Saturday, March 30, 2013

Style Selections Luxury Plank Vinyl Flooring from Lowes

My husband and I recently started a project of laying down vinyl plank flooring... I've read great feedback on these floors and some bad feedback on these floors, but have to tell you, I am loving finished floors...

I'm 58,(59 looming ever so closely) my husband just turned 69, so we needed a flooring we could manage ourselves, not to mention, afford! My husband is retired and I'm self employed, so we needed to find something that would be fairly easy to install, and not break the bank... 

I did a lot of research on this type of flooring before we decided which way to go, and I'm so glad with the decision we made.. 

We purchased Style Selections Luxury Plank Vinyl Flooring from Lowes...We purchased gun stock oak, but this flooring comes in a large selection of colors.



Home Depot also has vinyl plank flooring called "Allure" that looks really pretty. We went back and forth on which one to buy and honestly, the reason we went with the Lowes brand was price.. We planned on laying this on a lot of floor, so we wanted to get the best product at the lowest price available..

Both products have good and bad feedback, but I did find a lot more positive feedback on the Style Selections brand.. This is not to say the Allure flooring isn't just as good, it's just to say that I found more feedback on the Style Selections.. 

When I look for products online, I always look for real customer feedback.. I realize there are some people that live to leave negative feedback, but the majority of feedback I've found is honest, shares pros and cons, gives good information and advice, and is something I appreciate and use weekly, if not daily.. 

I found the color we wanted, paid for it online and it was sitting on a cart waiting for us to pick it up within a couple of hours at Lowes! Couldn't have been easier... We also purchased a couple of gallons of Henry's Floor Primer at the suggestion of a  Lowes associate. I had also read about this online, so didn't think twice about investing in it.. However, we did not need 2 gallons of this stuff. lol... One gallon was more than enough for our living room, dining room, kitchen and another room I call my candle room...it's where I make soy candles, which I sell on my website Karens Kandles.. (shameless plug. lol)

So, to get started.. The prep work is a lot harder than laying the tiles... First my husband pulled up the old, nasty carpet.. It is amazing how much dirt gets trapped underneath carpet and padding.. No wonder our little Dachshund sneezed so much!


Then all the carpet strips and staples had to be pulled up.. That took some doing.. Anyone in their 50's and 60's can imagine how uncomfortable this is on older backs and knees, but we managed to get it done without too much wear and tear on our old joints..

Next, the floor has to be free of all debris.. My husband had used his shop vac to get up all the dirt and any staples floating around after removing the carpet and padding, but before getting ready to lay the primer, I swept the floors with my broom again and again and again.. I then vacuumed again and again and again, then swept with my broom again and again.. I swept until I wasn't getting even one speck of dirt..I think I over swept, but I wanted to make sure I had every speck of dirt off the floor.. We have 2 cats and 2 dogs, so we deal with pet hair on a daily basis.. I wanted to make sure I got all of it up and off the floor before going further..

Our pets, by the way, did not really enjoy this process. The cats were locked in a bedroom and the dogs were blocked from this part of the house... 

Once the floors were spotless, I applied the Henry's floor primer with a low nap paint roller with a handle attached. I started with just the dining room as I only wanted to prime as much as I thought I could get done in one day..Our broom has a screw in handle, so I just unscrewed it and screwed it into the handle for the paint roller....It was fast and easy rolling this way.. No bending, kneeling, etc...

The primer takes 20-30 minutes to dry.. Once it's completely dry, you're ready to start laying the vinyl planks.. 

At first my husband was pulling a handful of the planks out of the box and laying them on the floor within easy reach, but we soon discovered that the planks come in about 5 different designs and if you aren't careful, you'll end up with two of the same design next to each other, which you don't want to do since this doesn't look as realistic... Real wood floors have a lot of different grains going in each plank, so you want the vinyl flooring to have that same kind of look as much as possible.. 

We found just setting the box of planks on the floor where I could reach them easily worked the best..I just grabbed the top plank, which meant I wasn't laying identical planks next to each other... This system worked fast and efficiently for me.. 

When you start, you'll need to cut some of the planks at random lengths so you get that real wood floor look..You don't want all your planks lining up perfectly, but rather staggered... I did this by doing a strip of maybe 10 at a time, then working my way from one wall all the way to the other side of the room before starting the next bunch.. This worked great for me, but you really could do them in any way that makes sense, and works best, for you.

I used a pair of fiskars sewing scissors to cut the planks.. I had read a review where someone had used a blade knife on the backside of a plank, then bent it at the slice, then cut it with scissors.. I did this for the first couple of cuts, but then decided to just try it with my scissors, eliminating the blade knife.. It worked just as well to only use my scissors, and was much quicker.. I used a pencil and a small square to mark where i wanted to cut on the back side of each plank.. Each plank has a paper liner to protect the glue, so you can easily draw on the paper without marking on the plank...At first I used a marking pen, but quickly realized a pencil worked just as well and there was no chance of leaving unwanted marks on anything.

The most important thing to remember is, when you cut the planks, lay the cut end against your wall so that all planks touching end to end have the factory cut butting up to each other.. No matter how careful you are at cutting, it seems they are never as perfect as the factory cut and you may be able to see little gaps..

Once you get ready to lay them, you simple remove the protective paper backing and lay your tile in place.. I used the palms of my hands and ran them down the length of each plank to make sure it was really stuck..

The directions that come with it suggest you get a 100 lb floor roller and roll it over your floor to make sure all the planks stick completely.. We didn't have access to a floor roller..We contemplated buying a small yard roller with a handle option and using that, but after getting quite a bit of the dining room laid, we decided sliding our feet up and down the length of the planks would be just as good as using a roller, and much easier... That became my husbands job.. I laid the planks, he slid.

The glue on the back of the planks is really sticky, and you will get glue on your fingers and hands.. There's no way to avoid it.. I washed my hands often through out the day trying to remove the glue.. It wasn't the easiest thing to do, and I eventually realized that finger nail polish would remove it quickly, although, it does dry out your skin.. It wasn't a big problem, just something to be aware of.. My scissors also got very "gummy", but the finger nail polish and/or WD40 did clean them up just fine...

Our dining room is about 12 x 15.. I started laying the planks around 1 in the afternoon and had it almost completed by 7 that evening.. I had spent the morning sweeping and applying the primer, so I'd been at it for about 12 hours by time I quit for the night.. Enough for one day....


A few of the planks had glue stuck on the edges.. My husband read through the directions but didn't find any solutions, so he called one of our sons for advice on how to clean it off safely.. We sure didn't want to use finger nail polish remover on the face of the planks for fear of damaging them.. This son is a carpenter, and suggested we use WD40... hmmmmmm...never would have thought of that!! But my husband tried it and it worked like a dream.. Super easy.. My husband just squirted a little on an old cloth and wiped any area with glue.. It took it off completely and did absolutely no damage to the vinyl...

I started laying the planks early on day 2.. I finished the dining room in no time at all and moved on to the kitchen and candle room.. I went through the same process of cleaning and sweeping, except these floors had linoleum flooring, so I also scrubbed the floor on my hands and knees to make sure I got every bit of dirt off them.. I also had to move quite a bit of my candle supplies out of the candle room so nothing was in my way.. By time I finished with all that and applied the Henry's Floor Primer, it was lunch time, so we went and got a salad from McD's.. By time we got back, the floor was dry and ready for the vinyl planks..

The vinyl planks really stick like crazy over linoleum. I'd found that I could move them a bit once applied on the sub flooring if need be, but not so much on the linoleum.. If I made a mistake, I had to pull up the whole plank... But it really wasn't that big of deal. Other than a few tricky cuts around some of the cupboards, it went pretty smoothly.. I had all the floors done by 8pm except for a few under cabinet cuts, which I saved for the morning of day 3... Other than every inch of my body aching, day 3 went quickly and I was done before breakfast..

After breakfast, we ran to Home Depot and purchased base molding.. My husband did a really nice job of installing it... He used a cordless brad nailer and said it made the work so easy...

We bought these little corner thingies so he wouldn't have to make perfect corner cuts, which he really dislikes doing.

I'm not sure why the color in this picture is so weird, but anyhoo, you can see what I mean by the corner wood thingie.. I'm not sure what they're called.. You can tell I"m a professional. lol..

Looking at the picture above, even though the color is odd, does this not look like real wood or what?? It is real wood on the walls, and the floor looks just as real.. These vinyl planks are very impressive!!

He worked on that throughout the day.. the hardest part was the little pieces he had to fit in around some weird walls... He did a great job and it looks so pretty!

Day 4 we moved everything back in place and I put my candle room back together.. So from start to finish, it took us about 4 days to complete 3 rooms..Not bad!


I really doubt if anyone would look at these floors and not think they were wood.. These vinyl planks really are such a great alternative to wood floors.. One of our dogs is a "senior" and has a lot of problems with his back legs. As long as he walks at a normal pace, he doesn't have a problem, but when he gets excited, for instance, when it's breakfast time, he ends up slipping and sliding.. Because of that we've laid a couple of rugs down to help him get around.. But despite his sliding around on the floors, I haven't seen any scratches anywhere!

The only suggestion I would make to anyone thinking about laying this type of flooring: Don't ask for advice or opinions from anyone who hasn't actually used the flooring.. We went back and forth on this flooring based on some advice given by "professionals" on some of the online forums, warning that these floors don't work, you should have hardwood floors installed, you can't lay them over sub flooring, on and on... Some of the negative advice I received really made us put off getting started..but then I returned to the Lowes website and read all the positive feedback from actual customers, and I got excited to lay this floor again. I'm so glad I did!

I say poopoo the poopooers!

I really love our new floors.. They're much easier to take care of then the old carpet and linoleum floors.. They're easy to clean with a dust mop or swifter wet sweeper...

Up next: the living room and hallway floor.. We'll be laying the vinyl planks on those floors, too! Can't wait to see the finished floors.. Stay tuned!




















37 comments:

  1.  Clic flooring Our Clic flooring is made of characteristic wood, yet it is as straightforward to institute as cover flooring on the grounds that it uses the gliding ground framework. As a substitute for nailing every bit of flooring to the subfloor, you basically click them together. Vinyl











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  2. Clic flooring As a substitute for nailing every bit of flooring to the subfloor, you basically click them together. The ground stays put in light of the fact that you utilize your baseboards to stay it at every divider.
    Carpet

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  3. This is such an instructive and informative article. Glad to find and read it. Visit again for some more informative post. Keep Posting. Thanks a lot for sharing.

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    1. Thank you :o) I'll be adding some new info very soon.. We just finished the floors in the living room and hallway.. Still loving this flooring!

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  4. May I ask what you attached the moulding to between rooms? Is it glued into place?

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    1. My husband used a cordless brad nailer for the molding and glue for the wooden corner decoration thingies (I'm still not sure what they're actually called. lol)

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  5. Bymydiscountfloor, Our Clic flooring is made of characteristic wood, yet it is as straightforward to institute as cover flooring on the grounds that it uses the gliding ground framework.

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  6. Great blog! The information you provide is quiet helpful, why I was not able to find it earlier.

    Brazilian Walnut

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  7. Thank you for posting your very informative information. I brought home 3 sample planks today and was so grateful to find your instructions. We are putting it over inlaid and hope it goes well...

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  8. I love your floors. I have brought home samples of Golden Oak and Gunstock colors in these planks. I like the gunstock better, but I'm worried about dust showing worse. We have no animals in the house, but we live in the country with my husband and sons tracking in all the time, and we run woodstoves all winter and they make lots of dust. Does your floor need dusting or swiffering often? Does the dust really show on this color? It will be used in the basement family room of a tri-level house. There is only one north window, so I'm also concerned about making the room darker. Did it seem to make a difference in the brightness of your rooms? Thanks for any help. Lisa

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    1. I don't really notice a lot of dust on the floors.. We have three long haired animals so we do vacuum a lot, though. I use a dry swifter and a wet swifter when needed and I haven't had to get down and scrub anything off the floors. They're very easy to clean..
      As far as brightness, we had dark green carpet before, so to me, the rooms seem lighter with this flooring..
      If you decided to go with this flooring, I hope your room turned out just like you pictured it :o)

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  9. We just ordered our vinyl flooring so I was very glad to read your article on installing it in your home. We too are in our 50s and were looking for something easy to install. Wood flooring required too much money, tools and experience that we didn't have so we went for this. We have 4 cats and a very large dog and I was wondering how it held up for you with the animals. Any scratches from claws?

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    1. Hi Sandy,
      I haven't noticed any scratches on the floors at all.. Our senior dog passed away a few months ago, but before he left us, he had pretty severe hip dysplasia.. We had rugs laid here and there to help him manuver about, but between rugs he'd slipped frequently, but his claws never did any damage to this flooring.. We also have a crazoid 5 year old cat who is bored out of his gourd because of all this snow and cold this winter, so he tears through the house like a crazy man.. He has all his claws, but I haven't seen any damage to the floors from him racing from one end of the house to the other..
      I hope it works out for you :o)

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    2. So sorry about your senior! I have two doxies, was he a doxie? One of mine has IVDD and was paralyzed for a while, so I understand about the rugs! I have WHITE vinyl in the kitchen--it is a nightmare! I have never heard of vinyl wood, so this might be perfect for me!

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    3. Anonymous, we had white vinyl in our kitchen, too (before laying this floor).. I understand what you mean by it being a nightmare..
      No, our senior was not a doxie.. He was a lab mix.. He crossed the rainbow bridge last August (we still miss him terribly), but we do have a doxie, and he is one crazy little nut who keeps us laughing. Enjoy yours :o)

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  10. Hey there. Wonderful review and thank you! Spent the day at Lowe's, checked out the vinyl planking (never even considered it until today!). My wife and I were really impressed. Came on, went right to the computer and found your article and we are pretty much sold on the idea. We have 1) a tight budget, 2) 3 dogs and a cat and 3) we live on a slab as well. Anyway, my question is...our kitchen and bathrooms are also linoleum. How did you deal with the different levels transitioning from your concrete floor to the linoleum floor? Does that make sense? In other words, if I pull up m den rug, the slab will then be about an 1/8 of an inch lower than the kitchen with linoleum - our den flows into the kitchen. So how did you deal with the uneven transition into your kitchen? I hope this makes sense! :) and Thank you again!

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    1. Thank you for the compliment :o)

      I do know what you mean about the 1/8" difference.. We did not think that would be a problem, but we can see where the linoleum meets the floor, as there's a slight "bump" under the vinyl strips. They've stayed stuck down fine, but we can see it.. If we had to do it again, we would do it a bit different..

      My husband thinks we should have used a floor leveler to smooth that out...It's about a 3' section walking into the kitchen..We think we'll probably put one of those wooden strips you would lay between carpet and flooring to conceal the slight bump.

      I bet someone at Lowes might be able to tell you how to deal with it (We should have asked. lol).. They were very helpful to us when we purchased the flooring.. Lowes knows!!

      Hope it works out for you.. We sure prefer this look over the old ugly carpet we used to have!

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  11. Very nice informative blog. I have been looking at the Home depot stuff but the Lowes product is something I need to check out.
    Thanks for the information.

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  12. I have ugly carpet to ugly vinyl in the kitchen in our mobile. Did you remove the old vinyl before putting down your plank vinyl? If so can you feel the transition under the flooring? We are thinking about removing the carpet and leaving the old vinyl. Looking for feedback?

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    1. It sounds like we had exactly what you describe in your home..You can see a picture of where the transition happens above.. It's the 5th picture down from the top.. We left the old vinyl in the kitchen and laid the planks over it.. I scrubbed the floor really good with amonia first just to remove any grime or dirt that might keep the planks from sticking. Then I painted a layer of the Old Henry's floor primer on it before laying the planks.
      To answer your question, yes, we can see the transition from the floor to the old vinyl.. To be honest, we don't really notice it and it doesn't bother us, but it is there.. The planks have never lifted up in that area or shifted.. But if you don't want to see a transition at all, I think you'd have to remove the old vinyl from the kitchen floor..
      Word of warning...make sure your planks are butted up against cabinets or walls on both sides of the floor, because if not, they can slip a bit. I didn't lay the planks under the stove, but rather just under the part that shows, and I've noticed a few of my planks have shifted a bit in front of the stove, leaving a small gap.. I have a throw rug there so it doesn't show, but I am going to fix that this summer...

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  13. I just finished our floors with the style selections in cherry. I only have one issue... I have bad scuffs on them. Any tips on getting them off or have you had this issue?

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    1. Hi Staci,
      We haven't had scuffs so I can't really say for sure, but I wonder if WD40 would help? That's what we used to get glue off the floor..It doesn't harm the floor, so might be worth a try...Good luck..

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  14. I put these tiles and they don't stick. The glue never dries. The panels all shift around and gaps have opened in the one week since they went down. they seem to be shrinking. I can reach down and easily pull up a tile. The floor was primered so I don't know why they don't stick. Glad you had good results, but about half the people who use these have the same results I did. I've used another brand of peel and stick in the same house with the same preparation and had great results. It seems to be a gamble weather the tile will stick or not.

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    1. So sorry you've had problems with them.. What kind of flooring did you lay them on? Did you go back to Lowes about it? The one thing I have noticed with our floors is the tiles need to be butted up tightly against a wall on all sides or they will shift.. We have a few spots that shifted, too.. It's on my ToDo list for this summer...But really, have to say, still really happy with the floors...

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  15. We have had great results with vinyl plank flooring of different types. Let the planks warm up inside the place where the install will take place and keep them warm so glue becomes tacky and sets. When we set the thermostat to 70 degrees before installing and left it there for several days we had no issues but did in a cold install in our cabin. Butt them tightly on the wall and sides. We also roll the room with a rented roller just like you would sheet linoleum. We love vinyl plank flooring but we don't go for the cheap stuff. Choosing a commercial grade thick plank (1.5 and above) with a bit of texture to help avoid a slippery surface has been the ticket for us in addition to the above install methods.

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    1. Good points! We also made sure the boxes of tiles were room temp before we laid them... I believe it even says to do that in the instructions (if I remember correctly).. Also, making sure it butts up to walls on all sides, super important or they will shift... The instructions mention the roller things, but since we didn't have access to one, my husband just scooted across each tile in his stocking feet as I laid them, applying pressure.. Thanks for your post :o)

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  16. THANK YOU for posting this! I just bought what looks to be the Style Selections vinyl tile from Lowes. I jumped on the internet for some tips! I'm encouraged and excited to get it installed tomorrow!

    GREAT info.

    Kris

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  17. Karen - I noticed you all installed this over an OSB floor; I have also been reading the forums where they say "this will never work over OSB." Are your floors still holding up well? I live in a mobile home as well and would love to have this option for flooring.

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  18. hmmmm...I posted an answer, but it doesn't look like it posted so I'll try again. lol... Our floors are still holding up very well, and still look really good... However, when I got ready to lay it in our livingroom, I decided to paint the OSB flooring first.. I had an extra gallon of paint so just did a quick roll on job the night before I planned on laying the flooring. It did seem to create a nicer surface for the tiles to stick to, although, the end results are the same on both floors.. The tiles just seemed to grab onto the painted surface a bit quicker than they did on the dining room floor.
    Best of luck.. Please come back and post your results :o)

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  19. Your blog has always been a good source for me to get quality tips on blogging. Thanks once again.
    Vinyl Flooring

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  20. I wanted to thank you so much for your blog, it came up first on my search. My Husband and I just purchased 1600 sq. ft. of the Lowes StyleSelections Peel and Stick Planks in the Driftwood color (kind of a grey/taupe). We too, are on a tight budget as to a Flooring Contractor taking us for $3,000 and not coming through, my fault for not being a cautious enough consumer and making a deal from a classified ad. Anyhoo, we were able to get ours for .98 cents a sq. ft. totaling $2k +. You shared all the sticky details that I anticipated running into and your solutions as well, for which I am so grateful, it should be a great time saver and be much less frustrating for sure. I will probably be laying much of it by myself, as my Husband works long hours. We have to big massively hairy dogs and I think my biggest concern is getting our concrete and linoleum floors so clean. The only thing I'm not sure if I totally understood is cutting of random lengths, but I think I get the method. You said you did ten at a time, so like going from 1/4 cut to 1/2 cut to 3/4 and then maybe reverse the direction again so the lengths are more random ? Is this what you did? Sorry just a bit confused I think on that tip. Wish me luck, I hope I can do it. Thanks again.

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  21. I also installed the Vinyl Plank floor Style Selections from lowes. I am a licensed contractor so I used new underlayment and primer. The product was inside at 72 degrees from 4 days before installing. The room, (our den) has a wood stove. Several days later when we had the room to almost 80 degrees the flooring "buckled" at the short seams. We re-rolled it with the 100# roller but the problem sill exists. Hopefully I get my money back for the crappy product but will have to pay for new underlayment, moldings and my labor to install. I do not recommend this to anyone and will tell all who ask it sucks

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    1. Sorry to hear you had problems with it.. We've now had it for several years and still love it, haven't had buckling or any problems at all...

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  22. Here i had read the content you had posted. It is much interesting so please keep update like this.

    Housekeeping Services in Mumbai

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