Before You Buy Vinyl / Resilient Flooring
You’ve made your decision and are ready to select and install your new vinyl flooring. So let’s cover some important properties about vinyl and why you should consider it;
- Vinyl is a decorator’s dream since it comes in so many colors, textures and patterns.
- Vinyl is durable, water resistant, and doesn’t fade or dent. Best of all, it is affordable.
- Vinyl is the great imposter. It can look like wood, tile, even marble.
- Vinyl is constructed in layers: the wear layer, the printed or decorative layer, an inner core consisting of a foam and vinyl layer, and a backing.
Before purchasing your luxury vinyl floor here are 5 Things to Know
5 Things you need to know about luxury vinyl flooring before purchasing and installing your new floors.
- See Installation Instructions regarding approved subfloors for installation. Otherwise, you could experience telegraphing, adhesive release and peaking or gapping.
- Luxury vinyl is water resistant on the surface, but it may trap moisture between subfloor and luxury vinyl.
- Check moisture levels subfloor first before beginning installation.
- Exposure to sunlight can cause expansion and contraction (excessive movement) of luxury vinyl.
- To avoid such movement use Hallmark 3 in a wet set application, in addition to controlling the environment. See installation instructions and Maintenance and Warranty brochure for environmental parameters.
- All Luxury vinyl scratches and is not covered under warranty.
- For excessive scratching or high traffic wear use Hallmark ABC Recoat System to restore the surface coating.
- Note: always test a small area before applying to the entire floor.
- Hallmark Floors only recommends the use of Hallmark Trueclean for maintaining its luxury vinyl floors.
- Other cleaners can leave a residue, hazing or incompatibility with the recoating process.
How to I clean a vinyl floor?
Cleaning is straightforward, with a vacuum and an occasional mop. Buy vinyl-safe floor cleaner – nothing abrasive. It can stain if spills are left to puddle so wipe them up straight away. Heavy furniture can create indentations in vinyl so use felt or rubber covers on chairs and casters. Never drag heavy furniture across vinyl as it may scratch or dent the floor.
How do I know a vinyl floor is good quality?
Thickness is a good indication of quality, for both sheet and tiled vinyl. Cheap sheet vinyl starts at 1.1mm thick, which will make it easy to fit but not very long-lasting. Aim for 3.5mm upwards.
Vinyl Plank Flooring
The most popular vinyl flooring option is vinyl plank flooring. These planks typically mimic the look of solid hardwood, offering a warm, inviting and expensive feel to your home.
Today’s luxury vinyl planks even offer the texture and character of trending hardwood options, including handscraped and wirebrushed looks.
One of the major benefits to choosing vinyl plank flooring is the easy, approachable, DIY installation. Most vinyl plank options come as interlocking or “floating” floors and simply click together, similar to laminate. Other DIY options include loose lay (the easiest – just lay your floor down and you’re done!) and peel and stick.
For high-traffic and commercial installation, you can always glue down your vinyl planks for a permanent solution.
Pros of Vinyl Plank Flooring
- Gorgeous wood looks: Luxury vinyl plank flooring mimics all the most popular colors and textures of solid hardwood. In fact, most people can’t even tell the two apart.
- Easy, DIY installation: Most vinyl planks offer an easy interlocking or “floating” installation, perfect for most homeowners to do on their own without the help of an installation professional.
- Comparable to laminate, engineered wood and hardwood: Other types of vinyl flooring can’t truly compare with long-standing industry leaders like laminate and wood. Vinyl planks totally can.
- Easy to maintain: Vinyl plank flooring is super easy to take care of. Most options are water-resistant and many are fully waterproof. Just make sure you choose a thick wear layer to prevent scrapes and scratches.
- Waterproof options: Yes, 100% waterproof. They are awesome!
Cons of Vinyl Plank Flooring
- Doesn’t feel like real wood: To the touch, vinyl feels pretty different from solid hardwood. This feel is important to some homeowners.
- Price: As you move onto waterproof and luxury options, this can run you more than other wood-look options like laminate. But they come with a whole lot more bells and whistles!
- Low-quality planks scratch and dent easily. If you want a vinyl plank that can stand up to high traffic, family and pets, you’ve got to go with a high-quality plank with a thick wear layer. The cheaper options just won’t hold up.
How to Choose the Best Vinyl LVT Flooring?
LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tiles) can all seem similar on the surface. However, if we dig a little deeper there are several key features to consider.
LVT Vinyl Flooring Thickness
Vinyl flooring has different thickness grades, starting at 2mm and usually ending at 5mm.
If you are wondering “what thickness of LVT vinyl flooring should I use?”, it is often not the most important thing to consider. The wear layer (see below) is the most important aspect, however for low traffic areas, such as a cupboard or spare room, you can easily get away with a 2mm vinyl floor tile or vinyl sheet. For areas with more traffic, like the hall or living room, you may want to consider a thicker one , or one with a better wear layer.
Think thicker flooring is naturally durable?
Sometimes it is. However, with vinyl flooring, it is the wear layer that determines the overall durability of the floor. The best choice for ultra-sturdy and durable flooring is to pick a thick floor with a thick wear layer to match.
The wear layer itself is a protective layer that sits on top of the flooring. This protects the floor from any scratches and marks.
Registered Embossing Quality
Luxury Vinyl Tiles can be embossed the same way paper can. Embossing is simply adding texture. Now there are two kinds of embossing; 1) registered and 2) blind.
Registered: Registered embossing is where a texture has some logic behind it. This usually involves the embossing replicating a pattern that matches an image. This image can express delicate detail, such as texture, which can be replicated using registered embossing.
Blind: Blind embossing does not follow an image, rather a pre-set mould or punch. Some detail is achievable, but blind embossing is used mostly for bold, 2D elements.
The quality of registered embossing is important when choosing the best vinyl floor. The texture is an important sign of quality. Embossing is there to replicate the true wood feel on LVT flooring.
Design and Quality of Visual Layer
The visual layer is what gives your flooring the overall design. Vinyl flooring can be engineered to be both sturdy, durable and realistic but at the end of the day, we are all looking for flooring that looks beautiful in our homes. Nothing less.