Luxury vinyl–this stuff is a hot product! I’m told by builders that they’re putting more of this in new homes than they are hardwoods. I know “vinyl” might not sound so great, but there are some fantastic looking and feeling vinyls out there.
I’m about to become even more familiar with this product, as I own an older home with asbestos tile in the basement. I was looking to update the downstairs, but couldn’t disturb the tile (you’re not even supposed to use glue with asbestos tile). Anyway, luxury vinyl turned out to be the perfect fix: it floats, so no need to glue or nail. It’s waterproof, which was a necessity given that I needed it in the basement, and it’s extremely durable, which was a necessity because I have kids.
Here’s what you should know about luxury vinyl: there’s quite a lot of variation when it comes to quality, color, and price. You can go to Lowes and find a small range of product or a greater range in a flooring outlet (like Frazee in Durham). Prices generally range from about $2.80/sf on sale at Lowes to around $5/sf. There are a lot of online merchants that you can order from as well.
I didn’t find anything I loved until I found the COREtec Enhanced Plus line. It’s higher end, thicker, looks just like hardwood, and comes with a cork backing so you don’t need to put down a liner first. I’m planning on installing this myself–just remove quarter round, click and lock vinyl into place, put quarter round back on and voila! Done!
Note: if you go with a lower end Shaw product, the clicking mechanisms are fragile, and might break off when you’re putting it together.