A variety of desirable characteristics continues to make vinyl flooring material a popular option nowadays. However, there are also a number of drawbacks to using this material. Consider both the advantages and disadvantages when deciding if resilient vinyl is the choice for you.
Advantages of Vinyl Flooring
There are a variety of advantages that come with installing vinyl flooring in your home. Here are some of them:
- Low maintenance: Vinyl flooring is relatively easy to care for. You have to make sure that dirt is kept swept free to maintain the surface of the floor. Then, you can use a damp mop and an approved vinyl floor cleaner to remove stains.
- Water resistance: A well-installed vinyl floor is almost impervious to water penetration, making this the perfect material for use in a bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, or other high moisture space in the home.
- Comfort underfoot: Vinyl does not get cold in the winter and is generally softer beneath your feet than wood or ceramic tile floors.
- Durability: Vinyl is generally considered to be a highly durable material that, if properly installed and maintained, can last upwards of ten to twenty years. Solid vinyl and composite vinyl tiles are homogenous, with colors permeating every layer – a feature that makes them more resistant to damage from scratches. Printed vinyl will be only as durable as the clear wear layer that protects the surface. Fiberglass-reinforced vinyl sheets are extremely durable, while also being pliable and resistant to damage. One advantage of using vinyl tiles is that individual pieces can be easily replaced when they are damaged.
- Stain resistance: Printed vinyl tiles and sheets have a clear wear layer that acts as a surface barrier, protecting the floor from stains and spills. These materials are very easy to clean and maintain. Solid and composite vinyl tiles do not have this surface protection and will be more susceptible to stains, requiring occasional stripping and polishing.
- Ease of installation: Vinyl tiles and vinyl plank flooring are relatively easy to install, though you do have to ensure that you have a completely dry, level subfloor.
Disadvantages of Vinyl Flooring
While vinyl flooring is low maintenance and highly durable, there are also a number of disadvantages that are associated with this material. Here are some of them:
- Subfloor damage: When installing vinyl it is particularly important that you have a perfectly smooth, flat surface to work on. Because vinyl is relatively soft, even small grains trapped beneath the floor can wear down the material over time, causing lumps to appear in the surface. Over time, these will wear down the material.
- Difficulty of repair: High-quality vinyl will be durable, while low-quality material will be susceptible to rips and tears. Unfortunately, vinyl flooring cannot be refinished, so when it is damaged it needs to be removed and replaced. This is easier in a tile installation than with sheet materials.
- Susceptibility to yellowing: In some cases, low-quality vinyl flooring will yellow with age. This can be due to a variety of factors. Interaction with direct sunlight can fade the material, and dirt can become trapped beneath a wax layer on a vinyl floor, discoloring the material.