5 Myths of Vinyl Flooring

As I’ve been gearing up to renovate the Kid’s/Guest bathroom I’ve been considering several different options for new flooring.  As  I’ve searched I’ve been very impressed by what I have seen in the vinyl flooring arena.

Over the years it seems vinyl has gotten a bad reputation in the design world for being outdated and weak on the scale of durability. You may be surprised when you learn these following myth busters regarding vinyl flooring.

 

1).  Vinyl flooring is outdated and unattractive.

Vinyl flooring has come a long way in both looks and durability. I think for many people the term vinyl flooring conjures up images of one giant seamless sheet of vinyl rolled out onto the floor. However, this is only one type of vinyl flooring.

Two more contemporary vinyl options are vinyl tiles and vinyl planks. Vinyl tiles are pre cut square pieces of vinyl that usually come in 12x 12 inch or 18 x18 inch sizes. They are often designed to mimic the visual appearance of ceramic or other stone tiles.

 

vinyl flooring 101

Armstrong Flooring via Houzz

 

 

(Amtico Linear Chalk Luxury Vinyl Tile)



Over the past 5-8 years vinyl tiles have increased in popularity and it’s realistic appearance. There are even vinyl tiles available that can be grouted in the same manner that ceramic tile would be grouted.

 

In recent years as hardwoods and laminates have taken the front stage of coveted flooring, vinyl is now being offered in vinyl planks. These vinyl planks are often 4-6 inches wide and 3-4 ft long. Their color and pattern can resemble hardwood so closely that from afar you would never know it was vinyl!

 

(Floors by Centura, the Dura Vista line and the color is called Milo)

 

  (Armstrong_Luxe Plank Collection Timber Bay Hickory (Color: Barnyard Gray))

 

TrafficMASTER Allure Ultra 7.5 in. x 47.6 in. Aspen Oak White Resilient Vinyl Plank Flooring (20 sq. ft./case)-54617.0 at The Home Depot

(TrafficMASTER Allure Ultra Aspen White Oak)

 

(Allure by Trafficmaster. Country Pine)



2).  All vinyl flooring is created equal.

This is not so! Vinyl flooring varies in quality and durability. The durability of vinyl hangs on two factors, the thickness of the vinyl and the finish. Thinner vinyl will wear more quickly. Hence, in most cases the thicker the vinyl the better the quality.

Vinyl also has levels of durability based on the surface finish. For example, some vinyl has no finish, others a urethane finish, and the most protective finish is called enhanced urethane. self adhesive vinyl floor tiles

via Pinterest

It is important to pay close attention to these characteristics of vinyl as well manafacturer warranties and customer reviews when searching for durable vinyl.

 

3). Installing vinyl flooring should be left to the pros.

No way, especially with all of the stick and peel options out there this is totally a do it yourself project you can tackle even if you are a beginner. In fact other than painting walls this was my very first DIY project ever! It came about 9 years ago when i was using the bathroom at a friend’s house. :-)  I liked her flooring and asked her about it.  She told me she had used peel and stick vinyl tiles and had done it herself.

What? I had no idea this even existed! So when we bought our first home a couple of years later and the master bathroom had 13 year old vinyl sheet flooring that had become worn and dingy so I asked her more about it. She told me all she did was clean the previous floors really well and then use good scissors and an exacto knife to cut the vinyl tiles when going around the toilet, sink, and walls.

In tricky spots like the toilet you can use a 12×12 piece of paper as a template to draw the line around it and then trace it onto the vinyl tile (or you could lift the toilet if you know how).  Anyways, here’s some links to how to lay a variety of vinyl tiles.  Just know it’s definitely doable!

Video tutorial on laying Peel N’ Stick Tile

Video Tutorial on laying dry back Tile

Video Tutorial on laying a floating Vinyl Plank floor

 

4). Vinyl flooring is a less expensive option to tile and laminate floorings.

Surprisingly not always! Perhaps for a very basic sheet of vinyl or a solid color vinyl tile but not necessarily for some of the better quality look-a-likes.

The solid vinyl tiles tend to be less expensive some are even as low as 50 cents a square feet which could be used to create fun patterns like the ones below.

 

 

 

(Forbo Marmoleum Composition Tiles in Jade (3222) and Barley (707))

 

As I mentioned earlier I’ve been on the hunt for flooring for the kids/guest bathroom renovation and have been specifically looking at tile, wood laminates, and vinyl look-a-likes.  I have found vinyl tile and planks for as low as 89 to 99 cents a square foot, however, I have also seen ceramic tile and laminate flooring that low too!

 

I think I’ve decided on Trafficmaster’s Allure Alpine Elm Resilient Vinyl plank flooring (shown below).  It has great reviews and is sold at Home Depot for $2.09 a square foot.
$2/sq ft. TrafficMASTER Allure 6 in. x 36 in. Alpine Elm Resilient Vinyl Plank Flooring (24 sq. ft./case)-63275.0 at The Home Depot

 

But to prove my point there is also good tile and laminate and even engineered hardwood in that price range!

 

I did score some vinyl peel and stick tiles at Home Depot clearanced at 33 cents a square feet to do my current master bathroom floors. One of the best $20 I’ve ever spent!

 

vinyl flooring peel and stick tiles

 

Before

Master Bath2

 

After

master bath after

It is a great quality laminate and even a friend with very expensive taste thought it was tile!  But that was lucky, most of the nicer quality vinyl will be closer to the $2 and up range.

 

5)   If vinyl isn’t a lot cheaper than other options then there is no reason to purchase it.

Vinyl actually has some great intrinsic qualities.  Personally I prefer it over tile for several reasons.  One, is it is easier on the foot.  You can call me a pansy but I don’t like the hard feel of tile as well as how cold it gets in the winter (go ahead say it, I can take it) :-)  I feel vinyl is more comfortable to walk on barefoot for these reasons.

Also with children I worry with falls that they could become injured if they hit their head on tile.  Vinyl seems like a softer, less dangerous material to me. In addition tile requires more upkeep and maintenance.  Right now we have tile throughout our foyer, kitchen, and half bath.  In a few areas the grout has become cracked and chipped away (as shown below) and needs repair.

 

pros of vinyl flooring

 

In addition, compared to laminates and woods it does better holding up to moisture and to nicks from dog nails and other wear.

Lastly, although vinyl may not necessarily be less expensive as tile and laminate it is easier to install.  So if you are able to install it yourself than you do save money by going the vinyl route vs. the tile or laminate route.

 

I hope this post on myth busters of vinyl has been helpful! Do you have experience with vinyl? Do share!

vinyl flooring 101

28 thoughts on “5 Myths of Vinyl Flooring

  1. shirley

    I want to say that I put self stick tile in my basement 40 years ago. It has seen 2 floods and power washed both times and it is still sticking. So what ever they say it works and that was probably a new thing not like they have now.

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    1. Tamara Post author

      Barb, yep that is what we had in our master bathroom which I ended up being thankful for because it was so easy to lay the new peel and stick vinyls right over it. Thanks for stopping by! :-)

  4. Mel

    I installed Allure vinyl flooring in my kitchen last year, this year continued it into my dining room. After previously having porcelain tile, the vinyl is much nicer feeling and looks amazing too. The best part is that I was able to install it myself.

  5. katie

    Does using vinyl affect your ability to sell your house later on?!? I was thinking about using it to replace the laminate in my living/dining room area (I have a dog and laminate is a pain with the dog) but I’m afraid I’d have to redo it if I went to sell my house sometime in the future

    1. Tamara Post author

      That’s a great question, Katie! I think a realtor would best be able to answer that question. However, I think one of the most attractive things to a potential buyer is that the home is updated and visually appealing. My personal opinion is that if you are using a good quality vinyl that mimics the appearance of stone, tile, or wood planks that you will be improving the look of your home and hence the likelihood of it’s sell. Great question!

  6. Becca

    We are planning to use the same Allure flooring in our bathroom as well – but as flooring newbies, I was wondering how you’re planning to install it – any extra precautions for water, or just lay it down and go?

    Great post!

    1. Tamara Post author

      Hi, Becca, great question! Vinyl is very water resistant so you won’t need any kind of underlayment. I’ve always just made sure the floor underneath is clean and then I start peeling and sticking. Remember to leave about a 1/4 inch space when you get to the walls because with changing temperatures the vinyl will expand and contract. When you are all done it looks really nice to add a quarter round moulding trim against the baseboard. It hides the 1/4 inch gap and gives a professionally finished look. Let me know if you have any other questions! :-)

  7. Therese

    I miss vinyl floors. They were warmer and softer than the tile and granite I have now. Also, anything that gets dropped on the tile gets broken. I’ve lost lots of glasses, dishes, Christmas ornaments and IPhone screens to my tile floors. Viva La Vinyl!

  8. NancySJ

    Great information; thank you! I’ve seen some vinyl flooring these days that’s really attractive and am thinking about redoing our hall bath, which is currently a shrine to the 1990s.

    My dad told me a trick about replacing vinyl (the kind on a roll, not the tiles) for a small room: Tear out the old flooring and use it as a pattern to cut the new vinyl in one piece to the exact dimensions — assuming the new vinyl is wide enough. Then you can lay the new in one fell swoop! He did this once for a laundry room with a connected powder room and closet — all in once piece!

  9. blesserhouse

    I totally agree with all of your points! We have vinyl in our bathrooms, and we really like it. No one can tell it’s vinyl. They always think it’s tile until I show them and they have to practically put their nose to the floor to tell.

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