Can You Use Vinyl Flooring for Outdoor Patio?

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You’ve probably heard of these benefits of vinyl plank flooring, Easy to clean! Durable! Visually appealing!. But may be wondering whether you can install them on our outdoor patio as well?

Yes, vinyl flooring can be installed on the outdoor patio since it’s moisture resistant, durable, and require little maintenance. The vinyl outdoor patio provides a comfortable and durable playing space for kids and a relaxation area.

We look at the factors that make vinyl a great option for outdoor flooring, how to install vinyl flooring as well as other outdoor flooring alternatives that you can opt for in place of vinyl.

Can Vinyl Flooring be Used Outdoors?

Can I use vinyl plank flooring outside? Yes- vinyl flooring is a cheap, great flooring option that can be used outdoors. Due to its unique luster, moisture resistance, durability, and low maintenance, vinyl is just as great for outdoor flooring, just as it is for indoor areas.

Can Vinyl Flooring be Used Outdoors? outdoor vinyl flooring for decks

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 outdoor 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. This is where vinyl flooring comes in- as it’s designed with plenty of 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 outdoor patio, you can rely on vinyl flooring planks for satisfactory results.

How to Use Vinyl Flooring Outdoors?

To successfully install vinyl flooring tiles and use vinyl flooring on your patio or porch, ensure to clean the surface first to remove dirt and debris, as these will limit the 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. This is why outdoor vinyl flooring is not recommended for homeowners in regions with extremely cold 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 are 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.

Cheap 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. This is why waterproof vinyl floor tiles are usually recommended for patios.

Can i install Vinyl flooring, outdoor vinyl flooring for decks, patios alternatives

However, just like vinyl flooring, there are several other cheap-good flooring alternatives that offer various advantages. Below, we explore some of these vinyl floorings for outdoor patio alternatives?

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.

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Joe McGuinty
I’ve been working with floors for over 12 years. I started as a flooring contractor, primarily in materials selection. Then, I switched careers into accounting, so my wife and I began buying, renovating, and re-selling homes on the side. You’d be surprised how much value you can add to a home simply by adding new floors.

8 thoughts on “Can You Use Vinyl Flooring for Outdoor Patio?”

  1. The HD and L stores tell me that I cannot use vinyl flooring in my covered, screened in porch because the summer heat will damage the vinyl. I live in north Florida, in an off-grade home on the river, so it gets a breeze and circulation from underneath. With the shade trees, the porch would rarely reach 90*.
    Can I use vinyl flooring?

    • I live in Texas and our contractors left about 10 boxes of vinyl flooring outside. By the time we cleaned up the mess they left, the vinyl — some not in a box — had been through all kinds of weather, including extreme heat and humidity (and an unusual winter of low temperatures, snow, and rain). They don’t look any different than what they installed in our home. I am considering vinyl for a children’s play area, but will probably try a vinyl roll instead of planks so I can screw it down. However, for a patio, planks may work just fine.

    • Hello Kelly, Did you get any feedback on your question? I want to do the same thing, use waterproof vinyl plank flooring on our covered screened porch in Florida.

  2. Hi ,
    can you help , we have a balcony which has been tiled , there was no fall factored in , and the glass panels that go around the balcony go virtually to the tiles very little gap , last winter it rained so heavily that the water did not drain away,
    The ceiling that starts approximately 1 metre back under the balcony started leaking inside ,
    How fo we stop the the leak or how do we put a fall in the floor ?
    Thank you

  3. hello,
    I would like to know if I can use a vinyl click floor over my exposed 2nd floor trex deck. My plan would be to install over the trex, as to not rip up and send to landfill. The other advantage is that is will provide a decent dry space to the deck located beneath. I live in Asheville, NC so not the most extreme cold conditions…. but still can be cold.

    I imagine the warranty would not cover and I am not concerned about fading, I would just hate to have the layer start peeling apart in a year…Thoughts??

  4. Hi Joe,
    16 foot front porch needs to be resurfaced. Water damaged on 2 steps & far right corner of the over hang of porch. What type of surface material do you recommend? Live in San Jose CA climate avg 54-90highs.


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