Architectural Home Designs & Decorating Ideas

Choose the Perfect Vinyl Plank Flooring for Your Kitchen Remodel

Gabriela Connell
5 minute read

If you’re remodeling your kitchen, one of the biggest decisions you’ll make is choosing the right flooring. Vinyl plank flooring has become an increasingly popular option for kitchen floors thanks to its affordable price point, easy maintenance, and stylish appearance.

Vinyl plank flooring offers the look of pricier materials like hardwood or tile, but at a fraction of the cost. Available in a wide array of colors and patterns, vinyl plank floors can complement any kitchen decor. The waterproof construction also makes vinyl plank an ideal choice for kitchens prone to spills, pet accidents, and high traffic.

Pros and Cons of Vinyl Plank Flooring

Before deciding if vinyl plank is right for your kitchen, consider these key pros and cons:

vinyl plank flooring kitchen ideas



While vinyl plank flooring may not stand up to abuse as well as materials like hardwood, it provides an affordable and attractive flooring solution for most kitchens. The waterproof construction makes it ideal for spill-prone areas like kitchens.

Features to Look for in Vinyl Plank Flooring

Not all vinyl plank flooring is created equal. Look for these features when shopping for planks:

Thick Wear Layer

The wear layer is the clear vinyl layer that protects the decorative print layer underneath. Look for vinyl plank flooring with a wear layer of 20 mils or thicker. The thicker this layer, the better it resists scratches, dents, and fading.

100% Waterproof Core

Vinyl plank flooring should feature a solid, 100% waterproof core. This provides stability while preventing moisture damage. PVC and limestone composite cores offer the best water resistance.

Attached Cork Underlayment

Many vinyl plank floors feature a pre-attached cork layer on the underside. This provides noise insulation and a softer, more comfortable feel underfoot. The cork underlayment also makes “floating” installation straightforward.

Realistic Wood Looks

Quality vinyl plank flooring uses high-resolution imaging to mimic the look of real hardwood, tile, or stone. Carefully inspect samples and select a style that closely resembles your desired material.

Tips for Installing Vinyl Plank Flooring in Kitchens

Installing vinyl plank flooring in your kitchen is a project many DIYers can tackle. Follow these tips for best results:

Allow Planks to Acclimate

Before starting installation, unpack the vinyl planks and allow them to sit in the installation area for 48 hours. This allows the planks to acclimate to the room’s temperature and humidity levels.

Ensure Proper Subfloor Preparation

Vinyl plank flooring depends on a smooth, even subfloor for good results. Inspect the subfloor (plywood, concrete, etc.) carefully. Fill any low spots with floor leveler. The subfloor must also be clean and dry.

Avoid Placing Seams Near Appliances

When determining plank layout, avoid placing seams directly under appliances like refrigerators, stoves, and sinks. The excess moisture in these areas can seep between planks and cause damage.

Leave Proper Expansion Gap

An expansion gap of 1/4″ should be left between the flooring and all walls. This gap allows the planks to expand and contract without buckling.

Use Proper Installation Tools

Having the right tools makes installing vinyl plank flooring much easier. A tapping block, pull bar, utility knife, and rubber mallet are essential for proper plank joining without damage.

Best Vinyl Plank Brands for Kitchens

The brand and quality of your vinyl plank flooring makes a big difference in durability and appearance. Some top options include:

Carefully review samples from several recommended brands to choose the perfect visual for your kitchen.

Cost of Vinyl Plank Flooring in Kitchens

One of the biggest advantages of vinyl plank flooring is cost savings versus other kitchen flooring materials. For installation in a typical 10×10 kitchen, expect costs around:

The total expense can vary based on special installation needs, pattern complexity, brand, and retailer. Online flooring specialty stores tend to offer vinyl plank flooring at better prices than big box home improvement stores.

Vinyl Plank vs. Other Kitchen Flooring Options

How does vinyl plank flooring compare to other popular kitchen flooring materials?

Vinyl Plank vs. Laminate

Laminate flooring looks similar to vinyl plank but is not waterproof, making it a poor choice for kitchens. Even minor moisture can cause laminate floors to swell, warp, and fail. Vinyl plank is the better pick in wet areas.

Vinyl Plank vs. Luxury Vinyl Tile

Tile-look luxury vinyl is another option, but the plank format has advantages for DIY installation. Planks have fewer seams, accommodating slight subfloor imperfections better. The longer plank form factor also enhances the realistic wood look.

Vinyl Plank vs. Hardwood

Genuine hardwood offers outstanding durability and can be refinished. But water spills can permanently damage hardwood floors. The average cost of hardwood is also much higher. For a budget-friendly wood look, vinyl plank is the way to go.

With the right preparation, vinyl plank flooring can transform your kitchen into a stylish, waterproof space. Affordable and family-friendly, vinyl plank offers a wood or tile look without their drawbacks. Just be sure to choose planks with durable wear layers and 100% waterproof cores.

Consider moisture and heavy traffic when laying out seams. Allow proper expansion space around the perimeter. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for DIY installation. With some planning, you can enjoy beautiful, practical vinyl plank flooring for years to come.