Vinyl Flooring: An Increasingly Popular Solution
Floors have a significant impact on the aesthetics, value and comfort of your home. Each type (be it hardwood, ceramic, stone, laminate or vinyl) offers different benefits and has certain drawbacks as well. Lately, the superstar of the 1940s home improvements, vinyl floors, is these days again becoming increasingly popular solution for not only residential, but commercial premises as well, Durable, water and stain resistant and versatile, vinyls flooring is a cost-effective option for many landlords, retail and commercial companies and healthcare facilities.
Believe it or not, vinyl was invented by accident by an American inventor Waldo Lonsbury Semon. While he was trying to develop an adhesive for bonding rubber to metal, he created an elastic substance today known as vinyl. The first application of vinyl for flooring dates back to 1933, although it was invented much earlier. By the 1940s, it had grown in popularity and was widely used for high foot traffic areas. Over the years, with the advancements in technology, vinyl was improved and used everywhere.
What is Vinyl Flooring?
Vinyl is a highly durable material used in flooring along with some other compounds such as fillers, plasticizers, stabilizers and pigments. Vinyl flooring, also known as resilient flooring comes in two forms, sheets or tiles. Furthermore, they can be divided into several categories such as solid vinyl, homogeneous, inlaid etc. Depending on the manufacturer, this flooring solution can differ in quality, materials used for production and percentage of vinyl used.
Advantages of Vinyl for Floors
Choosing vinyl for your floors has several advantages.
First and foremost, vinyl tiles and sheets can improve the aesthetics of almost any space with minimal effort and cost. You can choose from a variety of colours, textures, patterns and finishes to get the most out of your space. For instance, interior designers recommend vinyl sheets that mimic rustic hardwood floors for bedrooms or living rooms if the goal is to add a cosy and warm vibe to the spaces. Moreover, vinyl tiles that resemble ceramic floors are the perfect solution for a quick and low-cost kitchen makeover.
Not to mention that,practical and durable vinyl flooring has been the preferred floor covering for hardworking office spaces in the past decade as well since it can withstand the ravages of time, handle some serious foot traffic and stand up to material handling equipment and heavy loads. Another feature that makes vinyl stand out among other flooring solutions is its resilience. It’s far gentler on the feet and joints which makes vinyl for floors more comfortable to walk on. This is especially important for employees who spend a lot of time on their feet.
There’s the low-maintenance factor as well. Today’s vinyl floors are moisture and stain resistant, hence they’re easy to keep clean. Modern solutions come with a seamless surface, so dirt and bacteria can’t pile up in places that are hard to get. And last but not least, choosing vinyl for floors is a cheaper solution compared to laminate and hardwood. This is especially important to take into consideration if a larger area needs to be covered.
Disadvantages of Vinyl for Floors
Like everything else in life, vinyl for floors has its downsides as well. Here are some of the most important things to know if you’re considering this option for your floors.
Some vinyls flooring can contain large amounts of harmful substances such as environmental pollutants dioxins, ethylene dichloride and vinyl chloride. These substances are generated during the production process and can persist long enough to cause harmful effects to anyone who is exposed to them.
Next, although floor vinyl has a lower carbon footprint associated with the production compared to other types of flooring, it doesn’t mean it’s a 100% eco-friendly solution. The PVC, which is the material used for making this type of floors, is among the most difficult ones to recycle.
Furthermore, although vinyl may be one of the best options to fireproof your living or working space, the adhesives used to set it in place are highly-flammable and are a potential fire hazard. Plus, the toxic substances released from the burning can cause lung problems.
How to Choose Floor Vinyl?
Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of vinyl for floors, it’s important to know how to choose top of the line products that adequately meet your needs. Start by consulting an experienced professional who can help you with the process from start to finish. Moreover, only consider manufacturers that can provide a vast range of options, conform to safety standards, and back up their products’ quality.
Depending on your needs, you can choose from a plethora of unique solutions like slip resistance, acoustic noise reduction, rubber and sports flooring. For instance, slip resistance is a feature to consider if you plan to buy sheet vinyl flooring for elderly care centres and hospitals, while moisture-resistance is key for kitchen and bathroom applications.
Installation of Floor Vinyl
When it comes to installation, believe it or not, it’s an easy process. Hence, you can easily do it yourself. Of course, if you don’t think you have the right skills for the job, you can have a contractor install floor vinyl for you. If you do decide to go with a DIY installation, the number one thing to remember is that the below surface has to be extremely smooth to achieve a flawless look. Many people use plywood as a subsurface, instead of double vinyl layer. Once done with the subsurface prep, you can continue with the installation of the new flooring. Just remember, the installation process is different for tiles, sheets, self-stick and glue down vinyl, hence make sure you follow the instructions.
All things considered and with the advantages outweighing the disadvantages, it’s safe to say that you should buy vinyl flooring for your home or workplace. It will not only save you a lot of time and money, but it will also beautify your space and make it more comfortable.