Before You Buy Vinyl Flooring Facts to Know

Before You Buy Vinyl / Resilient Flooring

You’ve made your decision and are ready to select and install your new vinyl flooring. You’ve gone through the descriptions on this site and discovered so many things, such as . . .

  • Vinyl is a decorator’s dream and also durable and affordable
  • Vinyl is the great imposter. It can look like wood, tile, even marble.
  • Vinyl is constructed in layers: the wear layer, the printed or decorative layer, an inner core consisting of a foam and vinyl layer, and a backing.

But before you pick up the phone or click that mouse, there are a few more things you should think about, starting with those layers.


Thick flooring is not necessarily what you’re looking for.  You want a thick wear layer.  That’s the top layer and the one that really counts.  It’s the one that determines how well your flooring will stand up to traffic, as well as rips, tears and gouges.  Talk to your retailer about what’s right for you.


Pick the right vinyl flooring for the space.  Ask your retailer to review with you the manufacturer’s warranty and performance characteristics of the flooring you are interested in. You need to understand that premium products tend to have premium warranties.  A good warranty is a great stress reliever.


Vinyl sheets are manufactured in 6’ and 12’ widths.  Depending on the configuration of your room, seaming may be necessary.  Make sure your retailer can explain to you where the seams are likely to be when your new floor is laid down.  Certain floor patterns hide seams better.  For example, tile patterns with grout lines mask seams beautifully.

In rooms with heavy water use, such as bathrooms and laundry rooms, you may need to occasionally replace the heavy caulking where the flooring meets the walls or toilet. You don’t want water seeping under your flooring.


“Cost per square foot” is just one component of the overall price tag for new vinyl flooring.  Ask your retailer to calculate the total cost of your floor-covering project.  Here’s what he or she may include beyond the cost of the vinyl, itself:

  • Furniture removal/replacement
    Some retailers or installers may charge to remove (and then replace) furniture in the room.

  • Demolition/disposal of old floor covering
    Unless your home is brand new, there’s probably an old floor covering that is going to need to be removed and properly disposed of.  Or, you may be able to “float” your floor over an existing one.

  • Sub-floor preparation
    Depending on its condition (after removal of the old floor covering), your subfloor may need to be prepped for vinyl flooring installation.

  • Product delivery
    Delivering your flooring may not be included in the “cost per square foot” price.

  • Installation There will most likely be a “cost per square foot” to install your new vinyl flooring.

  • Materials required to complete the installation
    Additional materials, like adhesives, moisture barriers, stairnosings and baseboards may be required to properly install your vinyl flooring.

  • Financing
    Many retailers offer financing as an option of payment. Be sure to check the interest rate, minimum payment due and any finance charges if you choose to pay your purchase off over time.

In addition to your total project cost, annual cleanings are also recommended to maintain the beauty and life of your new vinyl flooring. Ask your retailer and/or consult the manufacturer’s warranty and care guide for directions on cleaning and maintenance.

Photo:  Mannington - Grand Cayman

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Overall Rating: 4.7 stars - 26 reviews

Date: February 24, 2015
Page Rating: (2.0/5)
This article fails to mention that the foam inner core greatly increases this vinyl flooring from being damaged. The outer layers are harder than the inner foam core, so when you drop something or drag a chair across the floor gives in too fast and then rips or indents easily. Think of this flooring like a mail bubble wrap envelope, the outer shell is fairly sturdy, but if you drop lets say a piece of wood with a sharp corner, the outer shell is compromised. I believe the manufacturer failed to take this into consideration which is surprising since the older vinyl flooring had a more balance density all the way through, which made it way more durable in my opinion compared to this newer stuff!
Date: December 23, 2014
Page Rating: (4.0/5)
Your article did clue me in to some facts about vinyl flooring I was not aware of.
Date: October 9, 2014
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
thank you for the information. it is very helpful. I can not decide if I should go with wood or this new vinly
Date: September 14, 2014
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Much needed info I am considering vinyl flooring
Date: September 1, 2014
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Quite useful. Often unknowingly one may ignore the other costs. Thanks.
Date: August 16, 2014
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Appreciated the cost listings to consider for the installed price
Date: June 11, 2014
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Very informative, debating between vinyl or linoleum
Date: June 10, 2014
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Thank you.
Date: June 4, 2014
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Very informative
Date: April 19, 2014
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Very helpful and well set out

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