Easy to clean! Durable! Visually appealing! You’ve probably heard of these benefits of vinyl plank flooring and are wondering whether you can install them in our outdoor patio as well. If so- we’ve got you covered! In this blog article, we discuss the factors that make vinyl a great option for outdoor flooring, as well as other outdoor flooring alternatives that you can opt for in place of vinyl.
Can vinyl flooring be used outdoors?
Yes- vinyl flooring can be used outdoors. Due to its moisture resistance, durability, and low maintenance requirements; vinyl is just as great for outdoor spaces as it is for indoor areas.
Outdoor spaces are typically exposed to elements of nature like rainfall, sunlight exposure, and cold temperatures. These elements tend to speed up the rate of normal wear and tear, which is why you need flooring material that’s as durable as vinyl is.
When you install vinyl for your patio, porch, or courtyard flooring; kids and pets can play on it as much as they want without you having to worry about scratches and stain damage. What’s more, vinyl flooring is waterproof, hence not susceptible to mold infestation.
Remember also, that its waterproof, nonporous nature means that you won’t have a hard time cleaning and maintaining your outdoors vinyl flooring.
If you’re a parent, your children most likely spend lots of hours playing outdoors. Therefore, you don’t want any surfaces that might put them at risk of injury. Which is where vinyl flooring comes in- as it’s designed with plenty traction to minimize chances of slipping.
What’s more, vinyl flooring doesn’t have to be fastened to the subfloor using nails or screws, leaving no chances for injury by way of protruding nail heads. Unlike concrete surfaces which are harder and can cause injuries during falls, vinyl surfaces are softer and boast a more comfortable feel.
The final reason why vinyl is a great outdoors flooring option is the fact that vinyl floor mats and rolls are usually available in multiple colors and design patterns. Therefore, if you’re trying to imitate the flooring design of your indoor areas on your outdoors patio, you can rely on vinyl flooring planks for satisfactory results.
How to use vinyl flooring outdoors
To successfully install and use vinyl flooring on your patio or porch, ensure to clean the surface first to remove dirt and debris, as these will limit adhesion of the vinyl tiles to the surface.
Whether the subfloor on which you’ll be laying the tiles is a concrete or wooden surface, proper cleaning with a power washer will be necessary for proper sticking. Failure to ensure proper adhesion will most likely lead to wrinkling of the vinyl tiles down the line.
Moving on, when considering vinyl flooring for outdoor spaces, you’ll want to ensure that the area is somewhat secure from the extreme changes in outdoor temperatures. This is because extreme temperatures trigger welling and cracking in this type of flooring.
As such, we’d recommend installing side-screening on your porch or roofing on your patio to convert it to a pergola prior to the installation of vinyl flooring. Such enclosed spaces are usually less exposed to temperature changes and sunlight, and your vinyl flooring will be less likely to be damaged from exposure to the elements.
Can vinyl flooring withstand cold temperatures?
No- vinyl flooring has poor-tolerance for extremely cold temperatures. Which is why outdoors vinyl flooring is not recommended for homeowners in regions with colder climates. Under such weather conditions, vinyl is more likely to crack, with the planks pulling up out of position.
What’s more, when installed under cold temperature conditions of below 20-degrees Fahrenheit, some vinyl planks will most likely get brittle and crack. As such, the best time of day to install vinyl flooring for those in colder regions is during the middle of the day- when temperatures are likely to be highest.
That aside- there’s some upsides to installing vinyl in moderately cold regions (vinyl is more likely to crack under extremely low-temperature conditions- but not under moderate cold). For instance, the material is a good heat insulator, meaning that the floor won’t feel as cold even if you walk on it barefoot.
Other good outdoor patio flooring options
Outdoor patios are typically made of vertical support posts that are made of wood. Since wood is very susceptible to moisture damage, you need patio flooring that doesn’t absorb moisture. Which is why waterproof vinyl floor tiles are usually recommended for patios.
However, just like vinyl flooring, there are several other flooring alternatives that offer various advantages when used in such outdoor spaces. Below, we explore some of these good outdoor patio flooring options:
1. Composite Wood
If you’re looking for a great mix of aesthetics and functionality for your patio flooring, you won’t go wrong with composite wood floorboards. This flooring material mimics the appearance of natural wood, giving off a beautiful, rustic allure. What’s more, its fire-resistant design, rot-resistance, and limited maintenance requirements make composite wood a more functional alternative to real wood.
2. Ceramic Tile
The best thing about ceramic and porcelain tile flooring is that they offer enhanced durability in comparison to natural stone and wood. By installing ceramic tile flooring with a high PEI rating on your outdoor patio, you’ll enjoy a gorgeous-looking floor that can withstand wear and the outdoor elements for years.
3. Plastic Patio Tiles
If you live in a region that experiences constant rainfall, there’s always the threat of moisture damage to your structural elements. For such situations, you need plastic drainage tile flooring to prevent flooding of outdoor spaces- including your patio. These tiles boast a vented surface design that allows for fast water drainage. What’s more, plastic tiles won’t fade under prolonged exposure to sunlight, as they’re designed to be resistant to UV rays. The final feature that makes plastic tiles great for patios is their slip-resistant design, a feature that enhances user safety whenever kids are playing out on the patio after light showers.