The Pros and Cons of Vinyl Plank Flooring: Everything to Know

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The Pros and Cons of Vinyl Plank Flooring: Everything to Know

If the idea of inexpensive, water-resistant, and low-maintenance flooring sounds good to you, then vinyl may be the perfect fit. In fact, among American home-owners, vinyl flooring has been on the rise in popularity.

Still, it's valuable to have a clear grasp of the pros and cons of vinyl plank flooring before you invest. Let us help you out with this simple guide to the good and bad of this highly popular flooring material.

Pros and Cons of Vinyl Plank Flooring

There's plenty about vinyl flooring to be excited about. For one, it requires little maintenance besides regular sweeping and a weekly mop.

Once you've gained a thorough understanding of both the pros and cons of vinyl plank flooring, you can decide if it's really the material that will best suit your home and tastes.

Pro: Vinyl is Easy to Install

Do you... DIY? If so, then vinyl is a great flooring choice. You can save some major bucks on labor costs by installing this simple flooring yourself.

Years ago, vinyl was mostly sold in large, unwieldy planks. Now, thanks to recent updates, you can purchase vinyl planks that are self-adhesive. Simply lay them down and they stick right where you want them.

You won't even need a hammer or saw.

Vinyl is also a great option if you have existing sub-flooring. With vinyl, you can install it directly over other layers of linoleum or even vinyl. No demolition is required.

If you install vinyl well or have a professional's help, thick vinyl can stay in excellent shape for up to 20 years.

Pro: Diversity of Design

What may once have been considered a generic-looking material, vinyl is now available in a variety of uniquely beautiful styles.

Choose from hand-crafted, wood-like finishes, marble-like finishes, stone-like finishes, and more.

If you like the look of grout that comes with ceramic or other flooring styles, you can even purchase vinyl tiles that can be grouted.

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Pro: Easy to Care For

As mentioned, there is little that goes into maintaining vinyl. With regular sweeping, mopping, or spot cleaning, it can be kept in great condition.

Unlike carpet, you won't need to rent expensive machines or hire professionals to do a deep cleaning. It's nearly impossible to find a flooring material that is less maintenance than vinyl.

Of course, you do need to be wary of damaging thinner varieties by dropping heavy items or sharp objects on it.

Pro: Vinyl Plank Flooring is Affordable

Compare the cost of flooring material like carpet or wood to vinyl and you're looking at saving some major cheddar. Wood flooring may hit you at around $10 a square foot, carpeting could be up to $6.

With vinyl, you could be paying as little as $2 per square foot.

Of course, the savings don't stop here. Installation is next to nothing, (especially if you're doing it yourself). Maintenance is also inexpensive compared to other flooring types.

Wipe, sweep, mop, and that's the extent of your care costs.

So, if budget and long-term costs are important to you when choosing a flooring material, vinyl is impossible to beat.

Cons: Challenging to Remove

If you enjoy change then be aware that once you lay vinyl, it's very difficult to remove. If you aren't completely ready to commit to vinyl plank flooring, you might want to give it more thought.

Because of the special adhesive glue that vinyl plank flooring is laid with, you will need some serious elbow grease to remove it.

Still, this can be done on your own. You may not need anything more than a box-cutter, hammer, and chisel. If glue still remains after you remove the planks, simply use some dish soap and water to soak and scrub the glue off.

Cons: Thinner Varieties are Less Durable

If you're unfamiliar with vinyl, be aware that it comes in various degrees of thickness. If you opt for the thinnest type of vinyl, 2mm, it can be more easily damaged.

Dents and scratches from chairs and dings from dropped objects are more likely to occur if you choose a thin style of vinyl.

Fortunately, you can choose over 8mm in thickness. If your vinyl is maximum thickness and constructed with what is called a "rigid core," it will be very durable.

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Rigid core varieties have four layers and tend to feel and look more like real wooden planks. If you're unsure what level of thickness is best, you can learn more on vinyl flooring and the difference in cost and quality from a reliable supplier.

Cons: Less Than Eco-Friendly & Potentially Dangerous

If you're interested in going green, vinyl flooring is not the top choice for your home. Unfortunately, vinyl flooring is not biodegradable and recycling it is challenging.

If you decide to tear it up, you'll have to do some research to find a program that is willing to recycle your vinyl.

If your home is older and came with vinyl installed, be very careful before attempting to remove it yourself. Old styles of vinyl were made with asbestos.

If your home was built in the 80s or before, you should absolutely have the floors tested by a professional. Asbestos is well known for causing a myriad of severe health problems, including cancer.

Tearing up an old vinyl floor without checking it first can greatly endanger the health of you and anyone who comes inside your home. Never attempt to remove old vinyl without first verifying the safety with an asbestos testing kit or a through professional assessment.

Is Vinyl Flooring Right for My Property?

At the end of the day, weighing the pros and cons of vinyl plank flooring will help you decide whether it's right for your home or office.

Just be sure to compare the attributes of vinyl planks to those of other flooring types to make sure you're choosing what works best for your needs. Thinking long-term will help you avoid what we call, "flooring-remorse."

For more ideas and tips on creating your ideal living space, browse the DIY portion of our blog.

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