Types of vinyl flooring

Vinyl is a flexible, durable plastic that is extremely popular for flooring. Vinyl sheet is excellent for durable, high-traffic areas, while luxury vinyl plank (LVP) and vinyl tile have become highly favored in the hospitality industry and trending home renovations. Layered vinyl flooring provides the satisfaction of traditional floor materials like wood and stone but the durability and waterproof convenience of the vinyl floor design.

There are two types of vinyl floors, each designed with multiple protective layers and the ability to mimic and even blend with other flooring types satisfactorily. With so many different types of vinyl flooring available, you can find the right style for any room. Learn how to choose the best vinyl flooring for your home with this guide from Smart Floors. Choose the type of vinyl floor best for your space and how it will be used.

The Different Types of Vinyl Flooring

The types of vinyl flooring can help guide you to the right flooring solution for your space. The classic vinyl sheet can also fit into any space. If you are looking for highly durable and affordable wood flooring, vinyl planks are click-lock, springy and warm, and easy to install. If you would love the look of tile but don't want to freeze your toes in the winter, vinyl tiles are a beautiful and stone-blended choice. 

The Vinyl Plank

Vinyl planks are printed and designed to mimic hardwood floors but with durable vinyl layers. Many are made with a blend of vinyl and wood, providing a similar spring and warmth as traditional wood planks but with easy click-lock installation and waterproof convenience. LVP or Luxury Vinyl Planks are particularly popular in home, kitchen, and hospitality renovations.

The Vinyl Tile

Vinyl tiles are made of heavy, rigid vinyl squares designed in any stone or tile through 3D printing and vinyl blends. Vinyl-stone blends can add the cool and heavy sensation of genuine tile but with crack and scratch resistance and simple vinyl installation. Vinyl tile is very DIY-friendly and is excellent for kitchens, bathrooms, mudrooms, and indoor-outdoor projects.

Types of Vinyl Flooring - The Layers
The key to vinyl flooring durability is in the layers. Let's take a closer look at what makes each type of vinyl flooring durable and satisfying to install in homes and businesses.

The Backing Layer

Every floor needs a bounce, cushion, and a little freedom to drift. That is the backing layer of your vinyl flooring. It is often made of cork or foam underlayment and is sometimes laid separately under plank or tile.

The Water Resistant Core

In LVP and LVT, or luxury vinyl plank and luxury vinyl tile, the core of each separate piece includes the rigid layer that provides the tactile response and mimics other materials. The core might be a vinyl and wood composite (WCP) to provide warmth and spring or a vinyl and stone composite to provide hardness, coolness, and a tap or click when impacted.

This core is water-resistant or fully waterproof, unlike the original porous materials, which can swell or crack when exposed to moisture.

The Printed Layer

The printed layer gives each vinyl sheet, tile, or plank its texture. 3D printing makes it possible to simulate the natural texture of any wood or stone. The core uses a composite to mimic the appropriate hardness or give.

The Wear Layer

The wear layer gives all vinyl flooring a final boost in durability and resistance to scratches, cracks, and moisture. This is a transparent protective layer; the thickness matters when selecting your vinyl floor. Primarily used in high-traffic areas where there is a need for a thicker or higher-grade wear layer, more decorative spaces may tolerate a thinner protective coating.

What Is Luxury Vinyl Tile

Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) offers everything your flooring product should have, including durability, elegance, water and scratch resistance, and ease of care. It resembles expensive options like ceramic, stone, hardwood, or marble.

LVT allows you to utilize a product made to endure commercial settings to replicate the appearance of natural materials precisely. Luxury vinyl tile eliminates the need to forgo stylish design in favor of convenience. Virtually every indoor living space is an excellent fit for vinyl floors.

Vinyl flooring is available in different types, including stick, sheet, peel, and plank. It thus implies that you can acquire LVT in various colors and designs.

Vinyl Floor Characteristics

Vinyl floor has impressive features that make them a desirable flooring option for homeowners. You must understand these features to determine whether vinyl flooring is the best alternative for your home.

The following are some of the most noteworthy features of vinyl flooring:

Highly Resistant to Wear and Impact

Vinyl flooring is quite durable and a great choice if you want to avoid having to replace or repair it as often, making it the perfect option for homes with lots of foot activity.

Additionally, vinyl flooring is impact-resistant, allowing it to maintain shape even when significant things are dropped. It is also incredibly slip-resistant, which can help you avoid unpleasant falls and improve the general security of your property.

Resistant to Heat

Because of its heat resistance nature, vinyl flooring is an excellent choice for areas like kitchens with higher temperatures.

Sound and Moisture Proof

Vinyl flooring is soundproof due to its multi-layer composition, keeping your home quiet even if you reside in an especially noisy region. Besides, it is almost entirely moisture resistant, making it appropriate for spaces like bathrooms and kitchens where spills are everyday.

Choosing a Vinyl Flooring Material

There are several styles and quality levels, along with various requirements for installation for every type of vinyl flooring. So, selecting the best vinyl flooring material necessitates that you pay attention to qualities like:

  • The overall thickness of the product: In general, thicker vinyl sheets, tiles, or planks provides better foot comfort and are sure to be more resilient.
  • The texture of the surface: Choose a flooring product with a texture that provides some traction underneath if slickness is a problem. Luxury vinyl or vinyl composite tiles are preferable; wet sheet vinyl is usually the most slippery.
  • Wear layer: Stronger vinyl flooring products have many layers, with the surface wear layer always the thickest. Always go for a worn layer that is at least 15mm thick.
  • Different backing: Different backings on various vinyl flooring could call for distinct installation techniques. Rigid or cushioned backings are available, and the choice and quality of the backing will affect the product's functionality and cost. Backings with cushions are more insulating, softer on the feet, and quieter.
  • Designs: A vinyl flooring product's surface design can be created in various ways. Simple printed designs are the most affordable option, whereas intricate inlaid designs that go through the vinyl are found on more costly, more lasting products. As a result, the flooring product will be more robust.

Vinyl Floor Maintenance

Vinyl flooring is simple to maintain and doesn't need to be polished or waxed. If you want to benefit from the durability vinyl floors, offer, routinely sweep, clean, or vacuum your floor to prevent scratches.

Always use a pH-neutral floor cleaner while cleaning, and avoid cleaning products containing polish, oil, or wax. Even on water-resistant vinyl flooring, standing water, pet urine, or other liquids should be removed instantly.

Ready to Choose Vinyl Flooring - Contact Smart Floors

Vinyl flooring can significantly benefit your home. At Smart Floors, we know that every home is different and requires its flooring design concepts. We provide an unmatched selection of the newest flooring products, including luxury vinyl tile floors and top-tier installation professionals to suit your flooring needs. Contact us today for more information.

Image credit: Dmitry Kalinovsky / Shutterstock