We used Smart Core Vinyl Plank flooring in Epic Oak. We opted for this after doing lots and lots of research on the best type of flooring for our situation.
a. It is a kitchen...lots of water, and messes and food
b. we have children...lots of fluids and messes and food
c. We have an older pier and beam house that shifts and moves ALOT depending on weather and seasons. We literally had a window crack in it's frame last winter when our house shifted and put pressure on it.
d. We wanted something durable and low maintenance that was something we could install ourselves, and not break the bank.
So we opted for the Smart Core Vinyl Plank Wood flooring in Epic Oak from Lowe's. It wasn't the cheapest option in vinyl plank flooring, but it was still reasonable and within our budget. As we searched for the one we liked best, we opened boxes in the store, felt the planks, scratched it with our fingernail, and picked at the edges to see if there was peeling or separation. We were very discerning. It is a "floating floor" in that it does not get glued down! All you do is install it directly over your current floor, even the old vinyl! Yep!!! I was sold.
Our prep work included taking all children to school/ daycare, taking out all the furniture and piling it in the living room, removing our quarter round toe kick trim with a crowbar thingy, thoroughly cleaning the yucky old sheet vinyl so there was nothing to make unevenness in the new planks and that was it! We opened several boxes and mixed them together- also a great suggestion from the box directions, as to mix up the patterns and colors, as each plank/batch is a bit different and you want the different patterns and grains of the wood to be mixed through out your floor.
We used 1/4 inch spacers around the walls per the directions on the box, that will also help with the flexing and shifting of our old pier and beam.
We have had it about a month now. So far, we love it. It is quiet, durable, and cleans very easily. It looks beautiful and really changed the look of our entire home.