Vinyl floors have long been a classic for kitchens, bathrooms and other rooms of the house where water-resistance is essential. These economical, flexible floors have come a long way in recent years. Thanks to new manufacturing techniques, buyers have more choices than ever before.
What Is Vinyl Flooring?
Vinyl flooring is made from tinted polyvinyl chloride (PVC) chips or other synthetic materials that are processed into a solid material in sheet form and either kept as sheets or cut into tiles. In most cases, vinyl floors have multiple layers, including a backing, a top design layer and two protective layers. This layering process protects the finished floor from stains, mildew, rips, tears, gouges, scuffs, scratches and other damage. Quality vinyl with thicker protective layers will mean a more durable finished floor.
Types of Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl flooring comes in a few styles:
- Luxury Vinyl Plank: This type of flooring looks and even feels like wood, arriving in tiles shaped like planks that fit together. Vinyl plank has the warm, unique appearance of wood, complete with wood coloring, textures, wood grain patterns and more. However, it can be more durable than wood as it resists scratches, stains, mildew and moisture. It is also more slip-resistant than traditional wood flooring.
- Luxury Vinyl Tile: Thanks to modern manufacturing techniques, LVT flooring can imitate the look of tiles — including stone and slate tiles — at a fraction of the price. Unlike the real thing, luxury vinyl flooring options are easier to clean, require less maintenance and resist water, scratches, chipping and other damage.
- Vinyl Sheet: As the name suggests, vinyl sheet comes in one piece which is fitted to a floor. This offers structural soundness and more moisture-resistance than tile options. Professionals should install vinyl sheets for them to look their best and serve as stain-resistant, easy-to-clean surfaces that resist mildew and scratches. Sheets of vinyl can be plain, patterned or can even imitate the look of stone, wood or slate.