If you are looking to install a vinyl floor in your home or office, then it’s important to know the types, advantages, and disadvantages of a vinyl floor. Luckily, this post reveals all you need to know.
The biggest advantages of vinyl flooring are moisture resistance and easy installation. Vinyl flooring especially sheet vinyl has impressive moisture resistance and can even be used in kitchens and other moisture-prone areas of the home.
Also, all types of vinyl floors are easy to install. In most cases, all you need is the right type of underlayment, vinyl adhesive, and vinyl sheets, planks, or tiles.
The biggest disadvantage of vinyl flooring is that the floor is not weather resistant and as such can’t be used outside.
But is that all? Not even close. So, let’s dive into this topic to learn more about vinyl floors.
What is Vinyl Flooring?
Vinyl flooring is a floating floor made from synthetic materials including fiberglass, PVC, plasticizers, and most importantly, polyvinyl chloride. The base of the floor is usually made from fiberglass and PVC coating.
The top of the vinyl floor contains a design layer that reveals the print or pattern of the floor. The design layer is covered with multiple layers of urethane plastic which serves as the wear layer to protect the vinyl material from dents and scratches.
Vinyl flooring is used in homes and offices due to its durability. The wear layer of the vinyl makes it withstand traffic and weight without giving way or becoming damaged. Vinyl floors are also known to have good water resistance which is why you may find vinyl flooring in kitchens, dining areas, and some bathroom floors.
There are different types of vinyl flooring. Let’s check them out.
What Are The Types of Vinyl Flooring?
You should know that vinyl flooring is categorized based on the material of the floor and how the floor is installed.
Types of vinyl flooring based on the material:
1. Sheet Vinyl
Sheet vinyl or roll vinyl flooring is a multi-layered vinyl floor with a printed top layer. The printed top layer carries the print of what the floor will look like after installation. This type of vinyl flooring is usually thin and broad meaning that it offers good coverage and moisture resistance.
2. Vinyl Planks
Vinyl plank or plank vinyl is designed in planks. Each plank can be glued or locked into the next to form the vinyl floor. Vinyl planks are usually thicker than vinyl sheets and offer more durability and support. But vinyl planks aren’t waterproof so you shouldn’t use this vinyl flooring in high moisture areas.
3. Luxury Vinyl
This type of vinyl is designed to be tough, strong, and moisture resistant. Luxury vinyl flooring is by far the best type of vinyl floor but it also costs more. Luxury vinyl comes in either LVP (luxury vinyl plank) or LVT (luxury vinyl tiles).
4. Composite Vinyl
These types of vinyl floors are engineered to have the properties of a hardwood floor and other types of floor. They also contain other synthetic compounds asides from vinyl. Popular types include stone plastic composite (SPC) and wood-plastic composite (WPC).
Types of vinyl flooring based on the method of installation:
1. Glue-on Vinyl
This type of vinyl flooring is installed by using vinyl adhesive to glue down the vinyl material to the subfloor or underlayment. This vinyl floor bonds well to the surface but removing it is usually very difficult and time-consuming.
2. Click and Lock Vinyl
This type of vinyl flooring is designed with a tongue and groove locking mechanism that allow each part of the floor to slide perfectly into the next. This installation method is common with vinyl planks.
Next, let’s check out the advantages and disadvantages of vinyl flooring.
Advantages of Vinyl Flooring
Here are the perks you’ll enjoy from having a vinyl floor installed in your home or office:
1. Easy Installation
Vinyl floors are very easy to install and the flooring is even considered to be D-I-Y (Do it yourself). For glue-down vinyl flooring, you just need to ensure the subfloor is clean and smooth.
Then lay an underlayment on the subfloor and apply vinyl adhesive based on the manufacturer’s instructions. With the adhesive in place, you can lay the vinyl sheets or planks easily.
It’s even easier to install click and lock vinyl flooring because the parts (planks or tiles) are already designed with a locking mechanism to make the installation easy.
Some vinyl planks like luxury vinyl even have pre-attached underlayment so you don’t need to lay an extra one. For luxury planks, all you have to do is install the planks correctly. It’s as easy as that to install vinyl flooring.
2. Easy Maintenance
Vinyl flooring is also very easy to maintain. One reason for this is that the floor doesn’t absorb stains so you wouldn’t need to do much cleaning with a vinyl floor. Also, vinyl planks are very easy to repair.
If you spot a damaged plank, you can replace it with a plank from the same set and no one would notice the fix. Even vinyl sheets are easy to fix as you just need to cut out the damaged part and replace it. Though the spot may be obvious after. Scratches on the vinyl floor can also be fixed using a scratchfix PU pen.
Vinyl flooring is an affordable floor with most vinyl floors costing less than $3 per square foot. Vinyl sheets especially are very cheap and can cost as low as $1.5 per square foot. So if you are looking at saving costs with your floor, vinyl is an option to look at.
Vinyl flooring is also very durable and the main reason for this is the wear layer on the vinyl floor. Every vinyl floor regardless of the type or make is designed with a wear layer made from urethane compounds.
The wear layer is plastic sheeting that protects the vinyl material from scratches, dents, and gouges. The wear layer also makes the vinyl floor able to withstand high traffic and stomping without showing signs of damage.
5. Vinyl Floors Have a Wide Variety
Another thing you’ll enjoy with a vinyl floor is the wide range of choices to pick from. Vinyl floors especially sheet vinyl due to the design layer can mimic or match just about any color, pattern, or design.
You can get your vinyl floor to look like a hardwood floor, a tiled floor, a ceramic floor, or even a stone floor. You can also pick from different print colors and designs to match your home décor. With vinyl flooring, you can boast of a floor with a touch of class.
Vinyl floors also offer much comfort to your feet and knees. Children can also play and crawl on the floor without suffering bruises. This is because vinyl floors are usually put on an underlayment. The underlayment makes the ground softer and more comfortable to walk on.
7. Water Resistance
Vinyl floors also offer impressive water resistance. Vinyl sheet especially is waterproof because the sheets have no seams or spaces to allow water to pass through.
However, you should not install vinyl flooring in your bathrooms because the water on the bathroom floor can eventually get underneath the vinyl floor and cause mold growth. Vinyl floors can be used in kitchens, bedrooms, and dining rooms.
Next, let’s check out the disadvantages of a vinyl floor.
Disadvantages of Vinyl Flooring
Here are some disadvantages to consider before installing a vinyl floor:
1. Vinyl Flooring is Not Weather Friendly
Vinyl floors regardless of the type don’t have weather resistance. This is why vinyl floors aren’t common outside. The UV rays and heat from the sun can cause the vinyl floor to fade or become white.
Also, rainfall, wind, dust storms, and the like will all damage the vinyl flooring in the long run. If you are to use vinyl flooring outside, ensure it is under a shade or a temperature-regulated environment.
2. Glued-Down Vinyl Flooring Can Be Difficult To Remove
Sheet vinyl floors and other glue-down vinyl floors are always very difficult to remove. This is because these floors are glued down to the subfloor or underlayment so removing them will be difficult.
Even if you manage to remove the glued-down vinyl floor, you’ll need a replacement because the removed vinyl sheet will be damaged.
3. Vinyl Flooring is Not Ideal For Bathrooms
Though vinyl flooring is water-resistant, you shouldn’t use the floor in bathrooms because water will get underneath the floor.
For sheet vinyl, water can get underneath loose seams and edges of the sheet. For vinyl plank flooring, water can get beneath the floor through the locks and acclimation gaps. So, vinyl flooring is not ideal for bathrooms and other high moisture areas in the home.
4. Vinyl Floors Need Underlayment
Before you can install a vinyl floor, you need an underlayment on the subfloor. Without an underlayment, the vinyl flooring will not be even.
Also, the underlayment makes the floor softer and provides insulation. So without an underlayment, you won’t enjoy these perks.
In summary, like all types of flooring, vinyl flooring also has its pros and cons. However, the advantages of a vinyl floor surpass the disadvantages.
You should always consider both before choosing a vinyl floor. Remember that vinyl flooring can’t be used outside and is hardly ideal for high moisture areas. On the other hand, you’ll enjoy easy installation, maintenance, and repairs with vinyl flooring.