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What is Vinyl Flooring?


Living room with vinyl flooring.

What is Vinyl Flooring?

Vinyl flooring is one of the best flooring materials in the market. It is more affordable than stone or granite, and nearly as durable. It is not to be confused with other flooring materials, such as linoleum or laminate flooring. It can really look like either wood planks or stone tiles.

Vinyl has been in use for a long time. Have you heard of vinyl records that have existed since the early 1900s? It is a synthetic plastic, also known as PVC, the same material that pipes are made from. It is used in many ways, including in the medical industry,  auto industry, and in toys. Your home probably has a lot of vinyl items in it. Most important, it is earth-friendly because it can be easily recycled.

Vinyl flooring mimics hardwood and natural stone very well. It comes in planks, sheets, and tiles. It is easy to install, which is nice for the homeowner wanting to do their own job. What is nicer is that it tends to be less expensive than linoleum, more water-resistant, and rarely requires a sealant, even for the seams.

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Pet-safe? Yes! Dogs and cats will not slip on it, nor will they be able to scratch it. In contrast, laminate, ceramic, and porcelain floorings are so slick that pets cannot have good traction. Hardwood may seem great, but dogs and cats can scratch it while chasing each other.

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Types of Vinyl Flooring

Various types of vinyl tiles.

Vinyl flooring comes in a number of forms:

  • It can be laid down in sheets from rolls that are six or twelve feet wide. This would use a full-spread adhesive glue.
  • Luxury vinyl tile (LVT), comes in tiles that can be glued-down, peel-and-stick, or angle-locking.
  • Vinyl tiles or planks are the DIY forms that most non-professional flooring people love. They are simple to buy, carry around, and install.
  • Rigid core hybrid flooring has a rigid construction great for angle-locking installation. Planks or tiles snap together, so the use of adhesive is optional.

Vinyl is one of the best flooring materials to use in damp areas, such as bathrooms, kitchens, dining rooms, and basements. It has superb moisture resistance. It is also an excellent option for all the other rooms in the home, as well as in office buildings. When it is installed from sheet rolls, it has few seams. However, it is not recommended for outside use, because UV radiation may cause fading for certain types of vinyl. Continuous weather conditions can also damage it.

Because vinyl flooring is generally rather thin (except for the rigid core hybrid), it needs to be installed on specially-prepared surfaces. Unevenness in the substrate will affect the flooring as it will tend to mold itself over substrate imperfections. Therefore, it is not recommended installing it over most other types of flooring.

Installing vinyl tiles.

Rolling desk chairs should have a floor-protection mat under them because the protective surface of vinyl flooring will eventually wear off. It can also be dented from the dragging of heavy things across it.

If you are now convinced you to want to install vinyl flooring, great! But as you decide what kind you want to install, double-check all the important features mentioned above, for different types of vinyl flooring do have different weaknesses your specific application may want to avoid. Your flooring supplier should be knowledgeable about those things. More than likely, your choice changes would be between vinyl tiles, sheets, or planks, rather than for completely different flooring material.

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