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: 4.3 stars - 64 reviews

Date: December 24, 2016
Page Rating: (4.0/5)
I love the new bright Marble looking vinyl flooring and out entryway and kitchen dont get that much traffic. But your article is sooo discouraging. I want to now the truth but what is an inexpensive alternative? I am disabled and we have hard wood floors that havent even been treated. That is also going to cost a ton.
Date: November 21, 2016
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
My spouse and I are considering LVT and the information provided in this article is outstanding and will help us tremendously.
Date: November 19, 2016
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Very informative. Thank you!
Date: September 25, 2016
Page Rating: (3.0/5)
3 mm thick vinyl flooring carpet make UNIFORM & even floor surface
Date: September 23, 2016
Page Rating: (1.5/5)
Thanks for making this a little easier.
Date: September 18, 2016
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Great overview of cost factors to ask about.
Date: September 10, 2016
Page Rating: (4.0/5)
Enjoyed reading the info before deciding to use vinyl. The wear layer part was very helpful.
Date: August 23, 2016
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
This is nice and helpfull, Ive also found some installation costs, hundreds of them for the UK for Vinyl, carpet, carpet tiles, rubber flooring and Linoleum too,
Date: August 7, 2016
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Exactly what I needed to know
Date: July 11, 2016
Page Rating: (1.0/5)

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