Vinyl flooring has gained popularity over the years because of how closely it resembles wooden floors at a more affordable price. It is likewise easier to install, clean, and maintain. It is, however, important to know vinyl flooring pros and cons before actually deciding on using it.
What are the advantages of vinyl flooring?
There are several advantages to using vinyl flooring such as:
It is easy to install.
These days, people prefer furniture, fixtures, and construction materials that they can DIY. In the past, vinyl flooring was manufactured as wide sheets that needed to be cut with a saw and hammered into place when being installed. This flooring material, however, has evolved to be easier to install. Luxury vinyl flooring, for instance, comes in self-adhesive form that you can simply “stick” onto the subfloor.
It is budget-friendly.
Luxury vinyl flooring is sold for around $2 to $5 per square foot and this price includes installation. This is comparatively more affordable than the $10 average price of wooden flooring. You can also save more in the long run if you consider how low-maintenance it is compared to other flooring materials.
It is unique and has superior aesthetics.
Vinyl flooring has become more commercially competitive. It is sold with various designs to choose to fit whatever design concept you have in mind. There are designs that suit elegant look, modern look, and rustic designs, among others. There are designs that look closely similar to wooden floors known as hand-scraped and distressed varieties.
Sometime in 2019, the trend of manufacturing marble and stone vinyl floorings rose to popularity. There are also vinyl tiles that you can lay down and grout.
It can be very durable when properly maintained and cared for.
This flooring material can actually last for years and years if you take care of it properly. In order to maintain its quality, you should try to prevent damages by putting rugs in areas where there is heavy foot traffic. You can also put protective tips on the legs of furniture to prevent it from scraping the floor. Damage can also be prevented by using plywood or sliders when moving furniture.
You should also clean it by simply dry mopping, sweeping, or vacuuming it. Do not use materials that are too abrasive in order to maintain the luster and smoothness of your floor.
What are the disadvantages of vinyl flooring?
There are, however, disadvantages to using vinyl flooring that you should also consider before deciding whether to use it or not, such as:
It cannot be refinished.
Keep in mind that vinyl has a single wear layer over its design layer. This feature makes it hard or even impossible to refinish this flooring material. Nevertheless, this limitation is more common among low-quality or sheet vinyl.
A floor’s ability to be refinished is among the most notable differences when it comes to vinyl versus laminate flooring. As opposed to vinyl flooring, you can refinish laminate flooring with relative ease.
It does not necessarily add to a property’s resale value.
Compared with wooden flooring, vinyl does not really increase the value of a building or a house. In fact, the low-quality vinyl, especially those that are older, may decrease the resale value of the property.
It will not help you lower your carbon footprint.
This is not one of the environment-friendly materials. The production of this flooring material requires using toxic chemicals. In fact, even after vinyl tiles are installed, it emits volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which has adverse effects to health. Higher concentrations of VOCs may occur when these tiles are placed in indoor and windowless environments. Nevertheless, there are low-VOC options for people who will use this flooring material in environments with low ventilation.
What are the common problems with vinyl flooring?
There are also several problems that you may encounter when using vinyl flooring. Among these problems are:
It is prone to warping.
Temperature changes cause vinyl flooring to expand or to warp. This can also be observed during installation when the flooring is exposed to direct sunlight. Glued down flooring planks may also warp when soaked in liquid spillage.
It develops molds and mildew under certain environmental conditions.
When you have water leakage in your property and it causes moisture, your vinyl floor may develop mildew and mold. These fungi spread fast and it can be very hard to remove. It may also cause health issues when not removed immediately.
It is prone to peaking.
Peaking is a result of two vinyl planks crushing and raising their joints. This is commonly observed when there is lack of space in between the planks in order to allow them to contract and expand.
It can be easily scratched.
This is commonly experienced in areas that people usually use. Constant beating from foot traffic as well as moving furniture around without using proper protection can cause scratching on vinyl. Even pets with sharp and long nails can also cause scratches on the floor.
It can have stains and develop discoloration over time.
This is especially true when you spill food, drinks, and other materials that can cause stains on the floor. It absorbs liquids quickly and it can be really exhausting to remove it, especially when it is not immediately cleaned.
These problems, however, can be generally addressed by taking good care of your floor. Regularly cleaning and making sure spillage is immediately cleaned will help prolong the good condition of the floor.
Is luxury vinyl flooring a good choice?
Luxury vinyl flooring comes in two classifications: luxury vinyl plank (LVP) and luxury vinyl tiles (LVT).
LVP closely resembles luxury flooring materials but at a more affordable cost. It has an interlocking mechanism so that the planks snap in place together rather than glued down. Apart from being an affordable choice, it is also easy to install, has beautiful designs, and is very durable. You can do a DIY installation when using LVP as it does not require a complicated method of installing it.
Meanwhile, LVT has the highest quality of vinyl flooring. It is also affordable and durable like LVP but it is more suitable to use in areas of the house where moisture collects such as the basement, bathrooms, and the kitchen. It will maintain its shape and size even when exposed to moisture and is a very resilient flooring material.
If you want to save on cost, maintenance, and repair but also want to have the look and feel of expensive flooring materials without breaking the bank, luxury vinyl flooring is a good choice for you. You may also want to ask the question: is laminate flooring good? This can help you have a more informed decision before buying your flooring material.