Vinyl is a soft flexible material made from a synthetic called polymer. Because of its versatility, vinyl is the main element seen in plastic products. It can be made thin and flexible or sturdy and tough. Vinyl can be used indoors and out and can be crystal clear, opaque, or colorful. This multi-purpose material is often used in construction for siding, window frames, and cable insulation. Vinyl is most often seen in the home in the form of floor tiles.
The Benefits of Using Vinyl For Flooring
It is essentially layers of plastic bonded together that create a durable floor covering. The two basic forms of vinyl flooring are sheet vinyl and vinyl tiles, both of which are less expensive than ceramic or wood. Both types are fairly stain resistant and very easy to install. They can easily be put together by a layperson because they come with a simple adhesive material accessible by peeling off a protective covering and laying the tile flat on the floor into place.
Sheet Vinyl Flooring
Sheet vinyl is made with either flex or felt, with flex being the higher quality material found on higher end vinyl pieces. While flex can either be glued or stapled, felt can only be applied by gluing. Sheet vinyl comes with varying thickness, with the thickest being the most durable. It is also colored or patterned and is most often used in residential kitchens and bathrooms, and in high traffic commercial areas.
Vinyl tiles are suitable for both residential and commercial purposes. They are also easily applied by handy people but they can also come in thicker, more luxurious forms that are best applied by a professional. Vinyl tiles can come in a variety of colors and designs, from a simple ceramic look to more sophisticated designs. The more expensive tiles will be thicker, heavier, and may boast various surface textures such as slate, wood, or quarry tiles. Commercially used vinyl tiles are called vinyl composite tiles and are more often solid in color or lightly colored with flecks.
Installation of Vinyl Flooring
Installing vinyl tiles is a simple process but there are some precautions. Make sure the floor is completely free of dirt or water before installation because these elements can get stuck under the tiles and eventually uproot them. Older tiles were made from asbestos and it is dangerous to lift them unless done by a specialist, so they are usually covered over by new tiles. Preparing your floor for vinyl tiles is important as any imperfections or bumps can disturb the placement of the tiles. Vinyl tiles may come loose more easily than sheet vinyl.
For more information on vinyl flooring see the following article from HomeDoctor.net: Kitchen Flooring - Vinyl Flooring.