Vinyl flooring has come a long way since first becoming popular post-WWII due to its low cost, resilience and water-resistant properties. Now it’s available in a wide range of colours, designs and finishes to match any home decor.
In spite of its beauty, versatility and water resistance, vinyl does have its downsides, especially if used in your bathroom.
Consider both its pros and cons when deciding if vinyl flooring is right for your home.
Vinyl Flooring for Bathrooms – Pros and Cons
Since your bathroom is exposed to so much moisture and abuse daily, you need to choose a flooring material that’s both water-resistant and durable. Is vinyl the right flooring choice for you? Keep reading and decide for yourself.
The Pros of Vinyl Flooring
Probably the biggest benefit of vinyl flooring is its water resistance. It’s made with waterproof materials like PVC and has a nonporous surface, making it a great flooring option for water-prone areas like bathrooms, kitchens, basements and laundry rooms.
It’s Available In Realistic Visuals
From wood, marble and stone to tiles and concrete, your vinyl plank floors can take on a variety of appearances. If you love expensive flooring material but have a tight budget, vinyl allows you to replicate the look at a much lower cost.
It Resists Stains
Printed vinyl sheets and tiles have a clear top layer that works as a barrier to protect your floor from spills and stains, making it easy to clean and maintain. However, solid and composite vinyl tiles don’t have this top protective layer and are thus exposed to stains, requiring occasional stripping and polishing.
Ease of Installation
Advances in flooring technology have made vinyl floors more DIY-friendly. While they were once only available in huge, bulky sheets, today’s planks and tiles can be installed without hammers or saws.
Most top flooring brands offer peel-and-stick vinyl planks; just remove the protective backing and press them into place. For luxury vinyl tiles and planks, simply fit them into place one after the other, using a click-lock edge linking feature. These usually float over the underlayment, without any glue-down bond.
It Requires Little Maintenance
Vinyl floors are relatively easy to care for. All you need to do is sweep away grit and dirt and give it a dry mop.
Avoid detergents, waxes, abrasive scrubs, scouring pads, solvents and ammonia as they can dull and damage the surface. Use only approved vinyl floor cleaners to remove stains.
You can also make a homemade cleaning solution from one cup of white vinegar to a gallon of warm water. Consider adding a few drops of mineral oil for extra shine.
Vinyl floors have a soft, cushioned feel that’s good for feet and joints. They also create an insulating layer that keeps floors warm in winter. This is highly beneficial for your bathroom because the flooring tends to remain wet and cold due to constant exposure to water.
The Cons of Vinyl Flooring
It’s Susceptible to Damage
Although vinyl plank floors are durable, they’re softer than hardwood, tile and natural stone, and can be easily damaged with sharp objects like a screw or knife. Even sliding a metal chair on vinyl flooring can scratch or dent it.
It’s Difficult to Repair
In case of severe damages like deep scratches or multiple dents, you can either replace the floor or remove the affected area and restore it with a patch. This patch will have seams and may not blend well with the rest of the floor. Cutting the patch to match the existing pattern lines could be helpful, but it’s difficult enough that it requires a skilled flooring craftsman.
As with any type of flooring, vinyl isn’t perfect. While it’s water-resistant and comfortable, it’s also difficult to repair. Weigh its benefits against its limitations to determine if vinyl flooring is the right choice for your bathroom.