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Vinyl Flooring: The Good, the Bad, and the No Longer Ugly

Apr 16, 2020 by Marc Rapport
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Since the 1950s, vinyl has been a popular choice for homeowners looking for a cost-efficient, low-maintenance, and durable flooring option. And now with vinyl choices no longer limited to six-foot to 12-foot sheets -- and a lot of new looks -- that popularity just continues to endure.

For those looking for a tiled look, vinyl tiles may be a good option because they look like ceramic tiles but cost significantly less than their ceramic counterparts and are easier to install. Similarly, vinyl flooring is also now available in wood-like planks, which may be more resistant to damage and less expensive than hardwood floors.

But while vinyl is known for being economical and hard to damage, it may not be the right choice for every home or every project. So let's discuss the pros and cons of vinyl flooring before you start tearing up all the carpet and tile in your own home.

Pros of vinyl flooring

1. Cost

One of the biggest considerations for any project is cost. That's a big win for vinyl.

According to HomeAdvisor (NASDAQ: ANGI), vinyl flooring usually costs between $0.50 and $5 per square foot. Compare that to tile and wood, which can cost up to around $15 per square foot, and carpet, which can cost up to $7 per square foot, and the savings can really add up.

2. Easy installation

Vinyl flooring used to only be available in large sheets that were difficult to work with. Today's vinyl flooring usually comes in tiles or planks, which are easier to work with and often can be installed without using a saw or having to hammer the planks in place. Some vinyl tiling is even available as self-stick, meaning you can install it by peeling the backing and sticking it to the floor.

3. Durability

Vinyl flooring holds up to heavy use and also reduces noise compared to some other options, making it a great choice for homeowners with pets and/or kids. Vinyl flooring also holds up well to moisture, unlike carpet and wood flooring, which makes vinyl a great choice for bathrooms, kitchens, mud rooms, and laundry rooms.

Cons of vinyl flooring

1. Difficult to remove

While vinyl flooring may be easier to install than other flooring options, it can also be more difficult to remove. The reason for this is because vinyl flooring is glued down, and once that glue is set, it can require a lot of time and energy to remove.

2. More likely to be damaged in the elements

While vinyl flooring holds up well to moisture, it is prone to fading over time in the sun. Vinyl flooring is also more sensitive to extreme hot and cold temperatures. Because of this, as HomeAdvisor points out, vinyl floors may not be the right choice for rooms that get a lot of direct sunlight.

3. More likely to be damaged by furniture

Vinyl flooring is considered a "softer" flooring option, which means that while it is comfortable underfoot, it is prone to gouging by sharp objects, like knives and sharp edges of furniture. Because of this, homeowners need to be careful when moving and placing furniture.

Vinyl flooring has been an affordable and attractive flooring option for homeowners for decades. And with recent advances in options, including vinyl tiles and wood planks, homeowners now have a variety of attractive, durable options for many different rooms.

But before you start tearing up floors, it's important to consider whether vinyl is the right choice for your project. After all, once it's down, it's down.

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Marc Rapport has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.