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Loose Lay Vinyl Plank Flooring – Pros and Cons [Updated]

June 22, 2020
Vinyl flooring has become a popular type of flooring solution among all the variety of options available in the market. This flooring has a lot of advantages over other types such as durability, easy to maintain, scratch-resistant, waterproof and also easy to install. Vinyl flooring comes in a variety of options such as luxury vinyl flooring, loose lay vinyl plank, and others. This flooring is perfect for residential as well as commercial spaces.

Loose lay vinyl planks have come about as a popular variety of vinyl plank flooring which is mostly known for its installation. But one of the major drawbacks of this flooring is that it is not available in tile format which is easier to install.

What are Loose Lay Vinyl Floors?

Loose lay vinyl planks are a unique product that doesn’t rely on any fasteners, adhesive or even tongue and groove mechanisms to hold themselves in place. These thick vinyl rectangles simply lay in position on a floor, and remain there once installed. Loose lay vinyl flooring goes down quickly and it relies on friction to remain in place over time. The planks are essentially thick vinyl rectangles with rubber backing that lay flat over a nice smooth surface. Loose lay vinyl floors can be installed over top of existing flooring very rapidly and it’s simple for just about anyone to do. That’s why so many people are interested in this type of flooring and it’s the main reason that loose lay vinyl flooring is popular as well. It’s very simple to understand, and there aren’t many other products out on the market like this type of flooring either.

Here are a few pros and cons of the flooring to help you decide if this is what you are looking for.


First we’re going to take the time to go over the benefits of loose lay vinyl options. This type of flooring is so simple to use and it’s very appealing as well. If you’re interested in improving the look of a floor or two in your home, this flooring is the perfect way for you to do it as you’ll soon see. Read on to learn all that loose lay vinyl planks have to offer.

Simple installation:

As mentioned above, loose lay flooring is extremely easy to install. You do not need to use any kind of glue, staple or clicklock system to install this flooring. Instead, this flooring’s back uses friction to get a grip of the subfloor beneath it. Installers that are putting in loose lay vinyl flooring literally just have to set it into position. Sure there is some cutting required for installation with many of these kits, but it’s simple to do and doesn’t require any advanced skill. Installers just go around the room and lay down the planks quickly and easily. When you ask an installer to come to your home to put down loose lay vinyl planks, you’ll often receive an enthusiastic response, because most installers love to put the flooring down. It’s also common to pay less for installation of loose lay vinyl floors because they don’t take very long to put down at all.

Simple to move:

Another great advantage is that this flooring is just as easy to remove and re-install somewhere else. This means if you are changing houses, then you can take your flooring with you which would also help you save some money.

This is a rare benefit that you won’t see with many other types of flooring. If you pay for loos lay vinyl options, you can move them to different rooms as you see fit, or even switch them to a new house without too much work on your part. Just make sure that you are going to a room that’s the same size or smaller if you want the flooring to look proper once it’s installed in your new space, or that you have some extra loose lay vinyl planks available.

Won’t expand or contract:

Many types of flooring expand and contracts with moisture, but this isn’t much of an issue with loose lay vinyl floors. The material is designed to resist any expansion or contraction, which means that you can count on the width of the flooring remaining the same. If you’ve ever been in an older home with wooden floors, you’ve likely seen expansion and contraction joints between the planks. That’s not an issue that you have to think about with loose lay vinyl flooring. That helps it continue looking like new for years and makes it good for areas where the floors might become damp with use. That’s why some people use this flooring in basements, kitchens, and bathrooms.

High durability:

On top of being moisture resistant, loose lay vinyl options are known for their durability as well. They will hold up for years without trouble as long as you care for them properly. Sure they are softer than some other flooring solutions and can be deformed or ripped if you aren’t careful, but as long as you treat loose lay vinyl flooring with care, it can last for decades without wearing too badly at all.

Absorbs sound:

Loose lay vinyl options are perfect for theater installations, or for the upstairs of homes or businesses. That’s because this flooring solution absorbs sounds nicely. Add them to the upstairs of your home and enjoy a reduction in noise almost instantly. Add them to your movie theater and you’ll notice that the noise is dampened a bit and that you enjoy higher quality sound overall throughout your space.

Available in a wide variety of looks:

There’s no reason for you to purchase loose lay vinyl floors that you don’t like. There are so many different options for you to pick and choose from when it comes to colors and styles that it’s simple to find something that you like. That’s why it’s so enjoyable to shop for different types of vinyl flooring for your space. Take your time and look through all the different options available and make sure to really think about which flooring solution you like the look of best before making a final purchase because there are enough options to help you get exactly what you are looking for in the end.


Another major advantage of loose lay vinyl options that many people don’t even think about is how comfortable the flooring is. It’s soft, slightly squishy and provides insulation from cold flooring solutions. When laid out over the top of concrete loose lay vinyl flooring can dramatically improve the comfort factor of your space. If you’re trying to make a room in your home feel more comfortable or homey, loose lay vinyl flooring is a good option to at least consider.


There’s a lot to love about loose lay vinyl floors, but there are some drawbacks to this type of flooring as well. Before you invest heavily into your very own loose lay vinyl flooring, make sure that you understand the drawbacks that you can expect as well. That’s the only way that you’re going to end up with something that you actually like and that you want to use in the future. Below is an overview of the different downsides that come along with loose lay vinyl options. They aren’t all that serious, but they deserve some consideration. Don’t get us wrong, we still like what loose lay vinyl flooring has to offer, but we also know it’s not right for every situation. Read on to understand why that is.

Only available in plank format:

One of the major drawbacks faced by this flooring is the lack of formats in which it is available. This flooring is available only in planks for now which makes it a little difficult to install. It would be much simpler to install loose lay vinyl planks if they were actually tiles because they could simply lay down without too much worry about cutting and shaping. With just planks to work with and a pretty standard rectangular form-factor, vinyl plank flooring is a bit more limited. If you don’t mind the shape of the planks or the look that they create, which is akin to hardwood floors, then they can be a good option for you. You are limited with loose lay vinyl floors though, and it’s important to realize that from the beginning.

Must be installed with care:

Also, one needs to be extra careful about installing the flooring to ensure a long lasting and durable life for it. As mentioned above, the flooring does not contract or expand with the change in humidity but it needs to be accustomed to the environment of the room before installation so that the installation can be done smoothly.

The flooring goes down easily, but there are considerations that must be followed to make sure it’s going to hold up and look good for years after installation. Many homeowners decide to lay down the flooring themselves because of how simple it is to do, which is fine, but they could end up with loose lay vinyl flooring that looks poor because of a mistake or two that they made during installation. That’s why it’s best to have familiar professionals install this type of flooring, or for the installer to take some time to get very familiar with loose lay vinyl floors before attempting an installation.

Can develop seams:

Also, loose lay vinyl flooring can develop seams if exposed to high traffic areas or large areas such as a living room or a kitchen. It must be installed with care and put into areas where it isn’t going to wear out too quickly. It’s not really designed for high traffic situations but is perfect for rooms that only a few people will be using regularly. Just make sure to follow all the recommendations when going through the installation, especially if installing loose lay vinyl planks in a larger room.

Even though there are some pretty serious drawbacks to using loose lay vinyl flooring, there are plenty of benefits as well. That’s why we’re comfortable recommending the flooring to customers and why so many people decide to get the product still. It’s a good reliable flooring solution with plenty to offer.

Choosing the Right Loose Lay Vinyl Options

Now that you know the benefits of loose lay vinyl floors, it’s time to learn how to properly choose the right flooring for your home or business. Keep each of the following considerations in mind when looking at this type of flooring to pick out the best of the available options.

Look Closely at the Texture Print

At the top of any loose lay vinyl floors is a texture that’s going to give the flooring its appearance. It’s vital that the loose lay vinyl planks show off some of the most highly detailed prints possible. Look closely at the planks to be sure that they look nice from a distance that you would normally see them from.

Not all the prints are going to look high quality, so make sure to view each type of loose lay vinyl flooring in bright lighting so you can make a fair judgment about which option is best. The best flooring options have a satin finish that’s not too shiny, they have a clear top layer that shows the print down below very clearly and they look like a luxury material that’s going to hold up well over time. If they come across as cheap, fake or poorly printed, do not invest in them, they will look even worse at home.

Consider the Thickness

Generally, the higher quality loose lay vinyl flooring is thicker in size than the low-quality options. The thick flooring is best to use because it feels more solid, it feels more real and offers a better experience for users. Loose lay vinyl options that are very thin are more prone to wear, they are more prone to showing seams over time and they are less likely to look high quality a year or two after installation. Spending a bit more money for a thicker product should result in a better experience over time.

Loose lay vinyl flooring can make a great addition to your home, but only if you buy the right stuff and you follow professional hints to make the most of the flooring."