7 Reasons Vinyl Flooring Expands, Shrinks and Cracks

Vinyl is a great flooring choice for many reasons: it’s waterproof, durable, easy to clean and resistant to scratches and dents. Furthermore, it has also remained popular because it is better in value when compared to carpet, it is installed faster and it leaves no seams. 

Still, nothing’s perfect, and vinyl flooring may give you some issues down the road. Some of the most common issues you’ll encounter are shrinkage, expansion or cracks. Don’t worry; there are things you can do to prevent them from happening, and it all starts by knowing the reasons behind these common issues. 


Sunlight is the leading cause of vinyl flooring expansion and contraction. As the vinyl melts from the sun’s heat, it contracts, creating stress on the flooring’s seams. This is what causes the seams to separate and the floors to buckle. Therefore, most vinyl floors will have a UV coating to protect the flooring and allow it to withstand the heat of the sun.


Humidity is also a cause of vinyl floor damage. Not only does it cause the floor to expand and contract, but it makes it very susceptible to scratches. This is why it is important that your vinyl flooring is installed by professionals and sealed properly.


Vinyl flooring can also be damaged if older than a couple of years. This is usually caused by water damage or by poor installation. If you are concerned about your vinyl flooring and how it may be affected by moisture, it is usually a good idea to have an inspection of your flooring to see if it will be affected. This will also allow you to know if your flooring is installed properly.


Moisture is another cause of vinyl floor damage. As moisture from water, and even sweat, mixes with the vinyl flooring, the flooring begins to expand. This causes the seams to separate and is why some vinyl floors will come with a warranty against moisture. Most warranties are good for 24 hours after the flooring has been installed.

Scratches and Chemicals

If the vinyl surface is scratched or damaged with a chemical, it can cause the flooring to expand and contract much more than normal. This causes the same problems as sunlight can cause. In fact, if the flooring has a scratch or is not properly installed, the heat from the sun can cause the flooring to expand or contract much quicker.

Uneven Subfloor

The uneven subfloor will cause the flooring to expand and contract. This causes the flooring to buckle and crack, making the floors susceptible to damage. This is why it is crucial for the subfloor to be installed correctly and leveled. This will help prevent the floors from buckling and cracking.

Improper Installation

If your vinyl flooring is not properly installed, it will buckle, crack and separate at the seams. The seams are the most vulnerable areas of your flooring, so it is important to have the seams installed correctly. This will help make your flooring last longer and perform better.

The Bottomline

While sun damage and age can be the main cause of vinyl floor damage, it is also important to know if your flooring was installed properly, if your flooring was scratched or if it was manufactured with moisture damage. A professional inspection of your flooring will help determine the extent of the damage and how you might repair it.

Trust only the best flooring contractors today in Brighton. Sussex Vinyl Flooring provides quality flooring and installation for residential and commercial customers. Get in touch with us!

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