Our team received a question recently from a woman who was researching vinyl and asked, “What causes vinyl to discolor?”

While we have yet to experience any form of vinyl discoloration with GoHaus vinyl flooring, there are some causes of discoloration to be aware of. Here are few different types of vinyl discoloration that can occur: Yellowing, “Bottom-up” staining, and sun spots. I’ll discuss how these occur and possible remedies to remove these from the vinyl and bring it back to its original color.

Yellowing is caused by a chemical reaction. There are certain rubber materials with chemicals that can create a reaction when in contact with vinyl that leads to this form of discoloration.  This type of rubber can be found under floor rugs or wheels attached to islands or furniture.  The chemical reaction doesn’t immediately occur though.  The area rug or wheels, for example, must remain in the same position for a long period of time to cause the vinyl discoloration.  So, if you’re searching for a floor rug, be sure to check the label to find out if the material used for the backing is safe to use on vinyl floors.  Removing the yellowing is a matter of reversing what happened that caused it.  The original color of the vinyl can find its way back with exposure to light (removing the rug or re-positioning the island, for example).  This could take some time, so if you need to remedy the color change sooner, baking soda can help with this.  First, sprinkle small amounts over the stained area and let stand for 10 minutes.  Then take a soft cloth moistened with water and apply to the area and repeat the process until it is gone.  You may have to do this weekly for a while to prevent the discoloring from coming back.  It all depends on how deeply stained your floor is from the yellowing.

Bottom-up staining is a form of vinyl discoloration that occurs from below floors where the stain penetrates through the vinyl.  This is likely the result of the adhesive that was used during installation or adhesive that wasn’t scraped completely off prior to the installation.  Another way this could occur is from mold growing underneath as a result of moisture coming up through a concrete sub-floor.  To avoid this, make sure you are checking the manufacturer’s specifications on their adhesive and remove all previously used adhesive from the sub-floor.  If moisture or water seepage is a concern, look into special vinyl adhesives that will prevent that and potential mold from forming.

Sun spots are another form of vinyl discoloration that occurs from direct exposure to sunlight or high heat. Again, it takes a lengthy period of time for this to occur. Occasional exposure, such as a sliding glass door being opened, will not immediately cause this. However, if the door is left open all day, this could allow the direct sunlight and heat to materialize and discolor the floor.  Regular shading and keeping your vinyl floors out of direct sunlight will prevent this type of discoloration from occurring.

If you have any questions about the vinyl we offer, please give our team a call at 1-844-334-2877.