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Is Vinyl Flooring Cold in Winter? (All You Need to Know)

You are updating your house and wondering whether you should bring a change in your flooring. Perhaps a flooring that is more winter-friendly. 

You might come across vinyl flooring, which is a flooring available in planks and sheets, made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin and other non-organic elements. It is best known for its increased durability and its stylish looks.

If you are worried about the effects of cold temperatures on the flooring, give a quick read to know all about it!

Is vinyl flooring cold in winter?

Vinyl floors alone cannot be warm, especially the vinyl sheets. It is generally cold in winter. It can withstand up to 5°C, after that it starts to crumble. However, it can be reduced if padded with high-quality underlayment, or thick layered vinyl planks are bought.

Its moisture-prone and non-permeable properties can help to feel more comfortable when walking on bare feet. Compared to other flooring types such as tiles, it feels warmer. You can add more to it by spending more on its quality.

Adding more layers, making it thicker, say 7mm, will separate the surface from the cold subfloor and will make the floors warmer. In contrast, the luxury sheet flooring gives leaves no gaps on the floors.

Gaps allow water or liquids to seep through the layers; it can leave chunks of ice on the floors in the gaps, making it colder than usual. This is where vinyl sheets can be better than planks.

Can vinyl flooring withstand cold temperatures? 

It is quite an excellent flooring option for cold temperatures. The plank vinyl flooring can adjust to the cold temperatures, making it reliable for winter.

But usually, vinyl sheet flooring tends to be weak, especially in super cold temperatures. It can result in a short life, especially when it’s left in a cold atmosphere for a long time.

Luxury vinyl flooring contains properties that might withstand very low temperatures, as low as 0°C if it has enough non-organic elements mixed.

What temperatures can vinyl flooring withstand? 

Most of the vinyl flooring fails to survive temperature changes.

Vinyl flooring is engineered to withstand 41°F (5°C) to 100°F (38°C). If you wish you install vinyl floors, try making sure your climate doesn’t exceed these temperatures. It is most probable to break temperatures fall to 0°C or rise to 40°C.

Another type of flooring, SUPERcore, has a top coat of vinyl flooring. It can withstand -30° F (-34°C) up to 155° F (68°C). But that is when one of the layers contains vinyl, and not all the layers are of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin.

Is vinyl flooring good for cold weather?

It is recognized as a good flooring option for cold weather unless you live in a country with low temperatures all along the year.

It will still mostly depend on the swings of the temperature. It fails to offer its best services when it’s installed in a cold climate. 

However, if you can afford heating sources underneath the flooring or high-quality product, you don’t have anything to worry about it! 

Nowadays, manufacturers came up with more durable vinyl floors with updated versions. Luxury vinyl planks are a better option for cold weather than vinyl sheet flooring as it’s more likely to warm up your room, reacting less to cold temperatures.

What happens to vinyl flooring when it gets cold?

Withstanding highly cold temperatures for vinyl flooring can be quite challenging. The following facts are for you to be careful about this matter:

It gets brittle 

It is rather unfortunate to mention that it cannot withstand highly cold temperatures.

Cracks start to appear on its surface if it’s left in a cold atmosphere for a long time. 

It contracts

You might notice changes in its size along with its weather changes. This mostly happens when your vinyl has thermal underlays or properties. It will contract when it gets cold.

However, it is only in the case of luxury vinyl flooring which has thermal properties.

The adhesive underneath starts to crumble

It starts to deteriorate when it gets cold. 

In most cases, it starts crumbling at 40°F (4°C). Eventually, it becomes a sand-like texture, making the vinyl flooring unsuitable for usage. It will not feel comfortable and stable.

What type of flooring is best for cold weather?

Choosing the best flooring option can be difficult every option tends to have both significant advantages and disadvantages in cold weather.

There are some types of flooring you might want to consider before spending your money:

  • Carpet
  • Laminate flooring
  • Cork flooring
  • Natural Stone flooring
  • Engineered Hardwood Flooring
  • Rubber Flooring

Such types of flooring have more insulting properties to fight against heat loss. It also includes natural insulators which will make the floors cozy and warm in winter.

How do I keep my vinyl floor warm in the winter?

It must be hard dealing with cold floors in winter, but don’t worry cause we’ve got solutions!

This is how you can keep your vinyl floor warm in the winter:

By attaching a suitable underlayment 

You can underlay insulation cork or padded form underneath the vinyl flooring. The most popular can be thermal insulation. This separates the vinyl from the cold subfloor or concrete, making it warm. 

This method is permanent, and you can install it if winter stays for a long time in your country. This will enable you to create heat from underneath the floors.

For this, you’ll need the subfloor to be plain, it cannot fit properly if it has nails sticking upwards, or a rough concrete surface.

Using area rugs

This is a quick and easy option for warming vinyl floors in winter. 

Alongside providing warmth, it also feels super cozy and looks stylish! It is a cheap method, with low maintenance. You can place it anywhere you want, making it easy to remove and replace.

Using radiant heat system

Radiant floor heating can be installed to supply heat directly to the floor.

It sometimes requires electricity and the water-based version doesn’t require electricity. It is more effective and consistent.

 You can leave it turned on in winter to provide a warm feeling both on the floor and in the room. 

Does vinyl flooring shrink in cold?

It depends on the type of vinyl flooring we are talking about. Luxury vinyl flooring does not shrink or contract in cold temperatures. It has elements and properties which prevent it from expanding in heat and shrinking in cold.

The absence of Thermal Expansion and Contraction is evident. As it is made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin, it’s less likely to contract or shrink.

On the other hand, the usual vinyl flooring tends to shrink in cold on its own, especially when it’s partly made of hardwood. The elements are something you should pay attention to when you are purchasing the flooring.

Is vinyl flooring cold on the feet?

It will not feel cold on the feet if we attach thick layers of underlayment, such as a padded foam or cork.

If we’re to talk about summer, it will feel very warm and cozy. In contrast, it can feel a little cold in very cold temperatures in winter if vinyl sheet flooring is installed.

The luxury vinyl flooring is more comfortable underfoot as it is warmer than usual ones. It can handle moisture better.

If you are planning to purchase thick vinyl planks, they will also feel warm.

Are our vinyl floors warm?

It is generally warm without having to add heating sources. As mentioned earlier, vinyl flooring on its own is cold in very low temperatures. Unless you attach high-quality underlayment underneath.

The thickness also matters. Nowadays manufacturers offer up to 8mm thick planks, which will keep the floors very warm. The thicker the layers, the warmer the floors.

The sheet vinyl flooring is not warm, its thin layers conduct the coldness from the cold subfloor. This makes it a poor flooring for winter.

Which is warmer vinyl or laminate?

Laminate flooring can be warmer than vinyl flooring. If we bring the two in comparison, laminate is a better choice in every aspect.

Laminate is thicker than vinyl, it has more layers, keeping a gap between the cold floors and the floors. It is padded with higher quality underlayment, it comes with it; while for vinyl flooring you’ll need to purchase it additionally as usually it is installed directly over the concrete subfloor.

You might wonder if it’s still better than luxury vinyl floors. It isn’t. Luxury vinyl flooring is expected to have a longer life as it can survive in many temperatures, unlike laminate. It is warmer.

Vinyl flooring as a whole can be warm in normal cold temperatures and can be recognized as a suitable flooring for winter.

However, before spending on such an amount, you should always contact your local retailers to see which floors suit best for your climate, as it might not be steady and stable. 

Only then you’ll benefit from the purchase, the floors will live up to your expectations!