You see it during New York fashion week—a designer makes a bold choice to take something utilitarian like a burlap sack and manage to transform it into haute couture.
We are used to seeing this type of innovation on the runways. Now, we find this same principle applied to what were traditionally value-engineered building materials. We have Carrara marble peel and stick wallpaper, self-adhesive shiplap, and faux stone accent walls that really look like they were mined from the earth.
SONO by Inhaus seeks to capture this essence in the form of vinyl plank flooring, but is it more than just a pretty face?
Appearance and Style
Inhaus has really outdone themselves with the SONO vinyl plank collection. They have managed to take the humble vinyl plank and elevate it to something artistic and luxe. It looks like it could belong in a formal dining room in a home on the Street of Dreams.
The Forest collection features 22 wood styles and the Landscape collection has three stone styles. While the number of options may not be that impressive, the quality of the visuals is simply stunning.
Each plank is HD-printed with color-enhanced photos of real wood with a pattern-repeat of 18 planks. This gives you a much more realistic finished product compared to others on the market where pattern repeats of 8-12 are common.
The color palette ranges in rich mahogany, blonde, red, gray, and white. There are a couple reclaimed styles including a beachy pine driftwood and a pattern reminiscent of petrified wood. They also didn’t leave out the old standbys: oak, hickory, and maple.
The SONO line, while small, is still curated in a way that has a little bit of something for everyone. Most of these styles are best for modern, farmhouse, rustic-modern, coastal and industrial décor. However, there are patterns here that even the most classic-minded can appreciate.
Construction and Durability
So, it’s pretty, but does it hold up? One of main reason people opt for vinyl plank in the first place is its well-known durability. SONO is no exception.
SONO features a composite core made with ceramic. This unique feature is a mashup of the traditional WPC- and SPC-type cores. They took a WPC core made of resin, wood fiber, and PVC then enhanced it with ceramic.
The result is a product that is dimensionally stable, impact- and dent-resistant, and still comfortable underfoot.
The overall product is 4.5 mm thick. The planks are 8” wide and the stone styles are 12” x 24”. Each plank is then finished with a durable scratch-resistant 12 mil urethane wear layer and finished with a contrasting four-sided “V” bevel for a tight fit.
Perhaps the most unique feature of SONO is the printing. The HD printing is “direct-to-core” meaning that the pattern is consistent through the top layer and stops at the core. This provides extra insurance for scratching and discoloration.
In addition, SONO is waterproof and a great choice for active families with kids and pets.
SONO is a very durable product you can expect to last for years. Most likely, you will get tired of looking at it before it finally wears out.
The German brand Inhaus, is well-known for being at the forefront of the eco-friendly building material movement. The SONO collection is no exception. Here, vinyl plank has received a major “green” upgrade.
SONO goes above and beyond with just about every environmental certification a vinyl floor could hope to have. All Inhaus products are in compliance with the California Air Resources Board (CARB), Airborne Toxic Control Measures (ATCM) Phase II standards, and are both GREENGUARD Gold and Blue Angel certified.
SONO products have ultra-low VOC emissions and do not contain formaldehyde, plasticizers or phthalates. This means it’s healthy for your home and the planet.
At the SONO facility, other manufacturers bring in waste as fuel. They recycle any manufacturing waste from the production of SONO back into the product. This is possible because of the way they bond raw materials with heat instead of chemicals.
Ease of Installation
In general, DIYers and flooring pros alike favor luxury vinyl plank. It’s a great first project for new homeowners. You can install this floating floor without fasteners or adhesives and it doesn’t require any special tools or expertise.
While easy, not all vinyl plank products are the same, especially when it comes to their locking systems. SONO vinyl plank is a winner in this category as well. It has a drop and lock system with thick tabs and deep channels that make a satisfying “click” when you lock them into place.
The locking floor system creates a water-tight barrier which makes this a great product to use in wet areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. You can also install it below grade, so you can easily transform your basement into more square feet of livable space.
If you do choose to install this yourself, you may want to invest in a high-quality, heavy-duty razor knife and lots of extra blades. It’s a thick product with a ceramic enhanced core, so making cuts can be tough without the right tool.
Matching trims are also available for SONO vinyl plank. You can easily install these with the trim track it includes, or set it with an appropriate construction adhesive.
With the high-definition visuals and realistic texture, SONO certainly looks expensive. While it costs quite a bit more than your average house-flipper hardware store vinyl plank, it has a surprisingly moderate price.
SONO luxury vinyl plank costs $5.00 per square foot retail on average. To put this in perspective, the price range for vinyl plank is anywhere from $1-$8 depending on quality. SONO falls comfortably in the middle-high end of this range.
Since you can only purchase SONO from an authorized retailer, you won’t find it at the big box stores. Instead, you can use the dealer locator feature on the Inhaus website to find your local flooring dealer. Be careful about buying this product online as you may not be getting the genuine article.
In your budget, be sure to save room for shipping costs. It is unlikely that your local flooring retailer will carry stock. Freight charges are variable but can cost up to $150 and sometimes more.
You will also have to factor in labor costs. Fortunately, SONO is very easy to install. Whether you choose to DIY your project or hire a pro, the simple click-lock installation is fast and won’t break the bank.
It’s rare to find a floor that is tough as it is beautiful. SONO has really accomplished this in an elegant and eco-friendly way. Here, you can achieve the look of an heirloom wood floor with all the durability and easy maintenance of vinyl plank.
This is certainly a flooring investment for your forever home—or at least one you aren’t planning to sell for a while. It may cost more per square foot than many of its competitors, but even at this mid-high price range, the array of quality features makes it a real value.