If installed properly, vinyl flooring has proven to be durable. That doesn’t end with only proper installation; vinyl flooring should be cared for adequately. Because of its versatility, it has become a popular choice for areas in your home like bathrooms, basements, laundry rooms, family rooms, and kitchens. However, people always wonder about the longevity of vinyl flooring, which brings us to the question: How long does vinyl flooring last?
Disclaimer: Please note this post may contain affiliate links. We may receive a commission if you click at no extra cost to you. All recommendations and opinions remain our own.
How Long Does Vinyl Flooring Last?
With proper installation, maintenance, and protection, vinyl plank flooring can last up to 20 years or longer. However, from our experience, most people will replace their vinyl floor after ten years. Not because of structural problems but rather the look of the floor. After 5-10 years, many vinyl plank and vinyl tile floors can become dull; it’s just the nature of vinyl flooring. Additionally, homeowners often replace their floor due to it having an outdated style hence why choosing something trendy is crucial.
In terms of warranty, most brands offer a limited lifetime residential warranty, which is typical in the flooring industry. But there’s a catch. Many flooring brands will refuse to honor the warranty due to improper installation or even minor regulations. Hence why it’s important to read the warranty specifics properly. You should always take the lifetime warranty period with a pinch of salt.
Key Factors Affecting The Lifespan Of A Vinyl Floor
Many crucial factors determine how long your LVP floor can last. Below are some of the most important you should consider.
Wear Layer Thickness
Vinyl floors come with a surface wear layer that resists stains and scratches. It protects the visual design layer. Generally speaking, the thicker the wear layer, the more protection you have and the longer your floor will last. We found that a vinyl plank floor should have a wear layer at least 20 mils thick to withstand high residential traffic and last over ten years.
Care & Maintenance
The lifespan of LVP flooring highly depends on the homeowner’s maintenance lifestyle. It is a no-brainer that good and regular maintenance culture makes everything better. That applies to the tiles too. Avoid using too much water on the floor (a spray mop helps). Use a vacuum to pick up dirt and a microfibre mop to wipe the floor with a flat-headed spray. Although vinyl flooring is waterproof, soaking the floor with too much water can cause it to become dull. You should also avoid using harsh chemical solutions at all costs.
Installation is another factor to consider in ensuring the longevity of your vinyl flooring. You have to properly acclimatize the floor first before laying the tile. An expansion gap should be left and ensure that every tile is connected firmly in one place. The click-and-lock system has proven to be one of the easiest ways to install LVP flooring.
Of course, the more you use something, the shorter time it will last. The same goes for vinyl flooring. If you live in a high-traffic household, don’t expect your luxury vinyl floor to maintain its look for more than ten years. Scuffs and scratches will eventually become more and more evident. For best results with high-traffic households, we recommend products with very thick wear layers, such as Coretec Grande (30 mil) or Flooret Signature (40 mil).
Brand reputation is another crucial factor you must consider. Suppose a brand is known for durability and performance. In that case, you can expect its products to last longer than options offered by cheap brands not built to last. We’ve reviewed countless flooring brands on our blog. From our research and experience, the most durable luxury vinyl brands on the market include Coretec, Cali Vinyl, Mohawk & Mannington.
How Can I Maintain My Vinyl Flooring?
Maintaining vinyl floors is as easy as installing them. It is a simple task to carry out as long as you know how to do it properly.
Firstly, you need to sweep away or vacuum grit and dirt before mopping. If you’re planning to use a vacuum, it’s best to use one that is suitable for hard-surface flooring. Out of all the vacuums we tried, the Dyson V15 Cordless Vacuum performs the best without damaging your floor.
When it comes to mopping, we recommend the professional approach, which consists of using a spray mop. Spray mops dispense a fine mist of cleaning solution onto the floor with the touch of a button. This eliminates oversaturation and doesn’t require a water bucket to perform. Bona’s spray mop is the most highly rated on the market.
Although you can use regular dish soap or vinegar, we always recommend using professional vinyl floor cleaners to do it efficiently. Products like Rejuvenate High-Performance Vinyl Cleaner or Bona Pro Series Luxury Vinyl Cleaner are designed for optimal performance without damaging your floor. Clean your vinyl floor a minimum of once a week to retain its beautiful appearance and lifespan.
Furniture Pads – To protect your luxury vinyl floor, you should first attach foam furniture pads to the legs of your furniture to prevent scuffs and scratches.
Doormats – Secondly, you should use doormats at home entrances to prevent bringing in the dirt. Make sure to take your shoes off when walking on your vinyl floor. It’s best to wear socks.
Curtains/Blinds – Thirdly, most vinyl floors are vulnerable to the havoc caused by direct sunlight, especially in warm climates. Homeowners should endeavor to use curtains to protect the flooring from heavy sunlight.
What Lasts Longer – Vinyl Plank or Laminate Flooring?
Laminate and vinyl plank flooring have pretty much the same lifespan. Both top-quality laminate and luxury vinyl can last up to 20 years or longer. As for cheap, lower-quality vinyl and laminate, you can expect a 5-10 years maximum lifespan for both.
The only difference is in high-moisture areas such as bathrooms, where vinyl plank performs better because it is waterproof. However, with recent technological advances, numerous waterproof laminate products can compete with vinyl plank floors on water resistance, such as Shaw Repel or Mohawk RevWood.
Vinyl Plank Structure
A typical vinyl plank floor has four layers. These material layers act as cushions for a seamless and quiet walking experience. The backing layer is the base, which is either foam or cock. The surface area is a wear layer featuring HD photographic layer underneath. Most vinyl plank options have a thick SPC core layer, which explains why they are durable. Top-quality vinyl plank uses a photo layer beneath the hard wear layer. For most of the LVP flooring, the image is commonly wood species like maple or oaks. Seldomly, it can imitate the looks of a stone.
Laminate flooring is composed of multiple layers of wood. Like vinyl flooring, it features four layers. These layers include the wear, decore, core, and backer. The layers of laminate flooring are sealed together during the lamination process. Similar to its counterpart, it is economical and durable. Laminate flooring uses its decor layer to mimic luxury floorings like stone, wood, and tile. The surface area is also for wear, offering support for the lower image level. The third section is the impact-resistant layer, which is usually thin. The backer layer is also the final part, with soft foam used as a pre-attached underlayment.
Can You Remove and Reinstall Vinyl Flooring?
Vinyl plank can be removed or reinstalled if installed using the floating floor technique without adhesive. However, you should make sure to have some of the flooring left over from the initial installation. It’s also very important to remove the floor planks in a way in which you can remember which area each individual plank belongs to. Labeling the planks with numbers can help with that.
It is more cost-effective to replace the affected part instead of tearing off the whole flooring. That is not the case with sheet vinyl installed with the glue-down method. Removing the standard sheet vinyl shouldn’t be a problem, but the reinstallation is. That is because the adhesive backing of the piece and pick can be impaired while reinstalling the floor.
You’ve reached the end of this article. Hopefully, you’ve now learned how long vinyl flooring lasts. It’s fair to say that vinyl plank flooring can be a good choice for your home as it’s stylish, fairly affordable, easy to install, and waterproof.
However, there are certainly better options if you want a floor that will last longer. For example, solid hardwood flooring can last even 50 years or longer as it can be refinished multiple times throughout its lifespan. Ceramic tile flooring is another contender, known to last over 50 years too.
Whichever floor you go for, we hope you will be happy with it. Finally, feel free to share your thoughts and opinions in the comment section at the bottom of the page.
Need an Installation Pro?
Lots of our readers often complain that they can’t find flooring installers in their area. We suggest you try our free estimation tool to get at least three free quotes from qualified & approved installers in your area within 24 hours.
The tool is powered by Networx, who have been helping people find qualified flooring installers for over 20 years.