Vinyl floor: Pros and cons

(Last Updated On: February 22, 2017)
pros-and-cons-of-vinyl-floors

Advantages and disadvantages of vinyl floors

Vinyl floors have been a very popular choice in many homes for decades. They are included in the category of resilient flooring. In today’s time vinyl flooring are manufactured with latest advancement in flooring technology. It’s by far one of the most versatile materials used for flooring. Vinyl flooring is a very popular choice used in bathroom, kitchen and laundry room. These are available in the form of sheets, tiles and planks and are available in as many colors, designs and patterns. Vinyl can very efficiently mimic textures of very popular materials like stone, wood and real ceramics. If you can’t afford those flooring which are extremely expensive, opting for vinyl flooring is an affordable option for you. It gives an image of shiny and bit of plastic look. Vinyl floors are really a best fit for the places where there are moisture issues and occasional spills. Vinyl floors are low maintenance, wear resistant and durable. For home owners who are in search of a flooring that doesn’t need too much attention and care, vinyl floors is by far the best fit for them. When vinyl flooring has so much in its favor it also has some of the setbacks. Hence, if you are considering vinyl as the flooring option to be installed in your home, you must learn about the Vinyl floor Pros and cons.

Vinyl floor pros and cons

Pros

  • Ease in installation

Those home owners who usually prefer a DIY (do-it-yourself) installation, the good news for them is that vinyl floor installation is very easy. It’s one of the easiest materials to install in the home to upgrade the look of your home. Materials of vinyl floor installation can be availed from any of the retailers. If you are a handy person, you must definitely give it a shot to install vinyl flooring at your home yourself. If something goes wrong or if you are not comfortable doing it yourself, you can always hire a professional and get your floor installed. However if you haven’t tried anything like this before, don’t take the risk thinking that it is easy. For such situations, you can fall back on professional installation. After using your the flooring for several years, if it gets damaged, it is also very simple to repair it. As you can see, one of the benefits of vinyl floor is also that it can save you cost for normal repair and replacement. It must be noted that the vinyl floor that looks like tile are much easier to install as compared to that of sheet vinyl floor. Sheet vinyl floor needs to be equipped with vinyl floor adhesive and also needs a professional touch.

  • Decreasing cost

There are many flooring options in the market available to you but vinyl floor is by far the least expensive one to opt for. The reason being, vinyl floors don’t have a very long process of manufacturing and also have a very simple and easy installation process. Your cost, if you have chosen vinyl floors, will be far less as compared to that of ceramic flooring, hardwood flooring or even porcelain flooring. In fact, many of the home owners are changing their existing flooring and opting for vinyl floors as their re-flooring option.

Wear layer Production cost Installation cost Number of times to be replaced over 20 years period Overall cost in 20 years
0.1 mm $0.95 $2.47 7 $24.50
0.3 mm $2.47 $2.47 4 $17.50
0.5 mm $2.64 $2.47 2 $10.53
1.0 mm $3.46 $2.47 0.0 $5.97
  • Softer feel

One of the pros of vinyl floor which you might not have noticed is that it is very much soft to walk upon in comparison of other floors like hardwood or tiles. The reason behind its softness is that, it has either a felt backing or foam which helps makes you feel like cushion while you walk on it. This also depends upon the manufacturer. The soft backing is not installed for your comfort, it is installed to make the tiles more flexible but this is an added benefit you cannot deny. Many home owners decides to install vinyl floors for kitchen as it is more comfortable to stand, in comparison with tiles and such other options, for longer period of time.

  • Colors, styles and texture

texture-of-vinyl-floor

textured vinyl floor

Vinyl floor is very much popular for its colors, textures and styles. If you want to go for faux-slate feel or if you want to go for faux porcelain look, options are limitless. In fact most of the vinyl flooring options copy either stone or wood. One of the pertinent questions that home owners often ask is whether it will look fake or real ? When you see the floors very closely or when you are standing on them, you will be able to make out that these are not real wood or natural stone but it can’t be said felt to from a distance.

  • Durability and resilience

Vinyl is considered to be one of the most durable materials across the globe specifically in comparison with hardwood flooring. Most of the companies which manufacture vinyl give warranty which can last up to 15 years or even more than that in some cases. If you have your vinyl floors installed by any professional, you can expect your floor to last for 20 years or even more. This is what makes vinyl floor among the best materials to be installed in your home. And this is even more true for high traffic areas. When talking about resilience, you can drop a glass on your vinyl floor and still don’t have to worry about the damage unlike other types of flooring. Depending upon the type of finish you choose for your floor, you might not be able to see lots of scratches on your floor even after years of usage.

  • Moisture resistant

Vinyl flooring is fully waterproof and it can be virtually used anywhere in the home including even the upper floor, main floor and the below grade. That’s why vinyl floor in bathroom and vinyl floor for kitchen are very popular. These are the areas where water can be found on the surface. Waterproofing vinyl floor is not an added expense to you as it has inbuilt quality of being water and moisture resistant.

  • Cleaning vinyl floor

Cleaning vinyl floor is really very easy. Regular sweeping and occasional damp mopping is only needed to keep your floor sparkling clean. And you need not worry for the areas with water spill. Everything liquid on the floor can be mopped up without causing any damage to the vinyl floor.

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Cons

  • Use of PVC

Different kinds of materials are used in different flooring. For vinyl flooring, the main composition is of PVC. The drawback of using PVC is that at the time of its installation it will emit VOCs (volatile organic compound) specifically when it’s a totally new flooring to be installed. Over the years, manufacturers have decreased the use of PVC in the manufacturing of vinyl but it still is a concern which should be taken into consideration.

  • Preparing subfloor

Whether you go for installing the floor yourself or you hire any professional for doing the job, the most tough and the most important part of this process is preparation of the sub-floor. Based on how many dips or rolls you have in your sub-floor, it can be a very lengthy process and can also be an expensive one. If you need to replace your whole sub-floor, then it can really make a big dent in your budgetary allocation for you flooring. All the contaminating particles must be removed from the surface – from dirt to imperfections in your surface area. You will need to put in a real effort and spend lots of time to make sure that the surface is even and clean for placing the tiles or else they will not adhere properly and will end looking uneven and even shabby.

  • Difficulty in moving furniture

As we discussed above that vinyl is a soft and spongy material and it can prevent things from breaking when they are dropped but there are also plenty of situations that can scratch the surface of your vinyl floor. It’s a concern specially, when you have a tendency of moving furniture in and out of any room. If you let a leg of the table move or you glide your couch on your vinyl floor, it can tear the material or it can also scratch it permanently. This may force you into buying other materials like floor runners to make sure that it is properly protected. You will also have to be careful in moving the sharp objects as they can puncture your vinyl flooring easily.

  • Difficult or impossible repairs

It is a fact that vinyl floor is very much durable, but there are chances of it getting damaged and a need arising of its repair. When vinyl floor gets damaged, it’s really hard to patch it. If it’s vinyl tile or a plank then it can be removed and a new plank or a tile can be installed there. But the issue is about sheet vinyl floor then it will need to be replaced.

  • Color fade

Vinyl floor is very much prone to ultraviolet rays and thus it can’t stand exposure to UV rays for too long. When it is exposed to sunlight for a very long period of time then the colors and patterns of vinyl floor will start to fade.

  • Surface irregularities

After years of having used the vinyl flooring, it will start to have curls at the edges or it can also have bumps on its surface or along the seams. This can make your surface to look very bad and uneven.

  • Petroleum product

Vinyl is made from petroleum molecules and is non-renewable resource. Thus seen from the environmental perspective, it is a not an eco-friendly product.

  • No resurfacing

When the wear and tear of the floor increases, the surface of the floor shows signs of unevenness and scuffing. A Wear layer is designed and installed on the floor for protection but with high traffic in the house, this layer will also fade. In such situations, if it’s a wooden flooring, a new finish can be applied, but this option of applying new finish will not be available in vinyl flooring.

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Studying vinyl floors pros and cons will give you exact idea about this type of flooring and whether it is appropriate to your needs or not. Vinyl floors are very much prevalent in the market and there is a great demand. And the highest demand is for vinyl floor that looks like wood.

Vinyl floor that looks like wood

vinyl-floor-that-looks-like-wood

vinyl-floor-which-looks-like-wood

Many home owners also search for vinyl flooring which gives the look and finishing of wood. The demand of such kind of vinyl floors is very high. There are plethora of styles, colors, qualities and applications than ever. Over the past twenty years a comparison and competition has developed between wood flooring and vinyl flooring that looks like wood. This was more encouraged by printing technology, photography and vinyl production. While wood flooring has captured the market since years, vinyl floor that looks like wood is changing the trend and has seen wide spread in the market. It is not only diverse but it has also surpassed the real wood in matters of durability, value, design and practicality. In fact, picking out a difference between them under normal circumstances has become difficult.

Sheet vinyl is not the only available wood looking option in the market. But it is being overshadowed by the designs and durability of vinyl planks and vinyl tiles. With the invention of vinyl tiles and planks and that too luxury vinyl tiles, vinyl no longer only simulates the image of wood but now also replicates the shape and feel of original wood planks along with pattern less precision.

The sheet vinyl is actually the side effect of old times technology. The sheet vinyl usually comes in one large six foot wide roll and its picture generally comprises of one large photograph. This might not be an issue for the small rooms but sheet vinyl floor will definitely be an issue for the large commercial spaces. One of the added benefits of vinyl plank and vinyl tiles flooring over vinyl sheet flooring is that because of its increased thickness, they hide the irregularities of sub-flooring more effectively. The highest quality vinyl usually takes the shape of planks and tiles. Not only these replicate the shape of the wood in a better manner but it also individualizes the production process resulting in a wide range of variety of the wood look types.

The quality of the vinyl floor that looks like wood is not limited to the visuals. With the invention of advanced printing technology, the aesthetics of vinyl flooring now also feel like the real hard wood flooring. If you opt for the textured tiles and planks then it can very easily trick your eyes. The flooring can be caught as vinyl and not real wood only upon a very close inspection. Realistic wood grain texture is very common and a fair quality in vinyl’s clear wear layer. Vinyl floor that looks like wood, dominates the flooring industry and hence if you are considering it as a flooring option for your home then you must be aware about its facts.

  • As the look of a vinyl floor, relies upon the photographic layer, it is able to replicate any of the species of wood. Thus exotic and other types of species which were expensive are no longer more expensive than the common and domestic types.
  • Because of the easy installation process of vinyl tiles and planks, the work can be completed very quickly and in any of the desired configuration. You will not have to pay any extra installation fees; just use some imagination and a very well-drawn floor plan.
  • Unlike wood floors, vinyl floors are perfect for commercial settings and high moisture. If not applied a wear layer, a wood floor will be need a constant and intensive maintenance resulting in costly repairs. Whereas this is not so for a vinyl flooring. Vinyl flooring needs only a little maintenance and it can also be repaired very easily.
  • One of the major differences you see in vinyl that looks like wood and the real wood flooring is in its prices. Vinyl flooring prices is quite low as compared to wood. Original wood can cost you from $8 to $25 per square foot whereas luxury vinyl can cost you from $2 to $5 per square foot.
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Vinyl is a wonderful material and needs very low maintenance but that doesn’t mean caring for it is totally ignored. If you want something to last long, you must at least do some basic maintenance. For maintaining your vinyl flooring, you must keep your vinyl floor clean. Here are some of the tips for cleaning vinyl floors.

Cleaning vinyl floors

  • clean vinyl floor with proper cleansers

    cleaning vinyl floor with mop

    Keep the materials which are abrasive like dust and dirt out of the house and keep your vinyl floor clean. Make use of a doormat so that outside dust and dirt doesn’t enter your house and cleanliness of your vinyl floor is maintained.

  • Sweep your floor or vacuum it on regular basis or at least whenever you notice any dust or dirt on the floor. This will avoid scratches on your floor.
  • Whenever you spill anything on the floor, clean it right way. If you keep the spills for a longer duration of time, it can ruin your floor and the floor might not last as long as you would want.
  • Use some mild cleanser for cleaning the floor, like vinegar. You can use this for everyday washing as it will not damage the floor in any way.
  • Vinyl floors are very much sensitive and thus you have to make sure that the commercial cleanser which you are using is suitable to your floor. Also check whether your floor is waxed or not.
  • Take care while moving the furniture of your home. Lay a plywood sheet on your floor and then take the items across it for preventing any scuffs on the floor.
  • If you are thinking of wet cleaning then always have a vacuum or dry mop on the floor and remove dirt and dust from the floor.
  • If you are deep cleaning your floors then add one tablespoon of dish soap along with vinegar as it’s going to lift dirt which is embedded in the floor.
  • If there is any food stains or any other stubborn dirt which is not getting clean then you can use baking soda with a little bit of abrasive and then clean the floor.
  • You can make use of alcohol for cleaning makeup or ink stains. If there is nail polish stains on the floor, then you can use acetone-free nail polish remover for removing such stains.

Thus if you are in search of an attractive and cost effective way to upgrade the flooring of your house, vinyl flooring is a great choice to make. Going for a flooring material which has maintenance issues with costly repairs is really not worth choosing; instead go for vinyl flooring which can mimic almost any type of flooring without paying that big and hefty price.

 

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