Luxury vinyl tile is an affordable, versatile flooring option. It can mimic hardwood and other popular materials and is extremely water resistant. Selecting the design and choosing the finish of your vinyl planks aren’t the only decisions that you have to make, however. You also have options for the structure of the plank.
When you’re deciding between beveled vs non-beveled vinyl plank flooring, you should weigh the pros and cons of each. Of course, aesthetics are also important. Learn more about the different types of beveled vs non-beveled vinyl plank flooring so that you can choose the type that offers you the most benefits.
Square Edge Planks
Square edge planks are non-beveled. Their edges are cut at a 90-degree angle. This means that they sit flush against each other when they’re installed. There won’t be an obvious seam between the planks.
Depending on the grain pattern, non-beveled vinyl plank flooring can create an uninterrupted, expansive look. If there is minimal variation in the pattern on each plank, you may not be able to identify where each plan starts and stops.
Many homeowners appreciate this style because it’s clean, modern and seamless. It can also make a small room look bigger.
One of the primary reasons that consumers install vinyl plank flooring is so that they can achieve similar aesthetic results as tile or wood boards. However, some people don’t like the look of non-beveled vinyl because it has a similar appearance as sheet vinyl. If you wanted to install sheet vinyl, which is less expensive than planks, you could. Still, planks are often easier to cut and install than large, unwieldy sheets of vinyl.
Pros and Cons of Non-Beveled Planks
- Seamless design
- Easy to clean
- Reduces concerns about a floor design looking too busy
- Works well with many types of designs
- Creates a neutral canvas for your home decor
- Better for wheelchairs or rolling furniture
- Edges are more prone to cracking and peeling
- Often costs more than beveled planks
- Shows misalignment more than beveled edge boards
Some vinyl planks have beveled edges, which are also known as enhanced bevels in the industry. These are cut at an angle so that when you install the boards adjacent to one another, there is a valley between them. This groove delineates the boards and creates visual separation between them.
Some consumers prefer beveled vinyl planks. This is a newer technology, which makes some homeowners and designers assume that it provides a more modern and updated look.
But beveled vinyl actually makes your floors look more rustic. It can give the impression that the boards are made of thick planks, like the ones that you would find on a cabin floor.
The bevel can look dark or light, depending on the material in the plank’s core. The bevels may also be painted to produce a specific effect. Sometimes, the beveled edge is distressed. This can make vinyl flooring look more like authentic hardwood.
When the flooring is in place, the beveled edges on each plank attract the eye. This can be an advantage or disadvantage, depending on your preferences and goals.
If you want to minimize the boldness of your floor and create a simple canvas for the rest of your home decor, you might not like the look of beveled vinyl planks. On the other hand, if you want a distinguished, sophisticated floor that serves as a conversation piece without being too overpowering, you might enjoy the way that the bevels look.
One option that offers a beveled edge without such severity is pillow-edge vinyl plank flooring. This has a deep groove, but it’s rounded and has the same coloring as the plank. Therefore, it helps your eye read the planks separately without generating harsh lines.
Pros and Cons of Beveled-Edge Planks
- Easier to install without noticeable misalignment
- Gives a subtle geometric look to the floor
- Mimics the appearance of natural materials better than non-beveled flooring
- More durable than square-edge flooring
- Grooves capture dirt and debris
- Harder to clean than non-beveled vinyl
- Not ideal for wheelchairs or rolling furniture
Micro-Beveled Vinyl Planks
Whereas standard beveled vinyl flooring has a sharp 45-degree angle at the edges, planks with a micro-bevel have a less severe shape. They still have more dimension than sharp-edge vinyl tiles. However, the edge is often rounded and only dips slightly.
This may be the best option for mimicking hardwood floors. It showcases the variation of the planks without creating sharp lines between them.
Micro-beveled planks are also easier to clean than other styles. The valley that forms between the planks isn’t very deep. Therefore, you can easily sweep or wipe away dust and other particles.
Pros and Cons of Micro-Beveled Vinyl Planks
- Shallower edge traps less debris
- Provides subtle delineation between planks
- Looks natural
- More seamless design than enhanced bevel flooring
- Often more affordable than the other types
- Doesn’t chip as easily as other kinds of vinyl planks
- Collects dirt more easily than straight-cut edges
- Doesn’t provide the sharp contrast of enhanced bevel planks
Installing Beveled vs Non-Beveled Vinyl Plank Flooring
It’s essential to make sure that the subfloor and underlayment are even and smooth when you install non-beveled vinyl flooring. Any changes in elevation will result in an uneven floor surface. You might have a sharp edge where two planks sit at different heights. Beveled-edge flooring is more forgiving because the top surfaces of adjacent planks don’t touch each other.
No matter which type of flooring you choose, you might have the best luck with tongue-and-groove planks. These lock into each other, creating the ideal gap between boards.
Beveled vs Non-Beveled Vinyl Plank Flooring Maintenance
While the maintenance requirements for beveled vs non-beveled vinyl plank flooring are generally the same, there are some significant differences.
You should sweep and dust vinyl flooring regularly to rid it of abrasive debris. Sand and dirt can grind into the material as people and pets walk on it, dulling and scratching the surface. This is the case regardless of the type of bevel.
If your floors are deeply beveled, you’ll need to take extra care when cleaning them. Don’t use too much water, which can settle into the valleys and cause damage. However, you should sweep or vacuum to remove debris from the valleys. A dry dust mop might not cut it on vinyl floors with a beveled edge.
Which Type of Flooring Should You Choose?
Consider the pros and cons of each type of flooring against your personal preference. One type may be better for a particular room or lifestyle. For example, if you’re installing the vinyl in a mudroom or another area that is exposed to debris regularly, you might opt for non-beveled vinyl planks. If you have children who spill sticky substances on the floor frequently, you might not want to scrape out the residue from deeply beveled planks in your kitchen.
On the other hand, if you have no special requirements for the functionality of the flooring, you can choose beveled edge vinyl. In a bathroom, beveled-edge vinyl tiles look like they have grout between them.
There aren’t too many disadvantages to micro-beveled flooring. Therefore, this might be a great choice if you’re on the fence.