Is Vinyl Flooring Right for You?

Vinyl flooring has eclipsed linoleum as the best low-cost, water-resistant flooring option. Linoleum used to be the material of choice for flooring in areas of the house that are prone to moisture. Today’s homeowners, however, are opting for vinyl as a floor covering in these rooms instead.

Is Vinyl Flooring Right for You?

(Pixabay / steve_a_johnson)

The popularity of vinyl flooring could be attributed to its versatile characteristics. Here are some of its advantages:

  • Resists moisture – When properly installed, a vinyl floor is impervious to water penetration, making it perfect for the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room.
  • Easy on your feet – Vinyl flooring is comfortable to stand on. It does not get cold in the winter and provides a soft feel compared to ceramic tiles or wood. Vinyl flooring sheets can be equipped with a layer of padding for extra comfort beneath your feet.
  • Inexpensive – Vinyl flooring is a lot cheaper compared to other flooring materials. You could buy low-end vinyl flooring for less than one dollar per square foot. The high-end vinyl flooring will set you back by as much as 10 dollars per square foot, but that is still cheaper than many other flooring choices.
  • Wears well – Vinyl flooring is highly durable. Proper installation will ensure that your vinyl flooring will last for about 20 years.
  • Simple maintenance – Vinyl flooring is easy to care for and clean. All you have to do is sweep away the dirt and grit in order to maintain it. You can use a damp mop for cleaning.
  • No-fuss installation – You don’t have to hire a professional to install your vinyl flooring. You can do it yourself if you have the time.
  • Stain resistant – Vinyl flooring has a clear wear layer that serves as a surface barrier in order to protect your floor from stains and spills.

Vinyl flooring does have a few disadvantages. Here’s a look at some of the drawbacks:

  • Discoloration – Low-quality vinyl flooring may yellow as it ages. Exposure to direct sunlight will hasten the aging of your vinyl flooring. So will exposure to rubber (such as mats with rubber backing or rubber shoe heels).
  • Subfloor damage – Grains of dirt trapped between the vinyl flooring and the subfloor can create damage.
  • Tough to repair – If your vinyl flooring rips or tears, you will have to replace it. There’s no easy way to repair compromised vinyl.
  • No eco-friendly waste options – Vinyl flooring is neither biodegradable nor recyclable. Disposing of it becomes an ecological problem.
  • Release of volatile gas – Vinyl flooring is manufactured using chemicals that may gas out, releasing volatile compounds into the household.

Examine the pros and cons before you make your final decision. Many people believe that the advantages of vinyl outweigh its challenges.