Using Vinyl Flooring Outdoors: (Are They Durable Enough?)

Vinyl flooring is a popular flooring choice for homes and offices. But, can you use vinyl floors outdoors?

You can use vinyl flooring outdoors. But, you must install the vinyl floors under a shade to protect the vinyl flooring from weather elements that can fade and discolor it. 

Also, you must use waterproof vinyl planks outdoors. That’s because waterproof vinyl has multiple layers and a rigid core that will protect the floor from rainfall and moisture. You must also glue the vinyl floors.

This post reveals more about using vinyl floors outside, including the pros and cons of outdoor vinyl flooring. So, let’s dive in.

Pros/Cons of Using Vinyl Flooring Outdoors

Here are the pros and cons of whether you should install vinyl flooring outside or not.

Pros

Here are the perks of using a vinyl floor outside:

  1. Vinyl flooring is easy to clean and maintain, so stains and dirt can be removed.
  2. Luxury vinyl plank is waterproof, so rainfall can’t damage the flooring.
  3. Vinyl flooring is resistant to mold growth.
  4. Installing vinyl flooring outside is a task you can do yourself.
  5. Vinyl flooring can be installed on any outdoor base, including concrete, tiles, and decks.
  6. You can get your vinyl floor to match or mimic any look, as the flooring comes in different styles and colors.

Cons

Here are some disadvantages to consider before installing a vinyl floor outside your home:

  1. Vinyl flooring isn’t strong, so putting items like rocking chairs on the vinyl floor will cause chips and scratches.
  2. The vinyl floor will fade if exposed to UV rays from the sun.
  3. It will be difficult to revert to the existing floor as vinyl floors are usually glued to the subfloor.

Types of Vinyl Flooring To Use Outside

You must only use waterproof vinyl floors outside. That’s because waterproof vinyl floors have multiple layers and a rigid core that repels moisture and water. Asides from being waterproof, the vinyl floor must be strong enough to handle the outside environment.

Here are top choices of vinyl flooring that can be used outside:

Luxury Vinyl Planks

Luxury vinyl is known as the strongest type of vinyl flooring. The planks of a luxury vinyl floor are reinforced to handle heavy furniture and intense traffic without chipping or separating.

The planks have multiple layers of recycled PVC, vinyl resins, and wood fibers, making the vinyl floor impervious to water damage. This vinyl floor will be great outside your home, offering moisture resistance and weather protection.

Composite Vinyl Flooring

Composite vinyl flooring is made of vinyl resins, wood fibers, and stone plastic, making the floor durable enough to use outdoors.

The complex makeup of the vinyl floor is why it is referred to as composite vinyl flooring. This vinyl floor is durable, water-resistant, and strong, which is why it’s great for outdoor floors.

Luxury Vinyl Tile Flooring

You can use luxury vinyl tile flooring outdoors. That’s because the floor is designed to copy the attributes of a tiled floor, such as the hard texture and moisture resistance features. The luxury tile flooring is strong enough to be used outdoors and won’t chip. 

However, you shouldn’t use vinyl sheets or wraps outside. This is because vinyl sheets are not as strong as plank vinyl. If used outside, vinyl sheets will get damaged faster.

You Must Glue Vinyl Flooring Outdoors

You must glue the vinyl flooring outdoors to prevent the floor from separating and creating gaps on the floor. Gluing the vinyl floor also helps it to be even and prevents moisture from getting underneath the floor.

For indoor surfaces, you don’t need to glue vinyl flooring to the subfloor. That’s because vinyl flooring is a floating floor arranged by assembling the planks without gluing. 

However, for outdoor surfaces, you must glue the vinyl flooring. The vinyl flooring will shift, separate, and move if you don’t. The heavyweight and outdoor elements will pressure the vinyl planks’ locking mechanisms and cause them to separate.

Also, gluing the vinyl floor prevents moisture, water, and dust from getting underneath the floor. If water gets under the vinyl floor, the floor will start to bubble up and will cause the locks to separate. 

Types of Outdoor Surfaces You Can Use Vinyl Flooring:

Decks

You can install waterproof vinyl floors on a deck. But, you must only use plank vinyl on decks as vinyl sheets will get damaged.

However, waterproof vinyl plank won’t last long on a deck. That’s because the deck surface is exposed to high-traffic, rainfall, and sunlight. Also, decks are filled with rocking chairs, grills, and barbecues that can scar and damage the vinyl flooring. So, vinyl flooring isn’t the best choice for an outdoor deck. 

Porches

You can use vinyl plank flooring on outdoor porches. The vinyl floor is moisture-resistant and durable to cope with the traffic on the porch. 

Also, porches are usually covered and protected by a roof or shade. The shade will also protect the vinyl floor from weather elements such as rain. 

Patios

You can use vinyl flooring for an outdoor patio. A covered patio will protect the floor from harsh weather that can damage it. 

Also, you must use foam padding or rubber fitting on the vinyl floor before putting heavy furniture on it. A foam padding will prevent furniture from damaging the vinyl flooring. 

Walkways

You shouldn’t install vinyl flooring on walkways. On walkways, the vinyl flooring will be exposed to weather elements that can cause the vinyl plank floor to buckle, lift, wrap, and separate. 

For walkways, it’s best to use concrete as these floors can withstand the traffic on the walkways. 

Vinyl Flooring Doesn’t Last Long Outside

Waterproof vinyl floors last less than 10 years on outdoor surfaces. That’s because vinyl floors will be exposed to weather elements outdoors that can damage the floor. 

Vinyl flooring isn’t designed to be used outdoors. The floor is made from wood fibers and is durable, but vinyl floors are made for indoor floors. For a floor to withstand the outside conditions, the flooring has to be weather resistant, and the vinyl floor isn’t. 

The most durable vinyl flooring for outdoors is the luxury vinyl planks. This floor is more durable and stronger than normal vinyl floors. 

Protecting Vinyl Floors Outside:

The following tips will help you protect your vinyl floor from harsh conditions so the floor can last longer outside:

  1. Only install the vinyl flooring under a roofed or covered outdoor floor to shield the floor from rain.
  2. Install a protective and waterproof floor mat on the vinyl floor.
  3. Glue the vinyl floor to the subfloor to prevent it from coming off.
  4. Use rubber or foam padding under heavy furniture.
  5. In rainy seasons, tape a waterproof sheet or nylon over the vinyl floor.
  6. Wipe and clean the vinyl floor regularly.
  7. Don’t use corrosive cleaners like bleach on the vinyl floor.
  8. Seal holes and gaps in the floor.

Final Words

You can use vinyl floors outdoors, but the floor won’t last as long as other flooring options. It’s best to use vinyl floors under a roof or a covered outdoor floor to prevent it from weather elements. 

The best type of vinyl flooring to use outdoors is luxury vinyl flooring. 

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