Vinyl flooring is a type of laminated finished flooring similar to linoleum. It is commonly used in places such as shopping malls, restaurants and schools. Its popularity is growing for use in homes too. Vinyl tiles are made by heating vinyl sheets or pieces and then pressing them into solid tiles which come in various thicknesses and shapes. These tiles are then laid onto the floor with a special adhesive and then buffed to give them a shine. Alternatively, you can choose sheet vinyl flooring where the floor will be laid with larger sheets.
Vinyl flooring is popular among homeowners because vinyl tiles can be designed to look like ceramic tiles and even wooden flooring, but vinyl is a more budget-friendly option. It costs less than most other types of flooring, and comes in a variety of textures, styles and colours to suit your preference. The tiles can also be cut and arranged into any shapes or patterns, making it customisable. Vinyl is also comfortable to walk on, as it ‘gives’, unlike hard flooring, making it a good choice for bathrooms and kitchens where we walk barefoot.
There is a good reason why vinyl flooring is used in places with heavy human traffic. It is chosen instead of other types of flooring because it is relatively cheaper and more resilient. As it is elastic and flexible to some degree, it is able to withstand impact from heavy traffic better than other types of flooring which may start to show signs of damage over time. This makes it suitable for public places like shopping malls, as it can also reduce the noise produced.
Vinyl is not only durable, it is also easy to maintain. Tiles can be cleaned by wiping the surface with a damp mop, without fear that the tiles will warp, because vinyl is water resistant. It can also withstand cleaning chemicals, making it very hygienic if you have allergy or germ concerns. Stains are also easily removed. This makes it suitable for use in bathrooms, children’s rooms and even hospitals. If you lay it in sheets, there will be fewer seams where they join, and this reduces the chances of bacteria growing there. The seams can also be sealed completely to eliminate all bacteria.
When laying vinyl tiles for your floor, there are several things you should take note of. If you are unsure of how best to go about it, it is recommended that you get a contractor to do it, instead of using the DIY kits. In order to achieve a smooth finish, you need to have a completely smooth surface, known as the subflooring, to lay the vinyl over. Any imperfections will show up as bumps in your flooring when it is finished. For this reason, it is recommended that you do not try to layer vinyl on top of an old layer of vinyl. The old layer should be removed first. The best results can be achieved if the subflooring is plywood as it is smooth, and installation can be completed quickly.
It is not advisable to install vinyl flooring for outdoor use, because heat and strong sunlight will cause the colour of the tiles to fade or change. Vinyl flooring may not be able to stand up to sharp objects being dropped on it, and oil spillage may damage it, so while vinyl is used commonly in residential kitchens, it may not be suitable for commercial kitchens. Heavy or sharp objects may cause indentations on the floor, leaving it uneven.
However, once installed properly, vinyl flooring will last many years without you having to replace it, because it is durable and resistant to stains. If you wish to, you can easily remove worn tiles and replace them with new ones.