Have you recently looked at your outdoor space and thought it could use a little makeover? But can you use vinyl flooring outside and is it a good idea to do so? 

Well, you’re in the right place to find that out!

Today, we’re diving into the world of outdoor vinyl flooring, especially looking at types called LVP and SPC, to see if they’re up for the outdoor challenge.

Making the case for vinyl flooring outdoors

First off, let’s talk about what LVP and SPC mean and how they can be considered for outdoor use. 

LVP stands for luxury vinyl plank. It’s a tough type of flooring that looks pretty and lasts a long time. SPC stands for stone-plastic composite. It’s similar to LVP but even stronger because it’s made with a mix of stone and plastic. This makes it super tough and less likely to get scratched or damaged.

Most of the time, these vinyl flooring types are used inside houses because they are strong, don’t cost a lot of money, and can look like wood or stone. But some people are wondering if it’s okay to use these outside, like on a porch or patio.

Can Vinyl Flooring be Used Outside?

The answer is yes, but you have to pick the right kind. 

Outdoor vinyl flooring is specially made to be tough against weather, like rain and sun, and not get ruined. But not all vinyl flooring is happy to be outside. You have to choose one that says it’s okay for outdoor use, or use ones such as LVP and SPC that should work pretty much everywhere considering how tough they are.

If you put vinyl outside, it has to deal with the hot sun and cold rain, which can be tough on it and make it crack or change shape over time. However, if you have a screened porch, covered patio, or a sunroom, these two could work well since these areas are protected from the craziest weather. 

Just a heads-up: using some vinyl flooring outside might void the warranty. It’s important to check what the warranty says before you install any vinyl outside. 

This way, you can enjoy your cool outdoor space without worrying.

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When Considering Outdoor Vinyl Plank Flooring

When you’re picking vinyl flooring for outside, you need to think about the weather where you live. 

Will the flooring be in a lot of sunlight? Does it rain a lot, or maybe you even get snow? 

You’ll want to make sure the vinyl you pick can handle your weather. It should be able to stand up to UV rays from the sun and be waterproof for rain and snow. 

Also, outdoor areas usually get a lot of foot traffic. The vinyl should be tough enough to handle this without getting scratched up or damaged easily, so aim for no less than the 20-mil wear layer thickness.

Why Vinyl Flooring Can Be a Great Choice for Outside

Using LVP or SPC for your outdoor areas is a smart choice for a few reasons. 

These floors are tough, which is great for places that get used a lot. They’re also not too pricey, so you can make your space look awesome without spending too much. Plus, they’re easy to take care of. Most of the time, all you need to do is sweep and mop now and then to keep them looking nice.

Vinyl flooring also gives you lots of choices for how it looks. 

Whether you want it to look like wood, stone, or something else, you can probably find a vinyl option that fits your style.

Installing It the Right Way

If you decide to go with vinyl flooring outside, it’s super important to install it the right way

The area where you’re putting it should be clean and smooth. Before laying down your vinyl flooring, the surface area must be free from any dirt, debris, or uneven spots. 

A clean and smooth base ensures the vinyl can adhere properly and lay flat, preventing issues like bumps or gaps that could affect the flooring’s appearance and durability.

Depending on the type of vinyl, you might need to glue it down or use a click-lock way to connect the pieces. And, you should leave a little bit of space around the edges to give the floor room to expand or shrink with temperature changes without getting messed up.

Taking Care of Your Outdoor Vinyl Flooring

Caring for your outdoor vinyl flooring doesn’t have to be a big task. A regular sweep to get rid of leaves and dirt, along with a gentle mop, keeps it looking its best. For those stubborn spots, make sure you pick a cleaner that’s kind to vinyl floors. 

Oh, and don’t forget to slip some protectors under your chairs and tables outside. This smart move stops any unwanted scratches. 

Now, even with the best care, you might bump into a few common issues. 

Sometimes, bits of furniture or dropped items can leave marks or dents. Also, if your vinyl flooring isn’t completely waterproof, too much rain could cause some trouble like lifting or bubbling. So make sure no water sits on your vinyl floors for too long. 

Although we love sunny days, too much direct sunlight can fade the vibrant colors of your floor over time. If needed, use curtains to create shade for your lovely floors.

With a little attention and the right tips, keeping your outdoor vinyl flooring in tip-top shape is doable, and many people have done it before you.

Other Options

While vinyl flooring is a fantastic choice for many outdoor spaces, there are other options too, especially for areas where you don’t have any protection from the elements.

Things like natural stone, ceramic tiles, or composite decking might also be great for your space. Each one has its good points and challenges, so think about what’s best for you.

Natural stone looks pretty and lasts a long time, but it can be a bit pricey. Ceramic tiles come in all sorts of colors and designs, which is fun, but you have to make sure they don’t get too slippery when wet. Composite decking is tough and doesn’t need a lot of looking after, but it doesn’t look exactly like real wood if that’s what you’re going for.

So, when you’re thinking about making your outdoor space cooler, take a look at all these options. All of them have something special about it!

Wrapping Up

Vinyl flooring is a solid choice because it’s tough, won’t empty your bank, and you can find it in so many different looks! Just remember to pick the kind that’s made to be outside and set it up the right way. 

With just a little bit of care, your outdoor vinyl flooring can keep your space looking awesome for years. 

But hey, the best part is creating a spot outside that you enjoy. With the perfect flooring, any outdoor area can turn into a pretty and handy extension of your house.

FAQ: Outdoor Vinyl Flooring

Can I use any vinyl flooring outside?

Not all vinyl flooring is designed for outdoor use. It’s important to choose vinyl that’s specifically made for the outdoors, as it will be built to handle weather, moisture, and UV rays.

Will the color of my outdoor vinyl flooring fade over time?

High-quality outdoor vinyl flooring is treated for UV resistance, which helps prevent fading from sunlight. However, prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can still lead to some fading over time.

Is outdoor vinyl flooring waterproof?

Yes, outdoor vinyl flooring options are waterproof, making them ideal for spaces that might get wet, like around pools or in rainy climates.

Can I install outdoor vinyl flooring directly on dirt or grass?

Outdoor vinyl flooring needs a solid, smooth base like concrete, decking, or a plywood subfloor. Installing it directly on dirt or grass isn’t recommended because it won’t provide the stability or flat surface vinyl flooring requires.

How do I clean my outdoor vinyl flooring?

Sweep regularly to remove dirt and debris. For a deeper clean, mop with mild soap and water. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrub brushes that can damage the surface.

Can outdoor vinyl flooring handle heavy furniture?

Yes, but it’s a good idea to use furniture protectors under the legs to distribute weight evenly and prevent indentations or scratches on your vinyl flooring.

How long does outdoor vinyl flooring last?

With proper installation and care, outdoor vinyl flooring can last 10-15 years. Its lifespan depends on factors like the amount of foot traffic, exposure to the elements, and maintenance practices.

Will freezing temperatures damage my outdoor vinyl flooring?

Quality outdoor vinyl is designed to withstand temperature fluctuations, including freezing conditions. However, extreme cold can make vinyl less flexible, so it’s crucial to choose a product known for its durability in your specific climate.

Is it easy to replace damaged pieces of outdoor vinyl flooring?

Yes, especially if you have vinyl planks with a click-lock system. You can remove the damaged piece and snap in a new one. For glue-down vinyl, the process is a bit more involved but still doable with the right tools.

About The Author

Courtney Daily

March 24, 2024

Courtney is a freelance writer who wears many other hats: kindergarten teacher by day, Broadway diva in the shower. She is a transplant Hoosier who originated in New England. When she isn't writing in her spare time, you will find her reading history books, arguing with her latest knitting project, or being beaten by her kids at most games.