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Vinyl Flooring Pros and Cons: What You Need to Know

October 30, 2019

If you’re shopping for new floors, you already know there are a lot of things to consider. Your room, your lifestyle, your budget, your personal tastes—a lot of factors go into the decision you’ll ultimately make. After all, every type of flooring has its own unique benefits, features, and drawbacks.

That being said, vinyl floors have fewer drawbacks than most—which is one reason they’ve become extremely popular in recent years. If you’re considering purchasing them (and you should), here are the pros and cons of vinyl flooring to weigh before visiting your local retailer.

Vinyl Flooring Pros

You can install vinyl floors anywhere

Everyone knows that vinyl is a great kitchen flooring option, an excellent bathroom floor, even a great basement surface. But with today’s gorgeous visuals and texture, vinyl can even be a great fit for bedroom floors, living rooms, or other traditionally formal areas. Seriously—if you haven’t seen how beautiful vinyl can be, do some research on today’s best types of vinyl flooring. You’ll be amazed.

Vinyl flooring is waterproof

Spills, splashes, and pet accidents are no match for vinyl flooring. Both sheet vinyl’s seamless nature and rigid vinyl’s waterproof core make for waterproof flooring options. Some vinyl floors have even survived flooding!

It’s pretty low-maintenance

Cleaning vinyl floors is a cinch. Routine cleaning like sweeping or using a dust mop will be fine. And, because they’re waterproof, you can wet-mop vinyl floors as needed.

It can look like anything

Thanks to improvements in digital printing, vinyl flooring’s design layer can look like just about anything you want. Today’s sheet and luxury vinyl products feature stunning hardwood, stone, textile, concrete, and abstract designs. 

Vinyl floors are affordable

Those realistic visuals, which mimic some of the hottest trends in hardwood, tile, and stone, come at a fraction of the cost of natural products. If you love the look and feel of some pricier wood flooring types but you’re working with a limited budget, vinyl floors might be the right solution.

Viny Flooring Cons

It can have a shorter lifespan

While vinyl floors can look like wood, tile, or stone, they’re not going to last as long as the real thing. Different products have different lifespans—some entry-level sheet vinyl products might have a six-year warranty, while premium rigid vinyl products might have a 30 to 35-year warranty. Ask your retailer how long you can expect your vinyl floors to last!

It can pose environmental issues

Some vinyl flooring has been reported to emit volatile organic chemicals, or VOCs, following installation, which can cause respiratory illness over time. However, some vinyl flooring manufacturers are taking health and sustainability very seriously, and offer products that emit fewer VOCs. Look for products that are FloorScore certified, meaning they are compliant with the VOC emissions criteria of the California Section 01350 Program. This ensures the floors meet California’s rigorous standards (though it still doesn’t make them an eco-friendly flooring option).

Vinyl can be susceptible to scratching

Although it heavily depends on the product, even the best vinyl flooring isn’t going to stand up to scratching and denting the way that tile or even laminate will.

Some products feature scratch-resistant wear layers, but there’s still a risk of scratching or indentation if you have heavy furniture or appliances. Use furniture protectors to help prevent scratches or scuffing! And remember: while there are many pros and cons of vinyl flooring, this is probably the biggest con.

Conclusion

There you have it: the pros and cons of vinyl. If you still have questions, we’d recommend reading up on our guide to vinyl flooring—or going straight to the source and using this flooring near me search to find a local retailer!

About The Author

Lauren Moore

Proud flooring aficionado and office dog mom, "Flauren" has been a professional writer and editor for more than a decade (though she still maintains her magnum opus was "The Day it Snowed Slurpees," written at the age of 6).

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