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Vinyl Flooring Buying Guide

Vinyl is one of the most resilient, versatile and affordable flooring options you can buy. The flooring method is available in tile, plank and sheet form. The product is designed to be waterproof and will work in any room of the house.

Vinyl flooring.

Why Vinyl Tile Flooring?

Vinyl Tile Flooring.

You're missing out if you haven't seen the latest advancements with vinyl tile flooring. Vinyl tile today is nothing like it was a decade ago. Today's vinyl tile has the look and feel of real ceramic or stone tile, for a much more economical price. This is why the popularity of vinyl tile continues to grow. The tile is waterproof, which means they can be placed anywhere in the house.

 

Vinyl tile is manufactured to exact dimensions (12- or 18-inch squares) and thickness to give the finished floor a uniform appearance. The flooring is available in a wide variety of colors, realistic textures and patterns. Self-adhesive tiles are the easiest to install. Precision cut tiles also make replacing damaged tiles easy, and Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) offers a more realistic look and feel with all the benefits of vinyl.

 

Groutable Vinyl Tile

Some varieties are designed to be laid end to end while others can even be grouted like real ceramic or stone tiles. Consider groutable vinyl tile for even more realism. Tile makers offer a broad range of color options for the grout to give you the flooring you're looking for. Depending on the source, the grout is ready to use and requires no sealing. It's also resistant to stains, moisture and cracking.

 

Vinyl Composition Tile

Vinyl composition tile or commercial VCT is designed to be durable and to maintain its look despite being in high-traffic areas. The tile is typically used in commercial settings. VCT is available in many different styles and patterns.

 

How to Install Vinyl Tile Flooring

Why Vinyl Plank Flooring?

Vinyl Plank Flooring.

Vinyl plank is for you if you're looking for an economical and durable alternative to hardwood floors. This flooring method has improved over the years to realistically mimic different varieties of colors and types of wood. Manufacturers have also taken steps to improve on how the planks feel, with added detail to its texture.

 

Vinyl plank is commonly manufactured four or six inches wide by three or four feet long. Like vinyl tile, the vinyl plank product is waterproof. Gaps need to be sealed in order to prevent moisture from seeping through your floor. Vinyl plank will work in any room if done correctly.

 

How to Install Vinyl Plank Flooring

Why Sheet Vinyl Flooring?

Vinyl Sheet Flooring.

Like vinyl tile and vinyl plank, sheet vinyl has also improved greatly over the years. Makers have created a flooring method that offers an accurate representation of its alternatives made from real wood or tile.

 

Sheet vinyl comes in 6- or 12-foot widths cut to measurements or in prepared rolls. The adhesive types and methods will vary by floor style. Sheet vinyl is ideal for high-moisture areas like bathrooms because it can be installed seamlessly.

 

How to Install Sheet Vinyl Flooring

A Versatile Option

Vinyl floor.

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.

Protecting Vinyl Flooring

Guard Against Sunlight

Who doesn’t enjoy a bright and sunny day? The sun is great for us, but it may not be great for your vinyl flooring. It's possible for direct sunlight to damage or fade your vinyl floor. Don’t worry. This is easily avoidable.

Take a look around your house and find the areas that are hit with direct sunlight. Be sure to close your blinds or curtains to block the sun's rays. A well-placed rug or floor mat will also protect your floor from fading or discoloration.

 

Keep the Floor Clean

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.

 

Protect from Furniture

It's worth applying furniture pads to couches, chairs, tables or anything else resting on your vinyl floors. An added layer of protection between your furniture and floor will prevent scratches and will keep your flooring looking brand-new.

The Importance of Wearlayer

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.

 

Colors and Patterns

Vinyl floor with pattern.

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.

Protective Backing

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.