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Choosing the Best Vinyl Plank Flooring

This is a sponsored post for Provenza Floors about the best vinyl plank flooring.  All opinions are my own.

When shopping for luxury vinyl plank flooring (LVP), there are lots of confusing options to choose from.  We’ve gone through the process of shopping for LVP twice now, and over 80,000 people have come to this post to learn how to choose the best luxury vinyl plank flooring.  I’ll teach you the 4 main things you need to look for so you get exactly the flooring you need.

We had luxury vinyl plank (LVP) in our last house, and I LOVED it!  It can be used in any room, including the kitchen and bathroom because it’s waterproof and scratch resistant.  It’s been three years since we purchased flooring for our last house, and back then we didn’t have many options.  There are so many different kinds to choose from now, so I had to do some research on how to choose the best vinyl plank flooring.  I thought I’d share my findings with you and show you the brand we chose.

How to Choose the Best Vinyl Plank Flooring

First, here are some fun “before” pictures.  I don’t understand what the deal is with that random patch of hardwood in the entry, and the carpet was really dirty!  We are thinking about doing the first step and bottom landing in vinyl plank as well.  It’s the first thing you see when you walk in the front door, so I want it to look nice.

This is my craft room, off the main entry.

The dining room is just to your left from the entry.  It’s carpeted.

Here’s the kitchen with large tile flooring.

The tile continues down the hallway, into the bathroom.  The door on the right goes to a closet with more carpet.

And then finally the family room with carpet.  And yes, the blinds match the wood flooring in the entryway and the kitchen cabinets.  A nice orangey-brown.  Don’t worry, those are coming down ASAP.  The tiles on the right are a gas fireplace hearth.  Those are getting torn out too.

See what I mean about the patchy flooring?  So many transition strips!  I can’t wait to have one flooring throughout.

How to Choose Vinyl Plank Flooring

When choosing vinyl plank flooring there are a few components that should play into your decision.

Vinyl Plank Flooring Material

You will find that there are two common types of LVP: wood plastic composite (WPC) and stone plastic composite (SPC).  This tells you what makes up the core of the flooring.  SPC is more rigid where WPC is a little softer and quieter underfoot.  Both are durable and waterproof, so there’s really no right or wrong here.  We ended up with a WPC flooring, which is nice because my feet tend to hurt walking around on hard floors all day.

What is the best Vinyl Plank Flooring thickness?

The thickness of LVP tells you how thick the actual board is.  This usually varies anywhere from 4-8 mm.  Very thin planks are not going to be good quality.  So how thick should LVP be?  Anything over 5 mm is going to be your best bet for quality and durability.

Is thicker vinyl plank better?

Yes, but only to a point.  As long as the board is at least 5mm thick, you should be good to go.  It’s the wear layer that matters the most for longevity.

LVP Wear Layer

The wear layer on LVP is exactly what it sounds like.  It’s a layer on top of the board that protects it from wear and scratches.  Shopping around, I noticed that most LVP on the market comes in two wear layer thicknesses: 15 and 20 mil.  The best vinyl plank flooring comes with a 20 mil wear layer.  With 4 kids and high traffic areas, wear layer is something that is very important to me.  I want something that is going to resist scratching, so I didn’t look at anything less than 20 mil.

Best Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring Installation Method

Luxury Vinyl Plank can be made as a glue down or click lock, floating floor.  We didn’t even come across any glue down vinyl when we are shopping, so I think most people are floating theirs.  There are pros and cons to both, but we didn’t really consider gluing it down.  Floating floor is easier to install, so it can be more cost effective.  It’s much easier to remove when the time comes to do so someday, and you can even float it over some types of existing flooring.

Do you need a moisture barrier under vinyl plank flooring?

If you are installing flooring over a concrete foundation, a moisture barrier will usually be recommended.  While the moisture won’t necessarily damage the flooring itself, it can build up and cause the flooring to buckle and lift.  Always read the installation instructions from the flooring manufacturer as different flooring will have different requirements.

What is the best LVP flooring brand?

After taking all of these things into consideration, we finally chose a brand of flooring.  We found that Provenza MaxCore Waterproof LVP meets all of our requirements, and has SO MANY beautiful colors and styles to choose from!  It has micro and painted bevels and variations between planks that make it look like real wood.  With a waterproof WPC core,  an underlayment pad attached, a 7-8 mm thickness, and a 20 mil wear layer, it was the perfect choice for our home.   We looked at so many different brands, and I absolutely LOVE this flooring!  I would choose it again and again.

Vinyl Plank Flooring Style / Color

Last but certainly not least, you need to choose a color.  This has been the thing I agonized over the most.  I feel like when choosing finishes for a remodel, you should choose flooring first, and all other choices should revolve around that.  Such a big decision!  I love Provenza’s Moda Living collection, so I found a retailer that had samples of First Crush, Soul Mate, Soft Whisper, Finally Mine, and Sweet Talker.

After seeing the samples in my house, I narrowed it down to First Crush and Finally Mine.  They both have the same pattern, and it’s just what I wanted; something that looks natural but not with too many knot holes.  First Crush (left) is more gray, but still has a little warmth.  Finally Mine (right) is warmer, but still a little gray, not too yellow or honey colored.  I love them both! (To see our final flooring decision check out my Provenza Vinyl Flooring Review.)

How to Choose the Best Vinyl Plank Flooring

So now I need your help!  Which one do I choose?  We are painting the walls a very light gray, and the kitchen cabinets have already been painted white.  Our countertops are currently a very dark, almost black granite, but I might switch those out eventually.  Leave me a comment and help me pick one. I’m horrible at making decisions, so I need all of the help I can get!

How to Choose the Best Vinyl Plank Flooring

Click here to take a look at at all of all of the beautiful flooring options that Provenza Floors has to offer, and check them out on Houzz to see some beautiful photos and flooring inspiration.

Vinyl Plank Flooring (LVP) FAQs

What type of flooring adds the most value to a home?

Hardwood flooring adds the most value to a home. It’s a classic staple, but also continues to be one of the most expensive flooring treatments you can choose.  When we sold our last home that had LVP, the appraiser did not add any value to our home for having it.  LVP was a newer thing at the time, so hopefully things have changed since then.

What are some disadvantages of vinyl planks?

1. While vinyl plank flooring is beautiful, you still don’t get the exact look and feel that hardwood flooring gives.  Basically, you can tell it’s not real hardwood, but it’s no more fake than laminate flooring would be.
2. Vinyl plank can discolor with non-slip rug use.  If you’ve ever had sheet vinyl turn yellow from a bathroom rug, you know what I’m talking about here.  You must use rugs that don’t have a backing or say they are non-yellowing to be safe.
3. Vinyl plank can discolor with UV damage, so it’s best it doesn’t get exposed to direct sunlight daily.

What is the difference between luxury vinyl tile and luxury vinyl planks?

They are basically the same thing, but luxury vinyl plank looks like a wooden plank, and luxury vinyl tile looks like a tile.

What is the difference between luxury vinyl plank and rigid vinyl plank?

Rigid vinyl plank is a type of luxury vinyl plank (LVP).  There are two types of LVP: flexible and rigid.  Flexible LVP is usually a glue-down product and is more flexible.  Because of this, your subfloor must be very level so the imperfections don’t show on the surface.  Rigid LVP normally clicks together like laminate and is installed by floating over the subfloor.  It’s rigid, thicker, more durable, and easier to install than flexible LVP.

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Monday 2nd of August 2021

I would go with “finally mine” because I tend to decorate with grey tones in lots of areas and a total grey floor, grey walls, grey other decor would just be too much grey for me. I like the more natural color of the wood just for the floor.


Tuesday 25th of May 2021

Hi, They both are nice choices, but I’ll go with finally mine to break the monotonous since your wall is already grey. Do you know where I can get the price info? are they lock-in system too? Thanks for sharing.

Vickie Graham

Monday 23rd of September 2019

The lighter one on the right. I installed almost the same color in my sewing room & it's beautiful. My walls are a very light aqua/teal and the grey goes great. Either way I'm sure you will enjoy your new house!!


Sunday 22nd of September 2019

I also like the warmth of one on the right. I'm making a decision about LVP right now too and saw your first post about Paradigm. Right now I like the color Willow - the plank thickness is 7mm and wear layer is 12 mil plus a 1.5mm water proof core attached. I'm more limited because I only want a LVP with a flush stair nosing. Now that I'm seeing your comments about Provenza MaxCore LVP, I'm questioning my decision and need to figure things out in the next day or two. Do you know what type of stair nosing your flooring has? Love your posts!

Jessica @ Cutesy Crafts

Saturday 2nd of November 2019

All of Provenza's waterproof products have flushed stairnose and all details can be found on their website on the "Resources" tab:


Thursday 19th of September 2019

We are looking at this brand of vinyl plank for our living room too. I’m trying to find out where it is manufactured—did you happen to find that out in any of your research? I prefer the darker one btw?

Jessica @ Cutesy Crafts

Saturday 2nd of November 2019

They are made in China.

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