If you have ever installed new floors in your home, you know how frustrating choosing the right kind of flooring can be. There are so many options, but you should choose the flooring option that will work best for your home. If you have a fireplace, it complicates things a bit more. One of the questions that keeps popping up is, can you put vinyl flooring in front of a fireplace?
You can install vinyl flooring in front of a fireplace. Vinyl flooring is fire-resistant but has pros and cons. One pro is that should a fire start; the vinyl flooring can help stop the fire from spreading. It’s due to the chemical makeup of vinyl. One con is that chemicals can seep into the air.
When you choose any flooring type, it’s essential to know how certain external factors will affect the flooring. It helps you choose the right kind of flooring that will last many years, has minimum maintenance, and is the best option for your home. I thought I would share the information I found about whether you can put vinyl flooring in front of a fireplace.
Can I Put Vinyl Flooring In Front Of A Fireplace?
When you are looking at installing flooring in front of your fireplace, the flooring must at least be flame retardant, no matter what type of flooring you choose. Vinyl flooring is also called PVC flooring, as it is made from this plastic material.
PVC is one of the most popular flooring and ceiling material choices, and it’s easy to see why. The benefits of vinyl flooring are too good to pass up, but the disadvantages do scare some people, so let’s take a look at why you can put vinyl flooring in front of a fireplace.
Why Can I Put Vinyl Flooring In Front Of A Fireplace?
Vinyl flooring is entirely synthetic, it was invented in the 1930s, and by the time the 1950s rolled around, it was standard in many homes. One of the big reasons for this was that vinyl flooring is fire-resistant and fire-retardent, which means it resists fire and doesn’t let it spread.
It is an essential factor when you are looking to put flooring material near a place that will be exposed to heat in the winter months. While other flooring materials might catch fire and become brittle over time, experts have noted that vinyl flooring lasts longer and doesn’t quickly become brittle.
It also doesn’t warp as much as other flooring materials do. Wood expands and retracts and can be set on fire even if it is chemically treated to be less of a fire hazard. The same goes for some other flooring materials.
Vinyl can warp under extreme conditions, but the protective coating on top won’t let the fire do much damage to the flooring, and it will help stop a fire from spreading as the materials it’s made from is not flammable; it will, however, warp when exposed to direct fire.
How Safe Is Vinyl When Exposed The Heat Of A Fireplace?
The one drawback of using vinyl flooring in any room of your house is it leeches toxic chemicals into the air. Vinyl flooring is made from PVC; PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride, and there are tiny particles of chloride released into the air over timer regardless of where you install vinyl flooring in your home.
You need to keep in mind the gasses in the chemicals will also burn when exposed to a fire, and these chemicals are toxic; they smell awful and can make you sick if you inhale them. The other issue with vinyl flooring is that the sealant used on top of the protective layer won’t resist fire or heat like the vinyl itself.
Some experts are adamant that this strong-smelling chemical gas that burns when there is a fire and the vinyl floor is exposed to it serves as an early warning system because you can smell the chemicals burning and put the flame out as soon as you smell the gas.
If you choose to install vinyl flooring in front of a fireplace, remember to do your research and look for options that don’t have the sealant or have fire retardant sealants.
When not exposed to direct fire but mild to medium heat, vinyl flooring won’t bend, expand or shrink, fade, rot or become brittle. It is one of the better flooring options to use in front of a fireplace.
Tips For Installing Vinyl Flooring In Front Of A Fireplace
Using vinyl flooring in front of a fireplace is not a bad option as it has fire retardant and resistant properties, but there are a few tips that will help your flooring last longer:
- If you are installing the vinyl flooring, create a hearth that can take most of the heat off of the flooring. It will give a cozy look and function as added protection against the warmth of a fireplace.
- You can put a flame-retardant rug on the vinyl flooring closest to the fireplace. These rugs are called hearth rugs, and they are mainly used as a barrier between the heat of a fireplace and the flooring, keeping the floor at a lower temperature.
- Do thorough research before buying vinyl tiles and look for options where the stain on top of the vinyl is flame-retardant or doesn’t have a sealant, and you can seal it yourself with an appropriate sealant.
- It’s crucial always to use a screen in front of your fireplace. You can prevent accidental fires and exposure to high heat by always using a screen in front of the fireplace. Screens are an added layer of protection to keep your family safe and extend the life of vinyl floors.
Vinyl flooring is an excellent flooring option with only a few downsides. All flooring materials have advantages and disadvantages, but it is up to you to decide what downsides you are willing to live with. We can help most flooring last longer with a bit of maintenance and a few well-placed rugs. Vinyl flooring is a good flooring material to use in front of fireplaces.