No single element of your home gets quite as much use as the floor. Take the kitchen floor for example; everyone walks on it, the kids play on it, the dog tracks dirt on it, and liquids spill on it. What are your choices for these high-traffic areas? Price consideration alone used to make vinyl the number one choice. It’s still a popular flooring today; but it’s not only price that makes vinyl flooring attractive, it’s the almost limitless range of colors, styles, and textures that are now available.
Selecting your choices of patterns could be your biggest problem as they are almost endless. Do you want a floral design to complement your furniture? Are you looking for a geometric design to match your cabinets? How about a pastel or bold color to coordinate with your paint? You’re sure to find the vinyl flooring pattern that fits perfectly with any decor in your home. And don’t think that vinyl flooring only belongs in the kitchen. With all the beautiful choices, vinyl has moved out of the kitchen and you’re just as likely to find it in the familyroom or the foyer.
Tiles or sheet vinyl?
After deciding on vinyl, you next decision is which type of vinyl flooring you want to go with — individual tiles or continuous sheet.
There are two types of vinyl tiles — the self-stick kind or the plain backing. Self-sticking tiles are quick and easy to install which makes it a good do-it-yourself project. Just peel of the protective backing, position the tile and press in place. Vinyl tiles are available in several thicknesses. The thicker the tile, the better the tile. If you decide to go with vinyl tiles that require an adhesive, primarily used in commercial situations, you need a level and clean subfloor for the best installation.
Vinyl flooring also comes in continuous lengths of 6 or 12 foot widths allowing seams to be kept to a minimum. The vinyl is bonded to the subfloor with an adhesive that is spread on the entire floor. The seams are treated with a seam coater so they are almost invisible. You’ll also have a choice of finishes — either urethane or no-wax finish. Urethane sheet vinyl flooring costs a little more but resists scuffing better and lasts longer with less maintenance.
Some of today’s sheet vinyl flooring is manufactured with the color or pattern going right through the material. Called “through-chip construction,” or “base-to-surface color,” this type of vinyl flooring gives the color more depth and makes nicks or cuts less noticeable. Installing sheet vinyl requires careful preparation of the subfloor and is probably best left to a professional.
Regardless of which vinyl flooring you choose for your home, you’ll find that today’s product is durable and designed to resist stains, scuffs and dents. It needs only minimal vacuuming and an occasional wash to keep it looking like new.