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Unread 05-25-2020, 11:57 PM   #16
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Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 76
For a real budget, I find the Home Depot MSI vinyl planking pretty nice. I found it snapped/fit together easier than Lifeproof, and boxes were most consistent color/pattern-wise. The only downside is at the short ends they can tend to wrinkle a bit more than Lifeproof when hammering them in, but on the flip side I find they overall are easier to get together tighter. Currently the stuff goes for $1.59 per square foot at Home Depot. Built in underlayment and basically the same format as Lifeproof, but a thinner 6mm vs 8mm for Lifeproof. I also find the shorter planks (36" x 6" vs 48" x 8") a little easier/more manageable to layout and work with. At the end of the day, it's all generic Chinese flooring, just with whoever's label on it. I can pull up videos in UK and Germany using flooring that looks exactly like Lifeproof.

Having done ceramic tile and snap together planks like this, ceramic tile is way harder to do and do well. Ceramic is still obviously better and longer lasting, but imo, I can see the utility in just changing vinyl tiles every 5-10 years now, just for the labor savings and less need for tools and prep required. I still respect it, but honestly for DIYers I think vinyl is an immensely easier choice.

Oh, one job I did, with concrete and carpet, the tack strip setup was weird. The nails holding the tack strips were put into the wet poured concrete or topping, so when pulling the tack strips often you'd pull up 1-2" chunks of concrete topping with the strip, not deep, but 1-2" wide. You'd definitely want some Henry 547/Ardex Feather Finish/Mapei Planipatch/etc on hand for those. I didn't bother as it was a closet, though. I also find drywall set like this, too, somehow nailed into wet masonry, and then the nails back out over the years and pop and whole boards sag immensely. :/
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Unread 05-26-2020, 12:42 PM   #17
Metropolitan Ceramics
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Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Canton, Ohio
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Click together vinyl flooring isn't waterproof. If you do go that route for your bathroom, make sure to use waterproofing of some sort under it. I put together a blog post on these claims if you want to check it out:

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