Vinyl flooring is made from polyvinyl chloride, commonly known as PVC. Although it looks and feels much like linoleum flooring, vinyl flooring has been specifically engineered to be a more durable and long-lasting alternative. Vinyl flooring has seen widespread usage in both commercial and residential settings and is available in a large range of colors.
Types of Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl flooring is available in one of two basic types: inlaid or printed. Between the two, printed vinyl represents the less expensive choice – it features a relatively thin layer of vinyl that is covered in a thin printed paper coat. Inlaid vinyl is more expensive, but it offers increased density and toughness. Both inlaid and printed vinyl are available in tile and sheet formats.
The Benefits of Vinyl
Vinyl represents an inexpensive flooring solution. It’s easy to install and holds up well against potential water damage. Plus, vinyl flooring has an insulating effect. This helps flooring feel warm and soft under foot, even during winter months.
Although inexpensive, vinyl offers a relatively limited lifespan compared to some other types of flooring. Over time, its wear will cause loss of shine. Additionally, vinyl may crack due to sun damage. Vinyl floors can’t be refaced; once the vinyl starts to go, it’s time to invest in new flooring.
Which Type of Vinyl Flooring is Best?
The type of vinyl flooring which will best suit a space depends on a few factors. Keep in mind the project’s budget, the room’s traffic level, and whether or not installation will be assisted. For high-traffic commercial areas, or rooms like the kitchen, consider inlaid flooring. For variation and the possibility of an individualized design, go with tile. Printed vinyl should be just fine for low-traffic areas. Printed sheet vinyl is also the most affordable option.
To ensure that vinyl stays put once installed, it’s important that a proper subfloor is installed first. Wood and concrete represent good subfloor options, but moisture must also be taken into consideration. Moisture can compromise the adhesives used in vinyl flooring installation and may cause tiles to come loose. If the flooring location is deemed likely to receive a significant amount of moisture, building paper should be used to help combat moisture problems. Most vinyl tiles can be installed just like huge stickers – they have a backing that peels off and reveals a sticky coating underneath. Sheet vinyl comes in a roll and is laid out and cut into sections before being brought together with heated seam tape.
Justin runs a small hardwood and laminate shop, Flooring HQ Store, and loves to share his knowledge on different flooring and home improvement options.