Vinyl Flooring Types: By Installation, Finish, Thickness and Price

Vinyl flooring has come a long way since its inception in the early 20th century. With advancements in manufacturing technology and design, today’s vinyl flooring options offer homeowners and businesses a versatile and affordable solution for various spaces. 

In this article, we will explore the different types of vinyl flooring available in the market, categorized by product type, installation method, surface finish, design and appearance, thickness and wear layer, price range, and environmental impact. 

By understanding the various options and their unique features, you’ll be better equipped to make an informed decision when selecting the perfect vinyl flooring for your specific needs and preferences. So, let’s dive into the world of vinyl flooring types and discover what each option has to offer.

Vinyl Flooring Types

To help you better understand the differences between various types of vinyl flooring, we have compiled a table that compares the price range, features, size, and best brands for each type. 

TypesPrice RangeFeaturesSizeBest Brands
Vinyl Sheet$0.50 – $2/sqftWater-resistant,
seamless installation,
6-12 ft wide
Armstrong, Tarkett, Mannington
Vinyl Tile$1 – $4/sqftCustomizable designs,
easy to replace , versatile
12×12 or 18×18 inches
Shaw, Congoleum, Mohawk
LVT$2 – $7/sqftRealistic designs and textures, durable, comfortableTiles, various sizesKarndean, Amtico, COREtec
LVP$2 – $7/sqftAuthentic wood-look, durable, comfortablePlanks, various sizesShaw, Armstrong, Mannington
Rigid Core$3 – $8/sqftHighly resistant to indentation,
temperature fluctuations
Planks or Tiles, various sizesCOREtec, Mohawk, Beaulieu

Vinyl Sheet Flooring

Vinyl sheet flooring is available in large rolls, typically 6 to 12 feet wide, and is installed as a single, continuous piece. It offers excellent water resistance and is relatively affordable, with prices ranging from $0.50 to $2 per square foot. 

Vinyl sheet flooring is suitable for areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and basements, where moisture resistance is essential. Its seamless installation also helps to prevent water seepage between the seams, protecting the subfloor from potential damage.

Vinyl Tile Flooring

Vinyl tile flooring is available in individual tiles, usually 12×12 or 18×18 inches, which are installed piece by piece. This type of vinyl flooring allows for more customized designs and patterns, with prices ranging from $1 to $4 per square foot. 

Vinyl tile flooring is ideal for living rooms, bedrooms, and entryways, where customized designs are desired. The individual tiles can be easily replaced if damaged, making maintenance more manageable.

Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)

LVT is a higher-end option with more realistic designs and textures, closely mimicking the look of natural materials like stone and wood. It’s thicker and more durable than standard vinyl tile, with prices ranging from $2 to $7 per square foot

LVT is perfect for sunrooms, dining rooms, and high-end commercial spaces, where a luxurious appearance is preferred. Its added thickness provides improved comfort underfoot and better sound absorption.

Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP)

LVP is similar to LVT in terms of quality and appearance but is designed to resemble hardwood planks. It offers a more authentic wood-look, with prices ranging from $2 to $7 per square foot. 

LVP is suitable for areas such as living rooms, bedrooms, and stairs, where the appearance of hardwood is desired without the associated cost and maintenance. With a click-lock installation system, LVP can be installed easily and quickly, even over existing floors.

Rigid Core Vinyl Flooring

Rigid core vinyl flooring, also known as SPC (Stone Plastic Composite) or WPC (Wood Plastic Composite), is a more rigid and durable form of luxury vinyl flooring. It is highly resistant to indentation and temperature fluctuations, making it suitable for commercial applications. Prices range from $3 to $8 per square foot.

Vinyl Flooring Installation Method

Installation MethodCost Range ($/sqft)Installation DifficultyVinyl Flooring Types
Glue-down$0.50 – $1.50Moderate to HighSheet, Tile, LVT, LVP, Rigid Core
Click-lock (Floating)$0.25 – $1.00Low to ModerateLVT, LVP, Rigid Core
Loose Lay$0.50 – $1.00LowSheet, Tile, LVT, LVP
Peel-and-stick$0.25 – $0.75LowTile, LVT, LVP

Glue-down Vinyl Flooring

Glue-down vinyl flooring is installed by applying adhesive to the subfloor, then pressing the vinyl flooring onto the adhesive. This method provides a stable and secure installation but can be more time-consuming and labor-intensive than other methods. 

Glue-down vinyl flooring is suitable for areas with heavy foot traffic, such as commercial spaces or high-traffic residential areas, as it offers increased stability and resistance to movement.

Click-lock Vinyl Flooring (Floating)

Click-lock vinyl flooring, also known as floating vinyl flooring, features an interlocking system that allows the planks or tiles to snap together. This method does not require adhesive and can be installed over existing flooring, making it a more convenient and less messy option. 

Click-lock vinyl flooring is ideal for DIY projects, multi-story buildings, and installations over radiant heat systems, as it allows for expansion and contraction due to temperature changes without causing issues.

Loose Lay Vinyl Flooring

Loose lay vinyl flooring is designed with a unique backing that provides friction, allowing the flooring to lay flat without the need for adhesive or click-lock systems. This method makes it easy to install and remove, making it ideal for temporary installations, rental properties, or spaces where frequent changes in flooring are desired. 

Loose lay vinyl flooring works best in smaller spaces, such as bedrooms or home offices, where the surrounding walls provide additional support to hold the flooring in place.

Peel-and-stick Vinyl Flooring

Peel-and-stick vinyl flooring features an adhesive backing, allowing for easy installation without the need for separate adhesive. This method is ideal for DIY installations and smaller spaces, as it requires minimal tools and expertise.

Peel-and-stick vinyl flooring is an excellent option for areas such as entryways, mudrooms, or laundry rooms, where a quick and easy flooring update is desired. However, this method may not be as durable or long-lasting as other installation methods and may not be suitable for areas with heavy foot traffic or moisture exposure.

Vinyl Flooring Types by Surface Finish

Smooth Finish Vinyl Flooring

Smooth finish vinyl flooring has a flat, even surface that provides a sleek and modern appearance. This type of finish is easy to clean and can make small spaces appear larger. 

Approximately 35% of vinyl flooring options on the market feature a smooth finish, catering to those who prefer a minimalist aesthetic.

Textured Finish Vinyl Flooring

Textured finish vinyl flooring features a slightly rough or raised surface, providing added slip resistance and a more realistic feel. This finish can help to hide dirt and scratches, making it a practical choice for high-traffic areas. 

Roughly 40% of vinyl flooring options available today come with a textured finish, offering a balance between appearance and functionality.

Embossed or Hand-Scraped Finish Vinyl Flooring

Embossed or hand-scraped finish vinyl flooring mimics the texture and appearance of natural wood or stone. This type of finish adds depth and character to the flooring, making it a popular choice for those seeking a more authentic look. 

Approximately 25% of vinyl flooring products in the market feature an embossed or hand-scraped finish, providing homeowners and designers with a high-quality alternative to natural materials.

Vinyl Flooring Types by Design and Appearance

Wood-look Vinyl Flooring

Wood-look vinyl flooring replicates the appearance of hardwood planks, offering a wide range of colors, grains, and textures. This option allows you to achieve the look of wood without the higher cost and maintenance requirements.

Popular brands for wood-look vinyl flooring include Shaw Floors, Mohawk, and Armstrong Flooring.

Stone-look Vinyl Flooring

Stone-look vinyl flooring mimics the appearance of natural stone, such as marble, slate, and travertine. This type of vinyl flooring provides a luxurious and timeless look at a fraction of the cost of real stone.

Renowned brands offering stone-look vinyl flooring options are Mannington, COREtec, and Karndean Designflooring.

Ceramic and Porcelain Tile-look Vinyl Flooring

Ceramic and porcelain tile-look vinyl flooring replicates the appearance of traditional tile flooring, offering a wide range of colors, patterns, and sizes. This option provides a durable and low-maintenance alternative to real tile.

Some leading brands for ceramic and porcelain tile-look vinyl flooring include Congoleum, Tarkett, and Beauflor.

Decorative and Patterned Vinyl Flooring

Decorative and patterned vinyl flooring features unique designs, such as geometric patterns, floral motifs, and abstract prints. This type of flooring allows you to make a bold design statement in your space.

Brands known for their decorative and patterned vinyl flooring options include Amtico, Forbo Flooring Systems, and IVC US.

Vinyl Flooring Types by Thickness and Wear Layer

Thin Vinyl Flooring (less than 2mm)

Thin vinyl flooring is the most budget-friendly option but may not provide the same level of durability and comfort as thicker options. It’s best suited for areas with light foot traffic or temporary installations, such as guest rooms, closets, or craft rooms where comfort and durability are not the top priorities.

Standard Vinyl Flooring (2mm to 4mm)

Standard vinyl flooring offers a balance of durability, comfort, and affordability, making it suitable for most residential applications. This thickness is ideal for living rooms, bedrooms, and kitchens, where moderate foot traffic is expected, and a balance between comfort and durability is desired.

Thick Vinyl Flooring (greater than 4mm)

Thick vinyl flooring provides enhanced comfort underfoot and improved sound absorption, making it an excellent choice for high-traffic areas, multi-story buildings, or spaces where noise reduction is important, such as home gyms, playrooms, or home theaters. The increased thickness also adds to the overall stability and durability of the flooring.

Wear Layer Thickness (6 mil, 12 mil, 20 mil, etc.)

The wear layer is a clear protective layer on top of the vinyl flooring that helps resist scratches, scuffs, and stains. A thicker wear layer generally offers greater durability and longevity.

  • 6 mil wear layer: Suitable for low-traffic residential areas, such as bedrooms or home offices, where the flooring is less likely to face significant wear and tear.
  • 12 mil wear layer: Ideal for moderate-traffic residential spaces or light commercial applications, such as living rooms, dining rooms, or small retail spaces.
  • 20 mil (or higher) wear layer: Recommended for high-traffic residential areas or commercial spaces, such as entryways, hallways, or restaurants, where the flooring will face considerable wear and tear and require increased durability.

When choosing vinyl flooring, consider the specific needs and requirements of the area where the flooring will be installed, and select the appropriate thickness and wear layer to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

Vinyl Flooring Types by Price Range

Budget-friendly Vinyl Flooring

Budget-friendly vinyl flooring options include thin vinyl and lower-end sheet or tile options, typically priced between $1 and $3 per square foot

These options are ideal for homeowners or property managers looking for a quick and cost-effective flooring solution for areas with light foot traffic or temporary installations. Some examples of budget-friendly vinyl flooring are peel-and-stick tiles and lower-quality sheet vinyl.

Mid-range Vinyl Flooring

Mid-range vinyl flooring includes standard thickness options and mid-level luxury vinyl products, with prices ranging from $3 to $5 per square foot. 

These options offer a balance between affordability, durability, and design, making them suitable for most residential applications and light commercial spaces. Examples of mid-range vinyl flooring include standard luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) and planks (LVP) with moderate wear layer thicknesses and moderate-quality sheet vinyl.

Premium Vinyl Flooring

Premium vinyl flooring encompasses high-end luxury vinyl options and rigid core products, typically priced between $5 and $8 per square foot. 

These flooring options are designed for durability, visual appeal, and enhanced performance, making them ideal for high-traffic areas, commercial spaces, or homeowners seeking a luxurious look and feel for their floors. 

Premium vinyl flooring may feature advanced design technology, such as embossed or hand-scraped textures, realistic wood or stone patterns, and thicker wear layers for increased longevity. Examples of premium vinyl flooring include high-quality LVT and LVP with thick wear layers, rigid core vinyl flooring products like SPC and WPC, and luxury sheet vinyl.

Vinyl Flooring Environmental Impact and Indoor Air Quality

Recycled Content Vinyl Flooring

Recycled content vinyl flooring is made from a percentage of post-consumer or post-industrial materials, reducing its environmental impact.

Low-VOC Vinyl Flooring

Low-VOC (volatile organic compound) vinyl flooring emits fewer harmful chemicals into the air, improving indoor air quality and contributing to a healthier living environment.

Phthalate-free Vinyl Flooring

Phthalate-free vinyl flooring does not contain phthalates, a group of chemicals used to increase flexibility in some vinyl products. These chemicals have been linked to potential health concerns.


In conclusion, the wide variety of vinyl flooring types available today caters to various needs, preferences, and budgets. By understanding the different product types, installation methods, finishes, designs, thicknesses, price ranges, and environmental factors, you can make an informed decision when selecting the right vinyl flooring for your space. Always consider your personal preferences and requirements to ensure a successful flooring project.

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