Vinyl Flooring FAQ: Your Questions, Answered
Vinyl flooring can be very tricky. After all, there are so many types of vinyl flooring! That’s why we’ve compiled some of our most frequently asked questions to help your buying process. Now you can make the best decision for your home.
By now, you probably know a thing or two about vinyl flooring, but there are still a few pressing questions on your mind.
Guess what? We know the answers. For real.
Not to brag, but we tend to be pretty knowledgeable about our flooring. You might even say we’re a bit obsessed over here. That’s a good thing.
Because you need an obsessed person to answer your vinyl flooring questions. Here, we’ve compiled our most common questions.
Let’s take a look!
Use & Durability
When you’re purchasing your next home flooring, you probably want to make sure it can hold up to the wear and tear of your home. Here, we answer a few of your most important questions about vinyl flooring.
Will my dog’s nails scratch vinyl flooring?
The good news is that vinyl flooring has a wear layer that protects the flooring from scratches. If you have a particularly rambunctious dog (think large and tearing through the house like a lightning bolt) you’ll want to get the thickest wear layer option.
While vinyl products do have a wear layer, no vinyl product is 100% scratch proof. Over time, scratches may occur. We recommend trying to keep the dog’s nails trimmed to help lessen the number of scratches.
Can I put heavy appliances down directly on my vinyl floors?
You can! For furniture, we recommend that you use felt furniture pads under legs to prevent scratching the flooring surface. Never use rubber, as rubber can stain vinyl flooring.
For heavy furniture and appliances, use a non-staining large surface floor protector. You can also put most vinyl flooring under kitchen cabinets and appliances, but it’s a good idea to glue down those sections.
Do I need a protector on my vinyl floor for my rolling desk chair?
Even though vinyl flooring has a tough wear layer, it’s a good idea to use a mat under desk chairs. Over time, rolling desk chairs might cause some wear and tear. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
Can I put vinyl flooring in my basement?
Waterproof vinyl flooring, like TritonCORE, can be used in basements. It can generally be installed in moisture-prone areas and even over uneven subfloors. If you’re installing waterproof vinyl flooring over basement concrete, we recommend adding a vapor barrier underneath.
Can you install luxury vinyl flooring outdoors?
Even if using waterproof vinyl flooring, we do not recommend vinyl flooring for outside or semi-outside areas. UV rays can cause fading and continuous weather can damage the flooring over time. Using vinyl flooring outside may also void the manufacturer warranty! For these reasons, stick to using vinyl flooring indoors.
Will vinyl flooring expand?
Some vinyl flooring like TritonCORE will not expand and contract like other flooring types unless under extreme conditions. We will recommend leaving a small expansion gap around the perimeter for such extreme conditions, but the likelihood for expansion is very small. Not even flooding will cause waterproof vinyl flooring to expand. In fact, we did a little test:
That being said, other luxury vinyl flooring without a waterproof core, or a rigid core, will expand and contract.
At the end of the day, you probably want to know exactly what you’ll need to buy and how much it’ll cost. Here are the main things to know when shopping for vinyl flooring.
How much does vinyl flooring cost?
Vinyl flooring comes in three main types: tiles, planks, and sheets. Among these types are different features like peel & stick installation, rigid core, and waterproof core vinyl. Different features will raise and lower the price point. Basically, there’s a lot of choices out there when it comes to vinyl.
With that being said, I’ve pulled the basics of vinyl flooring prices. I’m estimating the vinyl flooring cost based on 1000 square feet.
|Vinyl Type||Average Cost by Sqft||Low||Average||High|
Note: Prices vary and are subject to change at any time
Shipping costs vary by location, but all of our waterproof vinyl features free shipping! That will save you hundreds of dollars on your order.
What is the difference between WPC, LVF and SPC?
WPC vinyl technically translates to wood-plastic composite vinyl flooring. However, many people use the acronym as waterproof core vinyl flooring. Both meanings are correct. WPC vinyl flooring is 100% waterproof. It’s known as the best of luxury vinyl flooring, but in the industry, it’s referred to as engineered vinyl flooring.
SPC stands for stone-plastic composite or stone-polymer composite. Both of these terms are used interchangeably. SPC is also sometimes referred to as Rigid Core luxury vinyl flooring. That’s because the stone-plastic composite core in this luxury vinyl is ultra-dense. In the industry, it’s also known as engineered vinyl flooring. SPC is also 100% waterproof.
LVF is the acronym for luxury vinyl flooring. Luxury vinyl flooring is sort of the umbrella term that often encompasses WPC and SPC. Though in the industry, luxury vinyl flooring often refers to vinyl that is not waterproof or rigid core. It has a higher-quality visual, and usually a basic glue down or interlocking installation mechanism.
What is LVP and LVT?
Now that we’ve established the umbrella for most vinyl flooring is LVF (luxury vinyl flooring), let’s take a look at two related terms: LVP and LVT.
LVP is the acronym for luxury vinyl planks. LVP refers to the specific shape of the vinyl flooring shape– plank. Luxury vinyl plank flooring often features a wood-look image and the plank format helps sell the look.
LVT is the acronym for luxury vinyl tiles. Luxury vinyl tiles often feature a stone-look image and mimics natural stone flooring. Like LVP, LVT refers to the specific shape of the vinyl flooring– tile. These can come in different sizes, but tend to keep the standard tile shape.
Are vinyl flooring and linoleum the same?
No! They’re actually very different! At one time the only vinyl anybody knew about was sheet vinyl, which has an appearance fairly similar to linoleum. Because of this, a lot of people confuse the two. Now that sheet vinyl is no longer the norm, it’s a bit easier to see and know the difference. I’ll highlight a few main points to show the difference:
- Made of natural materials
- Anti-static properties
- Needs to be sealed every year
- Requires a professional installation
Luxury Vinyl Flooring:
- Has three forms: sheet, plank, and tile
- Planks and tiles typically have multiple layers
- DIY friendly installation
- Virtually no maintenance
Does installation sound scary? It doesn’t have to be! Here are a few answers to your installation questions.
Can vinyl planks or tiles be installed over radiant heat?
Yes, most vinyl planks and tiles can be installed over radiant heat. However, it’s a good idea to check manufacturer instructions before doing so.
Can I install vinyl plank flooring over carpet? Over tile?
Vinyl plank flooring cannot be installed over any high pile carpet. The “squish” of a plush carpet will prevent vinyl planks from locking properly. However, if the carpet is a tight, low pile style, then thicker, tighter locking, vinyl planks may be suitable for installation.
Some people have had success installing vinyl plank flooring by placing plywood over carpet. Though it’s always best to check manufacturer guidelines for these types of installations.
Thicker vinyl plank flooring, such as TritonCORE or Rigid Core products, can be installed over existing tile flooring surface, provided that there are no major imperfections. Thinner luxury vinyl flooring is not recommended over tile, as telegraphing (an imprint from the subfloor on the main floor) may occur. Be sure to double check with the manufacturer recommendations to be certain.
Do I need a vapor barrier?
If you’re installing over a concrete subfloor, a vapor barrier should be used. Vapor barriers should also be used when installing in moisture-prone areas. Be sure to double check with the manufacturer recommendations to be certain.
Do I need an underlayment?
Some products have an underlayment attached, so you will not need to purchase additional underlayment with those products. At most, a vapor barrier will be needed in those installations.
If there is no attached underlayment, usually one is purchased. Underlayment has sound dampening properties, protects your subfloor and flooring, and makes your vinyl flooring softer underfoot. Cork is a popular choice for vinyl flooring, as rubber will cause staining.
How do I cut luxury vinyl flooring?
There are a few different methods for cutting luxury vinyl flooring.
Vinyl flooring can be cut by hand using a sharp utility knife; simply score the vinyl flooring for a clean break. Vinyl flooring can also be cut using a power saw, or even a tile cutter. The choice is up to you!
Cleaning & Maintenance
Homes get dirty; it’s just a fact. It’s a no-brainer to want to know all the details about cleaning vinyl flooring. We’ll answer that one, here.
How do I clean my vinyl floors?
The good news is, vinyl flooring is virtually maintenance-free. It’s so easy to clean and take care of, you won’t dread doing chores.
To clean your vinyl floors, be sure to vacuum up any dust, dirt, or debris. It’s best to use a vacuum without a beater bar for this.
You can also use a damp mop to keep your vinyl flooring clean. Be sure to clean up any spills immediately to prevent damage to your flooring.
That’s all it takes for clean floors!
How do I keep my vinyl flooring looking great?
To keep your vinyl flooring looking its best, we have a few tips:
- Use felt pads under chair and furniture legs to prevent scratching of the flooring surface.
- Place door mats at all entrances to prevent tracked in dirt, rocks, moisture, and other debris.
- Avoid using rubber backed mats as they can stain the flooring surface over time.
With these tips, your vinyl flooring will look great for years!
Ready to get started?