Vinyl Plank Flooring Review

Vinyl is a popular flooring choice because of its affordability, versatility, and resiliency. Vinyl is waterproof, too, allowing you to install it in any room of your home. The flooring can be found in tile, plank, and sheet varieties. Learning more about your options will help you to decide if it’s right for your home.

Vinyl Tile Flooring

A lot of new advancements have been made in vinyl tile flooring. What you think you know may surprise you as the styles have changed dramatically in the past 10 years. The modern vinyl tile has a look and feel that closely resembles stone or ceramic tile. The only difference is that it’s considerably more affordable, which is one of the reasons why it continues to gain popularity. The tiles are waterproof, too, so you can place it in any room.

Vinyl tile is manufactured to exact 12 or 18-inch square dimensions to provide a uniform appearance. It is available in many realistic textures, patterns, and colors. There are precision cut tiles that make it easy to replace any that are damaged. Self-adhesive tiles can also be very easy to install. There are also LVT or Luxury Vinyl Tile options that are more realistic with the benefits you get with vinyl.

Vinyl composition tile:

VCT is durable and can maintain its look in high traffic areas. It is commonly installed in commercial settings and can be found in many patterns and styles.

Groutable vinyl tile:

Varieties of groutable vinyl tile can either be laid end-to-end or grouted like traditional ceramic or stone tile. If you want a more realistic tile flooring, then grouting is the way to go. The grout is often ready to use and doesn’t require the additional step of sealing. You will find it’s resistant to cracking, moisture, and stains, too. Tile manufacturers provide many grout color options to give you the desired flooring appearance.

Vinyl Plank Flooring

If you want flooring that looks like hardwood but is more durable and economical, vinyl plank flooring may be a great option to explore. This option has improved dramatically over the years, looking more realistic to the various colors and species of wood. Many manufacturers have also gone to great lengths to improve the texture details so that the vinyl flooring feels more like hardwood flooring.

Vinyl plank flooring is available in widths of four and six inches. The product is waterproof, allowing you to install it in any area. The gaps will need to be sealed, however, to ensure that moisture doesn’t make its way through to the base floor.

Sheet Vinyl Flooring

Sheet vinyl, too, has improved in the past decade. The manufacturers of sheet vinyl have worked to make it look more like the other flooring alternatives on the market, such as tile, wood, and even cork.

6-foot or 12-foot rolls of sheet vinyl are available based on where it’s being installed. It can be cut to your specifications, too. Based on the floor style it’s being applied to, there are various adhesive options and methods. If there’s a high-moisture area such as a bathroom or kitchen, sheet vinyl is the best option because it has no seams.

Choosing Vinyl Flooring

As you shop for vinyl, there is some additional information you need to be aware of.

Colors and patterns can be applied to vinyl flooring in various ways:

  • Inlaid: Color granules are embedded into the vinyl sheet, providing a richer finish. The colors become integral with the flooring.
  • Printed: The vinyl is printed similar to a magazine. The colored ink is printed directly to the flooring sheets and then sealed.

It is also important to look at the wear layer, also known as the surface coating. Vinyl tiles will be covered with one of three coatings to help resist stains, dirt, and scuff marks:

  • Urethane: This coating resists scratches, scuff marks, and works in areas where there is high traffic. It’s also easy to clean up messes.
  • Enhanced Urethane: The enhanced version is the highest-quality coating you can find for vinyl. It works in high traffic areas and is stain and scratch resistant. You will also find it holds its original luster more effectively than other coating options.
  • Vinyl No-Wax: This coating works well for areas that have minimal traffic and isn’t exposed to a lot of dirt.

How Vinyl Flooring is Installed

Vinyl plank flooring is extremely versatile. When the surface is properly prepared, vinyl flooring can be installed over virtually any underlayment including old ceramic tile, concrete, wood, or even non-cushioned vinyl flooring.

The water resistance and stability of vinyl make it a popular choice for rooms at, below, and above grade level.

It is important to look at the protective backing on the flooring as well. This will provide added protection against moisture and mildew. The backing is responsible for the vinyl being resilient. Additionally, the backing will also determine the type of adhesive required for installing the flooring. Generally speaking, thicker floors are better.

Protecting Your Vinyl Floors

A few tips should be followed to help you extend the life of your vinyl floors and keep them looking their best.

Clean Vinyl Floors

Vinyl floors are easy to clean, which will keep them looking their very best. Sweeping and damp mopping will go a long way to keeping them looking like new. Spills can simply be wiped up with a damp cloth.

Protect Vinyl Flooring Against Sunlight

Vinyl flooring may fade if it’s allowed to bake in direct sunlight for too long. Your goal should be to keep the floors out of direct sunlight. This can be done by keeping blinds and curtains closed whenever possible. Rugs and floor mats may also be used to keep your floor from fading or experiencing any other kind of discoloration.

Safeguard Against Furniture

Couches, tables, chairs, and any other furniture resting on the vinyl flooring can cause scratches and marks. By adding furniture pads to the underside of all furniture, you offer a layer of protection. It will ensure your floors continue to look great for years to come.