How to Choose Vinyl Flooring
What type of room will this be going in?
Type of Room
This is an important first step to figuring out which floor is best for your needs. Are you installing in a basement or moisture prone area, such as a kitchen or bathroom? Are you planning to use this in a business, such as a cafe, boutique or restaurant?
If so, vinyl is a perfect option as it can be installed below grade rooms and is 100% moisture proof. You will not need to worry about spills, water on shoes or damage when exposed to moisture. It is a perfect solution for nearly any room!
Second, you will need to consider how much foot traffic the room or area will see on a regular basis. If you’re installing your vinyl in an area that will see heavy foot traffic, such as the foyer or in a cafe, you’ll want to go with a vinyl that has a higher wear layer, such as a 12 or 20 mil.. If your vinyl will be housed in a guest room or other space with minimal traffic, the wear layer and thickness are not as big of a concern.
For high traffic areas and commercial applications, you may also consider a thicker plank that is more stable, such as a WPC or SPC rigid core vinyl. A rigid core vinyl has an engineered core that will hold up to dents, high traffic and temperature fluctuations. These planks are less susceptible to movement and damage.
What is your style and decor goals?
Vinyl flooring can be found in many versatile decors. Depending on your style, you can find vinyl floors in wood, stone, cement and shabby chic looks. With advances in surface technology, vinyl can be found with beautiful textures to mimic real tile and hardwoods. Vinyl plank flooring can be found with wide planks, multi-plank designs and more traditional plank widths. Adding to the style, beveled edges or square edges are also available.
No matter what style you are looking for, you will be amazed at how vinyl can transform your home or business!\
How to Choose Vinyl Plank Flooring
Vinyl plank flooring is an engineered floor covering designed to mimic the look of real wood. When you’re choosing your flooring, you’ll need to consider the thickness of the vinyl, the wear layer, and the installation method. Armed with this information, you should be able to find the perfect vinyl plank flooring for your home!
Opt for a thickness of 2–3 mm (0.079–0.118 in) for low-traffic areas. If you’re covering a small area with low traffic, you can choose planks in a thickness of 2 mm (0.079 in), 2.5 mm (0.098 in), or 3 mm (0.12 in).
Select planks between 3.2–4.0 mm (0.13–0.16 in) for high-traffic areas. Most of the common areas in your home, including the living room and the kitchen, will be best suited by a high-quality plank that is either 3.2 mm (0.13 in) or 4 mm (0.16 in) thick.
Choose a thickness of 5 mm (0.20 in) or more for the highest quality. The thickest vinyl planks can be anywhere from 5 mm (0.20 in) to over 8 mm (0.31 in) thick. These planks cost the most, but they are also the most durable and usually look the most like real wood.
Things You Need to Know Before Buying Vinyl Flooring
Types of Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl flooring comes in 2 types—sheet flooring and tile flooring. Sheet flooring—which is laid down in sheets that are 6 or 12 feet wide—is water resistant and easy to install. Vinyl tile flooring comes in tile sizes of 9 or 12 square inches; it replicates the look of ceramic tile but is more economical. Luxury Vinyl Tile—which simulates stone or wood—comes in plank shapes, often 7″ wide by 48″ long.
There are 3 types of finishes for vinyl flooring, all of which provide a beautiful end result.
Vinyl no-wax finish: This is the lightest type and is great for areas with light foot traffic and minimal exposure to dirt and moisture
Urethane finish: More durable, this finish is heavier and can stand up to moderate foot traffic and is also resistant to scuffing and easy to clean
Enhanced urethane finish: This is the toughest available and can accommodate the heaviest foot traffic, is highly resistant to scratches and stains, and enjoys a lasting luster without constant care
Per square foot, vinyl flooring is one of the most economic options of flooring that you can choose. On average, you can expect to spend $2-$12 per square foot to have it installed. Luxury Vinyl Tile—or LVT to those of us in the biz—is similarly inexpensive, costing on average, $3-$14 per square foot for installation. When you compare the cost to wood, stone, or ceramic flooring, vinyl offers a significant cost savings. And if you’re handy, you can cut costs even further by installing vinyl flooring yourself. Depending on the complexity of the project, you can expect to spend $1-$2 less per square foot if you perform the installation, but of course we are always happy to install your new flooring.
Ease of Installation
Installation of vinyl flooring is typically easier than installation of other flooring materials. A floating vinyl sheet, for example, doesn’t require glue or staples. Instead, peel and stick vinyl can simply be adhered to a prepared subfloor. Vinyl flooring can also be installed over concrete, hardwood, or plywood. It can even be installed over existing vinyl; however, it isn’t recommended if you have 2 or more preexisting layers.
How to choose and lay vinyl flooring
Advances in technology and printing mean that vinyl flooring can now compete with other kinds of flooring, including natural materials, such as solid wood, real stone and ceramic and porcelain tiles, in terms of appearance and texture. But what makes vinyl flooring most popular is its long lasting durability, scratch resistance and easiness to clean.
As well as being highly insulating for both heat and sound, vinyl is one of the most affordable flooring options, alongside laminate. Available in a wide range of designs, you’re sure to find a style that suits your space.
HOW MUCH VINYL FLOORING DO YOU NEED?
How much vinyl you need depends on the size of the room you are flooring, and the format of the tiles you are choosing. Measure the length and width of the room and then multiply them. For example:
If your room measures 5m by 5m, the area of your room is 25m² and you will need 25m² of vinyl flooring. Most flooring suppliers will display how many metres squared a pack of their flooring will cover. Always allow for an extra 10 per cent, just in case tiles are damaged, and so that you can replace worn tiles if you ever need to.
HOW TO FIT VINYL FLOORING
Fitting vinyl flooring depends on the type of vinyl and the skill required: if you are laying a single sheet in a large room, then one wrong cut can be an expensive mistake. Some products require adhesives for installation, while others come with a peel-off sticky backing or click together like laminate boards.
As with most flooring types, you will get a better finish if it is professionally laid, but if you are competent at DIY then you might want to have a go. Do bear in mind, though, that tiles or planks will be a lot easier to work with than a rolled out sheet of flooring.
A Step by Step Guide to Choosing Flooring
Choosing flooring is far more complicated than just finding the best-looking product. Several other factor—moisture, durability, costs, and more—greatly influence your decision. Follow these five steps in order to reach the flooring decision that is right for you and your home.