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The Pros and Cons of Vinyl Flooring

Posted: Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Vinyl floors - the pros and cons.

Vinyl flooring is ubiquitous. The stuff is found everywhere, and is the standard installation in a high percentage of U.S. homes. Do-it-yourself home-improvement stores are stacked top-to-bottom with vinyl flooring products.

There’s a reason for that. Actually, several reasons. Vinyl, or PVC (polyvinylchloride) flooring has lots of positive attributes. First, in the veritable universe of flooring, vinyl is relatively inexpensive, generally speaking. Prices per square foot of vinyl flooring, when compared to hardwoods, veneers, laminates, ceramic, stone and other mineral-based tiles, are more affordable.

Also, once a vinyl floor is installed, it is remarkably easy to clean and maintain. For most spills and stains and tracked dirt, vinyl usually only requires a mild detergent, water, and minimal elbow grease to restore it to its original condition. On a daily basis, sweep-ups and vacuuming are all that are required. Because it is a rubber-like synthetic material, only the most wicked of chemicals will affect vinyl flooring permanently. When it comes to cleaning, vinyl is a cost-effective option.

Repair maintenance is generally fairly easy with vinyl floors as well. It is possible to nick or tear the material, but if a suitable matching piece is available, the damaged area can be cut out and replaced. Then sealer is used to hide the edges of the new patch.

Vinyl flooring is cheap, flexible, comfortable to walk on, easy to install, and quite easy to clean. But unfortunately, it is not the perfect flooring. It also comes with a few drawbacks. Although there have been major improvements over the years, most vinyl flooring is somewhat light-sensitive, and has a tendency to fade over time. And, although some products are superior to others, most vinyl flooring will show signs of wear after several years, and there is no way to get it back to original condition.

But the most important potential drawback is that some people find that they react negatively to the slow-acting gaseous emissions of PVC products, developing allergies and other symptoms. If this is of concern to you, it would be wise to investigate alternative flooring products as well as the latest and “greenest” vinyl flooring.

There are many reasons that vinyl flooring has been so popular for many decades, and no doubt it will be for more to come. But one thing’s for sure, it has been around long enough that significant improvements have made it worth taking for a test walk.