Vinyl flooring is a reasonably new type of flooring method which is primarily used in institutional and commercial applications. It is a type of resilient flooring that uses vinyl instead of plastic, rubber, linoleum, PVC and other types of artificial composite floors.
Popular on the North American continent, the type of vinyl flooring we see today is derived from the versions of Polyvinyl Chloride products that were sold in the 1980s.
Vinyl Materials – PVC
Vinyl floors come in sheet flooring or floor tiles, and these are applied to the subfloor using tile mastic or vinyl adhesive, unlike some commercial places where the tiles are sometimes buffed or waxed.
Frank Furness was a Philadelphian architect who in 1894 patented a process for rubber floor tiles. These tiles deteriorated easily due to the exposure to oxygen and alkaline moisture even though it was easy to install, sound deadening, durable and easy to clean.
It was only in 1926 when Waldo Semon invented Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) while working in the United States. Produced by polymerization, PVC contains plastic containing hydrogen, carbon and chlorine. The vinyl floors made a name for itself during the Chicago Century of Progress Exposition.
Why You Should Opt for Vinyl Floor
The first thing anyone notices when they visit your home is the floors. So, it is highly recommended to have the best floor that looks beautiful to the eye, lasts longs, and comes in your budget. It should not only make the visitors feel great but also improve the whole state of being in the house.
If these are the properties you are looking for in your home or your commercial office, vinyl tiles are definitely what you are looking for.
The two most common types of vinyl flooring are inlaid vinyl flooring and printed vinyl flooring. Inlaid flooring follows the pattern of embedding colour granules into the flooring sheet to get a copious look. Whereas printed vinyl has a thin protective coating on the vinyl base.
Compared to inlaid vinyl, printed vinyl is both cheaper and less durable.
Vinyl floors can be installed in two ways:
1) Vinyl Sheets: Sheet comes in different measurements of 6 to 12 different widths in prepared rolls or cuts to the required measurements.
2) Vinyl Tiles: Tiles are available in the dimension of twelve inches to eighteen-inch squares. The tiles that come with self-adhesive are easy to install compared to the other.
Advantages of Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl flooring has grown in popularity over the past couple of decades and from just commercial use, it has also been used for personal uses.
So, if you are planning to get you home floored with vinyl, here are a few advantages that would really make you go for vinyl flooring.
Vinyl floors are highly durable and can handle high traffic for long durations of time without taking any damages. This makes modern vinyl floors ideal for commercial spaces and institutions as they require floors that are tough and lasts long.
A well-installed vinyl floor can be expected to last for about twenty years, and some of the manufacturers do provide warranty for about fifteen years which speaks highly about how durable they are.
2) Cost efficiency
The durability of vinyl floors does not make it expensive. As a matter of fact, it is comparatively inexpensive making it a great substitute for conventional flooring and tiling methods.
Because of the material, it is made of, vinyl is cheap compared to hardwood or stone tiles and even concrete.
Being extremely durable and low cost is just the beginning. Vinyl floors are extremely low maintenance and do not require your constant attention.
Vinyl tiles can be easily maintained as it takes a lot of impacts, is resilient to abrasion and it can be cleaned by the use of mechanical buffing equipment and chemical strippers very easily.
It is also dust free and can also handle humid environments.
4) Remove and Replace
The tiles are comparatively very easy to remove, and the damaged ones can be replaced easily. The only thing to keep in mind is to install it the right way so that the removal can be easy.
This is one property that attracts most of the customers to choose vinyl floors over other types that are available in the market.
5) The Range of Availability
The vinyl sheets or tiles are available in a variety of styles and patterns mimicking the looks of regular tiles. Wood, concrete, stone, terrazzo are some of the major tile patterns available from the hundreds of patterns manufactured nowadays. The difference is only noticeable if you look close up.
6) Variety of Colours
Vinyl tiles are available in a variety of colours, pampering you with choices you cannot get enough off. Colour shades are available from all the spectrums and are available at most of the stores.
7) Shorter Installation Time
Vinyl floors are extremely easy to install and can be installed in a short time. It is also the best material if you are someone who loves DIY projects.
There have been records of people installing vinyl floors themselves in just ten minutes time, saving the charges for professional installation and saving time for them.
Another important thing to be noted is that vinyl can be installed over an already existing floor of linoleum or vinyl itself, making the latter a subfloor.
It does not require you to demolish the previous floor for the installation of a new vinyl floor. It can be used to seal cracked, damaged or floors with high traffic.
8) Increase House Resale Value
Due to the nice appearance and easy maintenance, vinyl floors once installed can improve the value of the house. It is a one-time investment that can pay you back. Besides, it can easily remove if the new owner wants to change the flooring.
9) Softer Floors
Vinyl flooring provides slightly softer floors in comparison to wood or tile. A thin layer of foam or felt is put underneath the vinyl tiles or sheet giving the floor a lot more flexibility, making it durable and easy for us to stand on it for a long time.
10) Easy Cleaning
The vinyl floor does not need your constant attention and requires only need the occasional sweeping and mopping to keep it clean. Find out how to clean the vinyl flooring here.
Vinyl floors are easily accessible to everyone. Those who sell them are able to store the flooring tiles in number without any problems making it readily accessible to those who need it.
12) Water Resistant
Vinyl floors are water resistant. This property makes them the go-to tiles when it comes to the kitchen. As it is extremely easy to clean, the tiles in the kitchen do not require much attention compared to conventional tile because of its water-resistant properties.
13) Resistant to Other Harmful Substances
Vinyl floors are not just resistant to water, but they are also resistant to acids, detergents, alkalis, soaps and petrol. This all in one property makes vinyl floors a lot more reliable as not only does it make the floors extremely easy to clean, but also keeps the floor away from harmful substance and safe for us to use.
14) Easy to Discard
We have already learnt that vinyl floors can be easily removed and replaced. But another thing that is worth mentioning is that it can be discarded easily as it is easy to cut vinyl sheets or tiles.
Vinyl floors are non-porous which a property that comes into use very much is. It does not allow liquid to pour through it, again making it the perfect flooring for bathrooms and kitchen.
16) Dynamic Friction Factor and High Hardness
Vinyl floors have the friction factor higher than other flooring materials. More is the dynamic friction factor, the lesser the chance for anyone to slip and fall. High hardness lets the floor holding on to a lot more weight than we can imagine, making it the perfect blend of cost efficiency, durability and user-friendly.
17) Visual Appeal
Another category of vinyl tiles is the Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT). It realistically portrays all the qualities and appearance of natural materials making it hard to distinguish from the real material. Compared to vinyl flooring, LVT is a bit more expensive.
18) Say Bye to Cold Feet
We already know vinyl floors are soft. So what can make it better, one might think. Well, if you are someone who loves to move around barefoot, vinyl floors are the best as it is warm. It gives you the liberty to walk around barefoot without worrying about cold feet.
19) Cushions Fall
The spongy quality of the floor can cushion falls. By chance, if that expensive glass plate falls from your hands or the table, there is a high chance for it to not break if the floor is made of vinyl tiles or sheet. The normal tiles, on the other hand, would not be able to cushion the fall and there are high chances for the item to break.
Disadvantages of Vinyl Flooring
You must be thinking how you can expect vinyl flooring to have any disadvantages when it has so many advantages to tackling all the negatives.
But yeah, everything has a downside too. In the case of vinyl flooring, it does not get too bad, though. Listed below are a few disadvantages of installing vinyl flooring.
1) Subfloor Handling
It is agreed that vinyl floor installation is an easy process but what about the subfloor? No, it is not that easy. The subfloor should be free of any types of particles to make the vinyl floor good and not let bumps and lumps show up on it, ruining the whole floor.
Also, if the vinyl tile is peel and stick and the subfloor is dirty, there is a high chance for the floor tile to come off quicker that puts expected.
Besides, for those floors that are not even, we need to do self-levelling on the subfloor to prevent the wavy issue appear on the vinyl floor.
The sponge quality has come back to haunt us. Yes, it does cushion the fall of fragile things. But at the same time, the surface can be gouged if a sharp object with enough force is applied. This proves to be a concern when it comes to moving furniture too.
Without furniture pads, the furniture can gouge or scratch the vinyl floor leaving some marks. But furniture pads will do the trick and help solve this issue.
3) Not Recommended for Outdoors
The colours can fade and the floors damaged if vinyl floors come under direct sunlight or extreme temperatures respectively. So the best choice would be to use it only for indoors.
4) Vinyl Over Vinyl is Not Recommended
Installing vinyl over another vinyl floor is not recommended. This is because vinyl floors require extremely smooth and flawless surface. Or else the imperfections while show up sooner or later in the form of humps and bumps.
The patterns of the previous vinyl floor will eventually show up on the new one over time if a vinyl floor is installed over another.
5) Not Suitable for Bathroom
Even though Vinyl has water-resistant property but it does not have waterproofing property, it cannot be immersed in the water, thus it is not recommended to be installed in bathroom or toilet. Immerse in water for long period of time will make the vinyl to peel off.
Depend on the adhesive that is used, Vinyl flooring not maybe 100% volatile organic compounds (VOC) free. VOC will cause impact to the environment and Ozone.
But this VOC issue can be resolved by using water-based adhesive, the manufacturers have already taken steps to reduce VOC.
Best Flooring Option
Vinyl flooring is a beautiful way to decorate your floor. With the variety of colour schemes and patterns available, it will be hard to ignore them.
Durable, low maintenance, low cost and a lot more advantages to its name, it is one of the best types of flooring that you can choose for your dream home.
Suitable for all types of floors and easy to clean, vinyl floor is one invention we can always be thankful for.