The Vinyl Flooring Guide; Is It Appropriate for Your Property?
When planning to upgrade your property’s flooring, the countless options available may leave you overwhelmed. But installing vinyl flooring may be the best option if you want to achieve luxury on a budget.
We’ve provided in-depth information about vinyl flooring, from types, styles, pros and cons, and applications to cost and installation methods. In the end, you’ll decide whether it’s the right choice for your property.
What Precisely Is Vinyl Flooring?
Vinyl flooring is a combination of synthetic materials like fibreglass and PVC. It’s functional, durable, and can mimic the appearance of natural wood, stones, and tiles. The flooring type has four layers consisting of a backing (underlayment), waterproof layer, design layer, and wear layer. The layers may be more, depending on the grade of vinyl flooring.
Is Vinyl Flooring a Popular Option?
Yes, vinyl flooring is popular among homeowners in the UK. You can also find it in commercial spaces because it’s affordable, resilient, and easy to maintain. Plus, vinyl flooring is available in various colours, styles, and patterns to suit your home decor.
What Are the Various Vinyl Flooring Types?
The main vinyl floor types available are vinyl planks, vinyl sheets, luxury vinyl tiles (LVT), luxury vinyl planks (LVP), stone-plastic composite vinyl planks (SPC), and wood-plastic composite vinyl planks (WPC).
Vinyl planks look like wood but are sturdy and easy to clean. However, vinyl sheets are more affordable and come in rolls, which implies that you won’t have seams. LVT and LVP are more durable and take the semblance of stone and hardwood, respectively. Additionally, SPC has sound and heat insulation, while WPC is 100% waterproof.
Is Luxury Vinyl Flooring (LVT) Identical to Vinyl Flooring?
No, luxury vinyl flooring isn’t identical to vinyl flooring. Below are the major differences:
- Vinyl flooring is thin, while LVF is thick and more rigid
- Vinyl flooring is sold in rolls and has fewer seams, while LVF is sold in multi-ply tiles and planks and has many seams
- Vinyl flooring is budget-friendly, while LVF is relatively expensive
Vinyl Sheet Flooring
Vinyl sheet flooring is a continuous sheet with a PVC film layer that carries the flooring colour and pattern. Because the rolls are wide, there are fewer seams and a high potential for repelling water. The vinyl sheet is easy to install; you can float it over an underlayment or glue it around the perimeter of the room.
- It’s affordable
- The wear layer is resistant to stains and scratches
- Requires low maintenance
- It’s resistant to moisture and water
- It’s not a DIY project
- Changes in temperature may expand the material
- It’s not easy to repair
Vinyl Roll Flooring
Vinyl roll flooring comes in large continuous rolls that are laid down like a carpet. Although it consists of PVC, it’s softer underfoot and can be installed in residential and commercial spaces.
- It’s cheaper than tiles and planks
- The large rolls provide a cohesive appearance
- It’s versatile and durable
- The surface is softer than some floor types
- Requires professional installation to get the right fitting
- May expand or shrink due to temperature fluctuations
- May emit VOCs (volatile organic compounds) initially
Vinyl Tile Flooring
Vinyl tile flooring is made with limestone, fillers, binders, and colour pigments moulded into solid sheets and then cut into tiles. The surface is porous, but polishing it would protect it from damage.
Installing vinyl tiles is generally fast and easy as it requires glueing down to the underlay with an adhesive. However, some brands come with a peel-and-stick back.
- It’s cost-effective and available in several patterns and colours
- Repairs are easily done
- Installation isn’t complex
- It has many seams, which allows water to seep through
- Its maintenance cost is high
Vinyl Plank Flooring
Vinyl plank flooring feels and looks like hardwood but is more affordable, easy to maintain, and resistant to stains and water. Also, the material is hardwearing, which makes it suitable for areas with high foot traffic.
- It’s stain- and water-resistant and ideal for homes with pets and kids
- It can be installed in moisture-prone areas like bathrooms and kitchens
- It closely replicates natural wood, giving it a convincing and aesthetically appealing appearance
- Heavy furniture or sharp objects can result in dents and potential damage
- It fades easily when exposed to sunlight
- Some products contain VOCs, which may pollute indoor air
What Are Vinyl Flooring’s Uses?
Vinyl flooring is versatile, making it a popular choice for a variety of applications in residential and commercial buildings. Some common applications of vinyl flooring are as follows:
- Living rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and basements
- Offices, restaurants, and retail stores
- Remodelling projects
- Industrial spaces
- Healthcare settings
- Sports facilities
Residential Vinyl Flooring
This type of vinyl flooring is installed in homes. Due to its underfoot comfort and low maintenance, vinyl flooring for homes is commonly found in kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms, bedrooms, and basements. Also, it comes in a variety of colours, allowing homeowners to customise the designs.
Vinyl Commercial Flooring
Commercial vinyl flooring is specifically designed for non-residential areas, such as offices and public establishments. It can withstand heavy loads and high foot traffic and is easy to clean and maintain. Also, it has various designs that suit the interior of corporate organisations.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Vinyl Flooring?
|Budget-friendly||May emit VOCs|
|Resistant to moisture||Low resale value|
|Low maintenance||Fades and discolour with excessive exposure to UV rays|
|Easy to install||Vulnerable to dents|
|Comfortable underfoot||Repairs are limited|
What Are the Various Vinyl Flooring Designs and Effects?
Vinyl flooring comes in a wide range of styles and effects, from classic to modern. Besides the usual ones that mimic natural wood, stones, and tiles, you’ll find styles and effects that look like polished concrete, mosaic, weathered wood, geometric shapes and patterns, and parquet. Also, you can customise it to suit your taste.
What Colours Are Available for Vinyl Flooring?
Vinyl flooring offers a plethora of colours, from bold and bright to cool and neutral. It gives you an opportunity to mix and match colours to create a cohesive room. Some vinyl flooring colours include:
- Beige and brown
- Black and grey
- Orange and red
What Finishes Are Available for Vinyl Flooring?
Vinyl flooring has several finishes that affect the overall appearance of the material. As a result, homeowners and interior designers can play around with the finishes to create designs that complement the entire design elements. Below are examples of vinyl flooring finishes.
- Textured finish
- High-gloss finish
- Matte finish
- Urethane finish
- Antique finish
What Patterns Are Available for Vinyl Flooring?
Vinyl flooring comes in a wide range of patterns to match your interior design. These patterns include:
- Polka dots
- Floral pattern
- Stagger pattern
What Is the Best Type of Vinyl Flooring?
There’s no best type of vinyl flooring. It all depends on your budget and preference. However, some things to consider when choosing vinyl flooring include the quality of the material, the manufacturer’s warranty, the level of VOC it emits, the style and effects, and the method of installation.
What Are Some of the Different Vinyl Flooring Brands?
There are several reputable vinyl flooring brands on the market. To narrow down your choices, here’s a list of the top brands:
- Harvey Maria
What Is the Cost of Vinyl Flooring?
On average, vinyl flooring costs between £15 to £60 per square metre. However, the cost depends on several factors. They include the type of vinyl flooring you choose, the brand, the flooring style, the total area you want to cover, and the thickness of the material.
Can You Get Inexpensive Vinyl Flooring?
Yes, you can buy inexpensive vinyl flooring. Generally, vinyl floors are budget-friendly because they’re produced with inexpensive materials, and most of them can be installed as a DIY project.
Also, the flooring material is mass-produced, which reduces the cost of production and selling price. You should note that cheap vinyl flooring has a thin wear layer that compromises its durability.
Can You Get Expensive Vinyl Flooring?
Yes, you can buy expensive vinyl flooring. Although vinyl floors are affordable, there are premium varieties with improved qualities. Also, certain factors influence the high price point. They include the quality of materials used, the reputation of the brand, enhanced features like waterproofing, and specialised designs, especially for areas with high foot traffic.
How Much Does It Cost to Install Vinyl Flooring?
The cost of installing vinyl flooring is between £15 to £30 per square metre. However, the total cost depends on the type of vinyl flooring you want to install, the size of the room, the method of installation, and the location of your property.
Does Vinyl Flooring Raise or Decrease Your Home’s Value?
Installing vinyl flooring can either increase or decrease the value of your property, depending on the potential buyer’s preferences and the type of vinyl flooring.
If the flooring material is high-quality and requires low maintenance, it could increase the value of your property. But if it’s low quality and your buyers prefer other types of flooring, the property may have a low resale value.
How Should Vinyl Flooring Be Installed?
Vinyl floors are easy to install. Although the technique depends on the type of vinyl flooring you purchase, we’ve outlined a general installation guideline.
- Step 1: Remove the old floor covering
- Step 2: Clean the subfloor and ensure it’s dry and flat
- Step 3: Lay the flooring material on the subfloor for 24 hours to adjust to the room temperature
- Step 4: Fix the vinyl flooring on the subfloor using glue, click system, or push down method
What Are the Various Methods for Installing Vinyl Flooring?
Each type of vinyl flooring mentioned above has a unique method of installation. Below is a detailed guide on vinyl flooring installation.
- Roll out the sheet, ensuring that it extends to the walls
- Use scissors to carefully make triangular notches around the internal corners
- Press the straight edges of the sheet with a chisel to form a crease, then use a T-square to mark the line
- Cut along the line with a utility knife and apply adhesives to the edges, following the manufacturer’s instructions
- Plan the layout of the flooring, then place the vinyl roll
- At any point where two sheets will meet, draw a reference line for proper joining
- Place double-sided duct tape around the edge to secure the flooring
- Place the new sheet along the reference line and ensure it overlaps
- Join with masking tape and press down with a roller
- Cut along the joint using a knife, then apply cold welding liquid along the joint
- Remove the masking tape after 10 minutes, and your floor is ready
- Mark the centre of the room, then make grid lines from the centre to the walls for tiles placement
- Lay the vinyl tiles along the lines to ensure they fit properly
- If the tile is self-adhesive, peel the backing and press down to the subfloor. Otherwise, follow the manufacturer’s instructions
- Continue laying tiles on a straight line, then cut along the edges or around obstacles using a knife
- Press down the tiles with a rolling pin for proper adhesion and removal of air bubbles
- Allow to set before cleaning
- Install an underlayment if the planks don’t have one
- Plan the layout to find out how many rows you’ll need
- Leaving an expansion gap, place the tongue side towards the wall
- Place the next plank to click with the first. Repeat the process until the first row is complete. If a plank won’t fit in completely at the end of the row, measure and cut with a knife, jigsaw, or laminate cutter
- Continue installing planks until the last row. Remember to leave an expansion gap between the wall and the planks
Do You Need to Use an Underlayment With Vinyl Flooring?
No, you don’t need an underlayment for vinyl flooring. It’s designed to stay on subfloors, and some base layers are fitted with cushioned material. However, you can use an underlay if you want extra cushion, noise reduction, or if your subfloor is uneven.
Do You Need a Specialist to Install Vinyl Flooring, or Can You Do It Yourself?
Yes, you need a specialist to install vinyl flooring. They’ve got the expertise and equipment for complex installation. Also, they offer a warranty and can complete the project within a short time. However, you can do it yourself if you have handyman skills and can confidently follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
How Do You Care for and Maintain Vinyl Flooring?
Stains, spills, dirt, and accidents mean frequent cleaning and potential damage to your flooring. But you can prevent them from happening in the first place by doing the following:
- Get a Doormat: Placing a doormat at the entrance of your home and behind the door allows guests to wipe their feet before stepping in. It reduces the amount of dirt that comes in. You can also ask guests to leave their shoes by the door
- Wipe Spills Fast: You should clean spills as soon as they happen. Otherwise, they’ll seep into the vinyl layers and damage the glue and subfloor
- Use Area Rugs: For areas with high foot traffic, like hallways and stairs, using area rugs would limit the amount of dirt and scratches on the floor
- Use Felt Pads: Pieces of furniture, whether heavy or light, can leave scratches on vinyl flooring over time. You should consider using felt pads under furniture. Also, avoid wearing stilettos and other sharp-heeled footwear on vinyl
How Can Vinyl Flooring Be Cleaned?
Vinyl flooring is easy to clean. Consider following these steps to prevent damage to your floor:
- Pick Up Dirt: Small stones could get stuck in your shoes and cause scratches or dents on your vinyl flooring. So, a good place to start is by picking up dirt
- Vacuum or Sweep: You can use a soft brush to sweep the floor or a vacuum cleaner without the beater bar
- Damp Mopping: Mix a non-abrasive cleaning liquid in warm water, then mop the floor with a microfibre mop. Ensure the mop is damp, not wet. Also, you can use a manufacturer-recommended vinyl floor cleaner
Is Vinyl Flooring Repairable?
Yes, vinyl flooring can be repaired, depending on the extent of damage. Some repairable scenarios include small tears, minor scratches, loose planks or tiles, stains, and separating seams.
What Is the Average Lifespan of Vinyl Flooring?
Vinyl flooring can last between 10 to 30 years if properly installed and maintained. Other factors that impact its longevity are the thickness of the wear layer, foot traffic, exposure to sunlight, and protective measures against scratches and dents.
How Effective Are Vinyl Floors?
Vinyl flooring is effective in several aspects, which makes it a great choice for both residential and commercial buildings. First off, it’s relatively cheap and attractive, offering diverse designs, patterns, and colours for aesthetic efficiency. Also, its installation and maintenance are easy and time-saving.
Is Vinyl Flooring Sustainable?
Yes, vinyl flooring is sustainable. Although it’s known to emit VOCs, many manufacturers now produce low VOC options. Also, they use recycled materials during production, which ensures that the material can be recycled at the end of its life.
Is Vinyl Flooring Good?
Yes, vinyl flooring is good. It’s versatile and you can install it in different rooms, including the bathroom, kitchen, and basement.
Below is a breakdown of when to use vinyl flooring.
Is Vinyl Flooring Pet-Friendly?
Yes, vinyl flooring is pet-friendly. It’s resistant to scratches from your pet’s paws and accidental spills. Also, the texture of the floor prevents them from slipping.
Is Vinyl Flooring Healthy for Kids?
Yes, vinyl flooring is healthy for kids. It’s softer than hardwood, giving your toddler a soft landing when they fall during play or learning how to walk. Also, it can endure everyday abuse that’s typical of a children’s room, such as thrown toys, muddy feet, and spills. And cleaning is easy, preventing the buildup of dust which causes allergies.
Is Vinyl Flooring Suitable for Heavy Footfall Areas?
Yes, vinyl flooring is suitable for heavy footfall areas. It’s resilient and durable, which means it’ll maintain its appearance in busy spaces. Vinyl floorings with this quality have thick wear layers, and you can get them from premium brands.
Is Vinyl Flooring Suitable for Damp Environments?
Yes, vinyl flooring is suitable for damp environments because it’s water-resistant. As a result, you can install it in bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. However, you should clean spills immediately after they occur to prevent damage.
Is Vinyl Flooring Waterproof?
No, not all models of vinyl flooring are waterproof. Rather, they’re water-resistant. However, materials like luxury vinyl tile (LVT), luxury vinyl plank (LVP), stone-plastic composite vinyl (SPC), and wood-plastic composite vinyl (WPC) have waterproof options. But you should check the manufacturer’s specifications to find out the capability of the material.
Choosing the best flooring for your property doesn’t have to be difficult. However, if you want class, a variety of design options, affordability, durability, and resilience, vinyl flooring would be your best bet.
Remember that vinyl flooring lasts longer when you install it properly. So, ensure to contact a professional to get the job done. It’ll save you time and the stress of repairing or replacing flooring regularly.