Luxury vinyl flooring has come a long way. The newest generation of luxury vinyl tile, vinyl plank flooring and vinyl sheet flooring is as durable and attractive as any other flooring product on the market. Advances in printing techniques have produced amazing finishes that are increasingly difficult to distinguish from granite, marble, hardwood, slate, bamboo or limestone flooring. And because the design process is limitless and luxury vinyl flooring is one of the easiest materials to install, it is fast-becoming a popular flooring choice.
Like laminate flooring, vinyl flooring is made up of layers of material, starting with a core of vinyl over a backing of felt or fiberglass. Decorative designs are printed on the next layer that sits on top of the core. That decorative design layer is what makes vinyl flooring so versatile. It can be made to look like almost any material. The final layer – and the most important – is also vinyl and is called the wear layer. This top layer of vinyl is about 10 mils thick on average. 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.
Resilient vinyl floors share some of the same attributes as carpet — it’s flexible and soft to walk on. Also like carpet, it can go on a subfloor that isn’t perfectly level. Resilient vinyl flooring is durable and resists staining, scratching, denting and tearing. However, fine grit and sand can cause scratching. The flooring cleans easily and doesn’t need to be waxed. That’s why we love luxury vinyl flooring for the home, retail and office space.
Vinyl flooring comes in a range of gloss levels and styles. The lower the gloss level, the more resistant your floor will be to the wear and tear of daily life. Style-wise, there are three types available: tile, planks and sheets. Luxury vinyl tile is the best option when you want a floor that resembles stone or ceramic tile, or if you are going for more contemporary-colored vinyl tile design. The tiles are available as 12-inch squares that feature an adhesive backing. The thicker the tile, the better it will hold up over time. Vinyl plank flooring provides a realistic wood-look plank and like hardwood, is available in various widths and lengths. By staggering these vinyl planks just as you would the planks of a hardwood floor, you’ll end up with a floor that can fool even the experts. Vinyl sheet flooring works best in larger rooms. The sheet comes in wide rolls of 6 or 12 feet. Like carpet, in bigger rooms sections of the sheet are fused together. There are two different kinds of sheet vinyl, inlaid and rotogravure. Inlaid vinyl sheets feature a color pattern that goes all the way through the entire sheet, providing higher durability. Rotogravure is a more economical choice that consists of a foam base that is printed with ink and covered with a wear layer.
No matter the type of vinyl flooring you want to install, it’s best to work with an expert who knows how to handle the material and lay it properly.