The floor covers the largest surface in any property or home, making it one of the important decisions you need to make. Therefore, picking the best option for the floor should be done after you have gone through thorough research. It also depends on your aesthetic preference, daily usage as well as budget.
While you might not think about it too often, your floors are subjected to heavy usage on a daily basis. From running kids and pets to furniture shifts over time, it sure does a number on the floors.
If you are actively searching for durable types of flooring, we are here to help. In this article, we will dive into the vinyl flooring option and why it has become the most popular option in the flooring industry today.
What is vinyl flooring?
Great for both residential and commercial properties, vinyl flooring is an efficient, viable and cost-effective flooring option. Installing vinyl is a DIY task – it is relatively easy as they tend to be self-adhesive which means no hammering or sawing is required.
Vinyl flooring is a type of synthetic floor covering. It is made of plastic or polyvinyl chloride (famously known as PVC). Vinyl is made with several layers of materials that have been heated and pressed together to form a highly durable floor covering. Vinyl is completely synthetic, making it a cheaper option for your floor.
Vinyl flooring has come a long way since it was first developed decades ago. Today, vinyl flooring can be designed to add colour and texture to resemble a variety of flooring materials such as hardwood, rough stone or even ceramic tiles!
Why is vinyl flooring a popular choice nowadays?
There are many reasons behind this growing interest, including durability, fuss-free maintenance, and the cost factor. Unlike the typical thin PVC mats usually found in old traditional houses, modern vinyl floorings come with designs and finishes that can mimic expensive hardwood flooring or ceramic tiles.
Aside from its aesthetic value, vinyl flooring is manufactured with multiple layers, which make it comfortable to stand on. Not only does it elevate the look and feel of a home at a fraction of the cost, but it also requires little maintenance – which can be the key point to why it is so popular nowadays!
But vinyl flooring has its drawbacks as well. So, if you are considering getting vinyl flooring for your home, read on and make the right decision for your home.
Factors to consider when deciding on vinyl flooring
Type of room
When deciding to install a vinyl floor, think of where you want it to be installed. Is it the kitchen? Laundry area? Dining room? Or maybe the bedroom? Although vinyl flooring is suitable for any kind of room, you still need to consider whether it will be exposed to constant moisture or high temperature. For instance, the vinyl floor colour will fade if it is exposed to direct sunlight for a long time, so avoid installing vinyl in outdoor areas. After all, you would want your floor to last long!
Despite its reputation for being durable, vinyl flooring is still susceptible to damage or tear. So, you need to consider how much foot traffic will take place in the area of your house in question. For busy families’ homes, you might need to get thicker vinyl for the busiest space in your home. For example, rooms like kitchens may need thicker flooring.
Vinyl flooring is durable – but you still need to be aware of sharp objects, heavy loads or big bulky furniture. Keep it away from anything that can scar or scratch its surface. Additionally, you also need to avoid installing it in a place with large equipment.
It is easier to install vinyl on an even, smooth and clean surface. Laying vinyl on top of a flawed floor might be tricky since those flaws will appear beneath the new vinyl floor. In many cases, it is best to add a layer of underlayment, which can also give a better and more comfortable feel to your feet. Underlayment is a thin material that provides extra cushioning while also helping with sound absorption and insulation.
Pay attention to the wear layer! It impacts the floor’s durability the most. A higher wear layer will provide better resistance against any damages like scratches and dents – but it is also more expensive.
The most common types of vinyl flooring for your properties
If you are looking for the gorgeous look of stone or wood flooring, but you need something more durable and budget-savvy, vinyl flooring is an ideal floor option! Here we list down three types of vinyl and their different attributes to help you choose the most suitable vinyl flooring for your property.
The vinyl flooring in the market today can take several forms, including sheet vinyl flooring, vinyl composite tiles (VCT), and the latest type, luxury vinyl tiles or planks (known as either LVT or LVP).
Sheet vinyl flooring
As the name suggests, this type of vinyl comes in sheets of large rolls that can be cut to fit the entire floor area. Sheet vinyl flooring has been around for quite some time; however, modern technology has allowed sheet vinyl to mimic the authentic look of wood and stone flooring. It is also easier and quicker to install, making it one of the most popular choices.
Versatile vinyl sheet flooring is great for any room in your house. This flexible sheet is an especially great choice for high-traffic areas like kitchens, or moisture-prone areas like laundry areas. But, avoid installing sheet vinyl in the toilet where excessive moisture can build up and damage the vinyl!
However, sheet vinyl is meant for flat, smooth surfaces only. If the floor is uneven or damaged with holes, you might need to consult with contractors for an underlayer or cement screed.
Advantages of sheet vinyl flooring:
Durable and can withstand high-traffic areas
Easy to clean and maintain – all you need is regular sweeping or occasional mopping
Soft underfoot from the PVC foam
Provides acoustic insulation against stomping feet
Disadvantages of sheet vinyl flooring:
Once glued down, it is difficult to be removed – required special chemicals and tools
Need to be cut precisely
Fragile and easily punctured
DIY installation can be tricky
Vinyl composite tile (VCT)
Vinyl composite tile, or VCT, is constructed by compressing a mixture of natural pulverised limestone, filler materials, thermoplastic binders, and colour pigments into solid sheets, before cutting them into tiles. VCT is frequently used in commercial spaces like hospital flooring, airports, education institutions, and public areas.
The thick layer of VCT also withstands constant activity in the house, especially in areas like kitchens. Plus, once set in position, it is not easy to remove or rip, making it suitable for homes with kids or pets.
Generally, vinyl tile is glued down to underlayment or even onto existing floors. It is quite easy for DIY lovers since its individual pieces are easy to cut and fit into irregular areas or edges.
Advantages of VCT:
A great option for heavy traffic spaces or places
Easy to replace or repair as it is an individual piece
Easy to install
Waterproof vinyl flooring
Disadvantages of VCT:
Heavy and sharp objects can cause damage
Sensitive to temperature – prolonged exposure to a heat source may cause damage or discolour
Not suitable for outdoors where exposure to sunlight is consistent
Luxury vinyl flooring / luxury vinyl planks (LVP)
Hardwood floors can give your home the perfect finishing touch. However, they can be quite costly. If you want a floor that resembles wooden flooring – minus the high-cost part – consider getting luxury vinyl planks (LVP).
LVP is made of limestone-based mineral material that is mixed with PVC, with its bottom layers providing protection against moisture and preventing shrinkage. Its top layer is protected by a wear layer and UV layer in order to prevent the floor from being scratched.
LVP is engineered to be installed using either the glue-down or floating method. In the floating method, individual planks are locked together using a built-in tongue and groove system. The planks are then laid directly onto the subfloor or over the underlayment. This is often the best method as there is no adhesive mess to deal with. Whereas with the glue-down method, an adhesive is applied to the vinyl plank before it is glued down directly onto the subfloor. This method requires a high level of patience in order to get a tidy installation.
Advantages of LVP:
Can withstanding moisture, especially in humid and tropical weather conditions
Resistant to scratching and scuffing
Thick and comfortable
Resembles realistic wood flooring but is not as expensive
Easy to maintain
Disadvantages of LVP:
More expensive than the other two
Glued-down LVP can be hard to remove/repair if needed
How often do you need to clean vinyl floors
Proper maintenance is crucial in keeping your floor in its best condition. Vinyl floors in high-traffic areas of a home should be swept or vacuumed daily to remove grit that can cause scratches. Spills should be wiped up immediately to prevent staining that is more difficult to remove. Occasional mopping can also help the floor stay squeaky clean. So, make it a habit to clean and pick up any dirt as soon as possible.
Maintaining your vinyl floors
Vinyl floors are easy to maintain. However, a few tips and tricks on how to take care of your vinyl floor couldn’t hurt. After all, you would want to keep it looking great even after years of usage. We have compiled a list of helpful suggestions for you:
Avoid using harsh cleaners like ammonia as it can cause damage to the floor and ruin its finishes. A mild detergent like dishwashing soap is sufficient to clean your vinyl flooring.
Never use steel wool or a stiff-bristled brush to scrub vinyl flooring
Place protective mats under heavy furniture, such as outfitting tables and chair legs with felt-backed floor protectors, to prevent dents on the floor. Also, never drag heavy furniture or appliances across a vinyl floor. If you need to move heavy or bulky items, use either sheet of plywood or moving wheels
Make sure to use an industrial-grade adhesive that can improve the durability and appearance of your floors.
Colour trend for vinyl floors
Colours are a great way to impact your home’s interior design. The flooring colour is of great significance as it sets the tone for the rest of your space. In 2022, people continue to go with natural medium-dark colours to create an inviting look. Modern simplistic elegance is set to continue as a central theme. You will likely see these colours trending:
Beige: This colour gives a natural and elegant look to your home. Beige is also flexible and easy to complement a wide range of wall colours
Greige: A mix of beige and grey that blends the modern aesthetic of grey with the natural, earthy tones of beige. This colour is predicted to become the top-floor colour trend
Grey: For a contemporary, sleek feel that can add depth and substance to your space
Vinyl flooring patterns for your next home décor project
There are many varieties of flooring patterns you can utilise with each creating a different look and feel in your space. The most common patterns are:
Offset: Also known as running bond, this universal pattern is offset by half the width of the plank or tile
Diagonal: Set on a 45-degree angle for either tiles or planks which adds dimension and a unique perspective to your home
Herringbone: Classic pattern that resembles fish scales and adds a level of sophistication to your space
Grid: A flooring pattern arrangement with all vertical and horizontal continuously aligned
Random: An arrangement of planks or tiles in no particular order for an aimless design
Made your choice of vinyl flooring for your home yet?
After learning about vinyl flooring, its types, its benefits and drawbacks, is vinyl an excellent option for your home?
It is recommended that you talk to the flooring professionals or contractors to determine the options and have installations done on your behalf. Remember, the floor is the foundation of your space. Deciding the right type of flooring, colour and pattern will make a significant impact on the overall style of your home.