Does Vinyl Flooring Expand?

If you are considering vinyl for you next flooring project, you may be wondering if what you’ve heard is true. Does vinyl flooring expand? The answer is…”yes.” It does.
But before you scratch vinyl off the list, read on to find out more.

A Little About Vinyl

Vinyl flooring is constructed from synthetic ingredients. The main material used to make it is PVC – a super tough, chemically resistant synthetic resin. Vinyl is quite versatile and affordable too, making it a popular choice for homeowners.

What Makes Vinyl Flooring Expand?

Vinyl expands under certain conditions. It can also buckle and bulge and leave gaps when it does. Knowing what causes it to do so is helpful in preventing and treating it.

Reasons vinyl floors expand, contracts, buckles, and bulges include:

  • Expansion. Vinyl planks are prone to expand. It’s a natural phenomenon that happens with most all flooring, some more than others. Warm air is the biggest culprit for expansion.
  • Contraction. When vinyl cools back down, and expands, it typically contracts back into place or even smaller than it was before.
  • Installation methods. There are several different methods used to install vinyl. One method commonly used is gluing the floor down which increases the chances of the floor buckling. The higher the quality of the glue is, however, the less likely it is to buckle or bulge.
  • Installation quality. If a vinyl floor is poorly installed, cutting corners when possible, you can be sure it will expand, contract, buckle, and bulge. It must be put in as effectively as possible.
  • Science behind it. Vinyl isn’t the most optimal heat conductor. Sometimes all it takes is a little sun exposure for it to expand. Although such a problem is inevitable in all kinds of vinyl flooring, different types of installation methods will show various levels of expansion.
  • Quality. The top layer of vinyl as well as the fiberglass inner layer are only as tough as their made. Low-quality flooring will expand when high-quality vinyl will not.
  • Moisture. Moisture is a main reason vinyl shrinks and expands. If it’s glued and it gets wet or damp, the glue won’t hold. Even the most soundly installed vinyl has a tendency to expand and contract when there’s moisture present.
  • Wear & Tear. Dragging toys and furniture over the floor, heavy traffic, and the pitter-patter of pet’s claws add to expansion of vinyl flooring.

Ways to Avoid Vinyl Flooring Expansion

Vinyl flooring has many good points so it would be a shame to not consider choosing it for your next project. To prevent landing in a jam, be sure you choose high-quality vinyl and hire an expert to install it. You can also use sealant and apply floor treatments for preventative measures and leave gaps between tiles for good measure.

Knowing a few things about potential issues with vinyl will help you make the most out of your purchase if you decide to make one.

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