Vinyl plank flooring is an attractive and affordable material that can look beautiful in your home. But as with other types of flooring, it has its advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we’ll explore the most common.
Advantages of vinyl plank flooring
Vinyl plank flooring is 100% waterproof, which makes it a popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms. But it can work in pretty much any room, fully protected against spills, pet wee, and other liquids.
2. Scratch resistant
Vinyl plank flooring has a thick melamine layer at the top that makes it completely scratch resistant. It’s ideal for families with dogs and kids, and is also protected against high-heels, furniture legs, and other common scratch sources.
3. Great variety of patterns and colours
Vinyl is a material that can be coloured and patterned however you like, which means there’s a huge variety of designs to choose from. Vinyl planks usually come in a timber effect, but you don’t necessarily need to go down that route.
4. Looks like timber
One of the biggest appeals to vinyl plank flooring is that it looks like timber, but is a fraction of the cost. It’s also much easier to maintain than solid timber, which requires sanding and recoating from time to time to protect the material.
5. Highly durable
Vinyl plank flooring should last between 10 to 20 years if it’s installed correctly, and maintained properly. That’s an excellent lifespan for such an affordable product. It’s certainly softer than many laminates and hardwoods, but still has excellent durability.
6. Easy to clean
Cleaning vinyl plank flooring is a breeze. It just needs to be vacuumed with a soft-bristle brush, and then mopped. Easy peasy.
7. Comfortable to walk on
Vinyl plank is softer than other types of flooring, which gives it a nice underfoot feel. It obviously isn’t as cosy as carpet, but it’s a damn sight easier to maintain.
Disadvantages of vinyl plank flooring
1. Can’t be repaired
One of the biggest so-called downsides to vinyl plank flooring is that it can’t be repaired easily. Scratches and chips simply won’t come out. However, you can easily replace the affected plank, so this isn’t really much of a disadvantage.
2. Can be toxic
Vinyl plank flooring can contain toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which “offgas” into the air. It’s important to check the VOC rating for a flooring product before buying. Look for an E0 or E1 rating.
3. Can fade in the sun
Vinyl doesn’t do well in the sun, and will fade if it’s subjected to regular bouts of UV. There isn’t really much you can do about this aside from applying tint to your windows, or keeping the blinds or curtains closed during certain times of the day.
4. Doesn’t add value to your home
Vinyl plank flooring is an inexpensive type of flooring, and as such, doesn’t add value to your home in the way that solid timber flooring would.
5. Can be tough to remove
If glue was used to vinyl plank flooring, it can be difficult to remove. But if the planks have simply been clicked together, you should be able to just remove them one-by-one.
Vinyl plank isn’t a natural product like timber. It’s made of PVC resins, and so it doesn’t biodegrade at all. But they can be recycled at particular centres that can handle them.