Noted as one of the most affordable flooring options, vinyl is loved by many homeowners for the variety in style, texture, and design available in this material. These days, we have luxury vinyl tiles and planks which can replicate high-end materials accurately. There are numerous pros as well as cons associated with this material.
This post outlines some problems buyers face with this flooring type and the possible solutions and precautions that you can take.
- Stains and discolouration
Luxury vinyl is highly durable but over the years, it can get discoloured. The discolouration can happen for numerous reasons. Some common reasons behind discolouration of this material are:
- Spilt drinks and food left idle and eventually absorbed by the floor
- Continuous exposure to sunlight at a specific spot
- Floor areas close to heating vents
- Walking in and out of the house wearing rubber-soled shoes or too much friction from nylon socks
Discolouration can be minimized by taking certain precautions and following a maintenance routine.
- In case you spill or drop drinks and food on the floor, immediately clean the place with a mop and make sure it is dried up and there are no stains left.
- Avoid scrubbing off dried up food or other things that you have spilt which can result in scratches.
- Use proper window treatments during the day so that the floor is not exposed to sunlight for too long. You can also use area rugs and carpets to cover the places which are exposed to sunlight or near heating vents.
- Make it a habit to leave your shoes outside before entering the house.
- Dents and scratches
Floors see a lot of use leading to eventual scratching and dents. Some primary causes behind dents and scratch marks:
- Dirt and grit that comes into the house from pet’s paws, shoes, etc.
- Dragging and pushing furniture across the room.
- High heels and other similar pointed objects.
These can be prevented by maintaining a regular cleaning routine. Train your pets well and groom them occasionally by trimming their nails. Ask your guests to leave their shoes outside or on a matt. Regularly sweep the dust and have a weekly deep cleaning routine.
In case the floor is already scratched and dented, there are some quick fixes that you can apply.
- Mix dishwashing soap and warm water and clean the scratched tiles till all the dirt is removed. Once the floor is completely dried, lightly sand the scratches.
- Use circular motions, and finer sandpaper so that you do not sand away too much which can ruin the look of the vinyl tile.
- Finally, use a waxing compound to buff the area and bring back the lustre.
- Peeling and cracking
Peeling is a very common problem when the vinyl flooring is aged. You will see loose seams when the adhesive wears off, particularly at the corners. It can curl at the corners and look unsightly as dirt and grim gets deposited underneath. This happens when:
- The vinyl tiles and planks are old and wearing off
- Quality of the adhesive used is inferior
- Spills not cleaned in time and are absorbed by the floor can lead to the adhesive loosening
Peeling can be repaired by simply putting the glue on the backside of the curled or peeling tile and pressing it down. Vinyl can be difficult to press down when it starts curling. A simple solution is to place an aluminium foil over the tile and then heat it with an iron. This makes the tile more flexible and the adhesive softer. The adhesive will adhere easily once the tile lies flat properly. Make sure you remove excessive adhesive with a wet cloth. Place a significant amount of weight on the glued tile and leave it overnight so that the glue is dried up.
- Substrate trouble
Trouble while installing vinyl flooring arises if the substrate is not proper. While vinyl can adhere to almost all kinds of subfloor, be sure the floor is even and moisture-free. Certain challenges that the subfloor can pose during installation are as follows:
- The substrate is uneven and not level, and the irregularities get reflected on the surface of the vinyl floor in the form of bumps and dents. This can also shorten the length of the tiles since the glue-down tiles “drapes” over the subfloor which in turn create gaps between each of them.
- High moisture level of the subfloor can damage the vinyl tiles from underneath and the adhesive may not adhere as strongly as possible in the ideal state.
- Old adhesive and dirt accumulation on the subfloor is not thoroughly cleaned which can lead to installation failures that can be difficult to repair.
- Click-lock vinyl planks can become susceptible to lifting edges when the substrate is not level and the overall floor installation will face stability issues.
These troubles must be rectified before the vinyl installation process is undertaken to avoid future issues with the flooring.
The moisture level needs to be tested and fixed before the installation is done. The uneven surface of the subfloor should be treated well to make it even. Thorough cleaning must be done so that all the old adhesives and dirt clusters are removed.
The foot traffic should be taken into consideration since it influences the longevity of the flooring. Moreover, when the subfloor is not ideal, high foot traffic can maximize the chances of damage to your new floor.
There are different problems that homeowners may come across while installing the vinyl floors but considering the various advantages of this material, one can rightly say that the drawbacks are overshadowed. Any flooring expert can give you the basic tips about maintaining vinyl floors and the most suitable choice for your home.