Glue Down vs Click Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring comes in a variety of construction types. Most commonly, you will find sheet vinyl, glue down vinyl and click vinyl. Each of these vinyls are waterproof, but will have different pros and cons. Depending on your project, you may choose a glue down vs a click lock vinyl or visa versa.

Glue down vinyl is when you use adhesive to seal the vinyl to  the subfloor. Click vinyl uses a click and lock system, similar to laminate, to keep the floor secure and connected.

Both are widely used and both have their advantages. Here are a few considerations to make while you decide which type of flooring is right for you.

Your Subfloor

Before you decide what type of vinyl to use for your next project, look at the subfloor you’ll be installing it over. This could be:

  • Old vinyl flooring, tile or terrazzo
  • Cement
  • Wood

You’ll want to research the subflooring requirements to prepare before any plank or tile is laid. This is true for both glue down and click vinyl.

Depending on your subfloor, one type of vinyl might work better than others or need less repair. It should be noted that any type of vinyl can be installed over a variety of good condition subfloors. If your subfloor is prone to high moisture, such as below-grade concrete, you’re better off installing with a click-lock flooring because a vapor barrier can be used.

In general, glue down vinyl plank floors are thinner than click vinyls. With this said, you will have less cushion over harder surfaces, such as cement. If you’re looking for a softer feel under foot, we’d recommend looking at click vinyls.

Your Room Size

The room you plan to install your flooring in matters too. Larger rooms will have less joint stability with a click-lock installation. For larger rooms or rooms you do not want transition moldings, a glue-down installation will be your best option for installation. Glue down vinyls are a great option for larger spaces, such as basements, offices and restaurants. Both types of flooring are great in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms and commercial settings.

Your Expected Foot Traffic

The type of flooring also depends on whether you plan to install your vinyl in your home or in a commercial application.

Commercial areas tend to see higher amounts of foot traffic. Vinyl’s with high wear layers, such as 12 mil or 20 mil, come with a commercial warranty and protection against higher foot traffic. Commercial grade floors can be click-lock or glue-down. For large, open spaces, you will want a glue down vinyl. For smaller applications, such as a boutique, a click lock vinyl will be fine.

For residential projects, a glue down or click vinyl can be used. If you’re looking for comfort, a click vinyl will be your best option, as they are thicker and can use an underlayment. If you’re looking for a basic, budget friendly option for larger rooms, such as a basement, a glue down floor can be the best option.

If you’re installing your vinyl in a temporary location (such as a pop up shop or trade show booth) you will want to use glue down vinyl with resealable adhesive, a loose lay vinyl or a click-lock vinyl that can be easily removed and re-installed. This allows you to pick up the flooring quickly and move it with you wherever you go.

Your Vinyl Installation Type

How you plan to install your flooring makes a big difference too.

Glue down vinyl can be done by inexperienced homeowners, but it’s not ideal if you have never worked with an adhesive before. The preferred (and much easier) solution is to use click vinyl for DIY installations. Click lock vinyls require little tools and no adhesive. It is a very DIY friendly option.

If you’re not experienced installing vinyl flooring, it’s highly recommended that you hire a contractor for glue down vinyl. This way, you ensure you get the results you’re anticipating with your new floors. You’ll save yourself time, hassle, and potentially money on lost product by doing so.

Your Budget

Your budget may also determine if you choose a glue down vs click lock vinyl flooring. Glue down vinyls are typically more affordable than click lock vinyls. Click lock vinyls can be found in a variety of thicknesses with special features such as attached underlayment, which will increase the cost. Glue down vinyl will not have as many options when it comes to special features, but they can be specialized for commercial applications.

Have questions? Need a little bit of extra help? We’re here for you. Start a chat with one of our flooring experts in the box on this page and get a fast answer to your vinyl flooring installation questions.

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