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What are pros and cons of vinyl plank flooring?

You’ve been doing research on which flooring is right for you. Suddenly, you come across a whole new type of flooring – vinyl. You’ve done so much hard work already and now there’s a whole other option? Don’t worry, Bestlaminate is here to help you make learning about this one easy!

The Pros and Cons of Vinyl Flooring

Pros

Cons

100% Moisture Resistant Difficult to remove if glued down
Commercial Grade Wear Layer Can be punctured with very sharp objects
Fiberglass Reinforced Does not have a wood feel like laminate or hardwood
Antistatic Not biodegradable
Can be used on cement, granite, tile, laminate and other flat surfaces
Can be glued down
Natural wood look
Low maintenance
Affordable

 

The Pros Explained

The biggest advantage of vinyl plank flooring is the fact that it is 100% water resistant. This makes it the ideal flooring solution for spaces such as basements, kitchens and bathrooms. In addition, vinyl plank flooring is very durable with commercial grade wear layers and fiberglass reinforcement.
Vinyl can be installed on nearly any subfloor, with the thicker floors being forgiving to imperfect subfloors. Luxury vinyl plank flooring can also be glued down which is something that may be attractive to home owners. The affordability, durability and natural wood look make vinyl plank flooring a great option for busy spaces without the price tag of authentic wood.

Anchor Grey WPC Vinyl in the Kitchen

The Cons Explained

As with any product, there are disadvantages associated with vinyl plank flooring. If you choose to glue down your vinyl plank flooring, the removal process is known to be very difficult. If you are installing vinyl as a temporary solution, it is recommended you avoid glue to make the removal as easy as possible.

Vinyl plank flooring is very durable, however it can be punctured with very sharp objects. For example, if a kitchen knife gets dropped with the point down on the vinyl plank flooring, it is likely there will be a visible scar. Vinyl plank flooring also does not have the wood feel of laminate or especially hardwood, but advances in the appearance are continually improving.

When walking on vinyl flooring with shoes, it does not have the rich wooden sound a natural wood floor would. Unfortunately, vinyl plank flooring is not biodegradable and can be very difficult to recycle. For environmentally conscious consumers, laminate flooring might be a better option since is it fully recyclable.

Mohawk SolidTech Variations VAR45-23
Mohawk SolidTech Variations VAR45-23

Now go make and educated decision! Want to see it for yourself? Order a free sample of vinyl flooring today. Yeah, FREE, you’re welcome.

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About Bestlaminate

Bestlaminate
Bestlaminate’s blog is dedicated to you by making the home improvement process easier and more affordable. We hope to make your home remodeling and maintaining a more positive experience.

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48 comments

  1. We are looking at vinyl planking for our cabin. Over the winter we leave the building unheated in average temps of minus 10 celsus. Is it a good choice for this application.

    • Viena

      Hi Don, thanks for reaching out! As you may already know, floating floors expand and contract with temperature changes. In cold temperatures, your floor will contract. It is extremely important to warm up the building very gradually. Any sudden changes in temperature will cause your floor to expand, and this could lead to buckling and other damage. When installing, it is important to leave an expansion gap around the perimeter of the room to allow your floor to float. We would recommend a stone plastic composite (SPC) vinyl, as it is more rigid and has a resilient core layer. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  2. I read that vinyl flooring gives off gases. I have lung issues, should I use a different flooring?

    • Viena

      Hi Barbara, thanks for your comment. Here at Bestlaminate, safety for our customers and families is a top priority. All the vinyl floors we carry are considered safe for all household use, are CARB compliant, and should not be a concern with your lung issues. Vinyl plank flooring is a very durable, low maintenance and stylish option for a healthy household. Please let us know if you have any other concerns!

  3. I’m considering putting in vinyl in our barn which will be a wedding venue. Is that a good idea? Will it work?

    • Viena

      Hi Kathy, thanks for your comment. Vinyl is a great option for your project! It is durable, waterproof and is available in many natural wood styles that would look great in a barn. You can order free samples on our website to see what color and style you like the most!

  4. Can vinyl flooring be installed under a water heater, washer and dryer, and a toilet without being damaged?

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Desperry, great question! Vinyl will hold up under these appliances and will be waterproof in case any leaks happen. It is a softer material, so denting is possible with some heavier objects depending on the vinyl you select.

  5. Do you have any comments on Floor and Decor DuraLuxe Lux Vinyl Planks or know where I could go to find some reviews? Thanks, Kelly

    • Viena Swierczek

      Hi Kelly, thank you for your comment. We do not carry the Floor and Decor DuraLuxe Lux Vinyl Planks. We recommend you visit the manufacturers website for product details and customer reviews.

      If you are looking for a vinyl flooring, we can recommend many options! Check out our selection and order free samples at https://www.bestlaminate.com/vinyl-plank-flooring/

  6. We are considering vinyl plank flooring throughout the house. I am concerned about heavy furniture denting the vinyl. Also the mfg recommends lifting and carrying furniture, not dragging or pulling, across the vinyl. Some of our furniture is way too heavy for us seniors to be lifting and carrying. Will dragging a dining room table or chair rip or tear the vinyl?

    • Viena Swierczek

      Hi Connie, thank you for reaching out! Vinyl is a great flooring option that is low maintenance, easy to install, waterproof and beautiful!

      Heavy furniture should be equipped with suitable non-staining, wide-bearing caster or protectors, and carried in and placed in the final position. Felt protectors are recommended for table and chair legs to help prevent scratching, and we advise against dragging furniture across your floor if possible to prevent scratching and damaging the surface of your floor.

      Please give us a call at 1-800-520-0961 if you have any other questions!

  7. I have luxury vinyl in my new home and it is a little dull with no shine. It shows all the foot prints when people walk in. Amy suggestions?

    • Viena Swierczek

      Hi Terry, thank you for your comment. We recommend cleaning vinyl flooring with a water and white vinegar solution. Vinegar is a disinfectant and a natural, chemical-free way to remove dirt and grime. Simply mix a gallon of water with one cup of vinegar, and use a damp mop to clean your floor. If you have a heavily soiled area, you can combine some dish soap with the white vinegar. Please let us know if you have any other ques tons! Best of luck.

  8. i bought the mohawk vinyl relevance online for the bedrooms from a distributor.
    I took out the carpet and i have cement/concrete. Frankly i dont know which of the 2.
    The floor comes with an attached sound underlayment.
    The sales person told me, you can lay on any surface, and when you install, you don’t need to leave any gaps.

    After reading all of these comments, i feel eerie about doing this incorrectly.

    Help

  9. We’re planning to have the kitchen remodeled, and one of the things that we’re considering replacing is the old flooring. It was really helpful in my decision making when you mentioned that the primary advantage of vinyl flooring is that it’s water resistant. I’ll go talk to a flooring contractor as soon as we begin the remodeling. Thank you!

  10. Environmental impacts of vinyl planks – toxic materials used in manufacturing the planks, and non-toxic glues available. I know they can’t be recycled.

    • Ashley Tolfo

      Hi Ruth – You are absolutely correct. In our article, we do not mean that vinyl planks can be recycled with your regular recyclables that you would place on your curb. We mean that you can contact the manufacturer of your flooring to recycle it. They will break your old vinyl flooring down and use the processes materials to create new vinyl flooring. Sometimes they will even come pick the flooring up for you, making the process even easier!

      • “Sometimes they will even come pick the flooring up for you, making the process even easier”!
        Where and when? What a bunch of bologna! It costs a fortune to ship to the manufacturer for recycle and they do not help with the cost whatsoever.
        Just tell it like it is for a change. It it a horrible mix of toxic materials that cannot be recycled by anyone other than the manufacturer if they chose to do so, which most if not all do not. I would be curious to know exactly where you guy do your recycling as it is a pretty big job, not anywhere near as easy as you imply. I do not expect you would post this but it would be nice if you would be more forward about the actual ramifications of using vinyl flooring products. They are flooding the market before the kinks are work out, of which there are too many to list and go on about here.
        I am very familiar with the industry and like to believe I know a little something this subject.
        Thanks for your time!

        • Alana Kane

          Hi MJ – Armstrong is the leader in this area. They have a program called On and On recycling where they will ship bins to your house to place material in and will arrange for the pick up of your bins, free of charge. You can read more about it here: https://www.armstrongflooring.com/commercial/en-us/sustainability/floor-recycling-program.html. Since we typically sell all of our materials, we do not use a vinyl recycling company exclusively. I hope this helps clarify where we stand. In the industry, we see most people simply throw their flooring away, but there are some manufacturers that will help get them recycled!

  11. It was a nice blog with full pros and cons as I am also a wooden flooring expert. I love this blog!

    • Ashley Tolfo

      Thank you! I’m very glad that you like this blog! Please share it with your other floor expert friends for the latest flooring related information!

  12. Will it hurt the vinyl plank if left in a park model over a hot Arizona summer and no air conditioning on? We winter down south but turn all power off for the summer- it can get to 140 degrees…. thank you

  13. Hello,
    Going to replace the bathroom floor .Leanning toward Vynil flooring because of the look and water resistance . In my case the vynil plank will go under a electric heater . Will That be an issue .
    Thx

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Yvan, thanks for the question. If it is a standard, UL electric home heater, you should have no issue with the vinyl being underneath it. Direct heat can make it softer and more pliable, but it will not cause any issues. Let us know if you have any other questions!

  14. I totally gutted my old kitchen. Should I put the kitchen cabinets on top of the vinyl click floor. Thanks

    • Ashley Tolfo

      Hi Bonnie – You should install your cabinets first and then install your vinyl click floors. Kitchen cabinets are too heavy to sit on top of vinyl flooring and will restrict the expansion and contraction needed. Be sure to leave the proper expansion gap around the base of the cabinets! If you have any further questions, please reply to this comment!

  15. I have osb sub flooring, can I put down final tile over it..

    • Ashley Tolfo

      Hi Sandra – You can certainly put vinyl tile flooring over OSB sub flooring! If you are asking if you can put ceramic tile over OSB sub flooring, however, I am sorry but I cannot assist you. We are a laminate, vinyl, and hardwood company and do not sell any ceramic tiles, so I do not know much about how this type of flooring is installed. If you have any questions about laminate, vinyl, or hardwood flooring – email us at support@bestlaminate.com and we will be happy to help!

  16. can i use the vinyl planks as i would tile on the wall in my shower?

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Troy, thanks for the question. We do not recommend using vinyl flooring as tile in the shower. Although the planks are waterproof, these planks should only be used as flooring. The vinyl warranties will also be voided if used in this fashion. We’d recommend sticking with tiles for the shower. Best of luck with your project!

  17. If you have a large island, hard wood in the kitchen but it isn’t permanent can it be set on top of the laminate or is it better to go around it? We have a 720 srq foot room we are laying this in. We also have a 50 gallon salt water tank. Will the weight cause issues?

    • Ashley Tolfo

      Hi Nikki – The salt water tank should not cause any issues if your floor is installed with the proper expansion gaps and with appropriate expansion moldings. We would recommend putting felt pads on the bottom of your tank stand to prevent any denting that could occur from the constant pressure on the laminate.

      There are so many different styles of non-permanent kitchen islands that I would need more information to give you the best answer on how to install your floor. Please email us at support@bestlaminate.com with pictures of your island or a longer description of how your island looks and sits on the floor so we can help!

  18. Shannon Woodhouse

    Can you use click together Vinyl plank flooring as an accent piece in a shower (i.e. in a niche) to tie your flooring into a shower stall? Would the installation vertically on the back of the niche affect the waterproof qualities of the product?

    • Ashley Tolfo

      Hi Shannon! You could absolutely use vinyl planks as an accent in a shower niche. We would recommend making sure to glue it down very securely to the wall with a waterproof adhesive so the vinyl will not peel away from the wall. Be sure to grout the edges as well, so water does not get behind the planks and damage the area behind your shower niche. Good luck on the installation!

  19. Elisabeth O'Connell

    We have a 140 year old house, so the floors are not even. There is a significant hump. Would the vinyl planks be a good option for these floors?

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Elisabeth! Great question. With any flooring, you will always want to have a stable, and level subfloor. If you are looking to install a floating vinyl floor (click together installation), you would need to repair your current flooring. The easiest option would probably be to add a plywood subfloor on top of your current floors for an even, and structurally level surface. You will want to make sure the subfloor is not moving or unable to support your floating floors. Other options would be to sand the flooring until it is even. A strong subfloor will be important for any type of flooring installation. Feel free to give us a call to discuss your home and flooring needs further! Our number is 800-520-0961.

  20. Karen Gilone Fowler

    Are vinyl plank floors that are glue down (not interlocking) still waterproof?

  21. Does vinyl plank flooring retain heat or stay cold…I’m looking to install in my basement on a concrete floor.

    • Ashley Tolfo

      Hi George – Excellent question! Vinyl flooring is a perfect floor for a basement installation on a concrete subfloor, so long as your subfloor has been properly prepared. You can see our Concrete Subfloor Preparations on our Help Pages!

      With that being said, vinyl flooring can fluctuate in temperature, but you can combat this by adding an LVT underlayment, such as Floor Muffler LVT to help keep your vinyl cool in the summer and warm in the winter. I hope this helps answer your question! Please feel free to contact us at support@bestlaminate.com and we will do our best to help find the floor that fits your needs!

  22. Tomas Killington

    My brother recently moved into an older home with his family. He wants to have the flooring replaced as soon as possible, so he’s looking at different options for materials. I didn’t realize vinyl is 100% water resistant and very durable. I’ll be sure to share this info with my brother.

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