How to Pick the Right Vinyl

If you want a great looking floor but don’t want to empty your bank account, think about installing vinyl. It’s cheap, easy to install for the do-it-yourselfer or the trained professional, and it can mimic the appearance of any other floor. Also, it feels great to walk on and it’s highly durable. Vinyl is pretty simple, but there are a couple things you should know.

Tile, Plank, or Roll?
Typically, vinyl either comes in square tiles that range from about 12-18 inches or planks that average 4-6 inches in width and about 4 feet in length. If you’re going for a stone or ceramic look, you’ll probably want the tiles. If you want it to look like a wood floor, planks usually make the most sense. It also might depend on how you want to play with colors and textures. Feel free to get creative to find the look you want! If you have a large area where you don’t want any seams, get a pre-cut roll of vinyl. This can be a great option for the bathroom, mud room, or other high moisture areas.

Application Method
There are three basic vinyl configurations for installation: peel and stick, glue down, and interlocking/floating. If you’re installing the floor yourself, this is mostly a matter of preference. With peel and stick, the adhesive backing is already on the vinyl. You just have to peel the paper off and stick it on. For tile that glues down, you will need to purchase the adhesive separately from the flooring, apply the adhesive to the subfloor, and stick the vinyl down. Floating floors don’t stick to the subfloor. Just interlock the pieces like a puzzle and you’re done!
*Note: No matter what method you choose, make sure the subfloor is clean and free of debris before placing the vinyl down.

Protective Coating
There are three main types of coating found on vinyl. The higher quality the coating, the more durable and more expensive the vinyl will be. For very low traffic areas, go for the no-wax vinyl. This finish is not recommended for areas that see a lot of wear. For medium traffic areas, use a low-gloss urethane vinyl. This can also be used for higher traffic areas if your budget is really tight. The highest quality protective coating is a high-gloss enhanced urethane. This will be the longest-lasting vinyl. If you can get this for the higher traffic areas of the house, it will pay dividends in the future.

That’s about it for vinyl! Once you understand these basic principles, it’s up to you to be the artist with a wealth of different colors, textures, and patterns. It’s time to get to work!

If you are still having trouble, or you want someone to do the work for you, the people at Perfect Flooring can lend a hand!