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The Rise of Vinyl Plank Flooring

The Rise of Vinyl Plank Flooring

Vinyl Flooring in residential markets

The unsung hero of modern homes

Once, some time ago, back when everything that wasn’t made of metal or wood Linoleum flooring entered the scene and was revolutionary. It absolutely shook up the floor covering market and was a complete anomaly to the industry standard. As time drew on it became apparent that this magical flooring had it’s limitations and soon was being changed to be more robust, with better visuals and less harmful chemicals.

As it got better and better a shift happened in the market space in the early 90’s when linoleum was at the height of it’s quality arc. Builders, homeowners and average Joe contractor were feeling the pressure to buy low and keep a decent profit margin. The quality of the material being produced quickly waned and the glorious robust felt backed ultra thick linoleum was now a husk of it’s former self. Enter the glue down Luxury Vinyl Plank of the early 2000’s.

Chunky stuff with not great visuals but easily installed and quite quickly and affordably repaired. This stuff started to eat linoleum’s lunch and soon there was a divide in the market. Now the race to make the glue down vinyl plank as cheap as possible began. The products got thinner and more skimpy and the linoleum followed suit. The market is at the literal race to the bottom and out emerges a hero of the flooring marketplace, the WPC (wood polymer core) or extruded core floor, the first era vinyl plank. This is a locking solid floor with a vinyl wear layer…and it is remarkable. Very stable, little expansion or contraction and it looks magnificent giving a hardwood effect convincing enough that vinyl plank isn’t a slander.

The housing boom of the 2006-2008 era starts adopting this flooring and it is installed in thousands of homes through the end of the decade. The market becomes divided furthermore with manufacturers and vendors vying to keep pace with the rapidly expanding amount of products, installation methods and features and benefits. The old guard still prefers the sheet goods they relied on for years and are very hesitant to adopt vinyl plank flooring. The old 12′ trusty linoleum is still there go to product however the labor market for this product is dwindling as it is more finicky to install and far worse to repair. The folks who have adapted to use the glue down plank and tile vinyl floors continue their course of action however they are quickly losing market share because the cost of the newer better products cannot be ignored. The early 2010’s sees a newer, cheaper yet much better product arrive – Solid Polymer Core flooring – SPC Vinyl plank and tiles. This stuff is compression proof, highly scratch resistant when manufactured the right way, the visuals are stunning with new HD printing technologies. Best of all….it’s cheap and adored by the renovation flooring market.

New Floor Trends in the 2020s and Beyond

Coming into the present modern day markets vinyl completely takes the wind out of the sails of both sheet linoleum, which is all but a ghost in the residential markets, and also supremely cripples the glue down flooring. The real oddity is how much of the hardwood flooring business and tile business it starts eating up. People are putting vinyl plank it in their washrooms, kitchens, throughout the great rooms, in their bedrooms and why not? This stuff is resilient, affordable, hygienic, waterproof and looks amazing.

This is the rise fall and resurgence of vinyl plank in our homes. It is not just accepted now as an industry standard but has been there all these years and in development to what we have now for ages. Lidia Contract Flooring is a proud supplier of SPC luxury vinyl plank flooring and endorses companies like Mohawk and Taiga Synergies at the head of the pack developing technologies to improve longevity, visuals and environmental impact of this marvelous flooring. Vive la vinyl plank flooring!

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