Why Does Vinyl Flooring Discolour and How to Prevent It?

If you’ve invested in vinyl flooring, you may have noticed yellow stains developing on the surface. This discoloration can be challenging to remove and may leave your floor looking perpetually dirty. Unfortunately, these stains are often a sign of core damage to the flooring material, making them permanent.

If you’re experiencing yellow patches on your vinyl floors, this post covers the different reasons behind the damage and provides helpful tips for preventive measures and remedies. By understanding the causes of vinyl discoloration and how to prevent it, you can extend the life of your vinyl flooring and keep it looking its best. So, read on to discover how you can tackle this problem head-on.

Reasons Behind Yellowing Vinyl Flooring

Yellowing of vinyl flooring can happen due to several reasons. The following are certain reasons behind the issue which you must take note of.

  • Trapped moisture

One of the most common causes of yellowing in vinyl flooring is trapped moisture. This can happen when the substrate is not installed correctly, or when the wrong substrate is chosen without a moisture barrier. In such cases, moisture seeps through the subfloor and collects in the lower layers of the vinyl, causing damage from underneath. You may notice a visible discoloration on the surface of the vinyl, with a clear distinction between the area that remains dry and unaffected, and the area where the moisture has collected.

If you suspect trapped moisture as the cause of yellowing in your vinyl flooring, it is important to address the issue promptly. You may need to consider replacing the damaged flooring or installing a proper moisture barrier to prevent further damage. It is also important to ensure that the substrate is properly installed before laying down vinyl flooring to prevent this issue from occurring in the future.


  • Mould and mildew growth

Mould and mildew growth is a common cause of discolouration in vinyl flooring. When moisture accumulates on the surface, it creates the ideal environment for these fungi to grow and spread. Over time, the growth can contaminate the flooring and cause visible discolouration. To prevent this, it is important to ensure that your vinyl flooring is moisture-proof and that water exposure is kept to a minimum.

In addition to being unsightly, mould and mildew growth can also pose health risks to you and your family. These fungi can cause respiratory problems, allergies, and other health issues, especially in individuals with pre-existing conditions. To maintain a healthy and safe home environment, it is recommended to promptly remove any signs of mould or mildew growth and replace the contaminated flooring if necessary.


  • Improperly applied adhesives

Improperly applied adhesives can also cause yellowing of vinyl flooring. Using an adhesive that is not recommended by the manufacturer or incorrect application of the adhesive can lead to damage from below the flooring. Oils, dirt, and grime can seep through the lowest layers of vinyl, causing permanent yellow spots on the floor. To avoid this, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for adhesives and application techniques.

It’s important to note that yellowing vinyl flooring can be a sign of underlying damage to the material and may require replacement. If you notice yellow patches on your vinyl floors, it’s best to consult a professional flooring company for an assessment and possible solutions. Taking preventive measures and addressing the issue promptly can help extend the life of your vinyl flooring and maintain its aesthetic appeal.


  • Reacting to chemical changes

Vinyl flooring can be sensitive to certain chemical changes, particularly when it comes in contact with rubber materials. This can lead to discolouration in the form of yellow spots when a rubber-backed floor rug, furniture, or kitchen island wheels have been left undisturbed in the same spot for too long. To prevent this issue, it is recommended to either change the position of these accessories periodically or avoid using rubber-backed products on vinyl flooring altogether.

To ensure the longevity and appearance of your vinyl flooring, it is crucial to understand the different factors that can cause discoloration. By addressing the root cause of the problem, such as trapped moisture, mould and mildew growth, improper adhesive application, or reacting to chemical changes, you can prevent or remedy yellowing in your vinyl floors. If you are experiencing persistent discoloration despite your efforts, it may be time to consider seeking the help of a professional flooring company to assess the damage and recommend the best course of action.


  • Damaged by sunlight

Sunlight can significantly damage vinyl flooring and cause yellowing. Constant exposure to high levels of heat and UV rays can cause discoloration and fade the original color of the flooring. This can be especially noticeable in areas with large windows, patio doors, or around a fireplace. If left untreated, this discoloration can become permanent and may require replacing the affected area of the flooring.

At AA floors, we understand the importance of properly installing high-quality vinyl flooring that can withstand the challenges of daily use. We offer top-quality vinyl flooring options that are not only durable but also resistant to damage from sunlight, moisture, and other environmental factors. Our experienced installation team ensures that your new flooring is properly installed to prevent future discoloration and damage.

If you are in the Toronto area and looking for top-quality vinyl flooring options, contact AA floors today. Our team of experts can help you choose the perfect vinyl flooring option for your home or business, and provide professional installation services to ensure a long-lasting and beautiful result.

Tips to Prevent and Remove Discolouration

  • Change furniture and rug position often

To prevent discolouration of vinyl flooring due to rubber-backed rugs or furniture legs, it is recommended to change their position frequently to avoid prolonged exposure to the same spot. When you remove the rug or furniture, the discoloured area will eventually revert to its original colour with enough exposure to light and air. However, overexposure to sunlight can lead to sun damage, so it’s important to balance the amount of exposure to light.

Area rugs can protect vinyl flooring


  • Using the right window coverings

Protecting your vinyl flooring from sun damage is crucial to avoid permanent discoloration. If your flooring has already been exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods and you see sun spots, replacing the flooring is the only solution. To prevent this from happening, it is advisable to keep your windows and doors closed during the sunny hours of the day and use high-quality window coverings, such as solar shades, to minimize the effect of UV rays.

Another effective solution to prevent sun damage is to install awnings, which can provide maximum protection depending on the amount of sunlight you receive inside your home. At AA Floors, we offer top-quality vinyl flooring options that are resistant to sun damage, and our expert installation services ensure that your flooring is installed correctly and will last for years to come.


Window coverings to protect flooring


  • Clean the subfloor well before installation

Bits of adhesives from previous flooring installation or using the wrong adhesive type has its adversities. Not scraping off the adhesive entirely can hamper the new installation and make your floor uneven. The chemical reaction between the new adhesive and the residues can eventually turn the vinyl yellow. The best way to avoid this is by going through the manufacturer’s specifications thoroughly and use only the recommended products. Cleaning the subfloor absolutely such that no residue of old adhesive is left is a must.


  • Use cleaners specifically designed for vinyl

There are numerous cleaning products that are commercially available and designed to get rid of all types of stains on vinyl flooring. For yellowing vinyl, a solution of bleach and water can work wonders. Mix three parts of water and one part of bleach in a bucket and use it for rubbing the stained areas. The stains may not completely get removed in the first attempt. Mop the area regularly with the solution or add more bleach till you get the desired results.


  • Prepare baking soda solution for deep cleaning

Often, the stain may be too deep to be removed naturally- in this situation baking soda can be a helpful home remedy. Sprinkle baking soda on the stained area and leave it for 10 minutes. Use a damp and soft cloth to mop the area. Repeat the process until the stain is removed. You may have to continue this for a few weeks to ensure the discolouration does not come back.


Discolouration or yellowing of vinyl flooring can be caused by various factors such as high foot traffic, standing furniture or accessories, sunlight exposure, and aging. To ensure the longevity and appeal of your vinyl floors, it’s crucial to take preventative measures such as using furniture pads, moving standing items periodically, avoiding the use of rubber-backed mats, and minimizing exposure to UV rays.

However, if the discolouration persists, it may be time to replace the flooring with high-quality material from a trusted store. As an expert in vinyl flooring installation, AA Floors offers top-quality vinyl flooring options in Toronto and surrounding areas. By following these tips and investing in quality flooring, you can ensure that your vinyl floors stay beautiful and functional for years to come.


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