The Pros and Cons of Vinyl Tile

Thanks to new embossing techniques, this affordable, durable flooring classic can masquerade as tile and hardwood. Check out the pros and cons of vinyl tile.

By: Caren Baginski

Related To:

  1. Tile
  2. Vinyl
1222 F

1222 F

Vinyl or synthetic tiles are a cost-effective solution for homeowners on a tight budget. Their resilient, bendable material comes in various sizes — one of the most common being 12" x 12" — and because they are manufactured, virtually any pattern or color can be created. But because vinyl is unlike ceramic, stone or porcelain tile, can the synthetic really be considered tile?

"In a broad sense they are a tile," says Paul Wilson, a ceramic tile consultant for TheTileDoctor.com. Wilson also works with tile on his DIY Network show, Tiling Techniques. When looking at a definition of tile, Wilson says vinyl qualifies because it's often referenced as linoleum or plastic. For example, The American Heritage Dictionary lists tile as "a thin, flat or convex slab of hard material such as baked clay or plastic, laid in rows to cover walls, floors, and roofs."

That's good enough to get vinyl in the running as a tile, but before you go synthetic, consider the material's pros and cons.

Pros

It's affordable, compared to ceramic, stone or porcelain.

Peel-and-stick vinyl tile can be installed over other materials quickly, requiring less demolition. It's also easier to replace.

Resilient tile is sometimes the only solution for a floor with excessive movement or cracks, says Wilson. Any other tile would break.

Cons

For beauty and durability, look to ceramic, stone or porcelain.

"You shouldn't ever use vinyl or resilient tiles in a wet environment, like showers and tubs," says Wilson. Also, avoid using vinyl in exterior applications which require hard tile.

Next Up

The Pros and Cons of Ceramic Tile

Respected for its durability, ceramic tile comes in a variety of colors and is available at a reasonable price.

The Pros and Cons of Terra Cotta Tile

Give your kitchen or bath a warm, rustic look with terra cotta tile flooring or countertops.

The Pros and Cons of Slate Tile

Slate can be used for floors and roofs and gives your home an aura of prestige.

The Pros and Cons of Marble Tile

Design experts outline the pros and cons of choosing and installing marble tile for your floors.

The Pros and Cons of Terrazzo Tile

This long-lasting tile can be found in many fun colors and is perfect for floors and countertops.

The Pros and Cons of Granite Tile

Learn more about this perennial favorite for countertops and backsplashes.

The Pros and Cons of Porcelain Tile

This all-purpose tile is durable, reasonably priced and comes in a wide array of colors and textures.

The Pros and Cons of Engineered Stone Tile

Engineered stone tile is a durable choice for countertops and backsplashes and can be found in a wide range of colors.

The Pros and Cons of Concrete Tile

Concrete tile is an outdoor staple that has become an indoor favorite, especially for floors and countertops.

The Pros and Cons of Glass Tile

Glass tile is becoming a more popular flooring choice. The tile can be picky about where it's installed, but in the right location it's a real show stopper.

Stories We're Following

Get Social With Us

We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.

Discover Made + Remade

See the latest DIY projects, catch up on trends and meet more cool people who love to create.

Make It. Fix It. Learn It. Find It.