Pros and Cons of Vinyl Flooring

Read on to learn about the pros and cons of vinyl flooring.

Vinyl flooring is manufactured from polyvinyl chloride or some types of plastic and it has become a popular choice for homeowners over the past few years. Although the vinyl flooring of years gone by was known for its awful and limited color palette, the flooring of today can be purchased in an extensive range of color and design options. In fact, some designs are able to mimic the appearance of other, costlier flooring.

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Common Areas where Vinyl Flooring is used

This flooring has become a popular choice in laundry rooms, kitchens and bathrooms and its highly water-resistant capabilities make it extremely easy to mop up spills, soiling, and pet-related accidents. Various thicknesses of underlying foam are also available on this type of flooring, meaning that it can provide different levels of underfoot cushioning.

Pros of Installing Vinyl Flooring

There are several advantages homeowners can enjoy when choosing to install vinyl flooring, including:

1. A Low Maintenance Flooring Option

One of the main advantages of vinyl sheet or plank flooring is that it is quite easy to care for and maintain over time. In most cases, sweeping or vacuuming once or twice weekly will help prevent dirt and debris from damaging the flooring surface. In cases where heavy soiling has occurred, using a damp mop and dedicated vinyl flooring cleaner will help ensure that it is restored to its former glory quickly and easily.

2. Enjoy Underfoot Comfort

Unlike many other types of flooring, vinyl remains quite warm during the winter months because of its padded underlay. This also makes this flooring a lot more comfortable to walk on, especially when barefoot.

3. Excellent Water Resistance

Any type of vinyl flooring that has been correctly installed will be virtually impervious to water penetration. This makes it the ideal floor covering in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry areas or anywhere else in a home that experiences high levels of dampness at any time.

4. Highly Durable

If correctly installed and maintained according to manufacturer’s instructions, vinyl flooring has been known to last for more than 20 years. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the quality of flooring chosen at the time of installation will determine its longevity.

Composite vinyl tiles and the solid vinyl sheeting are now manufactured in such a way that their coloring penetrates through each of its layers. This means that in the event of scratching, gouging or denting occurring, it will not be as noticeable as it used to be on the older types of vinyl.

In cases where a section of vinyl sheet or plank flooring becomes damaged, it is possible to replace individual pieces or sections. As a result, it is recommended that a few extra planks or a small section of the original sheet be purchased to keep. This will enable colors to match if a replacement is performed.

5. Affordable Flooring Solutions

The price of vinyl flooring can often work out to as low as 50 cents per square foot, and in many cases, homeowners will not pay more than a dollar or two per square foot – even for some of the higher quality options. Although there, are some top of the range vinyl flooring choices that could cost as much as $10 per square foot, this flooring is still far more affordable than stone or even solid hardwood in some cases. The difference in pricing of the various forms of vinyl flooring will be determined by the available design options and the general quality of the material used to manufacture it.

6. Excellent Stain Resistance

These days, vinyl sheets and planks are being manufactured with a clear wear layer that serves as a surface barrier against spills and stains. However, this layer can become damaged if dirt is not swept or vacuumed off of it regularly.

7. Easy to Install

Another distinct advantage of vinyl flooring is that it is quite easy to install. This means that installation costs are generally lower than those quoted for carpets or tiles, for instance. However, it’s important to ensure that the subfloor that the vinyl is being installed in is totally dry, clean and level before getting started with laying it down.

Cons of Vinyl Flooring

Although there are many pros associated with vinyl sheet floors and plank flooring, it does have a few disadvantages as well, including:

1. Non-recyclable

Vinyl flooring is unfortunately not biodegradable, meaning that it doesn’t decompose into the environment within a short period of time. It is also not normally recycled at all, resulting in it taking up valuable space in landfills. Various non-renewable resources are often used during the manufacturing processes as well, such as natural gases and petroleum.

2. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Chemical products that are used to manufacture this flooring can result in toxic out-gassing occurring over time after the flooring has been installed. This can cause VOCs to be released into a home, which can sometimes result in the development of asthma and/or other respiratory conditions and allergic reactions.

3. Perfectly Level Subflooring is Essential

When installing vinyl planks or sheets, it is crucial to ensure that the subflooring it is going on to is 100% level, clean and free of any dirt and debris. Even the smallest stone or nail head will result in damage occurring to vinyl if it is not removed prior to installation.

4. Avoid Contact with Rubber

Although vinyl floors are highly resistant to staining, this does not apply if it happens to come into prolonged contact with any form of rubber. For instance, mats that have rubber backing or even rubber-heeled shoes that cause scuffs on this flooring will result in a chemical reaction occurring and this will ultimately cause permanent discoloration.

5. Refinishing not an Option

If the protective top layer of this flooring becomes scratched or damaged, it will not be possible to refinish it. As a result, a total replacement will need to be performed if such damage occurs.

6. Not Colorfast Over Time

In many cases, the lower quality forms of vinyl flooring can be susceptible to yellowing or discoloring as they get older – especially if they are exposed to direct sunlight. As a result, it is never recommended that the cheapest vinyl flooring option be purchased.

Finding an Installer and Maintaining Vinyl Flooring

Although it may seem easy to install vinyl flooring, it is strongly recommended that this job be left to the professionals, especially if the subflooring it’s being installed on needs to be leveled beforehand.

Some of the best ways to find a reputable flooring supplier and installer are to perform online searches for reviews and to ask friends and family who have recently had new flooring installed to provide recommendations.

After vinyl sheet or plank flooring has been installed, it’s essential to follow all instructions provided with regards to care and maintenance. This includes sweeping or vacuuming it often and only using a damp mop and approved vinyl floor cleaners on its surface. If correctly cared for, homeowners can look forward to getting several years of use from it.

If you are a property owner and you would like to learn more about vinyl flooring or you are keen to have it installed in your home, contact Empire Flooring America today.

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