Different Types of Vinyl Flooring

Different Types of Vinyl Flooring
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When it comes to discussing the different types of vinyl flooring, there are a lot of particular and specific varieties that we could talk about. We could, for example, start to classify them by appearances, shapes, sizes, materials and so on.

But, going into a lot of detail may not actually help you understand and select the right type of vinyl flooring for your home. On the contrary, you could end up getting more confused.

In this post, we’re going to start by looking at what vinyl flooring actually is and what benefits it provides. Then, we’ll move on to discuss some popular and main types of vinyl flooring  so that you can get an idea about which one to get for your home.

Let’s get started.

What is Vinyl Flooring?

Vinyl flooring is pretty much what the name says. It’s a type of synthetic flooring that is largely made up of PVC vinyl along with some other backing materials like fiberglass etc.

Although there are various appearances and designs in which different types of vinyl flooring are available, their main and iconic application is seen commonly in fake wood floors. You may have seen vinyl flooring that looks like wood in different stores and homes. While this type of flooring looks like wood, it is significantly less expensive and much more easy to install.

Apart from this, there are also some other shapes and forms in which vinyl flooring is available. You’ll learn more about these as we move on with this article.

What are the Benefits of Vinyl Flooring?

Although there are some benefits that are exclusive to certain types of vinyl flooring, there are some general pros and advantages that you can enjoy in every variety of vinyl flooring for your home. Let’s look at some of those before moving on.

  1. Inexpensive: Vinyl flooring is, in general, low-cost and inexpensive. As compared to other costlier types of flooring such as ceramic tiles or hardwood floors, vinyl is a lot more affordable. But, even in vinyl flooring, there can be a significant difference in prices among the various types of vinyl flooring.
  2. Durable: Durability is also a salient feature of vinyl flooring. Vinyl flooring usually consists of multiple layers. Due to the multi-layered construction, it’s less prone to get cracked, broken or easily worn out. Depending on the exact materials used for the manufacturing, different types of vinyl flooring can have different levels of durability.
  3. Aesthetic: While durability and affordability are some nice benefits that you can enjoy with vinyl flooring, one of the main reasons why a lot of people can opt for it is the looks. Vinyl flooring can look great, and it can be an excellent way to add some “snazz” to your home without spending a lot of money.
  4. Low maintenance: Last but not least, vinyl flooring is fairly easy to maintain. You can have your floors looking nice and sparkly if you just do some vacuuming on a daily basis coupled with a thorough cleaning session every month or two.

Types of Vinyl Flooring: Explained

Now, let’s move on to the actual stuff i.e., discussing the different types of vinyl flooring.

1.   Vinyl Plank Flooring

Vinyl Plank Flooring

 

Vinyl planks are usually used when creating imitation wooden floors. Vinyl planks look more or less like actual hardwood floors in that they are in the form of long planks and they usually come with a wooden design on top.

However, despite the resemblance, vinyl plank flooring comes with the standard synthetic multilayered construction. Although they look like hardwood planks, they’re considerably lighter and less expensive.

As compared to other types of vinyl flooring like peel-and-stick sheets, vinyl planks are a lot more durable and long-lasting. Peel-and-stick vinyl sheets can be somewhat thin. Vinyl planks, on the other hand, are a bit thicker and sturdier, and they can be great for long-term use.

Plus, since vinyl planks are installed as individual thick pieces on top of the existing floor rather than as a mere covering (as is the case with peel-and-stick), they are more comfortable to walk on. This can also vary in various types of vinyl flooring planks depending on the materials used for the manufacturing.

Furthermore, if you have a flexible budget, you can even go for Luxury Vinyl Planks (LVP). Luxury vinyl planks look more or less the same as standard vinyl planks, but they are considerably thicker and can last for much longer.

2.  Vinyl Tile Flooring

Vinyl Tile Flooring

 

Like vinyl planks, vinyl tiles are also among the high-quality types of vinyl flooring and are suitable for long-term applications.

The only major difference between vinyl planks and tiles is that the former is usually used to create imitation wood floors whereas the latter (the tiles) are used for creating imitation stone or ceramic floors.

In other words, if you want to give your home a ‘woody’ look, you can go ahead and get some vinyl plank flooring for your home. On the other hand, if you want to imitate some tile or stone flooring, you can go ahead and buy some vinyl tiles instead.

As we said earlier, vinyl tile flooring is a great choice for long-term use. Like vinyl planks, vinyl tiles also have a multi-layered construction that makes them durable and long-lasting. They’re just as aesthetic and elegant as planks, and they’re also equally affordable.

However, the exact thickness of vinyl tiles can differ depending on whether you go for standard tiles or Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT). LVT is a lot thicker than standard vinyl tiles and it’s much more durable as well.

3.  Peel-and-Stick Vinyl Sheets

Peel-and-Stick Vinyl Sheets

 

Peel-and-stick vinyl sheets are, as compared to planks and tiles, thinner and less durable. They can be great for ‘short-term’ use. For example, if you’re living in a place on rent or if you just want to pass some time with a nice look on your floor until a bigger remodeling project, putting some peel-and-stick sheets can be a good idea.

There’s one thing that should be kept in mind about peel-and-stick vinyl sheets. Technically, all types of vinyl flooring can be ‘peel-and-stick’. In other words, even if you were to buy some vinyl planks or tiles, they could come with some adhesive on the underside that you can use to glue them to the ground.

So, while all types of vinyl flooring can be ‘peel-and-stick’, the type that we’re talking about here is something specific. We’re discussing peel-and-stick sheets here i.e., flooring that is not in the form of tiles or planks, but in the shape of large and continuous sheets.

Although peel-and-stick vinyl sheets are less thick and durable than tiles and planks, they’re still waterproof and durable enough to last for some time (a few months, give or take).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1.  Which Type of Vinyl is Best?

The best type of vinyl flooring actually just depends on your particular need and preference. If you are looking for a quick and temporary job to make your floors last till a big renovation project, it will be advisable to use vinyl sheets. On the other hand, if you are looking for a more permanent job, vinyl planks or tiles will be a better choice.

However, despite the above, if we want to give an impartial answer to the question, we can say that LVP (Luxury Vinyl Planks) and LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tiles) are the best types of vinyl flooring since they look very elegant and they can also last for a long time.

2.  What is the Disadvantage of Vinyl Flooring?

There are a couple of disadvantages of vinyl flooring such as:

  1. They are difficult to remove if they are glued to the ground.
  2. They don’t last as long as wooden floors (although they can live for up to 10 – 15 years with proper care).
  3. They can emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which can be toxic.

These disadvantages can be present in varying degrees in the different types of vinyl flooring.

3.  Which is Better: Vinyl Plank or Laminate?

Vinyl planks and laminate flooring both have their own pros and cons. For one, vinyl planks are less costly than laminate and they can be great for places like kitchens and bathrooms due to their waterproofing properties. However, they don’t look as realistic, and they can give off a slightly fake and papery look.

On the other hand, laminate is more expensive than vinyl planks and they are not waterproof. However, they can look closer to real wood, and are more aesthetic.

4.  What is the Difference Between Vinyl Plank and Luxury Vinyl Plank?

The main difference between standard vinyl planks and luxury vinyl planks (as mentioned in the above post) is basically their construction.

Standard vinyl planks are made up of about 3 – 4 layers; which usually consist of a backing layer topped with vinyl and finished up with a protective covering. On the other hand, LVP (luxury vinyl planks) consists of around 7 – 8 layers, and are comparatively a lot thicker than their standard counterparts.

Due to this difference in their manufacturing, there is also a difference in their price and durability.  You can choose between these two types of vinyl flooring according to your need and budget.

5.  What Should I Look for When Buying Vinyl Planks?

There are several aspects that you should check when buying vinyl planks. Let’s mention some of them here for your edification.

  • Thickness: The first thing that you should check when buying vinyl planks is their thickness. If you don’t pay attention to the thickness, you could end up with some ultra-thin planks which may look the same as vinyl sheets.
  • If you are looking to buy some standard vinyl planks, the minimum thickness that you should look for is 2 – 3mm. On the other hand, if you are looking for some LVP (luxury vinyl planks) instead, you should buy some with a thickness of around 4 – 8mm.
  • Quality of Wear Layer: The wear layer is the protective film/coating that is found right at the top of the vinyl planks. Before making your purchase, you should make sure that the wear layer is sufficiently thick to withstand things like water spills, accidental drops, continuous walking etc.

There are a lot of other things that you should check as well, but these two are the most important ones.

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