Whether you are looking for a cost-effective flooring solution for your bathroom, kitchen or busy living areas, vinyl flooring might be a fantastic option. This type of flooring has moved on a lot in recent years from the slightly tired-looking vinyl of yesteryear to something far more modern, comfortable, and – we’ll say it – even more luxurious in terms of finish than you might think.
It’s a very popular choice these days, and Empire Floors has seen delighted customers enjoying their new vinyl floors in both residential and commercial buildings. But why, exactly, is this type of flooring proving so popular, and what can you expect from a vinyl floor? In today’s guide, we’re going to explore everything you need to know – let’s take a closer look.
The Pros of Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl Flooring is a fantastic choice for a huge variety of different reasons. Let’s take a look at the many advantages of choosing a vinyl floor.
Vinyl floors are tough and long-lasting, and you can easily expect a couple of decades – or longer – if you look after it well and it is installed properly. However, one thing to bear in mind is that the quality of material you buy in the first instance will tell you a lot about how long it will last. Solid vinyl and composite tiles are homogenous, which means that their color runs through them at every single layer. So, if you have an accident and cause a little dink or a scratch, you won’t suffer all that much because the damage will be limited. If you want to go for an ultra-tough finish, then consider fiberglass-reinforced vinyl. This material is incredibly durable and resistant to damage of all kinds. It can handle a lot of traffic, too, so it’s great for people with kids or owners of pets.
Simple to install
Part of the beauty of vinyl flooring is that it is super easy to install. The installation teams hired by Empire Floors can be in and out of your house in a few hours if all goes well, and given the non-complexity of the vinyl fitting, it might even be a job you can take on yourself, DIY style. The key to success is to ensure you have a dry and level subfloor – which can be tricky. It might be an idea to hire a professional to do this for you if you have no experience.
As we discussed in the intro, there are a lot of reasons to love vinyl flooring but the clincher for most people is that they are comparatively inexpensive compared to other materials. Stone and ceramic tiles, wood, and carpet all cost significantly more per square foot. You can also get a padded underlayer installed to ensure your flooring is extra soft – which we are going to take a look at right now.
Let’s face it, while stone tiles might look incredible, they aren’t comfortable to walk on – and they can get incredibly cold during the winter months. With vinyl flooring, however, all those issues are eliminated. Vinyl is soft underfoot – far more so than any other type of flooring. And, as we mentioned above, the addition of underlay can increase the comfort levels by a significant amount.
Easy to maintain
Not everyone considers the work required as the owner of wood, tile, or stone floor – or even a carpet – in terms of maintenance. With vinyl, however, maintenance is a breeze in comparison. All you need to do is make sure that all the grit and dirt are swept away properly to keep the surface nice and clean. And then it’s a simple case of using a mop, combined with a recommended cleaning product, to get rid of any surface stains. If you are looking for a low-maintenance flooring option, vinyl is definitely the way to go.
A multitude of design choice
If you haven’t considered vinyl flooring for some time, you might be surprised what you find when you look at the ranges that are available these days. There are some amazing options, from plain to flecked, and from wood-style through to amazing, funky patterns. There really is an option for everyone. These days, thanks to innovative technology, you can get vinyl flooring that looks like almost any other surface – even stone. So if you love the stone finish by don’t like the cold tiles or hardness underfoot, it’s a great alternative to go for vinyl.
Tiles or sheets
Another advantage of vinyl flooring is that it is available in two different styles – sheet or tiles. Tiles are great for reproducing the look of a ceramic or vintage stone tile and work in the exact same way. You can even get different sized tiles to create awesome patterns and mosaics if you want to add a little extra design pizazz. But what if you would prefer a cleaner finish? If so, your best bet would be sheet vinyl flooring. It’s a beautiful finish and also much easier to maintain – you will have far fewer worries about bits of dirt finding their way into the joints of the separate tiles.
However, vinyl flooring is not a perfect option for every household. Let’s take a look at some of the disadvantages and issues that might arise with your vinyl floor.
The Cons of Vinyl Flooring
Some vinyl floors – particularly those made from low-quality budget materials – can get a tinge of yellow as they get older. This occurs for a broad range of reasons, from discoloration by dirt that has ended up trapped beneath the wax finish, through to being affected by direct sunlight. However, in the vast majority of cases, if you buy a modern vinyl floor, you won’t experience too many of these problems.
If you do end up damaging your vinyl flooring in a bad way, it will need to be replaced. If this concerns you in any way, we recommend buying a tiled vinyl floor rather than a sheet, as with the former you will just be able to swap out the tile. With a sheet vinyl floor, the whole thing will need to be replaced.
While vinyl flooring is easy to install, it’s vital you get it right – in particular preparing your subfloor. As we mentioned earlier, it can be tricky for inexperienced people to create a perfectly smooth and flat-surfaced subfloor, and if you get it wrong, it can have consequences. For example, even tiny little specks of dirt or grains trapped on the underside of your flooring can cause lumpiness, and eventually rips and tears.
Vinyl flooring is usually exceptional at keeping stains at bay. However, there is one problem material that can cause you problems – rubber. If you walk rubber shoes on the vinyl and accidentally scuff the surface, it can be tricky to remove – a chemical reaction occurs that ends up discoloring your floor. It’s the same principle for chairs with rubber feet or mats that have rubber as a backing – you need to keep them off the vinyl or be incredibly careful.
Finally, be aware that vinyl flooring is not often suitable for recycling, and furthermore, it is not biodegradable. Therefore, if you are looking to use vinyl as a short-term solution, you will need to weigh up whether you are happy with the ecological waste you might create.
Vinyl Flooring – Cost Analysis
While vinyl flooring is comparatively cheap, just like any other flooring material it still comes at a reasonably broad range of prices. But let’s make one thing clear – it is at a fraction of the price of wood, tiles, stone or carpet.
For example, in the budget range of vinyl flooring, you can expect to pay anything from $1 per square yard. The top of the range, luxury options should set you back around $6 or $7. Of course, you also have to account for the labor costs of installation, too, if you decide to go down that route.
There are a few other costs to consider, too. For example, there will be some types of flooring that need to be removed, so you may have to pay for that if you cannot – or prefer not to – do it yourself. However, given that one of vinyl flooring’s wonderful qualities is that you can install it on top of an old floor, you may not have to worry about this as an expense.
Bear in mind that your installers will need to work in a completely clean room, too. If you don’t clear it out yourself, you can ask us to do it for you. However, this can add a significant amount of money to your total cost if you have a lot of furniture, so we would always advise clearing as much as possible before the installation team arrives.
So, what’s the final cost? Well, for a simple installation of a $1 per square foot vinyl floor, you can expect to pay around $2.50 extra per square foot for the installation. This means that unless you require work on your floor beforehand – or need furniture cleared out – you will pay $3.50 per square foot.
As you can read in this article, there are many reasons why vinyl flooring is going through such a major renaissance right now. When many people think of vinyl flooring, they often recall the cheap and cheerful versions that were available int he 970s and 1980s – but these days, vinyl sheets and tiles offer the opportunity for homeowners to get a touch of luxury in their homes for a very reasonable price.
The levels of comfort involved are fantastic, too. Not only will vinyl keep your feet warmer than stone or wood in the winter, but they are also softer and easy on the feet in general. When you throw in incredible strength and durability, you end up with a flexible, well-priced flooring option that is well worth a moment of your consideration.
So, whether you are looking for a new bathroom or kitchen floor, or looking for something a little different for your living areas, why not take a look into vinyl flooring? With so many options available in terms of design and finish, there will be something that matches your current decor and requirements. It’s great for homes with busy traffic areas, fantastic for households with small and growing children, and perfect for families with pets. Get in touch with Empire Flooring today, and we will give you an accurate quote on the vinyl flooring of your choice.