Vinyl flooring is one of the most popular flooring materials today for a good reason: they are inexpensive, dependable, and simple to install and maintain. However, like all floors, vinyl planks have some drawbacks that homeowners should be aware of before making a purchase, so they know exactly what to expect. If you’re looking for vinyl flooring, this post will highlight some of the drawbacks that most salespeople won’t tell you about. We hope it assists you in making an informed decision.
1. Vinyl flooring is not repairable.
This is possibly the most significant disadvantage of vinyl flooring. If a vinyl plank becomes damaged, the only way to restore it is to replace it; it cannot be repaired. However, replacing a plank is not easy because you must disassemble the floor from the wall up to the damaged plank. Then, install a new plank, and reassemble the flooring back to the wall. However, if the damage is not that great, such as a small scratch on the plank, you can easily repair it by following these steps:
Thoroughly clean the area with a mild soap and water solution. Gently rub the area with a sponge or a soft microfiber cloth. Scrubbing the area with a hard-bristled brush or any other rough material will only aggravate the scratch. After cleaning, rinse the area thoroughly and allow it to dry completely before proceeding.
Lightly sand the dent to smooth it out. Begin with 320 grit sandpaper, 500 grit, and 800 grit paper. Then clean the area once more with mild detergent and warm water, then rinse and pat dry with a clean cloth or air dry.
Restore the shine to the area with car wax. Because the wax wears off quickly, you should reapply it every few months. A rug over the area will help the wax last longer. While repairing the scratch keeps it from getting worse over time, keep in mind that the patched area will usually not match the rest of the plank.
2. Vinyl flooring does not last as long-lasting as real wood.
Even though vinyl flooring is designed to look like natural wood, it does not last as long. Whereas some high-quality hardwood floors can last for over forty years, vinyl planks have a lifespan of ten to twenty years. However, if vinyl flooring planks are installed correctly and cared for properly, they can last up to thirty years. So, how do you extend the life of your vinyl flooring? Here are a few pointers.
Use gentle cleaners.
Harsh detergents can remove your vinyl’s protective layer, exposing it to scratches, dents, and stains that can cause the flooring to wear out prematurely.
In most cases, warm water will suffice to remove dirt and stains from your vinyl flooring. If you must use a cleaner, make it a vinyl-friendly one, such as mild dishwashing liquid. To help the floor dry faster, add rubbing alcohol to the cleaning solution. Watch this video to learn how to clean vinyl plank floors properly and which products to use.
Keep the floor away from direct sunlight.
If your vinyl flooring is constantly exposed to direct sunlight, it will gradually discolor, and the pattern on the vinyl will eventually fade away. The best way to keep sunlight out of your home is to keep your blinds and curtains closed. You could also cover the areas where the sun shines the brightest with a piece of cloth or furniture.
Spills should be wiped up immediately.
Although vinyl flooring planks are waterproof, wiping up spills as soon as they occur is still important to keep your floor dry. Moisture should not be allowed to accumulate between the vinyl and the subfloor through the seams or grooves, as this will create an ideal environment for mold to grow.
In addition to cleaning up spills, sweep up dirt frequently because it can attract mold. If mold grows beneath your vinyl flooring planks, it will not only emit an unpleasant odor but also begin to deteriorate, reducing its lifespan.
3. It emits volatile organic compounds into the atmosphere.
Vinyl flooring products are notorious for emitting harmful gases and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere, which have been shown to have negative effects on humans. When these compounds are installed in homes, they can be dangerous to people who have respiratory allergies. While most vinyl flooring planks are low in volatile organic compounds, some low-cost brands may still contain materials that can expose you to these harmful chemicals.
The extent of the damage, however, will be determined by a number of factors, including the amount of VOCs in the air and the length of time you were exposed. You will most likely only experience headaches, dizziness, eye itchiness, or respiratory tract irritation if you are only exposed for a short while. Asthma, respiratory allergies, and similar serious lung problems can result from continued exposure. Fortunately, vinyl flooring planks only outgas for a short period of time after installation.
However, the quality of the vinyl and other materials used in the flooring will determine this. High-quality planks will likely stop emitting toxins within a week or two of installation, whereas low-quality floors will take longer, with some taking up to two months. Keep your home well ventilated to quickly get rid of the ‘new floor’ smell. Cleaning the vinyl floor on a regular basis and using air fresheners may also be beneficial.
4. It can be difficult to remove and reuse glued vinyl planks.
If you installed loose-lay or click-and-lock vinyl flooring planks, removing them should be relatively simple. The issue arises when the planks are glued down. While glued vinyl planks are more durable than floating vinyl planks, the floors can be difficult to install. You’ll need to carefully pry them out to ensure they’re not broken.
Also, glued-down planks can be difficult to use because the adhesive causes the backing to rip and peel, no matter how careful one is with the removal. To use such planks again and the back side to even it out before reapplying the adhesive, which can be time-consuming.
Vinyl flooring planks are not biodegradable and can be difficult to recycle, depending on the materials used. So, if you’re looking for environmentally friendly flooring, you might want to consider natural hardwood.
6. Doesn’t increase home value
Vinyl plank flooring will not increase the value of your home when compared to natural wood. This is especially true because vinyl planks are significantly less expensive than hardwood. Wood planks can cost up to $12 per square foot, whereas vinyl planks are only $5 per square foot. As a result, homes with natural wood floors tend to sell for more than those with less expensive vinyl plank flooring.
7. Susceptible to damages
While vinyl planks can withstand some abuse for a while, dropping sharp objects, pulling and pushing furniture, and walking on them in pointed heels will scratch or scuff your flooring.
When the flooring is brand new, it is best to wait a few days before bringing in heavy objects such as furniture or walking on it. This is especially important for glue-down planks because it gives the adhesive enough time to firmly attach the planks to the floor. It is also critical to avoid pulling or pushing heavy objects or dropping sharp objects to protect the floor from wear and tear.
Can you chip around the corners?
Chipped edges are typically the result of poor installation. While vinyl flooring planks are relatively simple to install, you must exercise extreme caution when handling them, especially if you are using a hammer and tapping block to fit the planks into their appropriate grooves.
Excessive force when striking the planks can leave marks, dents, and gouges around the edges of the boards, making it difficult for the planks to click and lock and leaving the flooring looking and feeling uneven.
Vinyl planks have some flaws that make them appear lower-quality when compared to high-end floorings like hardwood floor. But, make no mistake, vinyl flooring planks are still among the most popular flooring options on the market today, owing to their lower cost and ease of installation over real wood.
While it is important to understand the flaws of this flooring, you should also learn about the factors that continue to make it a popular choice among homeowners. You will then be able to make an informed purchasing decision.