Before we get into the different types and finishes of this kind of floor, let’s go over what vinyl is. For starters, it’s crafted from polyvinyl chloride plastic or PVC for short. Vinyl flooring is a synthetic material favored for its durability, affordability, and functionality.
It has become an increasingly popular flooring material in recent years because of its ability to fight off moisture and its versatile appearance. Professional flooring contractors have its recommended type of flooring you should use on your home. One is vinyl flooring because it can realistically mimic wood, stone, marble, and a vast array of other luxury flooring materials.
Types of Vinyl Floors
- Vinyl Plank
Vinyl planks are designed to resemble hardwood floors and come in designs that mimic many varieties of wood. Many people choose vinyl planks over wood for their flooring because, unlike wood, vinyl planks are water-resistant, stain-resistant, and easy to maintain. This type of vinyl flooring is best for high-traffic areas that are prone to wear and tear.
- Vinyl Tile
Vinyl tiles are designed to resemble stone or ceramic tiles. Like vinyl planks, they come in a wide variety of patterns and colors that mimic their naturally occurring counterparts. When installing vinyl tiles, some people even add grout in order to more closely replicate the effect of stone or ceramic tiles. Many people favor vinyl tile for small areas of their homes because, unlike stone tiles, vinyl tiles can easily be cut in order to fit in small spaces.
- Vinyl Sheet
Unlike vinyl planks and tiles, vinyl sheets come in rolls up to twelve feet wide and can be laid down in one fell swoop. Most people choose vinyl sheets for large areas of their homes because of their affordability and durability.
- Luxury Vinyl Plank and Tile
With more layers than standard vinyl floors, luxury vinyl planks and tiles are around five times thicker than their counterparts. The additional material can lend realism to the flooring, particularly when trying to mimic wood or stone. Luxury vinyl plank and tile are designed using 3D printers, making them an especially great choice if you’re trying to realistically replicate a naturally occurring flooring material like wood or stone. Luxury vinyl plank and tile are generally more durable than standard vinyl flooring, with a lifespan of roughly 20 years.
How Much Does a Vinyl Floor Cost?
Time for what homeowners want to know most. Of course, the cost depends on the supplier, the product, and installation costs. Normally installation costs anywhere between $2 to $8 per square foot, sometimes more. You can cut costs if you install the floors yourself, but it’s rarely recommended if you want your floors to last.
Sheets can be purchased for as low as 50 cents per square foot. Luxury vinyl tile (not peel and stick) starts at $2 per square foot.
Factors To Consider
- Foot Traffic
When deciding whether to install a vinyl floor, consider how much foot traffic takes place in the area of your house in question. Vinyl flooring is built to last and to handle significant wear and tear, making it a good choice for heavily-visited areas. Since some vinyl is significantly thicker than others, it’s important to consider how much protection the area in question will need.
Despite vinyl flooring’s reputation for being durable, there are a couple of circumstances where it just doesn’t hold up. It doesn’t stand up particularly well to heavy loads, for example, so you’ll want to avoid installing it in a place where you might be dealing with large equipment.
- Current Floor
Vinyl is more easily laid on some surfaces than others and works best on a preexisting smooth surface. Laying vinyl over a floor with pre-existing flaws, like an old hardwood floor, can be tricky, because those flaws will appear beneath the new vinyl floor, thereby depriving you of a smooth surface.
Vinyl flooring is an affordable, adaptable, and durable option when it comes to floors. You’ll have to consider which type of vinyl flooring is right for your home and which parts of your home are the best candidates for vinyl flooring, but with a wide variety of options to choose from, you’re likely to find a way to make it work.