Vinyl floors have been around for a long time now and have developed a reputation for being one of the most reliable types of flooring across the world.
From being the cheapest and not so glamorous type of flooring, vinyl floors have gone on to become one of the most versatile, affordable and resilient types of flooring option that is available to you.
Vinyl records might have beat the dust, but vinyl floors did not flounder and are here to stay.
The resilience of vinyl floors has to be attributed to the improving technology which has helped bring about some great changes which have kept vinyl floors not only relevant but also turned it into one of the most sought-after flooring types in the market.
The availability of a wide variety makes it easier to choose depending on the material, the cost and other factors that determine the kind of flooring to be used. It is available to suit all your requirements – be it the bathroom, kitchen, living room, bedroom, vinyl floors come in different styles and designs.
The cost, make and design of the material, floor type, water resistance requirement, variety in the availability of styles, innovative floating floor and a lot more factors are there affecting your purchase of vinyl floor.
But once you have chosen to go with vinyl floor, there are more things you have to keep in mind before making the purchase.
So, let us take a look at a few things to keep in mind to help you choose the perfect vinyl floor.
Choose the Right Type of Vinyl Floor
There are 3 Different Types of Vinyl Floors:
1. Sheet vinyl
These are the type of sheets that come in six foot or twelve-foot widths that are prepared in rolls or cut to measurements. Depending on the floor type, the adhesive type and methods used for installation will vary.
2. Tile Vinyl
These are the type of tiles that are measured and cut to exact dimensions of mostly twelve inches or eighteen-inch squares and thickness to give the floor an even and uniform look.
When it comes to vinyl tiles, the self-adhesive ones are the easiest to install because it does not require you to spend additional on buying the adhesive or to apply it to the tile or the installation floor. One great advantage of going with the vinyl tiles is that it is available in a variety of patterns.
3. Plank Vinyl
These are the type of vinyl planks that are available in measurements of four or six inches in width and up to three or four feet long. These are the kind of vinyl having a hardwood type look and would be ideal for places that have a lot of traffic.
Another advantage of plank vinyl is that it is extremely easy to install and maintain, making it ideal for your office spaces. Also, it is a lot less expensive compared to the other types.
Availability Based on Construction
One of the primary ingredients of vinyl floors is Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). PVC is what gives the material the flexibility because of the presence of plasticizers. The installation of vinyl floor involves a few stages.
A layered construction is made and used as the base for the vinyl floor to be stuck on to. The construction layer depends on whether the vinyl floor is inlaid or printed.
Inlaid vinyl is the ones that are coloured and use to lay on a backing material to be fused together to each other. This lets the colour of the vinyl go from top to the bottom and helps when the damage to the vinyl are just chips and scrapes by making them unnoticeable to the naked eye without close inspection.
Colours can be chosen accordingly depending on your preference, be it random or patterns. Printed vinyl is something that is pretty identical to laminate flooring. Printed vinyl have a printed image between two surfaces with the top one being a clear one through which you can see the printed image.
The clear top used in the printed vinyl is the layer that takes most of the damage. So it is important to check the quality of the top layer, also called the wear layer, which will determine the durability of the vinyl floor.
3 Variations of Surface Wear surfaces
1. Urethane finish: Go for a urethane finish if you are looking for a durable and very well resistant to stains and other substances.
2. Vinyl No-Wax: This coating is the kind of top layer that is clear. It requires constant attention and needs to be cleaned and polished on a periodic basis. It is the least durable out of the three. But it is the easiest to clean and maintain.
3. Enhanced Coatings and Urethanes: The most advanced of the lot, enhanced coatings and urethanes are the ones to go for if you are looking for the most durable surfaces that give a great amount of protection.
The material consists of aluminium oxide, which is very hard and durable making the vinyl floor very reliable and extend the shelf life of the flooring surface.
The Versatility of Vinyl Floor
The thing about Vinyl Flooring is that it can be installed on any surface such as concrete, ceramic floors, non-cushioned vinyl flooring and wood.
The only thing to take care before installing is to make proper preparations and make the installation floor even to avoid any bumps and humps on the vinyl floor after installation.
The less expensive, durable vinyl floors come with water resistant qualities and great stability making it suitable for any kind of surface, be it above or below grade. Vinyl floors are also very easy to maintain.
Cleaning and sweeping occasionally will do the job and make the floor look as good as new. Touch stains that usually does not go even with heavy washing can be removed from a vinyl floor by wiping it with a damp cloth.
Methods of Installation
One other thing to keep in mind before you choose the vinyl floor is the method of installation. The method of installation is the factor that mostly helps you determine the type of vinyl (sheet, tile or plank) to be used.
a) Glued: It is the method that can be used for both tile and sheet vinyl and it requires you to glue the vinyl to the sub-floor by the use of a special adhesive. Another method of glued installation is the ‘perimeter adhered’ installation. This method fixes the periphery of the vinyl to the sub-floor.
b) Floating (glue-less): Floating vinyl installations are the ones where the vinyl are not glued, or no adhesives are used to glue it down onto the sub-floor.
It is the usually used method for tile vinyl, but there is sheet vinyl that uses the same method and is called ‘loose-lay’ vinyl sheet flooring. It is produced to lay on the sub-floor maybe by the use of some tape at the seams or edges or without any adhesives.
A fibreglass backing is usually used to make it a bit harder compared to felt backed vinyl.
c) Self-Adhesive: These are known to be the easiest to install. The ‘peel and stick’ tiles have adhesives already applied on the sticking surface making it easier to stick it onto the sub-floor.
Before you get into the installation of vinyl floors, make sure to take a look at the protective backing. It is as important as the vinyl floor. The thicker the protective/installation floor, the safer is the vinyl floor.
It provides additional resistance, durability and moisture to the floor. It also helps you to decide on the right adhesive to be used to stick the vinyl to the subfloor.
Things to Consider Before Purchasing Vinyl Floor
Yes, vinyl floors are reliable, durable, water-resistant, low maintenance and low cost. But there are a number of things to consider before you purchase vinyl floors that are perfect for you. All these will help you find whether vinyl floors are suitable for you.
1. What do You Expect from the Vinyl Floor
Are you looking for a durable, low-maintenance and low-cost flooring for your home? You will have to consider factors like the wear layer, the thickness of the vinyl floor, warranty, patterns and style of the vinyl floor.
If you are looking for a durable vinyl floor, you might have to go with urethanes or enhanced coatings and urethane vinyl floors.
2. Where You Want to Install Vinyl Floor
Kitchens, bedrooms, activity or laundry rooms are an ideal place for installing vinyl floors. The type of vinyl that can also be used depends on the room which you are planning to install it. Is it the heavily used kitchen floor?
The ideal option would be to go with vinyl that is durable and water resistant which will improve the life of the floor. For places like the living room, it is good to go with mid grade floors that can withhold the slight traffic that frequents the bedroom.
3. Your Family
Do you have pets or kids? If yes, the best option is to choose a durable, heavy duty floor that can withhold the playful and jumpy nature of your pets and kids. It should also be chosen depending on the traffic that is expected to be received in the rooms.
4. Earth-friendly flooring something you looking for?
If you are looking for a flooring that is earth-friendly, vinyl floors are probably not the right choice for you.
Vinyl is non-renewable because they are made of petroleum products. It also consists of PVC which is basically known as plastic to us. So that is another thing to be kept in mind. But the manufacturers are now working on formulas to use lesser amounts of PVC for the production of vinyl floors which is good news for any vinyl floor lovers.
5. Will You Install Vinyl Yourself?
Are you planning to install the vinyl floor by yourself? If you are, there are certain things to take care off such as you have the adequate skills to do it.
The help of professional is ideal to make sure the subfloor is prepared adequately and also to make sure the seams are minimized and sealed. Peel and stick or floating (glue-less) tiles would be the best to use if you are really not planning to take any help and the installation by yourself.
6. Vinyl Patterns
The patterns and styles on a vinyl floor that is mimicked from stone or wooden styling might end up having identical patterns.
If you are someone who puts attention to details, this might be an issue for you. One thing that can be done is to get vinyl tiles that have patterns with subtle variations on them which will make it a lot harder to notice the similar patterns.
This is one important thing to be looked upon before buying vinyl floors for yourself and is also Optus one thing that is overlooked the most. Short warranty coverage is provided for vinyl that is on a budget, and the luxury vinyl might be given twenty to twenty-five years warranty.
It is important to read the warranty part of the product carefully and understand each and everything mentioned in it.
Here are a few things to be noted while reading the warranty part of the product:
a) Wear outs do not mean scrapes or scratches: Warranty might mention wear outs to be covered under it. But it might not mean scratches and dulling of the coating would come under it. So make it clear the kind of wear outs that are covered.
b) Professional Installation: Some warranties might mention that professional installation is needed to activate the warranty and if you do it by yourself, it will result in the warranty lapsing and making you not eligible to obtain it in need.
c) Denting Resistance: Proper resistance to dents will need the sub-floor to be laid out properly and all the installation process to be done seamlessly. If that is not the case, you will not be deemed eligible to get the warranty on the basis of the dent caused by a heavy object on your vinyl.
d) Stain Coverage: Usually most kinds of stains are covered by the warranty except latex and rubber backed mats.
Vinyl floors are highly popular and are in a lot of demand in the market. But like in the case of any other products, some things have to be considered before you purchase it.
So, make sure to read the above-mentioned points carefully to get an idea of the type of Vinyl Floor that would suit you the most before you make the purchase.