How long does vinyl flooring last?
Are you thinking of installing vinyl in your home? Before you make your final selection, you may want to consider the longevity of what you will be installing. Every material has pros and cons, and what you select is often at the intersection of affordability, durability, and aesthetics.
Today’s vinyl flooring options can meet all three of those requirements, which is why its a popular choice. Vinyl plank flooring has grown in popularity because of it’s ability to look like the real thing, while giving you the affordability and durability you’ll love.How Long Does Vinyl Plank Flooring Last
The longevity of vinyl plank flooring depends on the thickness and the wear layer of the product you are purchasing. Some of the thicker vinyl floors on the market come with warranties for up to 25 years. If you are using a thin vinyl, you’ll most likely get a wear life of somewhere between 5 and 10 years with normal use.
Vinyl plank is designed to resemble hardwood, and it comes in strips in much the same fashion as a hardwood alternative. You can find this product in a number of looks and styles, each mimicking a specific type of wood. Because it is designed to imitate hardwood, you’ll find a version that matches your home’s decor.
Vinyl plank has many advantages over its hardwood counterparts.
Because many models are backed with a felt product, when installed it provides a softer floor with more give. That means less breakage when things are dropped, which is good news for plates and glasses in the kitchen.
Vinly floor is water resistant, making vinyl plank the perfect choice in kitchens and bathrooms. In fact, vinyl is better at sealing against water damage, so it’s especially durable in basement locations.
Vinyl plank can be installed directly on your subfloor, which makes the process quick, cost-effective, and easy to handle.
And because vinyl is one of the easiest surfaces to maintaince, it’s a wise choice in a busy household with lots of foot traffic.
Keep in mind that while vinyl will hold up for many years, it can be damaged quite easily. Avoid moving heavy furniture around, which can result in scuffs and gouges. If any particles are left beneath during installation, it can create bumps or warps in your floors. And keep in mind that vinyl does little to add to the resale value of your home.
Recycling Used Vinyl Plank Flooring
It is possible to recycle all forms of vinyl, including vinyl plank flooring. Vinyl has been diverted from landfills and trash sites since before the turn of the century, and post-industrial recycling helps to put even the cut-offs back into other finished vinyl products. With this in mind, it is comparatively easy to get your used vinyl plank flooring recycled.
Re-Using the Flooring
Most vinyl floor manufacturers agree that, if the floors were made in the last decade, then it is possible to reuse the floors as whole pieces, although a lot depends upon the glues used in the original vinyl. Tiles and shorter boards can be made from vinyl plank flooring, and it can also be used whole as carpet backing. Vinyl plank flooring can therefore be recycled if they are kept as whole as possible.
Recycling the Material
Vinyl plank boarding can often not be recycled whole, and may end up in a trash bin because of this. However, you can get in contact with recycling firms through a list available on the internet, find out if anyone wishes to strip the vinyl from the backing, and use that to recycle. If you want your vinyl plank flooring to be environmentally friendly, then it is best to install recycled planks at the start, rather than attempting to make them green at the end of their life.
Vinyl Flooring Pros and Cons
Vinyl flooring has been a popular flooring choice in America for many years, and it still accounts for around 15 percent of annual flooring expenditures in the country. When most people talk about vinyl flooring they’re usually thinking about sheet flooring. However, there are other forms of flooring made from vinyl, such as tiles and planks. Since they’re all are made from vinyl they share a number of common characteristics and have many of the same advantages and disadvantages.
Affordability – Vinyl’s primary advantage is its affordability. While it can emulate high-end flooring in appearance, vinyl flooring is relatively inexpensive and can be installed for as little as $5 per square foot.
Wide Color Choice – All vinyl flooring is available in a wide range of colors, making it adaptable and easy to fit into almost any decor.
Quick and Easy Installation – Available in tiles and planks as well as sheets, it’s easy to install. The tiles usually come in 12-inch squares, so they’re easy to handle and both the tile and planks are often manufactured with “peel and stick” backings, meaning they’re easy for homeowners to put down themselves (saving money on professional installation).
Moisture Resistance – Vinyl flooring is totally waterproof, so it can be used virtually anywhere in the home including the main floor, upper floors and below grade. It works particularly well in bathrooms and kitchens, where water often ends up on the floor.
Easy Cleanup – Water simply beads on the surface, making it easy to mop up. Plus, regular sweeping and an occasional damp mopping are all that’s required to keep a vinyl floor clean and bright.
Durability – Most vinyl flooring has a wear layer (sometimes up to three) on top of the vinyl itself, so it’s resistant to normal traffic wear.
Comfort – Vinyl is a resilient flooring, meaning it’s soft texture has a little give when you walk on it, making it a good working floor you can stand on for hours.
Petroleum Product – Vinyl is made from petroleum, so from an environmental perspective because it’s made from a non-renewable resource it’s a bad product.
No Resurfacing – While the wear layer is designed to protect the flooring, after a few years of traffic the surface will start to show scuffing and signs of wear. Unlike wood, the vinyl floor can’t have a new finish applied.
Color Fade – Vinyl can’t stand up to ultra violet rays so under prolonged exposure to sunlight the patterns and colors in a vinyl floor will start to fade.
Difficult or Impossible Repairs – While vinyl is durable, if it does get damaged it’s hard to patch. A vinyl tile or plank can be removed and a new one installed, but a sheet vinyl floor needs to be replaced.
Surface Irregularities – Over time some vinyl floors develop bumps or curls at the edges or along the seams.
Clean Vinyl Plank Flooring
One of the advantages of vinyl plank flooring is the ease of maintenance. Keeping the vinyl clean is very simple. With all the look of hardwood and none of the headaches, vinyl plank flooring is much less expensive and easier to install.
Step 1 – Sweep/Vacuum Floor
To remove dirt and dust from your vinyl plank flooring, vacuum or sweep it with a broom. This should be a daily chore to keep the finish shiny. Follow up with dry micro-static-fiber floor duster to catch remaining dust.
Step 2 – Clean Floor
Add 1 tbsp of ammonia (or liquid dish liquid) to 1 quart of water. Wash the floor using a clean rag or mop. Alternatively, you can use whichever self-cleaning (no rinse) floor cleaner is recommended by your floor’s manufacturer.
Step 3 – Rinse Floor
If you decide to use liquid dish soap, rinse residue with clear water. If you don’t rinse, the floor will be sticky.
Step 4 – Yearly Maintenance
The manufacturer of your floor might recommended that you apply a new coat of floor polish to keep your floor glossy and provide additional protection against wear. Please note that using a vacuum with a beater bar can damage vinyl planks, so you should not use it on your flooring. Additionally, avoid using abrasive cleaners and scrubbing pads, which can scratch the surface of the vinyl.