One of the differences between wood flooring and waterproof flooring is the ability to create designs in the flooring. Wood can be carved, cut, and stained to create different designs and patterns on a floor. It is one of the reasons that some customers want wood flooring. Waterproof flooring is a little more limited in what can be done in regards to designing patterns during the installation. Luxury vinyl flooring is limited, but there have been changes that have begun to allow some creativity in flooring designing.

Some of the newer click-together systems are using a standard sizing in their planks and tiles. This allows them to do two different things. One is that they can interlock tile planks to wood planks. You can then mix tiles and wood planks into patterns onto the flooring. The other is how the click systems lock together. They have made it easier on two sides to press and click together so that planks can interlock ends and sides so that herringbone patterns can be done as well. These changes do only work with select lines and you need to be aware that once you start a pattern, it is difficult to change to a different pattern.

Two options that do allow for patterns easily are loose lay and glue down installation products. These two product lines do not interlock when installed. This allows them to be installed in any pattern that you want within the room. Glue down installations are more common in commercial or multi-family installations. Loose lay can be used in commercial, but also is a great option for residential. When doing patterns though, if you want to alternate with different colors you need to use the same brand and collection. Different collections can have different thicknesses, widths, and lengths.

When doing patterns on your floor, you can look through magazines or go online to find patterns that you may like. A classic design is a herringbone pattern for wood planks. To change it up some, you can use different colors in the pattern to make it look like different kinds of wood mixed together. With loose lay, you can also cut the planks into different shapes and piece them together to create your own design. Some have done compass designs for entryways, or you can put borders in rooms that are different shades of color to contrast the planks within the borders. If you get into smaller sizes, you may want to put some adhesive under the loose lay to help lock the planks to the floor so that it doesn't move around when being walked on.

When shopping for waterproof flooring that you can be creative with, loose lay installation products are the easiest. You don't have to be as concerned to know how to do a full spread of glue and not get into it by accident when putting the planks in place. Because of their thickness, they are also sound-absorbent and easier to lay. It is recommended to just put adhesive around the perimeter of the room so that it helps keep the planks from shifting any.

Unfortunately, most box stores don't carry much selection in loose lay planks or tiles. You will need to go to your local flooring store, like BPS Southeast in Spindale, NC, and ask for loose lay luxury vinyl.