Vinyl Flooring for Dummies: What You Need to Know

It is usually the vertical walls of a new room that get all the love and excitement, yet it is the floor that bears the most pressure (quite literally)and therefore, are worthy of our care andattention. Floors endure a lot of use and are prone to damage. Selecting the kind of floor material that would be best suited to your requirement is a test for both practical and creative faculties of the mind. The floor needs to be durable yet stylish, waterproof, and dent-proof. Given the myriad of options available in various categories in the floor design section, it can be easily overwhelming to choose the perfect one that can become a part of your home. But here is the case for choosing vinyl floors:

What is it

Vinyl Floors are synthetic floors, unlike the much-coveted hardwood ones. Even a few years back they weren’t a strong contender against hardwood or stone floors, which were clearly superior in their quality and appearance. However, since then the technology has improved exponentially, placing vinyl floors up in the ranks with the likes of ceramic or stone floors.

The Anatomy

Vinyl flooring is made of a material called Polyvinyl Chloride Resin (PVC), which is mixed with white pigments and calcium carbonate.  A conglomerate of other materials is added to make it better lasting, like plasticizers to increase flexibility, fungicide to prevent mold, UV stabilizers to increase the fade of the material.The actual product is made up of multiple layers, each with its distinct function. Standard vinyl floors are usually made of four layers, however, they can go up to five to eight layers.  The bottom layer is usually made of cork or foam and serves as an underlying cushion and sound barrier. The second layer is the waterproof layer (in case of waterproof vinyl floor). The third one is the actual design layer with a high-resolutionprinted image. The topmost layer is important too, it is the wear layer, like a top coat which protects the design from being harmed.

Why Choose Vinyl flooring

Vinyl flooring brings with it a bunch of perks.  Vinyl floors are known to be very durable, even more so than hardwood or stone floors. They don’t easily suffer dents or scratch, which makes them easy to maintain. If you invest a bit more money, they come in waterproof variants which would prove to be very economical in the long run. Plus, they are quite affordable to begin with.

Types of vinyl flooring

Vinyl plank

This is a style of vinyl that is made to resemble hardwood floors. However, vinyl planks obviously provide the cheaper alternative while still providing an authentic look. Different Vinyl planks mimic different kinds of hardwood floors providing consumers with options. Installing vinyl planks instead of real hardwood comes with the extra benefit of them being water-resistant and dent-proof. Vinyl planks are best suited for areas with heavy traffic like the living room or anywhere that is prone to wear and tear.

Vinyl Tiles

Vinyl tiles are designed to mimic stone or ceramic floors. However, these are way easier to install. These are perfect for smaller areas as they do come in smaller sizes. They are popular choices for kitchens and bathrooms.They could be laid diagonally or in a checkerboard manner for different results. Just like vinyl planks, they come in a collection of designs that replicate authentic stone or ceramic floors.

Vinyl Sheet

Vinyl Sheets are very convenient and a smart choice for a large area of the house where there is a lot of floor space to cover. They usually come in 6 to 12 feet rolls. Vinyl sheets require adhesive for installation. It is recommended that a professional should come in for the installation as it does require precise cutting of the sheet to fit the room. They come in a variety of designs including those mimicking stone floors or hardwood floors. The difference here being they don’t come in the shape of a tile or a plank, but as a sheet. They sometimes do come with grout lines to replicate a more authentic look.

Luxury Vinyl flooring

The luxury variety of vinyl flooring provides a more realistic look of the kind of floor they are trying to mimic, like hardwood or stone floors. The 3D print on these is of superior quality. The luxury vinyl flooring material is also 5 times thicker than normal vinyl flooring material and the material makes it especially comfortable to walk on.

Maintenance

Vinyl floors are pretty fuzz-free. They need the occasional mopping and dusting to be sure. Vacuum cleaner can be used butit is advised to avoid the beater brush to avoid scuffing. Similarly, avoid any abrasive substance. For longevity of the floors, use furniture pads with heavy furniture.

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