Today , more than ever before, flooring options are plentiful. In spite of the myriad of options for the buyer–ceramic tile engineered wood, planks of wood, and laminate flooring–vinyl remains a defining statistic every year, representing nearly 18% of overall flooring sales. Carpeting is the only flooring material that is more popular as a flooring across the United States than vinyl. Certain, there are compelling reasons for this massive popularity among consumers. There are also instances where one of the flooring options could be better.
What is it that makes vinyl flooring “vinyl”? Its main ingredient can be described as PVC (polyvinyl chloride) likely to be the most widely used vinyl material used in every sector of the market for consumer goods. The overall category of vinyl flooring–known in the industry as resilient flooring–encompasses a number of different products, including the individual vinyl tile squares everyone’s familiar with, sheet vinyl that is rolled out and installed in one piece and luxury vinyl tile (LVT) that is thicker and incorporates photo-quality realism to faithfully reproduce the classic effect of natural stone or wood.
For the best informed purchase decision, we’ll look at the advantages and disadvantages that come with vinyl flooring.
Vinyl Flooring Pros
Comfort and User-Friendliness
No matter if you’re wearing boots or just barefoot, vinyl flooring is much more comfortable than the other flooring options. Vinyl gives you a soft surface to walk on, which is a “give” for every step that you take, due to the fact that the flooring is constructed by a thin backing made of a resilient foam or felt. The flooring beneath your feet more shock-absorbing and less tiresome to stand or walk on for prolonged durations of time. In colder weather Vinyl flooring can also feel more comfortable to your feet than stone or ceramic alternatives.
Vinyl is not a luxury product, with a restricted amount of manufacturers and options. With its huge footprint on the market, and the numerous manufacturers making vinyl flooringproducts, be at ease knowing that you’ll have access to an array of designs and colors of vinyl to match with practically any design style.
Vinyl flooring is able to handle almost things that everyday life could offer. It’s not a product that needs pampering and continual care to limit wear and prevent costly damage. The manufacturers know better than anyone else the expected life span of their products and usually modify the terms of their guarantees to match that amount. A lot of manufacturers of vinyl flooring offer a warranty of 15 years against wear and tear.
This is as a base figure, however it is not a guarantee, since vinyl flooring with regular maintenance could last for 20 or more years. For the best durability that is higher than even this figure, opt for sheet vinyl instead of tiles. Seams in any flooring materials contribute to degradation as grit and moisture always get infiltrating the seam. Since it is typically placed in one piece or one or a few pieces that are contiguous, sheet vinyl has a few seams and, consequently, provides maximum durability.
Vinyl flooring is generally not a problem and doesn’t require difficult installation requirements. In most cases it is the case that the sub-floor of the room is in good condition and even the vinyl sheets or tiles can be put on top of it with no modifications or enhancements. If the flooring is that’s still in good condition the idea of installing it directly over the flooring that’s already in place is the norm.
Vinyl tiles that peel and stick with adhesive already adhered to the backing create an easy DIY home improvement project for those who are adept and is looking to cut down on the installation cost. Sheet vinyl that has to be rolled out and installed in a single piece, however–as well as more expensive products like LVT–are best left to the professional flooring contractor/installer.
Make sure to sweep regularly, moisten the mop as needed and then use a commercial product to restore its “glow” when you want. Vinyl flooring is the least maintenance flooring material that is typically installed in residential homes. Although the same cautions that apply to all flooring product–beware of dropping heavy objects or sharp objects and clean off stains or corrosive spills immediately–also apply to vinyl. In fact, extreme precautions and care are not necessary.
You can be a budget-friendly or go for a big-budget with vinyl. It’s all dependent on your personal resources and the amount you wish to invest. From the DIY checkerboard tiles purchased at the local home centers to the luxurious high-quality, photo-realistic LVT installed by professionals, prices of vinyl range from low-cost to high-end and everything in between. Make your own budget and begin shopping.
Vinyl Flooring Cons
The soft and spongy feeling of vinyl could make it more prone to gouges and cuts from sharp tools like heavy meat cleavers, knives and the like. This is obviously the case in kitchen and is most commonly the case when single-sheet vinyl is being used. Damaged tiles can be easily removed and replaced separately. If furniture that is heavy is set onto vinyl it’s an effective way to prevent the spread of furniture pads underneath the feet.
It’s a positive/negative situation. Vinyl is able to be installed on a clean, solid sub-floor without alterations or demolition. The negative is that when the subfloor isn’t adequate, then repairs or modifications are required to accommodate the adhesive that is required to put in vinyl. The floor must be squeaky clean of loose particles. Vinyl flooring is softer and more flexible than different types of flooring. Even small particles under vinyl may cause obvious bumps on the floor.
Indoor Environmental Concerns
Vinyl comes from the production from petroleum-based chemicals and can release the vapors known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air inside, especially when it is new. It is also important to remember that VOCs are, and always are released by a variety of construction materials, as well as other flooring materials like laminated wood or carpeting.
Since 2010 the industry of vinyl flooring has been trying to reduce the amount of organic volatile compounds. Additionally an industry-specific certification process known as FloorScore is in place to assess any potential VOC level of floor materials including vinyl. Customers can search for an FloorScore certification to compare with manufacturers of vinyl flooring for the most low VOC as well as other chemicals.
Marginal Effect on the Home Value
When it comes to upgrading your home, specific kinds of premium flooring like exotic ceramic tile imported from China can increase the price of the property, the majority kinds of vinyl flooring don’t provide significant contributors to a higher property values. There is a notable exception to this, which is higher-priced premium vinyl tiles (LVT) which provides a an impressive enhancement to the interior decor and can increase the worth of a home.
Be sure to weigh the pros and cons, then shop carefully and make an educated purchase decision. The wide range and variety of vinyl flooring gives you plenty of options to think about and an array of options to meet your lifestyle, aesthetic preferences and budget.
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