Glue Down Vinyl Plank Flooring: Types, Installation, Pros and Cons

Glue down vinyl plank flooring has emerged as a popular choice among homeowners and contractors due to its durability, affordability, and ease of installation. This type of flooring offers many benefits that make it an attractive option for various spaces, from residential homes to commercial establishments. With advancements in design and quality, glue down vinyl planks now come in a vast array of textures, colors, and patterns, giving consumers the opportunity to customize their space to their liking.

Glue down flooring is a method in which vinyl planks are adhered directly to the subfloor using a specialized adhesive. This ensures a strong bond, providing stability and reduced movement of the planks, resulting in a long-lasting and easily maintained floor. As an added advantage, the installation process is relatively straightforward, giving both professional installers and DIY enthusiasts the ability to transform any room efficiently.

Luxury Vinyl Plank

Luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring is becoming increasingly popular due to its durability, affordability, and ease of maintenance. This type of flooring closely mimics the appearance of hardwood floors while avoiding some of the drawbacks associated with natural wood.

LVP is constructed with multiple layers, which contribute to its durability and water resistance. The layer composition includes a backing layer, a core layer, a printed design layer, and a protective wear layer. Some of the key features and benefits of luxury vinyl plank flooring are:

  • Durability: Luxury vinyl plank flooring is resistant to scratches, dents, and everyday wear and tear, making it an ideal option for high-traffic areas.
  • Water Resistance: LVP is highly resistant to moisture, and can even be used in rooms with high humidity levels, such as bathrooms and basements.
  • Affordability: Compared to hardwood floors, luxury vinyl plank is often more budget-friendly. Prices for LVP may range from $2 to $7 per square foot, depending on the quality and design.
  • Low Maintenance: This type of flooring requires minimal maintenance, usually only needing regular sweeping and occasional mopping with a gentle cleaning solution.

In addition to these benefits, luxury vinyl plank flooring comes in a wide variety of styles, finishes, and colors. Some popular options include wood species such as oak, maple, and walnut, as well as various surface textures including smooth, hand-scraped, and embossed.

When choosing an LVP product, it is important to consider factors such as the thickness of the wear layer and the quality of the core layer. A thicker wear layer, typically measured in mils (1 mil = 0.001 inch), will generally provide increased durability and protection against damage. For example:

Thickness of Wear LayerExpected Durability
6 milsLight Residential
12 milsMedium Residential
20 milsHeavy Residential
28+ milsCommercial

Moreover, the type of core layer in the LVP flooring can also affect the product’s overall performance. Some common core types include:

  • WPC (Wood Plastic Composite): This type of core is composed of a mix of wood dust and plastic, resulting in a stable and waterproof flooring option.
  • SPC (Stone Plastic Composite): This core option is made from limestone, polyvinyl chloride, and plasticizers, providing a rigid and highly water-resistant flooring choice.

In conclusion, luxury vinyl plank flooring offers a versatile and durable option for those looking to bring the beauty of hardwood floors into their home without the associated cost or maintenance concerns. With numerous styles, finishes, and features available, LVP can cater to a wide range of design preferences and performance needs.

Stone Composite Vinyl Plank

Stone composite vinyl plank flooring is a popular and durable option for homeowners looking to update their living spaces. It combines the best aspects of vinyl and stone materials, offering a beautiful and natural stone look with the ease of maintenance found in vinyl floors. This type of flooring is an excellent choice for high-traffic areas, practicality, and design flexibility.

There are several benefits to choosing stone composite vinyl plank flooring. Some of the key advantages include:

  • Durability: Stone composite vinyl floors are highly resistant to scratches, dents, and stains. They can hold up well under heavy usage and even water exposure, making them suitable for kitchens, bathrooms, and entryways.
  • Easy installation: The glue down technique ensures a strong bond with the subfloor, providing stability and reducing the risk of shifting. This installation method is more permanent than floating vinyl floors and is ideal for commercial applications where long term performance is crucial.
  • Affordability: Compared to natural stone or hardwood, stone composite vinyl planks are more budget-friendly while still offering uncompromised aesthetic appeal and performance.

Some popular brands offering stone composite vinyl plank options include:

  1. Shaw Floors: Known for their durable and stylish flooring options, Shaw Floors offers a comprehensive range of stone composite vinyl plank lines, such as the Paragon line and the Floorté series.
  2. Armstrong Flooring: A trusted brand in the flooring industry, Armstrong offers stone composite vinyl planks in various styles, colors, and textures. Their Alterna line is particularly noted for its realistic stone visuals and exceptional durability.
  3. COREtec: As a leading innovator in the luxury vinyl flooring market, COREtec provides stone composite vinyl plank floors with an advanced construction, featuring a waterproof core and an attached cork underlayment for added comfort and sound insulation.

Care and maintenance for stone composite vinyl plank flooring are relatively easy. Regular sweeping and vacuuming can help keep the floors clean and free from debris. For more thorough cleaning, use a damp mop with a pH-neutral cleaner specifically designed for vinyl floors. Avoid using abrasive tools or harsh chemicals, as they may damage the flooring’s surface.

With its wide range of styles, durability, and ease of maintenance, stone composite vinyl plank flooring is an attractive and practical choice for both residential and commercial settings. Its fusion of premium materials offers the unique benefit of a realistic natural stone appearance, combined with the affordability and resilience of vinyl flooring.

Rigid Core Vinyl Plank

Rigid core vinyl plank flooring is a popular choice for many homeowners and businesses due to its durability, waterproof nature, and ease of installation. One of the key features of this type of flooring is its rigid core construction, which provides additional stability compared to traditional vinyl planks.

Made from a combination of vinyl, limestone powder, and other stabilizing materials, rigid core vinyl is engineered for improved dimensional stability and dent resistance. This type of flooring is also known for its ability to withstand heavy foot traffic, making it an ideal choice for commercial spaces and busy households.

There are several leading manufacturers of rigid core vinyl plank flooring, such as Shaw Floors, COREtec, and Mohawk. These companies offer a variety of styles, colors, and textures to suit any design preference. Most rigid core vinyl plank flooring options come with a wear layer between 12-20 mils, which determines the durability and lifespan of the flooring. The thicker the wear layer, the more resistant it is to scratches and dents.

When selecting a rigid core vinyl plank, one might consider the following features:

  • Waterproof: This type of flooring is perfect for areas prone to moisture, such as basements, kitchens, and bathrooms, as it is resistant to both water and spills.
  • Comfort: The rigid core construction provides a comfortable underfoot feel, reducing noise and improving insulation compared to traditional vinyl floors.
  • DIY-friendly: Rigid core vinyl planks are easy to install with a click-lock system, making it an excellent choice for DIY enthusiasts or those looking to minimize labor costs.
BrandWear LayerStyles Available
Shaw Floors12-20 mils100+
COREtec12-20 mils80+
Mohawk12-20 mils50+

In conclusion, rigid core vinyl plank flooring offers a durable, waterproof, and versatile option for those looking to install a new floor. With a wide variety of styles, textures, and colors available from top manufacturers, this type of flooring can meet the needs of any design aesthetic and withstand the demands of busy households or commercial spaces.

Key Factors to Consider

When choosing glue down vinyl plank flooring, there are several key factors to consider in order to make the best decision. The following sub-sections will address crucial aspects such as thickness, wear layer, and embossing.


The thickness of vinyl plank flooring can impact both its performance and durability. Thicker planks typically provide better sound insulation and comfort underfoot. Vinyl planks are available in various thicknesses, ranging from 2mm to 8mm. Keep in mind that thicker options may be more expensive, so it is essential to balance your budget with the desired performance.

  • 2mm to 3mm: Suitable for low-traffic areas
  • 3mm to 5mm: Ideal for residential use and moderate traffic
  • 5mm and above: Recommended for commercial spaces with high foot traffic

Wear Layer

The wear layer is the protective coating on the surface of vinyl plank flooring, designed to safeguard the design layer beneath. A thicker wear layer means increased durability and resistance to scratches, scuffs, and stains. Wear layers are generally measured in mils (1 mil = 0.001 inch), with various options available:

  • 6 mils: Light residential use
  • 12 mils: Standard residential use
  • 20+ mils: Commercial and high-traffic applications

According to a Consumer Reports test from 2020, vinyl flooring options with higher wear layers showed better resistance to wear and tear.


Embossing is the process through which textures and patterns are added to vinyl planks, replicating the appearance of natural materials like wood or stone. There are several types of embossing available for glue down vinyl plank flooring:

  • Embossed: Provides a general texture without specifically following the design layer pattern
  • Embossed-in-Register: Aligns the embossing with the design layer, which results in a more realistic and detailed wood grain texture
  • Hand-Scraped: Mimics the handcrafted look of scraped hardwood flooring

In conclusion, when selecting glue down vinyl plank flooring, consider factors such as thickness, wear layer, and embossing to ensure you make the best choice for your space and budget.

Pros and Cons of Glue Down Vinyl Plank Flooring


Glue down vinyl plank flooring has several benefits that make it a popular choice among homeowners and contractors.

  • Durability: This type of flooring is highly durable and resistant to wear and tear. According to Consumer Reports, vinyl plank flooring can last for up to 20 years with proper maintenance.
  • Water Resistance: Glue down vinyl plank flooring is water-resistant, making it suitable for use in areas with high moisture levels, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and basements.
  • Budget-friendly: This flooring option is generally more affordable than other options like hardwood, tile, or engineered wood. Prices can range from $1.50 to $5.00 per square foot, depending on the quality and style.
  • Ease of Installation: Glue down vinyl plank flooring is relatively easy to install. The planks can be cut to fit unique room shapes, and the adhesive is typically included in the flooring purchase.


Despite its many advantages, glue down vinyl plank flooring also comes with some disadvantages:

  • Subfloor Preparation: It is essential to have a clean, level, and dry subfloor. This may require additional work, like removing existing flooring, filling uneven spots, or sealing against moisture.
  • Permanent Installation: Due to the adhesive used, the planks are difficult to remove, which may be a problem for those who like to change their flooring frequently or need to replace a damaged plank.
  • VOC Emissions: Adhesives used to install glue down vinyl plank flooring may release volatile organic compounds (VOCs). According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, VOCs can cause short-term and long-term effects on human health.
DurabilitySubfloor Preparation
Water ResistancePermanent Installation
Budget-friendlyVOC Emissions
Ease of Installation

Installation Process

Surface Preparation

Before installing glue down vinyl plank flooring, it’s essential to prepare the surface properly. The subfloor should be clean, dry, and flat, with no more than a 3/16-inch variance within a 10-foot radius. Remove any existing flooring materials, and repair any damage to the subfloor. Fill in low spots and sand down high spots for a smooth and level surface.

It is also necessary to acclimate the vinyl planks to room temperature for 48 hours prior to installation. According to the World Floor Covering Association, this helps to prevent extensive expansion or contraction, which may cause gaps or warping.

Glue Application

When the surface is ready, begin applying the adhesive recommended by the vinyl plank manufacturer. Spread the glue evenly across the surface using a trowel with the appropriate notch size mentioned in the product guidelines. The glue should be applied in small sections, as it tends to dry quickly. Work from the furthest corner of the room, moving systematically towards the exit.

Plank Installation

Once the glue is applied, lay the vinyl planks tightly, staggering the end joints for a more natural appearance. The Flooring Professionals suggest maintaining a 1/8-inch gap between planks. Press the planks firmly into the adhesive, removing any excess glue that may seep through the seams. A 100 lb. roller can be used to ensure proper adhesion and reduce the risk of bubbles or gaps.

  • Begin in the center of the room to avoid uneven plank cuts near walls
  • Use a tapping block and rubber mallet to snugly fit planks together
  • Stagger plank end joints by at least 6 inches for a visually appealing pattern

Remember, glue down vinyl plank flooring requires time for the adhesive to cure. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for waiting periods before allowing foot traffic or placing furniture on the new floor. Typically, this may range from 24 to 48 hours. By following these steps, the installation process should be efficient and successful, resulting in a beautiful and long-lasting floor.

Maintenance and Care


Glue down vinyl plank flooring is an easy-to-maintain option for homeowners. To keep the surface clean and looking new, regular sweeping or vacuuming is recommended. Additionally, damp mopping with a gentle cleaning solution can be done periodically to remove any residual dirt or grime.

For heavier dirt or stains, a specifically designed vinyl floor cleaner should be used. Be cautious to avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaning tools, which may damage the surface. It’s also essential to promptly clean any spills, as prolonged contact with liquids can lead to staining or other damage.


In the event of damage to your glue down vinyl plank flooring, repairing the affected planks is a relatively simple task. Begin by carefully cutting and removing the damaged plank, being cautious not to damage the surrounding planks. Then, prepare the replacement plank by trimming it to the appropriate size and applying adhesive to the back side. Fit the new plank into its position, ensuring proper alignment with the surrounding pieces. Lastly, apply pressure to the plank to secure it firmly in place.

In general, proper maintenance and care can extend the life and look of glue down vinyl plank flooring. By following these guidelines, homeowners can expect their floors to remain attractive and highly functional for years to come.

Popular Brands and Manufacturers

Shaw Floors

Shaw Floors offers a diverse selection of glue down vinyl plank flooring options in various styles and colors. They have been in the flooring industry for more than 50 years and have earned a reputation for producing high-quality, long-lasting products. Some popular collections from Shaw Floors include their Navigator and Valore series, which come with a 15-year or 25-year warranty, respectively.

The Navigator collection, for example, has 8 color options and features a wear layer of 12 mil, providing increased durability. The Valore collection offers 10 different color choices and has a thicker wear layer of 20 mil. Prices for Shaw Floors glue down vinyl plank flooring range from $2.99 – $4.89 per square foot.


Mannington is another leading manufacturer of glue down vinyl plank flooring, with several collections available. They have been in the industry for over 100 years, well-known for their quality and innovation. Their Adura and Realta collections offer various styles, designs, and levels of durability.

Adura comes in three variations, which are Adura Flex, Adura Rigid, and Adura MaxAPEX. The Adura Flex has a 18 mil wear layer and is available in 75 distinct designs. On the other hand, the Realta collection has a 12 mil wear layer with 23 styles to choose from. Mannington’s glue down vinyl plank flooring prices range from $2.69 – $5.49 per square foot.


Armstrong is another trusted name in the flooring industry and offers an impressive array of glue down vinyl plank flooring options. They have been in business for over 150 years and provide products with both style and durability. Armstrong’s Vivero and Natural Creations collections are popular choices for glue down vinyl plank flooring.

Vivero comes in four categories: Good, Better, Best, and With Diamond10 Technology. Each category offers varying levels of warranty and durability. For example, the Vivero Good collection has a 15-year residential warranty with a 6 mil wear layer, while their Best collection with Diamond10 Technology features a lifetime warranty and a 20 mil wear layer. Natural Creations offers various looks such as wood, stone, and textile-inspired designs, with a wear layer of 20 mil.

Armstrong’s glue down vinyl plank flooring prices range from $3.39 – $7.49 per square foot, depending on the collection and specific product.

BrandCollectionsWear Layer (mil)Price per sq. ft.
Shaw FloorsNavigator, Valore12-20$2.99 – $4.89
ManningtonAdura, Realta12-18$2.69 – $5.49
ArmstrongVivero, Natural Creations6-20$3.39 – $7.49

Pricing and Budget Considerations

When considering glue-down vinyl plank flooring options, it is essential to understand the factors that influence the cost. This will help in budgeting and making an informed decision.

One of the primary price drivers is the thickness of the vinyl plank. Thicker options typically offer better durability and feel more comfortable underfoot. Vinyl planks usually range from 2mm to 8mm in thickness. The price of 2mm thick planks could be as low as $1 per square foot, while 8mm vinyl planks may cost up to $4 per square foot.

Another factor affecting the price is the wear layer. The wear layer is the topmost protective layer that shields the patterned layer beneath from damage and wear. It is measured in mils, with a higher number indicating better durability. A standard residential-grade wear layer is 6-8 mils, while thicker wear layers of 20-22 mils are suited for commercial use. Expect to pay a premium for planks with a thicker wear layer.

The quality of the print layer also contributes to the cost of glue-down vinyl plank flooring. Higher-quality print layers provide more realistic and natural-looking patterns. These options may command a higher price due to the increased attention to detail.

Brand reputation and warranty coverage can also contribute to the price. Leading brands with a history of producing reliable, high-quality products often charge a premium for their products. However, they usually offer better warranties, providing peace of mind and protection for your investment.

To summarize, the cost of glue-down vinyl plank flooring is affected by the thickness of planks, wear layer, the quality of the print layer, and the reputation of the brand. It is crucial to balance these factors while keeping your budget constraints in mind. By understanding the factors that influence pricing, you can find the perfect flooring option that meets both your aesthetic and financial needs.

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