Vinyl flooring is a practical and economical flooring option for the home. Today's vinyl flooring comes in a wide range of designs and is becoming the choice of interior designers. All vinyl flooring is not alike, though, and it is important to choose the right type of vinyl for your needs.
Vinyl Flooring Facts
Vinyl flooring comes in sheets or tiles. As a general rule, sheet vinyl is recommended for larger rooms, while tiles are better for kitchens, bathrooms and other smaller rooms. There are three types of vinyl flooring:
- No wax vinyl is the economical choice. This type of vinyl has a shiny coating on the surface that is extremely scratch and scuff resistant.
- Urethane vinyl, while more expensive than no wax vinyl, is even more durable.
- Enhanced urethane vinyl is the toughest type of vinyl flooring, but also the most expensive.
In addition, you can buy vinyl flooring with fibreglass backing. This is a relatively expensive option, but prevents the tiles from shrinking and adds considerably to their longevity.
Advantages of Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl flooring is softer than timber or stone flooring. This can help reduce fatigue, prevent breakage and gives a cushioning effect when children fall. It is also warmer than stone flooring, which can become very cold in the winter. With the wide array of stone and timber lookalike vinyl floorings available today, you can have a floor that is almost indistinguishable from these materials, for a fraction of the price.
While vinyl sheets are the best option for very large areas, vinyl flooring tiles have a lot of advantages for home owners. Installation is very easy and a do-it-yourselfer can install a vinyl kitchen floor in no time at all. You can choose between self-stick tiles or dry-backed tiles. Sheet vinyl flooring is more difficult to install and it is usually advisable to have it professionally laid to avoid bubbles and other problems.
Styles of Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl flooring has come a long way over the years. Improvements in technology, including digital photo imaging, have made it possible for manufacturers to produce near-perfect replicas of stone, timber and other natural flooring materials. For the designer touch, you can choose between an enormous colour palette and a wide array of textures and patterns.
As a general rule, choose lighter colours for smaller spaces to make them appear more spacious. Darker colours give larger areas a feeling of warmth and intimacy. Smaller patterns tend to work best in smaller rooms, while large patterns are generally more suitable for large rooms.
Caring for Vinyl Flooring
If you take proper care of your vinyl flooring, it can last as long as you own your home. The floor should be cleaned daily to avoid grinding dirt into the surface of the vinyl. Once a month or so, you should thoroughly wash the floor using a bleach solution. An ammonia solution is best for stripping off old wax and restoring the surface to its original appearance. Avoid using abrasives on vinyl flooring. As with any type of flooring, spills should be thoroughly cleaned up immediately to avoid staining.