My recent experience with peel and stick wood planks

Because of my nearly-new job, I needed home-office space in a hurry and without spending a lot. A few weeks ago I spotted some peel and stick wood planks (made of vinyl) at my local Lowe’s store, sold under the Style Selections brand and priced at 98 or 99 cents per square foot, so I picked some up. I also installed them in my entryway.

For the money, I think they’re very good.

peel and stick vinyl planks
These vinyl planks have been in my entryway for nearly five years now. They’ve held up pretty well, especially given the cost and the low level of effort to install them.

The nice thing about self adhesive vinyl plank flooring, as opposed to tiles, is that you can get away with an occasional gap in them. I have real wood floors in several rooms, and believe me, those 50-year-old floors have an occasional gap too.

I bought a box of roughcut oak and two boxes of golden oak. Mixing them up helped break up the repetition. Roughcut pieces look a bit faded and worn next to the goldens, but on my real floors, I have the same thing going on. Not every board took the stain uniformly, and after three families grew up in this house, some boards took more abuse than others.

One thing I wish I’d done is open up all of the boxes and sort the planks. Each box was prone to repeat one pattern that had a knothole in a particularly obvious place. If I’d sorted those particular planks out, it would have made mixing them up throughout the room much easier.

The golden oak boxes were heavier on the grains and lighter on the knots. That made them less prone to obvious repeats.

Having a floor roller really helps. It cost as much as a box of planks, but I use it more than I expected I would.

One thing I don’t regret doing is buying a quart of vinyl adhesive. I spread a thin layer with a 3″ paintbrush. Then when a line of it was dry enough to be tacky, I’d stick a row of planks down on it. My experience is still fairly limited, but the biggest problem I’ve seen with off-brand vinyl is the adhesive. The surface holds up fine, but the tiles shift around more than they should, or worse yet, come up at the corners. I had Armstrong tiles in my entryway from the late 1970s and they only started to fail a year ago. How do I know they were that old? I found bits of newspaper on their undersides.

I’m not sure these peel and stick wood planks will last 35 years, but they’ll do for now, and the price was right.

Oh–and using the adhesive, I was able to lay 15-20 square feet per hour.

Further reading

I had little to no trouble getting my peel and stick wood planks to stick. If yours give you trouble, I have some tricks that will work as well for planks as they did for tiles for me.

If you have glue come up between the planks, here’s an easy fix. And if you get a gap, here’s a fix for small gaps.

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