- Ideas & How-Tos
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Vinyl is one of the most resilient, versatile and affordable flooring options you can buy. Depending on the surface you choose, material costs can be up to 70% less than other flooring materials. Plus, vinyl is available in more styles than ever before so it's ideal for the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room and entryway.
Vinyl flooring can be installed as either sheet, tile or plank:
With proper surface preparation, vinyl flooring can be installed over any standard underlayment, concrete, old ceramic tile, wood or non-cushioned vinyl flooring. Stability and water resistance make vinyl a good choice for any room at, above or below grade level.
No-wax surfaces and easy cleanup make vinyl flooring even more appealing. Regular sweeping and occasional damp mopping are all you need to keep your floor looking like new. Spills are no problem, simply wipe them away with a damp cloth.
Aside from obvious color and pattern variations, the biggest difference between vinyl tiles is the surface coating, or wearlayer. Tiles are covered with one of three surface coatings to resist dirt, stains and scuff marks:
• Vinyl No-Wax is good for areas with light traffic and minimal exposure to dirt.
• Urethane is good for areas with normal to heavy traffic. Urethane also resists scuff marks, scratches from sliding chairs and cleans up easily.
• Enhanced Urethane is considered the highest quality surface coating. Enhanced urethane holds up to the heaviest traffic, offers the greatest stain and scratch resistance, and maintains its original luster longer than other coatings.
There are two ways that color and patterns are applied to vinyl flooring:
• Inlaid vinyl imbeds color granules into the vinyl sheet for a richer finish. Colors are an integral part of the floor.
• Printed vinyl is produced much like a magazine page. Colored inks are printed onto the flooring sheets.
What you don't see is just as important as what's on the surface. The backing on vinyl flooring provides additional moisture and mildew resistance, ensures the resiliency that vinyl is noted for and determines the type of adhesive required for installation. In general, a thicker floor is a better floor.