The Many Choices in Vinyl Flooring for Your Home

Installing Vinyl FlooringVinyl flooring has been around for a while and continues to be a mainstay in both residential and home environments.  There are many choices in vinyl flooring!   If you have kids, pets , or other high traffic, or a tight budget, you may want to consider vinyl. Vinyl flooring is also known as resilient flooring because it has some give when you walk on it. This makes it quieter and easier on the feet and joints. Vinyl is available in many price ranges but as with anything else, the more you are willing to spend, the greater quality floor you will have and the longer it will last and wear.  Even at the higher end, vinyl remains a very economical choice.

Vinyl comes in many forms now.

  • TilesThese are often self-adhesive, making them easy to install. They are also easy to replace if one becomes damaged. You can also vary the placement of vinyl tiles to minimize repetition in wood and stone patterns, making them look more natural.
  • SheetsInstallation of sheet vinyl requires that it be glued down over a well-prepared sub floor. If you have a simple open space to cover, this works out fine. However, if you have to cut the sheet to fit your room or if your room is larger than the roll of vinyl, then you will have a sealed seam where the edges meet. It is advised that you try to place this seam in a lower traffic part of the room, if possible.
  • PlanksYou can also purchase floating vinyl floors with glue-less, click together installation. This is usually the option that mimics the look of hardwood.

A really nice benefit of vinyl flooring is that it comes in many colors, and styles and and even has options that look like natural materials such as wood., stone, tile, or marble. It is easy to clean and maintain. Just vacuum or sweep, and then mop with either a cleaner that has been approved by the manufacturer of your floor, or try a solution of warm water and vinegar. The latter is hypoallergenic and environmentally friendly. It is not harmed by water and resists stains, and so works well in utility rooms and laundry rooms. However, with all the design options available, it is pretty enough for kitchens and bathrooms as well.

Solid vinyl and composite vinyl tiles are homogenous, with their color permeating every layer. This makes them resistant to scratches and wear. However, without a protective layer, they can also be subject to stains. Printed vinyl will be as durable as the clear wear layer that protects the surface. Fiberglass reinforced vinyl sheets are extremely durable, while also being pliable and resistant to damage.

Remember that vinyl and linoleum are not the same, though many use the terms interchangeably. Linoleum is derived from natural products like linseed oil (made from flax plant seeds), pine rosin, wood or cork powder, and limestone. It is less water resistant than vinyl and requires sealing for protection. Although more people are choosing linoleum now, it is still not as commonly used as vinyl. Vinyl is a beautiful and economical option and offers so many style choices.

There are basically three types of wear surfaces in vinyl floors. These are:

  • Vinyl no-waxThis is a clear vinyl top coating. It is the least durable and you will need to apply a polish periodically to maintain the luster.
  • Urethane finishThis finish provides greater durability and resistance to stains.
  • Advanced coatings and urethanesThese are the most advanced types of coatings which provide the greatest durability and wear. One example is aluminum oxide coating, which creates a very hard and durable surface with an extended life.

So, as you consider the many choices available in vinyl flooring, think about these things:

  • Where do you want to place the vinyl floor?Consider traffic in the area, room choice, and your family situation. Do you have children or pets? Is this an area prone to many stains or a lot of spills or water?
  • Do you want earth-friendly floor choices?While vinyl is not inherently known for this, many manufacturers are moving in this direction to make the products comply with set standards.
  • What are your expectations for your floor? Do you want greater durability? Consider a thicker vinyl and a higher level finish. Do you want more resiliency? Many vinyl floors offer thicker backing that makes them more resilient.
  • Do you plan to install the floor yourself?If so, you may want to choose self-adhesive tiles or the glue-less floating option. Sheet vinyl requires a properly prepared sub floor and skill in sealing and minimizing seams.
  • How do you feel about repeat patterns in stone and wood prints?You may want to consider this as you choose a pattern for your vinyl, especially if this bothers you. You can vary the tiles to minimize repetition in the pattern. This is also less noticeable with higher quality vinyl floors.

So, as you consider the many choices available in vinyl flooring, you will be amazed at the many designs and installation options available to suit any space. Carolina Flooring is a full service company that specializes in making your dream floor a reality. If you want to get answers for your space, click here. They can help you find the floor you’ve always wanted!

Photo courtesy of JeffAndSharonKidder

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