top of page

Replacing Carpet With Vinyl Plank Flooring (Good Or Bad Idea?)

Updated: Sep 17, 2022

Replacing Carpet With Vinyl Plank Flooring

With the growing popularity of hard surface flooring, many homeowners are looking to replace carpet in their home with new vinyl plank flooring. Is this a good idea or bad idea? In this article we discuss this issue and give you our surprising opinion.

Replacing Carpet with Vinyl Plank Flooring

Why Has Vinyl Plank Flooring Become So Popular?

There are many reasons why luxury vinyl plank flooring has become so popular. Below are the benefits that make this product so attractive:

Durability: Homeowners can install vinyl plank flooring in any room of the house. It holds up extremely well in any weather conditions and can take the abuse of a busy household.

Waterproof: With the construction of this product, homeowners can feel comfortable installing vinyl plank flooring in wet areas of the home (bathrooms, kitchens, mud rooms, basements).

Installation: With the click together installation, vinyl plank flooring can be installed over many existing floors, make the overall project cost much less expensive. Likewise, many homeowners are purchasing the material, and performing the installation as a weekend DIY project.

Pet-Friendly: Vinyl plank flooring holds up extremely well, even with pets in the home. When those occasional "accidents" happen, vinyl plank flooring is easy to clean and does not get damaged.

Scratch Resistant: while no flooring product is 100% scratch proof, vinyl plank floor is made to be very scratch resistant. The protective finish layer helps reduce scratching and denting.

Cost: Vinyl plank flooring is much cheaper than ceramic or hardwood flooring. Customers looking for something other than carpet, that are also on a budget, tend to love vinyl plank flooring as a flooring option.

Design & Color: Homeowners that visit any retail floor covering store, will see rows and rows of vinyl plank flooring samples. Manufacturers have made many different beautiful styles and colors to keep up with the marketplace competition.

Can You Put Vinyl Plank Flooring On Stairs?

The simple answer is, yes you can. However, when installing vinyl plank flooring on stairs, customers should not use the click together installation. All materials should be glued to the stair surface.

Most vinyl plank manufacturers will make a "stair nosing" piece to cover the round part of the step. Homeowners will need to order one stair nosing piece for each step. Hint: these stair nosing pieces are not cheap. Customers could spend quite a bit of money, just on the stair nosing. Many times, customers opt to keep carpet on the stairs, simply to avoid all of the extra costs of vinyl plank.

If the decision is made to put vinyl plank on the stairs, unless a homeowner is handy with installation work, it is always best to get a professional floor covering installer involved in the project. Installing vinyl plank flooring on stairs is not an easy task, and homeowners would be wise to hire a professional to perform the installation.

Which Product Is Cheaper, Carpet Or Vinyl Plank Flooring?

Carpet is by far the cheaper option. If the budget is the primary concern, carpet is the best choice. Not only is the material going to be less expensive, but the installation will also cost less.

As far as hard surface flooring is concerned, vinyl plank flooring is the cheapest product. Vinyl plank flooring is much less expensive than hardwood or ceramic.

When looking at whether or not to replace carpet with vinyl plank flooring, price should not be the main priority. Vinyl plank flooring is not like the cheap $1.00 a square foot laminate materials that were sold many years ago. In today's world, vinyl plank flooring is made well, designer oriented and can sometimes be rather expensive. Homeowners should have a clear understanding their project renovation goal should be for design or health reasons, rather than price.

Are There Any Installation Issues That We Need To Consider?

Yes, there are several issues that need to be considered before removing carpet and installing vinyl plank flooring. Here are just a few:

Wall Baseboards: The carpet and carpet pad being removed is going to be much thicker than the vinyl plank flooring. This sometimes causing a problem with the height of the existing wall baseboards. If the installer lowers the baseboards to match the new flooring, then in most situations, there will be a paint problem on the walls. If the installer does not lower the baseboards, there is sometimes a gap along the wall. In order to resolve this problem, quarter round is used along the baseboards to cover the gap. It is also a good idea to address this issue with the installation company prior to installing the new floor.

Baseboard Scratching: A lot of homeowners have white wood baseboards. As a homeowner, be prepared for the baseboards to get scratched. No matter how careful the installer is, white baseboards will scratch. Likewise, floor covering stores will tell you they are not painters. Touching up scratches or paint on white baseboards usually becomes a homeowner project.

Height Of New Floor: Sometimes homeowners are installing vinyl plank flooring in areas of the home that meet up with other types of flooring. for example, if a customer has a living room/kitchen combination space, with ceramic tile in the kitchen, when the new vinyl plank is installed in the living room, there will be a height difference when it meets up with the kitchen ceramic tile.

Once again, this is a discussion that should be addressed with the installation company. In some cases, a reducer strip is placed at the transition point, while in other cases, the installation company might recommend installing a sub floor to raise the height of the new installation area.

Existing Sub-Floor: In some older homes, carpet was used to hide the imperfections of a wood sub-floor. Many times, customers are unaware of a sub-floor imperfection, until the carpet has been removed. In some cases, a new sub-floor will need to be installed prior to the installation of the new vinyl plank floor.

Can We Put Vinyl Plank Flooring In Our Bathrooms?

Absolutely! Being a waterproof product is one of the main benefits of vinyl plank flooring. Many homeowners and home builders are using vinyl plank flooring in all of their bathrooms. Luxury vinyl tile is commonly used in these areas as well.

Keep in mind that prior to any new installation in a bathroom, the toilet will need to be removed. This usually becomes the responsibility of the homeowner, as most floor covering stores are not insured for plumbing work, and they will most likely refuse to have their installer touch the toilet.

What Is The Best Brand Of Vinyl Plank Flooring?

There really is no clear-cut winner on "the best brand" of vinyl plank flooring. Each manufacturing company makes a good, better and best product. The competition for sales is very fierce among vinyl plank brands, and products are being made with some beautiful colors and styles. Likewise, products are being made extremely well, and most manufacturing companies are extremely concerned about quality.

Each retail floor covering store will carry brands of flooring that work best with their business model. Stores will typically try to carry brands of flooring their competition does not have. If you don't see certain brands of flooring in every store, it does not mean that particular brand of flooring is inferior. It simply means stores are trying to get a competitive marketplace advantage by selling different products.

Conclusion - Replacing Carpet With Vinyl Plank Flooring

With the popularity of luxury vinyl plank flooring, many homeowners are looking to replace their carpet, and install new vinyl plank flooring. customers should keep in mind, that new luxury vinyl plank flooring is going to cost more than carpet.

Likewise, as mentioned above, there are some issues related to installation that will need to be addressed prior to the installation (wall baseboards, other flooring in the house, sub-floors and scratching the existing walls).

Many customers look to remove the carpeting on a second floor and replace it with luxury vinyl plank. In many cases, the stairs become a topic of discussion. If homeowners wish to install vinyl plank flooring on their stairs, it should be glued to the sub-floor, not clicked together. Customers also need to remember that luxury vinyl plank stair nosing's will need to be purchased and installed. These stair nosing's can become quite expensive.

Luxury vinyl plank flooring is the fastest growing product in the floor covering universe. Most stores will offer rows and rows of different product samples. Homeowners will have a vast choice of products based not only on color and design, but also on price.

At the end of the day, there is no clear cut right or wrong answer on whether or not replacing carpet with vinyl plank flooring is a good or bad idea? It comes down to the desires and goals of the homeowner. Each homeowner has their own likes and dislikes.


Best Rug Prices

At we strive to provide our customers with all kinds of floor covering advice. We offer all kinds of blog articles on various floor covering topics. Here is a small taste of some of our related articles:

Carpet Resource Guide

Shaw Bellera Carpet

White Oak Hardwood Flooring - Is This product Durable?

Hickory Flooring - Is This Really A Good Product?

Dark Wood Flooring - The Scary Truth About Dark Floors

Grey Flooring - The Startling Truth About Popular Flooring Colors

Somerset Hardwood Flooring Review