Luxury vinyl planks are among the most popular flooring choices for homeowners, and for good reason; they are very versatile, resistant, and cheap. However, since luxury vinyl is quite smooth, you may think it’s not suitable for stairs since any smooth surface could cause someone to slip and fall. Is this a reasonable concern?
Luxury vinyl planks are safe to use on your stairs if they have a rough texture or are treated with a non-slip coating. Otherwise, they may be unsafe since vinyl is naturally smooth. You may also choose to use mats on your stairs to avoid the slippery surface. Anti-slip polish also helps.
Stick around if you want to know more! I will cover everything you need to know about vinyl planks and how to make them as safe as possible. I will also explain some tips on installing and maintaining them.
Is Luxury Vinyl Plank a Safe Option or Slippery on Stairs?
Luxury vinyl planks are considered a good and cheap flooring choice for any home. These planks contain a significant amount of vinyl resin, an important ingredient that makes intricate designs and textures possible.
As a result, luxury vinyl planks can come in various impressive designs and imitations, allowing you to maintain a particular aesthetic in your house without spending much on flooring materials. For instance, you could use stone-look vinyl planks for the stairs leading to your covered porch for a rustic look.
However, when it comes to flooring for stairs, you may think that luxury vinyl planks are not safe enough, considering that they can be very smooth. Fortunately, I can assure you that luxury vinyl planks are perfectly safe for your stairs if done correctly. Vinyl can indeed be slippery, but there are specific kinds of planks and external treatments that can solve this problem.
This material is actually a popular choice for stairs since it is also cheap and durable. Moreover, luxury vinyl planks can be used both indoors and outdoors.
How To Make Luxury Vinyl Planks Less Slippery
Vinyl itself is naturally slippery because it’s made of polyvinyl chloride, which creates a very smooth surface. This creates a problem with flooring in general, but especially for stairs, but there are several solutions you can try to make luxury vinyl planks safer for any area in your house.
For instance, you can reduce the smoothness of the planks from the get-go. As mentioned above, the vinyl resin makes it possible for manufacturers to print different designs and even textures on these planks. If you choose textured vinyl planks that imitate stone or another rough surface, the planks will be inherently less slippery.
However, you may not like these rough surfaces for your house. There are many other solutions that you can try after the installation of the luxury vinyl planks in order to make them less slippery:
- Anti-slip polish made specifically for vinyl surfaces
- Non-slip vinyl coating
- Non-slip mats with rubber bottoms
The best and most permanent solution is using a non-slip coat. It is cheap, resistant to water and external damage, and can come in different finishes to maintain the desired aesthetics.
Non-slip mats are pretty good since they reduce the risk of slipping considerably and have rubber bottoms that don’t allow them to move in different directions. However, you may not like the look of them, or you may not be able to cover the whole staircase.
Anti-slip polish is very important since any other kind would make your stairs even more slippery. Nevertheless, it is not a permanent solution and is best used as an additional measure to non-slip coating.
Pros and Cons of Using Luxury Vinyl Plank for Your Stairs
There are so many reasons why luxury vinyl planks are a good idea for your floors and stairs, but there are also certain disadvantages that might make you consider other options.
- Luxury vinyl planks are cheap. They are made of polyvinyl chloride, which is less costly than other materials, allowing you to cover your stairs with a fraction of the cost you would incur using other materials like wood.
- There are so many designs to choose from. Vinyl is highly versatile and can be available in several different prints and textures. Some higher-quality planks are almost indistinguishable from actual wood or stone.
- It’s easy to install these planks. You can make it a DIY project if you’re up for it since they don’t require any special tools or abilities for installation. All you need is time, tools, and a basic knowledge of how vinyl planks work.
- Luxury vinyl is quite durable. The material is quite flexible and resistant, which means that it can’t be damaged or destroyed by temperature changes or external damage from frequent foot traffic.
- You can maintain and clean luxury vinyl planks easily. You don’t need to maintain and refinish vinyl planks like hardwood or other materials. The smooth surface of these planks comes in handy in this case, making them resistant to dust and stains, so you don’t need to clean the stairs very often.
- Luxury vinyl planks can be quite slippery without the proper treatment. As I explained above, you need to choose rough textured planks or treatments after installing them to avoid slipping and falling down the stairs.
- If you change your mind, you may have a hard time removing it. While installing these planks is relatively easy, removing them is another story. The adhesive used to secure the planks can be a problem.
- The noise may be distracting. Similarly to hardwood, luxury vinyl planks are not ideal for stairs leading to your bedroom because they may cause your stairs to creak when you step on them. Poor installation can exacerbate this problem.
- Vinyl is not biodegradable. Environmentally, luxury vinyl is not the best idea, considering it’s made of a synthetic polymer that is not biodegradable or recyclable. If you’re interested in green certifications for your house, luxury vinyl planks are not the best idea unless you order planks from specific green companies.
Installation Tips for Non-Slip Luxury Vinyl Planks
If you’re considering installing luxury vinyl planks on your stairs by yourself, you need to remember some important tips.
First of all, you should make sure you get the right planks. There are several different kinds you can use, but you should keep in mind to choose the one that is more suitable for your specific staircase. Wood-Polymer Composite planks are usually the way to go since they are more comfortable than alternatives.
Furthermore, you should make sure you have all the necessary tools and materials for the installation. You will need a measuring tape, a saw, and a caulking gun, among other tools. Ensure you have everything you need before you start the installation; otherwise, you’ll be stuck midway through and waste time.
Prepare the stairs before installing the planks. You can’t make the installation before making sure that the stairs are completely clean and smooth. Any overhang, debris, or even speck of dust can make the installation more difficult and the final result poor.
Finally, don’t spend a single moment after the installation without the anti-slip treatment. It’s dangerous to keep the luxury vinyl stairs without a coat or a mat if they are smooth. Find the treatment you prefer and use it right after installing the planks so you don’t risk slipping and falling down the stairs.
Maintenance and Cleaning Tips for Luxury Vinyl Planks
Although vinyl planks are pretty easy to maintain, as I explained, you still need to make sure they are clean and well-maintained to last a long time and look presentable. Here are a few tips that can help you maintain your luxury vinyl stairs:
- Try to avoid walking on the stairs immediately after installing them. As mentioned above, this can be a risk for you, but it’s also not helpful for the installation. The adhesive needs time to set, and frequent pressure and agitation can cause issues.
- Just mopping and sweeping on a regular basis is enough. You don’t need special tools or detergents as long as you avoid strong and abrasive chemicals. You can also vacuum your luxury vinyl planks; just make sure you use a soft brush.
- Use specific detergents for vinyl. They are easy to find; just look for the word vinyl on the label. If you can’t find any, you can simply use a combination of water and baking soda.
- To remove scratches, try cleaning with a soft cloth. If it doesn’t work, you can use sandpaper very carefully to ensure you don’t damage the planks further.
- Clean up spills immediately. Certain types of liquids, like acids, can leave permanent stains, so you need to be fast and mop up the spills as soon as you see them.
As you can see, luxury vinyl planks are a perfectly safe option for stairs if you choose the right kinds of planks or if you decide to use non-slip coating or mats. Alternatively, you can choose to use vinyl planks that have a rough texture, imitating wood or stone, which are inherently less slippery.
Luxury vinyl planks are a good choice for staircases because they are cheap, durable, and very versatile. On the other hand, you may experience issues with the noise they may produce, especially if they are not installed correctly.