Today more than ever, flooring choices are plentiful that homeowners become overwhelmed by the selections. But despite many options available these days—laminate, engineered wood, hardwood, bamboo, to name a few—vinyl flooring remains a standout. According to statistics, the global vinyl flooring market size was estimated at USD 25.6 billion in 2018 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 7.4% from 2019 to 2025. With higher demands for cost-effective, low maintenance, and durable options, manufacturers and builders are likely to drive the market for vinyl flooring installation.
Patented during the 1930s, vinyl flooring has outpaced linoleum flooring as a budget-friendly option. It is a resilient flooring that offers elegance and functionality to your home. With the help of modern technology, today’s vinyl flooring is available in a wide range of great quality finishes. However, like any other type of flooring, vinyl flooring has its merits and drawbacks. In this blog, let’s explore some of the downsides and upsides of vinyl flooring installation so you can make an informed decision.
Types of Vinyl Flooring
There are different types of vinyl flooring with varying methods of installation, advantages, and disadvantages.
Sheet Vinyl. It consists of thin flexible sheets of vinyl joined securely with a transparent wear layer and printed design. It is normally laid down in sheets of 6 or 12 feet wide.
Vinyl Tiles. It has the same components as sheet vinyl, but it is available in boxes of square pieces. Vinyl tiles can either be glued down with an adhesive or installed with a pre-applied adhesive when a peel-off backing is removed. It uses tiles of 12”x12” or 9”x9”.
Luxury Vinyl. It has quite different features than sheet vinyl or tiles because it has a semi-rigid, thicker material and it comes in a form of tiles or planks. Luxury vinyl planks or tiles are typically floating floors that snap together at the edges and place on top of the underlayment with no glue-down bond.
Pros of Vinyl Flooring Installation
The cost of vinyl flooring installation is quite inexpensive. Whether you are a big spender or on a tight budget, vinyl provides you options that suit your budget and preferences. The costs of vinyl flooring installation and materials are ranging from $3.50 to $15 per square foot. The cost typically varies according to the type and quality of vinyl you choose. Sheet vinyl is the most economical choice amongst vinyl types. Commercial grade vinyl, on the other hand, is the most expensive option. Make sure to plan your budget and research the cost of vinyl products you want to install. It would also be helpful to ask a professional vinyl installer for cost estimate and samples.
Comprehensive Designs and Choices
Thanks to advanced technology, vinyl flooring offers a world of options when it comes to designs, patterns, and texture. Given its large footprint in the market these days, it is no longer a surprise that you will have a vast variety of colors and styles that will complement well to any décor of your house. You will have a great chance to find a material or pattern that produces exactly what you want. Among these varieties include patterns with stone or marble effects and hand-scraped versions.
Vinyl flooring installation is not labor-intensive as compared to other flooring materials, making it a good DIY option. You can install vinyl tiles or sheets over a subflooring without any improvements or modifications for as long as the subfloor is level and intact. If not, you need to make sure that the layout is correct. It is important to level and smooth the subfloor or underlayment first. Take an accurate measurement and ensure that the rows and patterns are symmetrical within the room. Create a precise cut to perfectly fit the space. If it is necessary to trim any planks to fit the space, use a utility knife to do so. Once done, remove the backing and start laying the planks or tiles.
Although vinyl flooring installation is easy for an experienced DIY, we highly recommend hiring a professional vinyl floor contractor near you, especially if a DIY project is not your cup of tea.
Fewer Maintenance Requirements
Among one of the lowest maintenance flooring options in the market, vinyl flooring is reasonably easy to care for. You just need to make sure that the surface is free from all the dirt and grit. To maintain its look, all you must do is to sweep the vinyl flooring regularly, use a damp mop only when necessary, and apply an approved vinyl floor cleaner if desired.
Vinyl flooring isn’t a delicate material that needs a lot of pampering or extra caution to avoid any wear or damages. It is exceptionally durable and can withstand normal wear and tear for a long time. Most manufacturers offer a warranty of 15 years against any damage or premature wear. However, with regular upkeep, you can expect that your vinyl flooring can last for 20 years or even more.
Vinyl flooring is created from waterproof materials like PVC, making it very resistant to water or moisture. It is an ideal choice for moisture-prone areas in your home such as the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.
Convenience and Comfort
Barefooted or not, vinyl flooring feels so comfortable to walk on. It is much softer than ceramic tile or wood flooring. Because vinyl flooring has a thin backing of resilient felt or foam, it makes softer and warmer underfoot even during chilly weather.
Printed vinyl sheets and tiles have a wear layer that serves as a protective barrier from spills or stains. This also makes the vinyl flooring easy for upkeep. However, solid vinyl tiles do not have this protective layer; hence, these vinyl types are more susceptible to stains.
Cons of Vinyl Flooring Installation
Indoor Environmental Impact
Vinyl floors, especially older vinyl versions, were produced with asbestos. Vinyl is also a byproduct of petrochemicals that may release volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Asbestos and VOCs in vinyl flooring may cause health hazards to humans and can add up to indoor air pollution. This is the reason why the vinyl flooring industry is doing its best to reduce the number of VOCs in vinyl. Industry certification process such as FloorScore is implemented to regulate and rate the VOC content of flooring materials including vinyl.
Difficult to Repair
If the vinyl flooring is damaged severely with a stain or scratch, you can either remove the affected area and replace it using a patch or do a replacement of the entire flooring. If you replace the damaged area with a patch, it will make the flooring becomes water-permeable and disrupt the unimpaired pattern of vinyl. You may cut the patch along its existing design or pattern, but it requires experience and skills to master.
Damage From The Subfloor
In vinyl flooring installation, it is particularly important to have an intact and perfectly smooth, flat subfloor to work on. Vinyl is so soft that even little grains trapped beneath the floor can damage the flooring material over time. Lumps or bumps will eventually appear; hence, repair is necessary.
The spongy feel of vinyl flooring makes it more prone to gouges and cuts from heavy furniture or any sharp objects. This is normally a concern if you install vinyl in the kitchen. The remedy is to replace the damaged area with a patch or replace the entire floor. To prevent surface damages, it is important to use furniture pads underneath heavy furniture.
Insignificant Effect on Resale Value
While hardwood flooring installation can increase the resale value of one’s property, this isn’t the case with vinyl flooring installation. Most vinyl floor types such as vinyl tiles or sheets do not contribute to higher home value. However, luxury vinyl tile can be an exception. With luxury vinyl, it may create a great enhancement to the home’s interior, adding an increased value to your home.
Although the vinyl floor has a protective wear layer, it is still susceptible to discoloration, especially if it is in contact with rubber. Low-quality vinyl flooring will turn yellow over time, which creates an unsightly appearance.
Is Vinyl Flooring Installation Right For You?
With all these pros and cons, we hope that you have already figured out if vinyl flooring is right for your home. However, if you can’t still decide which flooring material is the best for your home’s interior, don’t hesitate to connect with us. Carpet Ready provides a no-obligation estimate and offers proven expertise for your next flooring project.