The appearance of the floor will make or break any room. Even if the room is poorly decorated a good floor will go a long way to improving it but if a room is well decorated a poor floor will spoil it. In terms of affordability, appearance, ease of installation and durability, vinyl flooring is a good solution.
- Vinyl flooring is amongst the cheapest flooring available. It’s quick to install and with normal family wear should last for years. In fact some manufacturers offer lifetime guarantees Vinyl Flooring handles very heavy wear and is ideal if you have pets
- Vinyl flooring feels good under foot, has some ‘give’ and feels warm. In that respect it’s ideal for families with children and for bathrooms
- Vinyl flooring is quiet under foot and doesn’t suffer from the unpleasant hollow clatter you experience walking on laminate or the noise underfoot that comes with some wooden floors
- Unlike most (and more expensive) flooring, vinyl flooring is waterproof and resistant to moisture damage. Gluing the vinyl flooring securely to the floor prevents moisture penetration. That makes it a popular choice in kitchens and bathrooms. It also wipes clean easily with no more than a mop and bucket. Given similar treatment the finish on some other types of flooring would suffer or the floor might even warp
- Modern vinyl flooring comes in an enormous variety of styles and designs to suit any room and can be customised and cut easily to give a good clean fit. Some vinyl floorings can be slip resistant and are all much less likely to harbour bacteria than other types of flooring
- Despite its famed underlying durability vinyl flooring will show signs of wear and start to look shabby after a few years. Vinyl flooring fades in sunlight over time so it’s best to avoid placing it where there is a considerable amount of direct sunlight
- Vinyl flooring is prone to tearing. If you drag something over it such as a washing machine or a freezer it will tear and ruin the whole floor. However vinyl flooring tiles are available and any such damage will be confined to a small number of tiles which can be replaced
- Most amateurs are not sufficiently skilled to successfully lay sheet vinyl flooring. It requires exceptionally accurate measurements, and extremely precise cuts to allow for perfect fitting. Small mistakes can create serious wastage. Even tiny fitting deficiencies will spoil the appearance of the whole vinyl flooring area especially where the intention is to create an effect resembling the appearance of a different floor material.
The cheapest all round solution is sheet vinyl flooring. Vinyl sheets can be manufactured to look like any other floor finish such as hardwood, granite, tile, marble and anything else.
Vinyl flooring comes in either inlay or roto vinyl flooring
- Inlay vinyl flooring is made by scattering and melting a pattern of vinyl chips on backing. The vinyl however is brittle and KCS does not recommend this type as suitable for DIY installation
- Rotovinyl flooring is made by laminating the pattern between a clear wear layer and a backing sheet. It’s much easier to install but whether it’s a DIY job is still open to question
KCS will be publishing detailed advice in the installation of each type of vinyl flooring in due course. However, despite the fact that as much as half the cost of sheet vinyl flooring is taken in the laying costs, given the risks of wastage and a poor outcome it’s usually best to ask a professional to lay it
- Vinyl flooring comes in 6 and 12ft. widths. More expensive varieties of vinyl flooring have a thicker wear layer and better quality patterns and finishes. You can compare the flexibility of different types by bending a sample at the corner. If it appears stiff or if the backing breaks, it will be difficult to lay without tearing
The easiest and safest way
Most retailers will come and measure the floor for you free of charge and you can attend the shop at a later date to place your order or choose from small samples or images on the website. If the retailer doesn’t lay the floor themselves they will know a tradesman and make a mutually convenient appointment with you for him to pick up the vinyl flooring when it arrives and come and lay it.
If you use a big retailer like Carpetright you normally pay the retailer for the vinyl flooring and the pay the tradesman when he comes and does the job but you will still know the laying cost in advance because the retailer will have calculated it and agreed it with you. Given the logistics of measuring the floor, collecting the vinyl flooring, and laying it, KCS recommends this as the best solution all round unless you are an experienced floor technician.
Vinyl Flooring Tiles
Vinyl flooring tiles which give the appearance of ceramic tiles are particularly effective and are more realistic than sheet vinyl flooring made to appear like tiles.
Vinyl flooring tiles are also a realistic DIY prospect for a competent amateur as the cutting and fitting is not nearly as difficult as sheet vinyl flooring. Tiles still have to be laid in straight rows, but as they are separate pieces each mistake is less wasteful and pieces can be customised and cut more easily.
Imitation Stone Vinyl Bath Tiles
Sheet vinyl flooring can be printed with the same colours as tiles, but when you buy individual vinyl flooring tiles you have the opportunity of putting grout in between the pieces to create a more authentic three dimensional hard tile appearance, and make them feel more real underfoot.
Just like the tiles, vinyl flooring planks are easy to install. Many of the planks come pre-glued, and some are designed to snap together like laminate. Vinyl flooring planks look like wood, come in low and high gloss finishes, and are manufactured in the standard sizes wood floors use. They come in long, narrow strips of vinyl and as with ceramic effect vinyl flooring tiles create a better effect than a sheet design.
Vinyl flooring planks are however completely different in nature to vinyl tiles or sheets, which when laid have a completely different look. Some vinyl flooring planks have a satin urethane coating to protect the floor from wear and.
Vinyl Flooring Planks cost about half the price of real wood and a fraction of the cost to lay. They’re also a viable option as a DIY project. Vinyl flooring planks require no particular maintenance but must be cleaned in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Using traditional cleaning products might affect the finish or even remove it completely and they should never be waxed
A word of warning however for those environmentally minded. Vinyl flooring planks are not biodegradable and are impossible to recycle. Neither should they be seen as a complete alternative to wood in terns of the floor structure. They are not as thick as wood.