luxury vinyl flooring is its affordability. LVP tends to be anywhere from five to ten times less expensive than the genuine article. Ranging from $2 to $5 per square foot, luxury vinyl can be quite a bit more affordable than wood floors and even carpeting.Is thicker vinyl plank flooring better? ›
As a general rule, a thicker vinyl will provide more stability and comfort underfoot. So if you are looking for flooring to refresh your low traffic bedroom, a thinner vinyl plank flooring will work great for you.Does thickness matter in vinyl plank flooring? ›
The overall thickness of your vinyl floor is generally a less important specification since it has little to do with durability (the wear-layer thickness is what determines how long the floor will last).Is 5mm vinyl plank too thin? ›
Choose a thickness of 5 mm (0.20 in) or more for the highest quality. The thickest vinyl planks can be anywhere from 5 mm (0.20 in) to over 8 mm (0.31 in) thick. These planks cost the most, but they are also the most durable and usually look the most like real wood.What should I look for when buying luxury vinyl plank flooring? ›
When shopping for the best LVP flooring, you'll want to make sure it has scuff, stain, and scratch resistance. Customer reviews have told us that most people love Armstrong vinyl plank flooring because it's thicker and more resilient than low grade vinyl that you'll typically find at a big box store.
Is more expensive vinyl flooring better? ›
Best for Durability and Maintenance: Luxury Vinyl
There is a thicker wear layer on most luxury vinyl flooring products, giving it more durability. And it's easier to repair luxury vinyl.
When referencing the overall thickness of the plank, it is measured in 'millimeters' or 'mm'. That is why a product can have an overall thickness of 3mm but a wear layer thickness 20 mils. When the two are compared directly, 20 mils is equal to 0.508 (nearly 1/2) mm.Is 6.5 mm good for vinyl plank? ›
The 6.5mm thick, 7-inch wide, 48-inch long planks, click together and require no adhesive. You'll enjoy up to 50% savings in labor costs. It is a commercial grade vinyl flooring but also ideal for homes as well, especially kitchens, bathrooms and living spaces.What is the most timeless flooring? ›
Marble is perhaps the most timeless wall and floor tile. Classic and elegant, this natural stone tile will elevate any space within your home. However, marble comes with a hefty price tag and requires special care throughout its lifespan. That's where marble-look tile comes in!