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When to Use Vinyl Plank vs Peel and Stick (Pros/Cons/Cost)

Vinyl plank flooring, also called floating vinyl planks, or click and lock vinyl is a good option for flooring that has advantages over more traditional flooring such as tile. But, peel and stick vinyl tiles are another good option. So, in this article I will explain when it’s better to install vinyl plank flooring, and when it’s better to use peel and stick vinyl.

In general, vinyl plank is always better than using peel and stick vinyl flooring. Peel and stick vinyl requires more work to level the subfloor, and is more prone to developing gaps, and coming unstuck. Also, vinyl plank and peel and stick only differ in price by 17% for materials and install.

There are a few cases where it does make sense to use peel and stick flooring. Below, I will cover when it makes sense to use peel and stick flooring, and when it’s better to use vinyl plank flooring, and why.

When to Use Vinyl Plank vs Peel and Stick (Pros/Cons/Cost)

Vinyl planks and peel and stick vinyl tiles are better than traditional flooring for a few reasons. Both are about the same price as each other, and about as easy to install as each other. But, one is definitely better than the other in almost every case, here’s when it makes sense to use vinyl planks over peel and stick.

Overall, you should always use vinyl plank flooring over peel and stick. The one exception is if a room is particularly small and not used. Such as, a laundry room. Peel and stick flooring requires more work to level the subfloor, and is more susceptible to failing sooner than vinyl plank flooring.

One issue that can occur with vinyl plank flooring and peel and stick flooring is that one of the individual planks/tiles need to be replaced.

Replacing a damaged vinyl plank or peel and stick tile is about the same

Replacing one of the tiles or planks on both is about the same but uses different methods. To replace a vinyl plank tile you break off the connectors and then remove it. The replacement vinyl plank is glued into place.

Whereas, with peel and stick flooring you heat up the tile that needs replacing with a hair dryer or heat gun. Doing so softens the glue underneath, and it can then be easily peeled up. And a replacement put in its place.

Pros, Cons and Cost Comparison Between Peel and Stick vs Vinyl Plank

Vinyl planks and peel and stick flooring do differ in how much they cost, there are also a few key reasons why it makes sense to install vinyl planks rather than peel and stick flooring. Below, is a summary of the pros and cons of each, and cost breakdown of both the materials and the labor.

Generally, vinyl plank flooring is better to use than peel and stick flooring in every case. Vinyl plank flooring is about 15% more expensive. But, peel and stick flooring requires more preparation of the subfloor, which ends up costing about the same, and is not as durable as vinyl plank flooring.

Below I’ve put together 2 tables that show the difference in price between peel and stick and vinyl plank flooring. The first table is provided in square feet, and the table below that is in square meters.

CostVinyl Planks (per sq foot)Peel and stick (per sq foot)
Materials$1 to $5$0.50 to $1
Labor$1 to $16$1 to $16
Preparing the subfloor$1 to $5$1 to $5
   
Total$3 to $26$2.50 to $22

If you are outside the USA then square meters is more commonly used. Here’s a table that shows the same cost breakdown but in square meters.

Copyright protected content owner: ReadyToDIY.com and was initially posted on November 26, 2022.

CostVinyl Planks (per sq meter)Peel and stick (per sq meter)
Materials$10 to $50$5 to $10
Labor$10 to $160$10 to $160
Preparing the subfloor$10 to $50$10 to $50
   
Total$30 to $260$25 to $220

(source)

As you can see, vinyl planks are anywhere from $0.50 to $4 more expensive per square foot than peel and stick flooring. And about $5 to $40 difference per square meter. But, it’s worth pointing out that the subfloor for peel and stick tiles needs to be much smoother for peel and stick tiles.

The reason is that peel and stick tiles are thinner, and made of flexible material that molds to the shape of what they are stuck to. Often, this can cost more and ends up balancing out the difference in price.

What’s Different Between Vinyl Plank and Peel and Stick?

Vinyl plank flooring and peel and stick flooring are both made of vinyl. But, there are a few differences between them, which affects when it’s best to use one of the other. Here is what’s different about vinyl plank flooring and peel and stick flooring.

As a general rule, vinyl plank flooring looks better, and is more durable than peel and stick flooring. Both require about the same amount of labor and skill to install. But, peel and stick requires more preparation of the subfloor. Peel and stick flooring is more likely to develop gaps, and come unstuck.

Vinyl plank flooring, which is also called floating vinyl planks, have a reasonably sized lip where they fit in between each other. Whereas, peel and stick vinyl tiles or planks are connected directly against each other. It’s very common for the floor, and foundations of a room to move slightly in response to temperature conditions, and minor ground movements.

This causes the vinyl plank tiles, and peel and stick tiles to move slightly. Because there is virtually no gap between peel and stick tiles, gaps will develop much more easily. Whereas, vinyl planks have more room to move, and take a lot more movement to create a noticeable gap in between them.

When to Use Vinyl Plank That’s Better Than Peel and Stick

In some cases using vinyl plank flooring is better than using peel and stick flooring. This is a summary of the situations where using vinyl plank flooring is better than peel and stick flooring.

In general, use vinyl plank in all cases unless the room is reasonably small, and isn’t used very often such as a laundry room. The advantage in these cases is that peel in stick tiles are 17% cheaper. But, this price difference can be negligible because the subfloor requires more preparation.

Peel and stick tiles require a much smoother subfloor that is more even than the subfloor used for vinyl plank flooring. The reason is peel and stick flooring shows any imperfections in the subfloor much more than vinyl plank flooring.

When to Use Peel and Stick That’s Better Than Vinyl Plank

Peel and stick flooring is better in a few cases, but in almost all cases vinyl plank flooring is a much better option. The price of peel and stick tiles is cheaper than vinyl plank flooring but there are a few disadvantages to peel and stick over vinyl plank flooring. So, this is a summary of when it makes sense to use peel and instead of vinyl plank flooring.

Overall, use peel and stick flooring only when the subfloor is already very even, level, and smooth, or a room is very small, such as a toilet only bathroom. Peel and stick flooring shows imperfections in the subfloor much more than vinyl plank flooring, so the subfloor needs more preparation.

Therefore, it only makes sense if the room is very small because it can take a considerable amount of time to level the subfloor. In a small room it won’t take very long. The other factor is whether a room is used often.

Peel and stick flooring does not last as long as vinyl plank flooring. Therefore, in rooms that get a lot of use vinyl plank flooring is a better option.

In general, vinyl plank flooring is always better to use rather than peel and stick flooring. Peel and stick flooring is not as visually appealing, and is not as resistant to wear and tear as vinyl plank flooring. It also requires the subfloor to be in much better condition before installing it.

Copyright article owner is ReadyToDiy.com for this article. This post was first published on November 26, 2022.

Check out our vinyl plank flooring installation cost calculator to estimate your project.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on November 26, 2022.

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