All About Vinyl Flooring
We love the historic appeal of floors covered with wood, stone, or ceramic. But let’s face it: These materials can be high in cost, low in comfort, and often require more care than we have time or energy for. That’s why the smart money is often on vinyl. This durable flooring shrugs off street grit, pointy heels, and sloppy spills while providing a slip-resistant and often cushiony footing that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. No wonder you find vinyl in almost every American home—usually in kitchens, baths, and entryways.
This category of resilient flooring encompasses an array of products, including sheets, tiles, and planks made of flexible PVC; rigid tiles that combine vinyl and ground limestone; and soft, ruglike sheets that are woven from vinyl-coated fiberglass strands.
How much does it cost?
Vinyl sheets range from 75 cents to $4 per square foot. Tiles typically cost $1 to $8 per square foot. Planks run about $5 per square foot. In each case, installation is extra.
How much care does it need?
Vacuum regularly and mop with soapy water to remove grime and keep colors bright. Do not use abrasives, bleach, or ammonia. Wipe up spills to prevent stains.
Where to buy it?
Home centers and flooring retailers sell a variety of tiles, sheets, and planks, and can recommend an installer if the type you choose isn’t DIY-friendly.
vinyl flooring buying guide
Our selection of vinyl flooring is seemingly endless, with designs ranging from wood to a stone effect, and everything in-between. Vinyl allows you to create any look you want, with hassle-free fitting and with very little on-going maintenance. We aim to make buying your new flooring easier by offering expert advice to guide you smoothly all the way through from browsing to installation. This buying guide will make it easier for you to find the perfect vinyl flooring
why choose vinyl flooring?
Also known as cushion flooring or lino flooring, vinyl will bring comfort and warmth to your home as well as amazing functionality. It works well with underfloor heating and your feet will thank you for the extra comfort it brings underfoot.
how to choose vinyl by room
You may be surprised to learn that you have probably walked on vinyl flooring in homes and businesses many times firmly believing that it was real wood, laminate or stone. Vinyl is so realistic that guests to your home will never be able to tell the difference.
Wood effect vinyl
Wood effect vinyl complete with knots and grain detailing is fantastically authentic. Available in any wood type you care to think of from a whitewashed finish or pale beech, to atmospheric dark walnut, in every wood shade, plank detail and finish. Some even have a textured surface creating even more realism, especially when walked on with bare feet. In fact, all wood effect vinyl flooring doesn’t have is the on-going maintenance of a real wood floor
Plain, single colour flooring can really make an impact in your home. Whether you choose a neutral shade like beige or cream for your floor, or decide to really pack a punch with a solid block of something bright like red or yellow, a plain vinyl will create a fabulous basis for your room and allow you to really make it your own. The combination of colour, practicality and affordability makes plain vinyl flooring a worthy investment for your home.
Vinyl flooring buying guide
Choose between vinyl flooring in sheets, tiles and planks
Updating your floor can dramatically change the look and feel of a room – even if you’re not doing a massive decorating job. And vinyl flooring is an excellent choice for your high-traffic areas.
Sheet vinyl flooring
Sheet vinyl flooring offers a brilliantly diverse range of looks to choose from. Emulate the look of other materials, such as wood, stone or ceramic tiles. And explore interesting designs, including checkerboard (pictured), parquet and brick – all without the fuss of creating these intricate patterns from scratch.
Self-adhesive vinyl tile flooring
Self-adhesive vinyl tiles are perfect if you want to unleash your creativity – they can be laid using a single colour, or mix and match using contrasting colours to create your own unique design. Like sheet vinyl, we offer them in a wide selection of looks and patterns.
Self-adhesive vinyl plank flooring
Our self-adhesive vinyl planks are available in several wood effects, all of which add warmth to any room. Choose from paler shades such as pine, to richer, darker tones like oak. And why not opt for a rustic, more distressed look for a little character?
Luxury Vinyl Click flooring
For a premium vinyl floor option, browse our range of Luxury Vinyl Click flooring. The name refers to the glueless, easy click fitting system reminiscent of that used with laminate flooring. This makes installation simple and straightforward.
Captain’s Luxury Vinyl Highlights
WHAT IS LUXURY VINYL? AND LVT VS LVP?
In the flooring world, luxury vinyl is one of the new kids on the block. Luxury vinyl is the cousin of sheet vinyl and the competitor of laminate.
When someone talks about “vinyl flooring,” they’re most likely talking about sheet vinyl. This is NOT the same a luxury vinyl. Sheet vinyl is has been around for a long time. It’s cheap and water-resistant, but it also doesn’t have a great reputation because it can look and feel cheap.
PROS AND CONS OF LUXURY VINYL
Before we get into what to look for in luxury vinyl, let’s consider if it’s the right flooring for you.
CONS OF LUXURY VINYL:
A Carpet Captain guide wouldn’t be complete without giving you a heads up on the problems you may run into. This isn’t to scare you off from luxury vinyl—all types of flooring have their problems.
Luxury vinyl is a plastic. Most plastics are brittle without chemicals called plasticizers, and often these chemicals are thought to possibly be harmful especially to children and pregnant women. You’ve probably heard similar concerns with the plastic used in drinking bottles, and in Europe, some countries have banned certain plastics in children’s toys.
Vinyl Plank (Luxury Vinyl) Flooring Review: Pros and Cons
Sheet vinyl and vinyl tile have long been favorite flooring materials for kitchens and bathrooms, but it has always been viewed as slightly cheap when compared to other flooring materials. But that is no longer the case with vinyl plank flooring, also known as luxury vinyl flooring (LVF) or luxury vinyl plank flooring (LVP). Rather than a thin layer of very flexible vinyl, vinyl plank flooring is a much thicker flooring material that is fabricated in long planks with a modified tongue-and-groove connection system that snaps together, usually called “click-lock.”
Vinyl plank flooring originally became popular because it mimicked wood plank flooring very convincingly—more so than even plastic laminate flooring. But there has since been an explosion of offerings for vinyl plank flooring, including products that look like ceramic and porcelain, and natural stone like marble or granite. The stone-look products are usually shaped in tiles, rather than planks.
What Is Vinyl Plank Flooring?
At its heart, plank vinyl floor, also called luxury vinyl plank (LVP) or luxury vinyl floor (LVF), is simply vinyl flooring that comes in long, narrow strips rather than the traditional square tile shapes. But structurally this is a different product. Sheet vinyl is generally flexible vinyl with a printed top layer covered by a clear wear layer
Luxury vinyl is therefore almost five times thicker than traditional sheet vinyl, allowing it to be semi-rigid. Rather than being rolled out over the floor and glued down, luxury vinyl planks snap together. Manufacturers of luxury plank flooring offer dozens of different styles to match the distinctive appearance of different wood species—right down to textured surfaces that mimic real wood grain. Plank vinyl floor also tends to have deeper embossing and better graphics, rendering it a closer simulation of wood and stone than previous iterations of sheet vinyl flooring or plastic laminate flooring.
You can even find vinyl planks with a heavily antiqued or distressed look, hand-scraped, dinged, scratched, and peppered with nail holes. But these products are more expensive, since the planks need to be quite thick to handle such deeply textured embossing.