Open the latest design magazine or watch any of today's home renovation reality shows and you'll see luxury vinyl flooring in all its glory! This reliable, durable, and budget-friendly material is often part of a jaw-dropping reveal that leaves surprised homeowners speechless. It's a stunning choice for them, but will vinyl flooring suit your home's unique needs?
The answer most likely is yes! Luxury vinyl flooring is offered in both tiles and planks and comes in a variety of wood-look, stone-look, and decorative designs. The vinyl itself contains several layers, each one engineered with specific qualities. For example, the thickest layer is a dense, rigid core that directly influences durability and serves as the main defense against your kid's messy spills. A protective wear layer also helps keep moisture at bay, plus it resists most scuffs and scratches. Since vinyl flooring is waterproof and incredibly durable, you can easily choose to have vinyl installed as one continuous floor throughout your entire home.
As you shop for vinyl flooring, you may be overwhelmed by the sheer number of designs available. Do you want durable vinyl wood-look planks that mimic golden oak or maybe a subtle, warm-hued gray ash? If a natural stone aesthetic is more your speed, maybe you'd prefer an authentic-looking polished marble, a speckled terrazzo, or even a cool concrete. Of course, you can also have your pick from a range of solid colors and decorative patterns to perfectly accent your favorite spaces.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Durable Vinyl Flooring
As you really consider all the flooring options in front of you at the showroom, understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each can help surface your top contenders. Which factors are most important for your specific lifestyle? What cons can you compromise on?
When it comes to pros, durable vinyl flooring has several:
Constructed to easily withstand any room of your home, including bathrooms and humid basements
Resistant to moisture, so no worries when you discover a spill from who knows how long ago
Nearly limitless design styles, including incredibly realistic-looking replicas of hardwood, stone, and other natural elements
More affordable than many other options, such as solid or engineered wood
On the cons side, keep in mind that vinyl flooring:
Has lower ROI compared to hardwood
Isn't entirely scratchproof, so don't drag furniture or forget to clip your dog's nails
How to Maintain Durable Vinyl Flooring
When you sign on the dotted line for durable vinyl flooring, you'll be glad to hear that you're signing up for only a modest amount of maintenance. Whether you go with vinyl planks or tiles, you'll want to start a cleaning regime from the get-go. Weekly sweeping or vacuuming will remove any accumulated dirt, pet hair, and other debris, and a damp mop from time to time can give you a deeper clean. Before you get started, though, check out the manufacturer's care instructions so you don’t put your new vinyl floors out of warranty!
Installation and Lifespan
When it comes time to install your shiny new vinyl floors, you may be tempted to put in the work yourself. Though you may be a wiz at DIY projects, we strongly discourage doing this project alone. Vinyl plank flooring durability is dependent on proper installation from start to finish. Plus, there's no room for error if you want that protective warranty to truly last. A pro installer will already have the right tools for the job, plus the know-how and experience to get that beautiful, durable vinyl flooring under your feet in no time!
A quality installation also sets your floors up for the longest life possible, but there are a few other variables that play into its longevity:
The quality of the materials used, including the vinyl itself
The amount of wear and tear it receives on a daily basis
How well you maintain your new floors
Whether you follow the guidance provided by the manufacturer
FAQs About Durable Vinyl Flooring
Do I need a moisture barrier under vinyl flooring? A moisture barrier is necessary when your vinyl floors are being installed in moisture-prone areas, like basements, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. You may also need one if you live in a humid climate or your house has a concrete subfloor, but don’t fret, as your flooring experts will recommend the best choice for your product installation.
What is the most scratch-resistant flooring? If you need the most scratch resistance you can get to ward off the unexpected damage that can come with a rowdy pack of dogs, look for luxury vinyl tile or luxury vinyl plank flooring. Both styles can resist most daily threats, but keep in mind that they're not scratch-proof. Protecting your floors with rugs and opting for a thick topcoat can also help!
Which is more durable: laminate or vinyl? Vinyl and laminate both are exceptionally durable floors and with a lot of similarities. In fact, the solid-core vinyl on the market today goes head-to-head with laminate in terms of durability and performance. Your best bet for determining the best choice for your needs is talking to your local Flooring America expert.
Does vinyl flooring rip easily? No! Vinyl flooring can withstand traditional wear and tear, but if you drop a sharp knife just right or drag heavy furniture across your new vinyl floors, it's possible you could end up with a rip. The best prevention is protection, which can include placing area rugs in your most accident-prone places and using furniture pads.
What is the most durable vinyl plank flooring? Vinyl plank floors that have a solid core provide the most durability for your active home. Among vinyl's multi-layer construction is a dense, resilient, and waterproof core layer that's covered with a protective wear layer to resist scuffs and scratches. This provides perfect peace of mind for your active home, especially if you have little ones (or little pups) running underfoot.