Pros and Cons of Luxury Vinyl Flooring in Basements

by ACWG | January 23, 2023

When you want to renew your basement floors, there are many options to choose from. Many homeowners choose to install luxury vinyl plank or tile in their basements. Luxury vinyl is an excellent choice for basements because it's waterproof and replicates the look of tile, stone or wood at a more affordable price.

Installing vinyl plank or tile flooring in your basement will transform the space and can elevate your design. But, before you decide if this flooring is right for you, it's best to consider the pros and cons of vinyl flooring in basements.

The Pros of Luxury Vinyl Plank or Tile in Basements

There are many pros to luxury vinyl flooring in basements. Here are the top five.

1. Durable

Luxury vinyl is a durable flooring material. When you install vinyl plank flooring on concrete, it can last for many years. This is because of its layers:

  1. Base layer: The base layer supports the other layers. Some base layers have backing so professionals can install the flooring on the subfloor.
  2. Core layer: Luxury vinyl's core consists of a stone polymer composite (SPC) or a wood polymer composite (WPC). Wood polymer composites offer better insulation and sound absorption capabilities. The SPC core is thinner than WPC, but it's more durable. 
  3. Cushion layer: The cushion layer makes the floor softer underfoot.
  4. Decorative layer: This layer gives luxury vinyl its appearance. It features realistic 3d imaging and various colors and patterns.
  5. Wear layer: Luxury vinyl features a wear layer that makes it resistant to scratches, dents and scuffs. The thicker the wear layer, the more resistant the flooring is.
  6. Shine layer: A clear top coat makes luxury vinyl shine.

Since it has so many layers, luxury vinyl is thicker and more durable than other floor types. Plus, if a plank becomes damaged, you can often replace the damaged plank without replacing an entire flooring section.

2. Water Resistant

One of the most popular water-resistant flooring options is luxury vinyl. All luxury vinyl is water-resistant because of its plastic core, but some brands are waterproof. Waterproof luxury vinyl has a waterproof core instead of wood plastic. However, they are also known as WPC. If luxury vinyl has a waterproof core, it prevents liquid from reaching the backing and causing the floor to swell, warp or chip.

3. Easy to Install

Vinyl flooring is easy to install for those who want to do it themselves. You can install vinyl with a click-and-lock or glue-down installation method. To install luxury vinyl flooring, you must: 

  1. Plan the layout: Most homeowners create a pleasing floor layout by placing the first row of planks parallel to the most prominent wall. Then, they lay the rest of the planks across the room.
  2. Remove molding: To make installation easier, remove any molding or trim that touches the floor using a prybar and pliers. It can also help to remove doors from their hinges. However, if you don't want to remove the molding, you can cut the planks or tiles so they can fit around it.
  3. Prepare the floor: When laying vinyl over concrete, you must fill in cracks or pivots with a concrete patcher. If your basement floor is plywood, you must fill any depressions with a floor-leveling compound.
  4. Cut the planks: You'll need to cut the planks to size. You should be able to do this with a utility knife.
  5. Install the flooring: Either glue down the planks or click them together.
  6. Reinstall the molding: Reattach the molding and trim once you install the floor.

4. Versatile

The countless color, design and style options for luxury vinyl mean you can easily find what fits your needs. Most styles mimic the appearance of stone or wood. However, some options look like ceramic and marble. Manufacturers use various embossing techniques to create luxury vinyl's look, so they can have many natural features like knots and grain patterns.

5. Easy to Maintain

Luxury vinyl flooring is easy to maintain. It requires routine sweeping and mopping to prevent scratches. Unless your flooring has a waterproof core, ensure you only use a small amount of liquid when mopping. In addition, you want to avoid steam mops. Here are some of the tools you can use to clean your luxury vinyl planks or tiles:

  • Broom and dustpan: You can use a broom and dustpan to remove loose debris. A broom with an angled head will allow you to clean corners.
  • Mop: Opt for a microfiber mop because it can absorb more water.
  • Vacuum: A hardwood floor vacuum can also clean and remove debris.
  • Soft-bristle brush: Soft-bristle brushes can scrub stains without scratching your floor.

The Cons of Luxury Vinyl Plank or Tile in Basements

Despite its benefits, there are still reasons homeowners might choose another flooring type for their basements. Here are the top three cons of luxury vinyl flooring.

1. Cold

While luxury vinyl can be warmer than other flooring options, it's still cold to the touch during winter. Luxury vinyl only has insulating properties if you use a thick underlayment. Installing an underlayment makes the floor softer, reduces noise and increases insulation. Without an underlayment, vinyl will reflect the room's temperature. Since basements are usually colder than the rest of the house, the flooring will be cold.

2. Susceptible to Damage

Even though luxury vinyl is durable, it isn't impervious to damage. You can't refinish them to remove scratches or other damage. If a sharp or heavy object lands on it and penetrates the wear layer, it can permanently dent luxury vinyl. 

Additionally, heavy furniture that rests on the flooring for long periods can also dent it. The good news is if the floors dent, you can replace them.

3. Unsuitable for Uneven Surfaces

Luxury vinyl flooring can be unsuitable for uneven surfaces. The flooring must be level for the planks or tiles to click and lock together. If it isn't, the plank or tile heights will vary, and the flooring won't connect. Aside from installation becoming challenging, having an uneven flooring base can be noticeable, ruining the floor's look. This is most common in areas where one room transitions to another.

Browse Luxury Vinyl Flooring Options at American Carpet Wholesalers

When deciding if luxury vinyl flooring is good for basements, it's crucial to consider its pros and cons. Luxury vinyl is an excellent choice for many homeowners because it's:

  • Affordable
  • Beautiful
  • Water-resistant
  • Easy to install
  • Easy to maintain
  • Durable

On the other hand, some homeowners might choose another flooring because luxury vinyl can be cold, susceptible to damage and unsuitable for uneven surfaces. To determine if luxury vinyl suits you, decide which factors are most crucial and consider your options.

American Carpet Wholesalers is the best place to purchase name-brand flooring for less. We stock many luxury vinyl flooring options, so you're sure to find one that suits your lifestyle and personal style. Browse our selection of luxury vinyl plank and tile today.