Vinyl Flooring: How It’s Getting Better and Better
Vinyl flooring has come a long way from the cheap flooring of the past. Here are some of the ways that you can invest with confidence in vinyl plank floors.
Classified as resilient flooring material along with linoleum, cork, and rubber, vinyl made a name for itself as a water-resistant, low-cost flooring material in the 1940s. But, it also gained a reputation of being something of a “that’ll do” kind of floor covering as opposed to one that truly adds value or long-lasting endurance.
But, vinyl flooring has evolved since its humble beginnings. Today, vinyl is known for its innovative design, colorful patterns, and easy installation. A popular flooring material for kitchens, bathrooms, and high-traffic areas, vinyl is now finding its way into living rooms and offices. No longer a stopgap solution, vinyl flooring deserves a closer look at how this flooring surface wins favor among 21st-century homeowners.
Vinyl flooring matches any home décor
Whether your home decorating style is retro chic or modern minimalist, vinyl flooring can help you get the look you want for your home. Vinyl flooring comes in many colors and patterns, and it can mimic natural materials, such as marble tiles or white oak planks.
Complete the look for your country-style kitchen with a fine detailed wood grain layout, or at least the very convincing look of one, although this time in a surface that deflects moisture. Try a rustic modern look using a light-colored vinyl plank flooring with white kitchen appliances for a striking sense of visual contrast.
Dark vinyl tiles with sparsely decorated walls will give your home a spacious, uncluttered look. To match a modern, earthy décor, use vinyl planks that match your existing wood or use a contrasting color to make your floor stand out on its own.
Thanks to a greater emphasis on surface detail in modern vinyl flooring, you’re free to blend home decor styles with greater confidence, just as you can with natural materials; a rustic wood surface balanced against stark modernist walls, for instance. This approach works well for rooms with an open layout, such as a dining room and kitchen area or a living room and entryway.
Vinyl flooring lasts for years
Scratch-resistant, spill-resistant, dent-resistant, and stain-resistant, vinyl flooring can handle high-traffic areas of your home for decades and still look great. The reason vinyl can hold up so well has to do with vinyl flooring’s manufacturing.
The top layer of vinyl flooring, called a wear layer or a mill layer, protects your floor from damage. Consider your flooring mill layer carefully for high-traffic areas of your home. These days, the core of a vinyl plank floor has become more sophisticated as well, strengthening each plank for longer-lasting performance.
The type and thickness of the mil-layer dictates how durable your vinyl floor will be. A vinyl floor’s mill layer is often urethane, which resists stains and stays shiny without polishing. Additional coatings, such as aluminum oxide, resist scratches and increase durability. The more coatings and the thicker the mil-layer you have, the higher the price will be.
Vinyl comes in versatile formats
Vinyl flooring is versatile. You not only have a choice of colors and patterns, but also shape and size. Select from three basic types of vinyl flooring for your home.
The simplest, and cheapest, vinyl flooring is sheet vinyl. This style comes on a roll that you cut to fit your room’s dimensions. When installed properly, sheet vinyl fits together tightly to prevent spills and moisture from leaking through.
Designed to look and feel like wood, vinyl plank flooring comes in the same size, shape, pattern, and texture as planks. This type also has beveled edges like real hardwood floors, but you don’t have to worry about moisture or water damage. Vinyl plank flooring is easy to maintain and install.
Luxury vinyl tile can be made to look like expensive materials, such as stone or slate. Using a high quality photographic layer, luxury vinyl tiles look like real tile, but a texture layer makes them feel like the natural material they’re simulating. Use grout between luxury vinyl tiles to make the look even more convincing.
Vinyl Is Easy to Install
While you can also call a professional to do the job for you, many varieties of vinyl flooring are designed for the beginner level DIYer. With this in mind, epending which type of vinyl flooring you’ve chosen and the size of the area you’re covering, you could have a vinyl floor in your home in short order, and on budget.
Vinyl flooring is typically installed with an adhesive on top of your underlay. You then press the vinyl flooring to the adhesive. Vinyl planks and tiles are typically easier to install than sheet vinyl, since you work with rigid pieces of vinyl, not a large roll of material. Some vinyl tiles come with an attached underpad, so you don’t need to worry about whether to use an underlay.
When you install a vinyl floor, work from the back of the room toward the door. Limit the amount of foot traffic across your newly installed flooring and adhesive. Keep out of the room for 24 hours to let the adhesive cure properly.
Vinyl is suited to every room in your home
With its moisture-resistant properties, vinyl flooring is ideal for your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room, where high moisture levels and spills are prevalent. But don’t think you should ban vinyl flooring from other rooms in your home.
Consider realistic wood vinyl planks in your home office or living area. Their durability can stand up to the weight of the feet of your furniture. Vinyl planks are easy to care for and won’t need to be polished or waxed.
Colorful vinyl tiles in your family’s playroom won’t dent when block towers fall or when tiny toys get crunched underfoot. When messes happen, vinyl is easy to clean with a broom or mop.
Vinyl makes for minimal upkeep
A vinyl floor doesn’t require much maintenance, and caring for the floor is easy. Simply sweep or vacuum dust and debris, and mop or wipe up spills. Modern vinyl flooring doesn’t require polishing or buffing. With vinyl tiles in your entryway, you can easily wipe up mud, snow, or other debris that makes its way inside. A vinyl entryway will resist dents and scratches from years of foot traffic.
Vinyl floors are durable, but they’re not indestructible. Use a stain remover for vinyl floors if stains develop over time and clean scuffs with a soft bristle brush. Never use an abrasive scrubber such as steel wool on your vinyl floor, as this product will dull the surface shine.
Give modern vinyl flooring a chance and get ready to be impressed by its durability, choice of patterns, range of colors, realistic textures, and easy installation. Modern vinyl is beautiful and stylish — just like you and your home.