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An Introduction to Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring is most commonly used in kitchens and bathrooms because its durability, low maintenance, and it’s resilence to messes associated with kitchens and bathrooms.  Vinyl floorings are available in a huge range of colors, patterns and textures.  Advances in technology have allowed vinyl floorings to convincingly replicate the look of many traditional flooring surfaces such as stone, hardwood, and ceramic tile floorings.  Vinyl flooring allows homeowners to customize their floor with a durable, attractive, and very affordable covering.
Vinyl flooring is once of the cheapest flooring options available and is available in two basic formats:  sheet and tile. 

Vinyl Sheet Flooring

Commonly called sheet vinyl, vinyl sheet flooring constitutes 85-90% of the vinyl flooring market.  Sheet vinyl comes in a variety of roll widths from 6ft to 12ft.  Because of its size, sheet vinyl allows the installer to cover large areas quickly and results in fewer seams that could allow moisture to reach the sub-floor.  If installed in a small room, you are often able to install the product without any seams at all, making sheet vinyl for use in bathrooms moisture could otherwise damage the sub-floor.  Where you are unable to avoid a seam, they can be sealed using a heat welder or chemical bonding. 

Vinyl Tile, Plank and Strip Flooring

Vinyl tile, pland and strip flooring are installed as a sequence of individual tiles.  All of these forms of vinyl flooring have produced with squared edges allowing the installer to butt each individual piece up against the other.   Although it takes longer to install these products it can be more convenient for homeowners to work with because it can be done in a step by step process.  Any mistakes aren’t quite as obvious.  In addition, many of the products available come with grout lines and other geometric patterns that help to alleviate the appearance of seams.  Tile vinyl is also much easier to transport because they are easily packed into boxes as separate pieces, unlike sheet vinyl which comes in a roll. 

Common Vinyl Flooring Installations

Vinyl flooring is most commonly laid over a wood sub-floor topped with a plywood underlay.  The underlay is used because it is smoother than the sub-floor and makes for an easier installation.  In the case of sheet flooring, mastic (an adhesive) is spread evenly over the underlay with a notched towel.  The vinyl sheet is then placed onto the adhesive and rolled flat with a heavy floor roller.
Many manufacturers are now making self-adhesive peel-and-stick vinyl sheets and tiles that require no additional adhesive.


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