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What Are Pros and Cons Of Vinyl Plank Flooring?

by Bestlaminate
Published: Updated: 304 comments 15 minutes read

Vinyl plank floors are an easy, affordable way to update any room in your home or business. As with any flooring product, there are pros and cons when it comes to vinyl plank flooring. Vinyl plank flooring is different from traditional vinyl flooring, as these planks are often around 36” x 6”. With planks this size, you are able to recreate a beautiful wood look for well below the cost of hardwood flooring. Keep scrolling to learn more about the pros and cons of vinyl plank floors!

What is Vinyl Plank Flooring?

Let’s start by talking about what vinyl plank flooring is before we get into the advantages and disadvantages of this flooring solution. Vinyl plank flooring is a resilient flooring solution that is referred to by Glue Down, LVT, LVP, WPC, SPC and Rigid Core. These artificially made planks are created to resemble authentic hardwoods and real stone to offer homeowners a waterproof alternative to traditional flooring options. There are many types of vinyl planks, but they all have similar characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages. Let’s get into the pros and cons.

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The Pros of Vinyl Flooring

Pros of vinyl plank flooring comparison chart Bestlaminate

100% Water-Resistant

The biggest advantage of vinyl plank flooring is that it is 100% water-resistant. This means surface water and spills won’t affect the flooring. This makes it the ideal flooring solution for spaces such as basements, kitchens, bathrooms, restaurants and cafés. It is a great option for those with kids and pets that worry about accidents.

Lastly, if you have a water leak, often you can uninstall the planks in the affected area, dry them out, and reinstall once the subfloor dries and the leak is fixed!

Durability – Kid and Pet Friendly and Commercially Strong

In addition, vinyl plank flooring is very durable with commercial grade wear layers that can withstand heavy traffic. Vinyl wear layers are measured in MIL or MM. The higher the mil, the higher the durability.

The wear layer of vinyl plank flooring is resistant to surface scratching and staining, making it a great option for active kids and pets. Larger commercial spaces can benefit from a glue down vinyl installation.

Easy Cleaning & Low Maintenance

Many businesses and households love that vinyl is durable and easy to maintain. Regular sweeping and weekly mopping is all you need to keep your floors looking great.

Many Vinyl Construction Types

With advances in vinyl plank flooring industry, you can find vinyl floors with rigid core construction, making them more dimensionally stable and sturdy. In today’s market, you have many options when it comes to vinyl flooring. You can find vinyl plank flooring with attached underlayment, thicknesses up to 8mm, durable glue down options, and engineered cores.

Wide Range of Colors & Styles with Beautiful Designs

Today’s printing and manufacturing capabilities have greatly improved the look, feel, and textures of vinyl plank floors. Vinyl floors are made to resemble the authentic materials like hardwood and stone. You can find realistic textures, unique patterns, millions of hues and colors. There is no shortage of patterns available for your project!

Versatile for Any Room

Vinyl flooring is one of the most versatile flooring solutions that can be installed throughout any room of your home, from bathrooms to kitchens to living rooms. It can also be installed in commercial settings with no problem. Forget needing to mix and match flooring for water-prone spaces!

Easy Installation

Vinyl flooring can be installed on nearly any subfloor, with the thicker floors being forgiving to imperfect subfloors. Luxury vinyl plank flooring has a DIY installation with either a click lock, glue down or loose lay installation method. If DIY installation isn’t in the cards for you, vinyl installation is typically less expensive and labor-intensive than competing solutions. Glue down vinyl is the exception and will require adhesive to install.

Price

The affordability, durability and appearance makes vinyl plank flooring a great option for busy spaces without the price tag of real wood or tile! Between the price per square foot and cost to install, vinyl is generally more affordable, starting under $1/sqft in some cases! The thicker the floor, typically the more expensive it will be. Glue down vinyl will generally be the least expensive option, with engineered cores being on the higher end of the price spectrum.

Comfort Under Foot

Compared to hardwood and tile floors, vinyl flooring is a softer material that offers more comfort underfoot. Vinyl that have a thicker core and attached underlayment will offer the most comfortable feel. Vinyl will also maintain a room temperature feel, unlike a cold stone or cement floor.

The Cons of Vinyl Flooring

As with any product, there are some disadvantages associated with vinyl plank flooring.

Cons of vinyl plank flooring comparison chart Bestlaminate

Glue Down Installation

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 that you avoid glue to make the removal as easy as possible. However, if you have a large, open space, a glue down vinyl will be the best for your project.

Can Be Punctured & Dented

Vinyl plank flooring is very durable, however it is a softer material than most laminates, hardwoods and tiles. Vinyl flooring can be punctured easily with very sharp objects, such as dropping a kitchen knife or sliding a metal leg chair on top of the vinyl.

Along with punctures, vinyl without a solid rigid core can show signs of denting with heavy objects on top, like a pool table or heavy bedframe. It is important to protect sharp furniture legs and wheels to prevent damaging the vinyl planks.

UV Fading

A vinyl plank flooring also has a different top coat than a laminate. This top coat is typically not UV resistant and can show signs of fading or discoloration over time. If you plan to put vinyl in a sunroom or heavily sunlit room, it is recommended to limit sunlight during the day.

Not Biodegradable

For environmentally conscious consumers, vinyl plank flooring is not biodegradable and can be very difficult to recycle. There are a few programs that will recycle your vinyl flooring, but they are not easy to find.

Resale Value

While vinyl flooring is increasing in popularity, hardwood and real stone tiles are known to increase a resale value of a home. For mid-range and starter homes, vinyl plank flooring is becoming a standard option in the industry. Depending on your market and competition, vinyl plank flooring may not add to your resale value.

Cannot Be Refinished

Unlike a hardwood floor, vinyl planks cannot be refinished. If you want to fix or replace your vinyl flooring, you’ll need to uninstall and reinstall the planks.

Lifespan

Most vinyl come with at least a 20-year warranty, and some even have a lifetime guarantee. Depending on the traffic, usage and UV exposure, the vinyl floor could last more or less than the warranty. If there are spots that are highly worn, you would not be able to refinish as mentioned above. The planks would need to be uninstalled and reinstalled.

Can be Difficult to Repair

Depending on the severity and placement, vinyl flooring can be a difficult thing to repair. There are dent and scratch kits you can buy at hardware stores to fix small problems. If a whole plank needs to be replaced, this will require uninstallation of the surrounding planks to reinstall if you have a click lock installation. While it is a technically easy fix, it can be time-consuming depending on where the damage is!

Comparing Vinyl Flooring Types

Now that we’ve listed specific advantages and disadvantage of vinyl plank flooring, you may want to compare each type of vinyl.

Vinyl Plank Flooring Comparison Chart Bestlaminate

Want to Learn More about Each Type of Vinyl?

Learn more about different types of vinyl by clicking on the one that sparks your interest!

After you learn about each type of vinyl flooring, you can compare the pros and cons to find out which option will be best for your project!

Comparing Vinyl and Other Floors

With so many flooring options on the market, we know it can be hard to narrow down the search for your perfect floor. If you’re still trying to decide if vinyl is right for you, or you’re stuck between different types of floors, it can be helpful to compare the advantages and disadvantages. Click the link below to compare vinyl with other floors on the market.

Have more questions about vinyl flooring? Drop them below!

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304 comments

Bonnie September 25, 2017 - 8:02 am

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

Reply
Ashley Tolfo September 25, 2017 - 10:43 am

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!

Reply
Rosetta March 18, 2020 - 10:41 am

I feel this will happen to my renovation project happening at the cottage in Spring. My husband phoned the person who hires the contractor and is happy that he got the reply; of course we will put flooring in before installing the new cabinets. In this day & age, I doubt if they’re heavy with what they’re made of now-a-days, it will be from Cabinet-Smith. My husband is upset that the contractor visited the cottage and said the vinyl-wood flooring would go around the Napoleon fireplace and not under. The contractor said; no need to take-apart the fireplace & it’s stone in front, go around it–it is in the middle of the room, not against a wall as most usually are, by the way. We too are “gutting-out” the whole cottage kitchen, from ceiling to walls to floors. I don’t want the laminate flooring like I have in the mud room, it’s a funny-floating feeling and when I turn the corner, I feel like I am dipping-down; everyone says it’s where the original cottage flooring, meets up with the new mud room extension. I have pets and you can hear them clicking on the floors, I hope the vinyl-wood flooring won’t be clicking.

Reply
Alana Kane March 19, 2020 - 7:06 am

Hi Rosetta, if you do not want a click floating vinyl, your other option is a glue down. With proper installation, however, you shouldn’t feel a hollow or clicking sound with a floating vinyl.

Reply
Sandra September 2, 2017 - 11:12 pm

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

Reply
Ashley Tolfo September 5, 2017 - 10:37 am

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 [email protected] and we will be happy to help!

Reply
Troy August 20, 2017 - 11:38 pm

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

Reply
Alana Kane August 21, 2017 - 10:55 am

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!

Reply
Nikki Leach August 3, 2017 - 7:31 pm

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?

Reply
Ashley Tolfo August 4, 2017 - 9:47 am

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 [email protected] with pictures of your island or a longer description of how your island looks and sits on the floor so we can help!

Reply
Shannon Woodhouse July 18, 2017 - 9:55 am

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?

Reply
Ashley Tolfo July 18, 2017 - 4:59 pm

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!

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