Adventures in Vinyl Flooring

After looking at way too many beautiful bathroom photos online, I decided that maybe installing a wood floor might be the way to go in our bathroom.  Now I’m not talking about actual wood, but a laminate or engineered wood. Real wood would get ruined in a bathroom. Duh. A wood-like floor would not require grout – which we personally hate.

(If you need to catch up on non-progress of the bathroom try here here here here here here here. haha)

I started researching products and quickly discovered that the new wood-look vinyl flooring would be a good option for us. It’s waterproof, warm under foot, easy to install, and it can go right over the existing ceramic floor after they prep it to fill in all the grout lines.  It can also be low in VOC if purchased from the right manufacturer. We brought home a few ‘luxury vinyl’ samples from Armstrong and Karndean over the weekend to test out.

One of the challenges was finding the right match to the existing wood floor in the rest of the house. We weren’t trying to actually match the floor, but it had to fall in the same style category. While I gravitate towards the more rustic or white-washed floors, they would  not jive with the wide plank floors we have in the hall.

After narrowing down our pick to Kardean flooring we brought home two of the floor displays to really test out. The sample on the left is Oak Royale for about $7.50/sf and the sample on the right is from the Van Gogh line for $5.50/sf.

We also checked out some of the samples at Lowe’s and Home Depot which cost significantly less (under $2/sf). They also do not look or feel as nice as the luxury vinyl we looked at in the specialty store so we dismissed the big box store options.

The difference between the $5.50/sf and $7.50/sf flooring seems to be level of shine and slipperiness.  I would have never realized in the showroom that my socks would stick to the $7.50/sf choice.  The $5.50/sf choice felt more like real wood to me with a little bit of slipping. We ended up chosing the lesser priced Van Gogh series since it looked like a more uniform color choice that would go well with a new or re-painted vanity in canvas.

We returned to the store and received a quote for $1,000 for the materials and install. This seemed like an easy way to spruce up the bathroom without having to shell out for the full bath remodel. But, Howard realized that our existing marble threshold has a bevel edge and that the Karndean floor would not be installed to our liking without installing a new threshold. To our disappointment, Karndean does not offer a trim kit.

And I discovered that the existing floor has grout right up to the baseboard so we won’t be able to take up the trim and have the floor lay underneath. Slowly the finished flooring was looking more like a hack job then any sort of professionally installed replacement in our minds. We decided not to have the floor installed. It is not the right product for us for this job.

If you had asked me a year ago if we had looked into vinyl flooring I would have looked at you like you had two heads. Vinyl flooring? Yuck-a-roo! But I have been surprised by the products that are out there and honestly shocked at how real the flooring looks.

What do you think of vinyl flooring? Would you try it out in your home?

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