An Insight into Different Types of Vinyl Flooring
As much as we all simply adore the old and charming hardwood floor, stone and ceramic, we can’t ignore the fact that these materials are very expensive. Quite often they aren’t very comfortable, require high maintenance and a lot of our energy.
Vinyl flooring has become popular again for the simple fact that it’s very cost-effective, durable, resistant to slips, street grit, high heels and messy spills. It’s not surprising then that it’s finding its way back into many homes and here are the basics you need to know.
Vinyl sheet anatomy
Vinyl sheets are created layer by layer which allows the manufacturers to produce a great variety of floors in terms of thickness, colour, pattern and texture. Typically, there are six layers. The base at the bottom supports all layers and is followed by fibreglass that keeps the sheet flat. Then, there's the cushion layer for texture and bounce, the pattern layer that gives the floor its colour and appearance, the wear layer to safeguard the pattern and finally, the top coat that adds sheen and provides protection.
An average vinyl flooring price in Australia that includes installation ranges from $26 per square metre to $35 per square metre. The same goes for warranties – it can run from five years to several decades, depending on your maintenance.
Types of vinyl floors
Vinyl flooring has changed a lot over the past decade and the current vinyl flooring trends in Sydney will make you forget everything you thought you once believed about it. It’s an excellent choice for commercial application due to its high resilience, durability, versatility and attractive looks.
Sheets flooring is installed very fast and rarely has any visible seams. It’s combined with various materials to improve its quality: PVC for toughness,foam gel for comfort, texture, and insulation, fibreglass for stability, and urethane for durability. Due to its lightweight, it can be loosely laid over a subfloor or glued down for more stability and permanence.
Tiles and planks are slightly harder and stiffer than sheets. During installation, they should be glued down, or joined at the edges and allowed to "float" over the subfloor.
Composition tiles are produced with a mix of vinyl and ground limestone and are quite tough so they’re often used in schools and other institutions. These tiles have to be glued down and since there’s no grout, it needs to be done perfectly.
Finally, woven vinyl are actually strands of fibreglass that are encapsulated in vinyl and woven into soft, textured sheets. They can be glued down or laid loosely. Woven vinyl is naturally springy, stain resistant and easy to clean. It’s also very durable, so even if left outdoors, it won’t deteriorate.
Contemporary vinyl flooring offers a large versatility in style so there’s something for everyone and therefore, can easily fit with the rest of the home décor. Styles range from textured seagrass strands, tiles with grout lines mimicking ceramic tiles, limestone, multicolour stripes that give it a woven appearance, quarried slate with colour and texture of stone, wood block and wood planks, metallics shine, and simple flooring in vibrant colours like sky blue.
Health benefits and versatility
Owing to its versatility, vinyl flooring is suitable for kitchens, hallways, basements, bathrooms, utility rooms and kids' playrooms. There are multiple ways to install vinyl which can be done as a DIY project or left to the pros as the best end results depend on the floor preparation.
One of the major selling points of vinyl floors is their low maintenance, which is an obvious health benefit. In addition, some vinyl floors are produced with antimicrobial coatings or embedded wear layers with particles of silver which is a potent germ killer. To make sure your indoor air quality remains at a high level, choose floor-certified coverings and adhesives which abide by the industry’s highest standards.
Knowing the basics and perks of high-quality vinyl, you’ll have no trouble picking what is best for your home.
Guest Contributor, Lillian Connors