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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

Barter Design June 23, 2022 - 3:53 am

I was thinking of choosing this as flooring for our new home, but when I read that it can get scratched easily, I’m not sure about it anymore. With kids running around all day with their fists full of questionable things, the flooring might not survive in a year.

Reply
Rachel Vahcic June 23, 2022 - 11:19 am

Hi there! Vinyl flooring has evolved tremendously in the last several years. The durability of vinyl can withstand busy homes with children and pets! It is also 100% waterproof. When looking for flooring options, pay close attention to the wear layer. The higher the wear layer, the more durable and scratch-proof the flooring is! We are confident that vinyl flooring would be an excellent choice in your home.

Reply
Atiya June 19, 2022 - 6:48 am

Thanks for sharing this Amazing article. Your Pros & Cons were accurate.

Reply
Kingsmen June 10, 2022 - 7:22 am

Thanks for sharing! Very informative and detailed.

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Rick Jones February 9, 2022 - 5:56 pm

I didn’t know that you can install vinyl flooring on just about any subfloor. I was worried that I would get some vinyl and I couldn’t use it. However, I think I’ll make sure that my subfloor can support it.

Reply
Vanessa February 15, 2022 - 8:54 am

Hi Rick. Even though you are able to install vinyl on top of cement and plywood subfloors, you do need to make sure that whatever subfloor you have is flat and even. If there are imperfections like divots or unevenness in the subfloor, it may present problems later.

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Rick January 21, 2022 - 9:24 pm

Our basement floor was coated with a thick layer of epoxy — applied by the prior owner. (I know it is thick, because I am grinding it off in the future bathroom area to allow porcelain tile to be held down with thinset, LOL.) I plan on installing about 1200 square feet of vinyl plank in the rest of our newly finished basement. Will the epoxy act as a vapor barrier under the vinyl? Or do I need to put down something else? Any opinion of whether a cork or rubber backing on the vinyl planks is better?

Reply
Vanessa January 24, 2022 - 9:36 am

Hi Rick. Despite the thick layer or epoxy, we would still recommend using a vapor barrier, like Visqueen. Your other option can be installing a vinyl plank that has a rubber backing, as that will have a vapor barrier included.

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