Should I get vinyl flooring?
Vinyl flooring is an ideal material for many homes, it’s endless possibilities of color, design, and style make it a dream flooring material. Being so inexpensive and durable means vinyl is one of the most popular materials even to this day. Before you go and decide to install vinyl flooring consider the advantages and disadvantages of this material as well as a few recommendations for alternative flooring types.
Advantages of vinyl flooring
Vinyl flooring is much more comfortable than any other flooring material out their (except for maybe carpet). It’s soft quality comes from the padded layer under the surface layer that adds cushioning. Compared to hard surfaces (hardwood, tile, or stone) vinyl sets a much warmer and better feeling atmosphere. During the winter vinyl retains warmth and will not become cold as many hard surfaces will.
If your on a budget, vinyl flooring is your best bet. You can create a lovely look that will last for years at a relatively low cost. Vinyl flooring can run as low as just $0.50 per square foot to about $10 per square foot for luxury vinyl. The average price for quality vinyl product is only $4.99 per square foot. Compare that to hardwood flooring at an average of $7-$12 per square foot and you can see why vinyl is the better choice for many.
What if I want hardwood for the authentic wooden look? With advanced imaging technology your choices with vinyl are essentially limitless. You can choose any color, pattern, shade, or even mix and match. Vinyl imaging is able to replicate any natural wood or stone look making it almost indistinguishable from the real thing. You receive the benefit of a natural look paired with the comfort of the vinyl feel. We believe that’s a win, right?
In the last few years alone, vinyl flooring has become more and more durable. Manufacturers are providing 10-20 year long warranties on all of their products. It is scratch and tear resistant and is even one of the best materials for homes with pets. Check out our post on “Do pets and hardwood floors mix?” Under the alternative flooring options we explain the benefits of going with a vinyl floor. Solid vinyl or composite vinyl are the most durable since they have a permeated color layer that ensures even if scratched there will be no visible mark but rather a consistent pattern and style.
Alongside durability, vinyl flooring is water resistant and in some cases even considered to be water proof. It is the ideal material for high moisture areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. You will never have to worry about any moisture seeping in and ruining your floor. Your kids can spill all they want, all you have to do is just wipe it right up and never worry.
In addition to outstanding durability, once you install the vinyl flooring you won’t have to worry about any upkeep. No re-finishing, re-grouting, re-sealing, re-waxing, or any other work. The only upkeep you will ever have to do is simple vacuuming.
Easy to Install
Unlike most other flooring types, vinyl can be installed on basically any flat level surface. It doesn’t require tediously long and expensive demolition of old flooring. You can even install it directly onto old vinyl flooring as long as their are no bumps, dirt, or debris. If you don’t clear away the bumps or debris you will run the risk of the vinyl ripping very early on in its lifetime. Vinyl can be installed as a Do it Yourself project as it requires no sealing or waxing and can be done within minimal prior experience.
Excellent installation instructions from Armstrong can be found Here!
Disadvantages of vinyl flooring
Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOC)
Vinyl flooring is created using a chemical manufacturing process that uses materials that can later (once installed) be released into the air and cause subpar air quality. This may result in respiratory problems, irritated eyes, and can sometimes cause discomfort for those with asthma. Generally the highest amount of gas release happens the first couple of years. This is something that you should be aware of before choosing to install vinyl flooring in your home.
Not environmentally friendly
Vinyl flooring is also not a biodegradable product and can cause lots of ecological waste. Vinyl is difficult to recycle, thus often ending up in landfills after it is removed from your home. In addition during the manufacturing process non-renewable resources have to be used such as natural gas & petroleum.
Difficult to remove
Vinyl sticks directly to the subfloor, so when you decide to remove it to install another type of flooring it becomes a pain. The process of vinyl removal is often long and difficult. If you know you will be changing your floors again soon you may want to consider something that is easier to remove later.
Minor, yet important to consider. Vinyl can discolor or fade when in continuous contact with rubber and certain other materials. The undersides of certain mats/rugs, furniture, and shoes over prolonged exposure can result in fading or discoloring.
Difficult to repair
If the quality of your vinyl is not great and not as durable you may experience tears or deep scratches. These are especially difficult to repair if you have vinyl sheeting. If the damage is significant you may have to replace the whole entire sheet which will end up costing a lot. A simple way around this issue is to use vinyl tile rather than sheets. Vinyl tile when torn, ripped, or scratched can simply be removed and replaced with a different tile without having to replace the whole area around it.
It is important to look over both the advantages and disadvantages and decide for yourself. Vinyl flooring is not for everyone, we hope that going through the list of pros and cons has helped you make a tailored choice to your own needs and preferences. We believe that vinyl flooring is a great choice for many and recommend it to those on a budget, but we want our customers to be educated and know both sides of the story before making a decision.
An alternative to vinyl
An alternative to vinyl flooring is linoleum. Often times these two get mixed up, here are the key differences
- Linoleum is more expensive than vinyl
- It is more durable; lasting from 20-40 years
- It is not as water resistant and requires a sealing layer applied after installation as well as every few years to repel moisture
- It is biodegradable and made from natural material (linseed oil), also more environmentally friendly
- More difficult to install because it requires a sealer and wax
We hope this article was helpful in guiding you towards a decision. Remember to weigh the pros and cons based on your personal needs before making a commitment. As always feel free to contact Divine Hardwood & Stone with any questions that you may have, we are always ready to help!
If you found this post helpful please consider sharing with your friends and family. You can also subscribe to our newsletter or like our Facebook page. We post weekly home improvement tips and would love for you to join us.