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Can You Put Vinyl Planks Outside?

Can You Put Vinyl Planks Outside?

Vinyl plank flooring is an excellent solution when you’re looking for that luxurious look without that expensive price tag. Apart from being simple to maintain and install, the flooring is a fantastic alternative to hardwood flooring. This flooring type needs loose lay, a click-together, or a glue-down installation, but can it withstand outdoor temperatures?

You can put vinyl planks outside in a temperature-controlled environment. That means you can install the flooring in an enclosed porch, sunroom, or your preferred outdoor space where you can control the cold and heat. Even if vinyl’s waterproof, you need to be careful about the temperature changes.

Read on to learn more about vinyl plank flooring, the type of temperature it can withstand, and how to protect it against too much outdoor exposure. 

What Is Vinyl Plank Flooring?

What Is Vinyl Plank Flooring?

Vinyl planks have over the years become popular as it resembles wood plank flooring. The type of flooring is easy to maintain and provides for easy DIY installation. Unlike the regular flooring option, the vinyl plank flooring comes in narrow and long strips as opposed to conventional tile shapes. 

Vinyl plank flooring comes in different patterns and colors. Their hardwood flooring mimicking aspect makes them an excellent choice compared to laminate and sheet vinyl flooring. 

Another difference between sheet vinyl is its flexible nature tray comes with a clear wear layer, while vinyl plank flooring has four layers.

Luxury vinyl plank (LVP) is five times thicker than regular sheet vinyl. There are different styles available to match the appearance of various wood species. These flooring planks are 36 in or 48 in (91 or 122 cm) long. Also, most planks have a width of 6 in (15 cm), while some can go close to seven inches wide. 

It is worth noting that the costs for the more premium vinyl planks (LVP) are similar to those that you would find for porcelain or ceramic tiles. However, one key difference between vinyl planks and porcelain and ceramic tiles is the cost of installation. There are extra material and labor costs associated with projects involving porcelain and ceramic tiling.

One of the best parts of vinyl plank flooring is simple to maintain, as all you need is a regular mopping with detergent and simple sweeping daily. You shouldn’t steam-clean the floors as this could force water down through the seams. 

On the downside, fixes to cracked vinyl planks can be a challenge. It can be difficult to create a seamless match and transition. Sometimes you may need to completely disassemble a section of the floor and reassemble the it, which is a cumbersome process. 

Can Vinyl Planks Withstand Outdoor Temperature?

Can Vinyl Planks Withstand Outdoor Temperature?

Although vinyl planks resemble wooden floors, this type of flooring is more affordable and versatile. You can install it in your living room and on your patio. Its water-resistant features make it excellent for outdoor spaces. 

That’s because vinyl flooring doesn’t absorb moisture that could cause mold, warping, and cupping. Its non-porous surface ensures the flooring retains its durable nature. You won’t have to worry about splashes and spills when using vinyl for outdoor flooring.

Another reason why vinyl planks work well for outdoor spaces is that they stay cool on hot days and can tolerate the wear and tear of daily life. 

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on September 16, 2020.

When it’s raining outside, the last thing you want to deal with is moisture or water collecting on your sundeck or patio. The result could be damaged siding or wooden joists. However, vinyl is famous for its durable nature, something that helps deal with the harsh outdoor elements. The best thing is that you can add a vinyl membrane to your wooden flooring to create that protection level. 

Vinyl plank flooring can also be put outside due to its flexing foundation, which means it won’t crack or break. This type of flooring adjusts itself to how your house moves and stays in place. That works well if you have underpayment issues or when you’re dealing with a foundation problem. 

However, you have to be careful when placing vinyl planks outside because if you subject it to extreme temperatures, it could swell or crack like laminate flooring. 

How to Install Vinyl Plank Flooring

How to Install Vinyl Plank Flooring

Vinyl plank flooring has different installation methods, something that allows you to choose which one best works for your home. Some of the installation methods for vinyl plank methods include:

Glue Down

The glue-down method involves applying an adhesive to the back of a vinyl plank. The plank then adheres to the floor. This type of installation costs about $2, while the preparation costs that include the materials are about $1.5 based on the existing floor.

Peel and Stick

Most vinyl plank flooring comes with an adhesive. That means you’ll need to peel back the covering layer and secure the plank to the floor. The peel and stick installation cost about $1.50 per square feet. However, the preparation may be needed if you have plywood or concrete. That could cost about $1.5 based on your existing floor. 

Loose Lay

You won’t need any locking mechanism or adhesive with the loose-lay installation. What is used is the friction caused by the backing of the planks to keep the flooring in place. This type of installation works in a similar manner, like floating floors installation and preparation. 

Click-Lock System

Vinyl plank flooring can also be installed using a click-lock system. Simply drop and lock the edge into the appropriate tongues and grooves.

What Is Vinyl Buckling and What Causes It?

What Is Vinyl Buckling and What Causes It?

Your vinyl flooring can start buckling when exposed to extreme temperatures. The material expands slightly as the flooring becomes warm, which causes the floor to buckle. Also, during the cold weather, the floor can contract and leave gaps between the flooring. 

You may experience buckling on areas exposed to direct sunlight, which could be near big windows or along with sliding glass doors. If the plank is glue-down or self-stick, too much heat can release the bond of the glue, making the tiles shift out of place. The buckling mostly happens with vinyl flooring that contains a fiberglass inner layer. Luxury vinyl materials undergo less buckling. 

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on September 16, 2020.

Another reason why you may be dealing with buckling is when moisture or water starts to seep up under the flooring. That weakens the adhesive, resulting in buckling. However, quality material is less likely to buckle because of moisture. Also, using a waterproof vinyl flooring in your kitchen or bathroom also prevents moisture from seeping inside the floor. 

Vinyl flooring expands and contracts in the heat and cold naturally. Installing flush with the wall means there’s no room for growth in the hot seasons. That could make the loose-lay floor buckle. 

Dragging objects over loose lay vinyl flooring can also result in buckling. This type of flooring is simple and affordable compared to the glue-down installation. Heavy furniture and other items, when dragged across the floor, can damage the floor, leading to buckling. 

Final Thoughts

If you are thinking of installing vinyl planks outside on your outdoor patio or deck, you can comfortably use vinyl planks outside in a temperature-controlled environment. You can install them outside as long as the place is not exposed to too much heat or cold. 

Although vinyl flooring is waterproof, you need to be careful as subjecting the flooring to extreme temperatures can cause it to swell or crack. When going through the DIY route, ensure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions, measure the pieces carefully, and take it slow. You can also opt to have the vinyl plank flooring installed professionally.

Check out our Vinyl Plank Flooring Project Estimator to estimate your project.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on September 16, 2020.

Can You and Should You Fix a Buckling Vinyl Plank Flooring?