PVC or simply vinyl is one of the prime mediums of construction used in various home improvement products including vinyl tile flooring. If you are replacing your flooring, especially in a kitchen or bathroom, you might be considering durable vinyl. We can show you the benefits and considerations before you make the purchase.
Why Vinyl Flooring?
Homeowners around the globe may have different preferences when it comes to construction, repairs and maintenance. However, some products become universal not just because of their affordability, but also because of their reputation. One such product is vinyl flooring.
Compared to marble, wood, and carpet, vinyl is a more affordable option. Over the years, it has evolved into a flooring option with a huge variety of choices. Whether it is the mimicry of natural floors, carpeted floors or an unlimited variety of natural patterns, styles, etc, vinyl flooring has changed the very world of flooring.
Types of Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl flooring can be divided into sub-categories based on a number of aspects. When it comes to shape and attributes, homeowners have three options:
- vinyl planks
- vinyl sheets
- vinyl tiles
Vinyl Plank and Luxury Vinyl Plank
Vinyl or luxury vinyl plank flooring are relatively thicker planks of vinyl, mimicking natural wood. Among various types of vinyl flooring, they cost relatively more and have the highest growing demand due to their close resemblance with exotic woods. They are also relatively thicker than vinyl tiles and sheets. The thickness is due to more layers including an optional layer of padding for reducing sound. Vinyl flooring has changed a lot over the decades, from substandard and ordinary designs to high quality material and exotic designs. You can get them in any type of hardwood pattern or color you like. These planks are highly resistant to water and are incredibly easy to install. They require little maintenance and you can wipe them clean with just a damp cloth. However, removing them or replacing them can be a tedious task. It should also be considered that most of the luxury vinyl plank flooring available may not come with a warranty.
Vinyl sheets/vinyl flooring is also available in thin sheets or rolls. They are the cheapest vinyl flooring options. They do not offer an elegant or exotic look but are available in a variety of wood patterns and colors. Their water-resistance is higher than both vinyl planks and vinyl tiles. You can order a custom print of these sheets at relatively higher, but still affordable prices. They are a more suitable choice for offices, commercial or public buildings due to their low cost. These are difficult to install and can only be properly handled by experts.
Vinyl Tiles and Luxury Vinyl Tiles
Vinyl tiles probably have the most diverse set of flooring options available. Vinyl tiles mimic many more natural flooring materials than just hardwood, for instance, the carpeted floors & stone floors, in addition to wood. They are available in hundreds of colors and patterns. The difference between vinyl tile and luxury vinyl tile (LVT) is that the latter is much thicker and has an exotic finish. When it comes to resemblance with natural flooring materials, luxury vinyl tile is the closest.
The LVT is also more durable than regular vinyl tile, being five times thicker. The LVTs are also more expensive than vinyl tiles, but this increase in cost will still keep you within your budget. These tiles are also available in groutable form. The groutable tiles are exactly of the same material, but they give a more natural look, because of the grout in between the tiles the wood or stone patterns look even more realistic.
Mode of Installation
Vinyl tiles, luxury vinyl tiles, vinyl sheets & planks can be installed in a number of ways:
Click Lock/Groove & Tongue
Vinyl tiles & vinyl planks that come with an interlocking mechanism i.e groove & tongue require no adhesive. The planks or tiles have been manufactured in the form of a puzzle and once joined together in the pattern, as instructed by the manufacturer, will give the look of a floating floor. This gives you the room to install them anywhere in your home including mudrooms and even bathrooms. Their water resistance quality makes them an ideal choice for homes and even commercial buildings where there is constant exposure to water. It is also the quickest installation method.
Peel & Stick
This mechanism is available for LVT, vinyl sheets and vinyl planks. It is as simple as it sounds, the backing of the vinyl is coated with a powerful adhesive, the padding covering the backing is removed and the vinyl is installed on the floor. This installment method is widely accepted due to the ease with which it can be carried out and it can be removed with the same ease. If a tile or plank is broken, you can easily replace it.
Installing Vinyl Sheets
There are two methods which are mostly used for installation of vinyl sheets. Glue down, which employs any strong adhesive and the entire flooring is glued to the floor below. The other method is “modified loose lay” which is relatively easier but not long-lasting, a good option if you are not sure that you would use the place for long. Both methods require a certain level of skill and it is better to hire a skilled contractor.
Vinyl flooring is long lasting, versatile and affordable. It will not only make your home look beautiful, but also make it easier for you to maintain it. Which type you choose is greatly dependent on your budget. It is worth mentioning that most of the luxury vinyl tiles and planks would still not be expensive compared to other flooring materials.