You may remember the days when vinyl flooring wasn't just cheap it was also a bit cheap looking. Well, those days are long gone. Vinyl flooring has come of age and offers homeowners an aesthetically pleasing, easy-to-install, and durable alternative to more expensive natural flooring materials. It is primarily used to cover bathroom, laundry, and kitchen floors.
Varieties of Vinyl Flooring
Decorative possibilities are abundant with vinyl, and it is available at price levels suitable for almost any budget. Additionally, today's advanced manufacturing techniques produce vinyl flooring that realistically mimics every traditional floor covering, including brick, stone, marble, and wood. Vinyl flooring is often referred to by the popular manufacturers' trade names Linoleum�� and Congoleum��; it is also called "Resilient Flooring" because it provides some cushioning comfort as it is walked on.
The Production of Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl flooring is made of a plastic, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), to which other compounds are added (pigments, resins, synthetic fillers). Vinyl flooring is manufactured using two different processes: inlay, wherein color and pattern are imbedded into the vinyl layers, and rotovinyl, wherein a single layer of vinyl is printed with color and pattern and overlaid with a sheet of protective coating called a "wearlayer."
Inlaid and Rotovinyl Flooring and Wearlayers
Vinyl flooring can consist of multiple layers of vinyl material or a single layer of vinyl. A backing material is used in all cases to enhance durability. Inlaid vinyl flooring is only available in tile form, but offers great wear resistance since the colors and patterns go all the way through the flooring material. Rotovinyl comes in both sheet and tile form. Resistance to wear is dependent on the type of wearlayer used in its manufacture. There are three common types of wearlayers: vinyl no wax, urethane, and enhanced urethane. Vinyl flooring that employs an enhanced urethane wearlayer is considered the highest quality and longest lasting available.
Do-It-Yourself Vinyl Flooring and Flooring Alternatives
Both sheet and tile vinyl flooring make good do-it-yourself projects. Most tiles come with a peel-off, self-stick backing, but you can find tiles suitable for full adhesive application. Sheet vinyl projects are the most difficult, but also very manageable with some research into techniques. If vinyl flooring isn't right for you, consider such options as laminate flooring, which is available in planks, panels, and tiles that replicate a variety of flooring materials. Cork, rubber, and asphalt are other options for those looking for resilient flooring. They can be more expensive and harder to find than vinyl flooring, but offer unique looks and comparable durability.
For further information see the following article from HomeDoctor.net: Kitchen & Bath - Vinyl Flooring.