Vinyl flooring can last anywhere from 10 to 25 years. The floor’s lifespan depends primarily on its overall thickness and its wear layer. Besides that, the quality of the floor’s installation and its regular maintenance are also significant factors in its longevity. An excellent warranty coverage also helps you get the most of your money by protecting you if the floor wears out prematurely.
How Often Should Vinyl Flooring Be Replaced?
You can expect your vinyl flooring to last anywhere from 10 to 25 years. The reason that the estimated range is so broad is that not all vinyl floors are the same.
So, in other words, some vinyl floors wear out quicker than others.
Generally, the lifespan of your flooring depends on three things: the product quality, the installation quality, and the maintenance and care you provide to it.
Let’s suppose you purchase vinyl flooring that’s of low- or mid-range quality, and the installation was done improperly. On top of that, you rarely clean or maintain the floor.
In that case, your floor will likely last about 10 years.
However, let’s say you invested in a high-quality vinyl product installed by professionals. With proper care and maintenance, that vinyl floor will serve you well for at least 15 to 25 years instead.
Once your vinyl flooring starts to wear out, you’ll then have to invest in a replacement. Understanding the expected lifespan of your floor allows you to plan and budget ahead for when that day comes.
How Do You Know Your Vinyl Flooring Is Wearing Out?
You’ll know that your vinyl floor is wearing out when you see telltale signs like:
• The floor starts peaking, i.e. when the vinyl flooring sticks up where it shouldn’t.
• Gaps or tears start to appear in your vinyl flooring that wasn’t there before.
• There’s a slight cracking noise when walking across the floor.
• The vinyl material wears thin, especially around busy areas
• Significant discoloration forms in the vinyl material
Seeing one or more of these telltale signs doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to get the floor replaced immediately. Instead, you should get the floor inspected by a professional.
That way, they can give you advice on the next steps you can take and whether or not it’s time for a new floor.
What Affects The Lifespan Of Vinyl Flooring?
Several factors affect how long your vinyl flooring will last.
The most crucial thing that you must understand is that those factors happen at all stages of your buying process. Some aspects relate to the time before the flooring is installed in your home (i.e. the product you choose and who you ask to install it).
Then, there are factors related to the time after the floor is already in your home (i.e. the maintenance and care you provide).
So, by being mindful of all those different factors, you can ensure that your vinyl flooring lasts as long as possible.
Here are the 5 factors that affect the lifespan of vinyl flooring:
One of the most important things to consider when choosing a vinyl flooring is matching its thickness to your needs. To put it simply: thicker vinyl flooring is much more durable than thinner ones.
That’s especially true in high-traffic areas (where people walk often) and places where you’ll put heavy furniture (e.g. desks and beds).
2. Wear layer
Vinyl flooring consists of several layers. The top layer is known as the ‘wear layer’, and it also plays a crucial role in how long your vinyl floor lasts.
Think of the wear layer as the ‘first line of defense’. It comes in various thicknesses and protects the overall flooring from moisture, external damage, and more.
The thicker the wear layer, the more durable your vinyl flooring will be.
3. Installation quality
You have 3 options when it comes to installing your vinyl flooring.
Firstly, you can do it yourself as a DIY job. Secondly, you can hire a handyman to do it for you. Lastly, you can get a professional vinyl floor installer to handle everything.
The first two options are the most affordable. However, there’s a higher likelihood of mistakes being made that could affect the vinyl flooring’s lifespan.
For the best results, always go with a professional installer. They’ve got the knowledge and experience to get the job done right the first time around. Plus, their work will likely be backed up by a warranty in case of any problems.
Once you’ve got vinyl flooring installed in your home, you’ll have to take good care of it.
Keeping the floor dry at all times and only using gentle cleaning methods will contribute a great deal towards your vinyl flooring’s longevity.
5. Exposure To Wear
Lastly, the wear and tear that a vinyl floor experiences will also determine how long it lasts. That’s also why some vinyl flooring sections are likely to wear out quicker than others.
The most common forms of wear include foot traffic, heavy furniture, and exposure to direct sunlight. Floors that experience less of those 3 things will last a lot longer.
What Can Ruin Vinyl Flooring?
To truly understand how long a vinyl floor can last, knowing what can ruin the flooring prematurely is also essential.
Even if you invested in the highest quality vinyl flooring available on the market, these things could shorten its lifespan significantly:
• Excess moisture: Moisture is probably the biggest enemy of vinyl flooring. Yes, vinyl flooring is waterproof. However, imperfect installation means that water can seep past the vinyl and reach the area underneath it. That will spell trouble for the vinyl flooring overall.
• Heavy loads: Heavy furniture or equipment sitting on vinyl flooring for too long will also wear it out much quicker. Besides that, the concentrated weight will compress the vinyl in one area more than others, also leading to uneven wear.
• Aggressive cleaning methods: Gentle cleaning methods are always best for vinyl flooring. Aggressive methods like scrubbing or using vacuums with beater bars can slowly damage the floor’s top layer.
• Harsh chemicals: Lastly, cleaning products with harsh chemicals will also wear out the top layer. With the top layer affected, the vinyl flooring will lose its waterproof quality with the top layer affected.
Bottom Line: How Do You Choose Vinyl Flooring That Lasts Longer?
At this point, you’re likely wondering how to choose a vinyl flooring that’ll last a long time.
The answer is pretty straightforward.
To summarize everything that you’ve read in this guide so far, the most long-lasting vinyl flooring has:
1. The correct thickness because thicker flooring is more durable.
2. A professional installation that prevents mistakes that will ruin your flooring.
3. An excellent warranty, so you’re protected if the floor wears out prematurely.
With a vinyl flooring that has those 3 qualities, all that’s left is to provide it with regular maintenance and care. That way, you can enjoy your vinyl flooring for the longest time possible.
Unsure if Vinyl plank is right for you? Read our article on the Pros and cons of Vinyl Plank Flooring.