Vinyl Flooring Has Come A Long Way Baby
Vinyl flooring, also known as resilient flooring, has come a long way. At Western Carpet, we have noticed a common response from customers when we suggest a vinyl floor to help meet their tight flooring budget. The response is often a look of disbelief that we would suggest such an “unsophisticated and primitive” option as visions of tiny flowers on their grandmother’s vinyl kitchen floor comes to mind; however, that only lasts until we show them what’s new in vinyl. Once they see what’s new in vinyl, a transformation occurs to being awestruck and interested. Many are so impressed that they even opt to have vinyl installed in their entire house.
Vinyl: Graphics, Texture, and LVT
What has happened in this flooring category? Glad you asked! To begin with, incredible graphics and textures have happened.
Vinyl flooring has added impressive wood and stone looks that rival porcelain replica products. Some product lines even offer bamboo and painted concrete looks.
Embossing techniques lend to a rich and lifelike texture while still providing the moisture resistant benefits of vinyl.
LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile):
Another advancement in vinyl is Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT). These are vinyl planks or tiles that are glued down like sheet vinyl, but are much easier to handle than sheet vinyl and create a more authentic look. The newest LVT product is planks or tiles of vinyl with a hard and dense backing that click together like laminate as well as loose lay floating planks with a hefty suction cup like backing. LVT products are easy to handle making them ideal for a D.I.Y project.
Benefits of Vinyl:
Ease of Maintenance: It’s tough and resists fading, staining, scratching, denting and tearing and doesn’t need to be waxed. Spills can be wiped up easily with a clean cloth and warm water.
Moisture Resistant: an excellent choice for moisture prone areas such as kitchens and baths.
Great for Busy Households: can stand up to sippy-cup bearing toddlers, swamp loving dogs, mom’s new in home cake decorating business, and junior’s science experiments.
Installation: Unlike hardwood, it can be installed on sub-floors that aren’t perfectly level; however, the sub-floor does need to be clean and smooth.
Resilience & Warmth: carpet is certainly the softest and warmest flooring choice, but in the hard surface flooring category, vinyl offers more spring, cushion and warmth underfoot than hardwood, laminate, and tile.
Budget Friendly: Even the highest end commercial grade sheet vinyl is more affordable than a low end tile, laminate, or hardwood product. The good news is you don’t have to purchase commercial vinyl to get a great looking product. The one flooring category that can rival the cost of vinyl is carpet and that, of course, comes down to the level of quality in either category that is being considered. However, carpet is not ideal for every flooring application such as moisture prone areas and this is where sheet vinyl plays a significant role for those on tight budgets. LVT isn’t quite as budget friendly as sheet vinyl unless you install it yourself.
The Various Layers of Vinyl Flooring:
Vinyl is a versatile plastic flooring made up of layers of material including a core layer, decorative layer, and a wear layer.
Core Layer: Vinyl adhered to a backing of felt or fiberglass. Fiberglass backing is preferable as it adds stability to prevent shrinkage and curling around the edges.
Design Layer: This layer sits on top of the core layer. The design layer adds the “wow” factor to vinyl as this is where the design is printed and texture is embossed to create a gorgeous replica of stone, wood, bamboo, or even painted concrete.
Wear Layer: This top layer is a protective layer of clear vinyl about 10 mils thick on average. In comparison, human hair is about 1 mil. thick. The thicker the wear layer, the more durable the flooring. The flooring industry is constantly experimenting to find wear layers that are tougher and more resistant, but still beautiful and practical.
Now that we have your attention, Western Carpet offers an excellent selection of sheet vinyl flooring as well as LVT. Call to schedule a free in-home or in-office estimate and we’ll bring samples to you!