Vinyl plank flooring can be compared based on its appearance, durability, price, dimensions and ease of installation. Knowing the ease or difficulty in maintaining the vinyl plank flooring after installation is also a useful comparison point.
When comparing different kinds of vinyl plank flooring, look for a pattern that realistically imitates the look of wood. Textured vinyl plank flooring designs have embossed surfaces that better emulate the look of real wood. Some vinyl planks have intentionally dinged or scratched surfaces for a more distressed look. These detailed vinyl planks are generally more than 5 millimeters thick, as the effects would not be visible on a thinner product.
The number of boards printed to each piece of vinyl plank is another point of comparison, with the most realistic planks reproducing one board per piece. Some products print six to eight boards on each piece of vinyl, creating a less convincing effect. The cut and dimensions of vinyl planks vary widely, with the most realistic boards measuring from 6 to 7 inches. Although real wooden planks measure as much as 12 feet in length, vinyl planks are seldom longer than 4 feet.
The thickness of vinyl planks is another way to compare products. While thin planks are less expensive, they are also easier to break or damage. The wear layer on thin vinyl planks also makes them unable to withstand heavy foot traffic.