Vinyl floors are a popular option among homeowners, particularly in kitchen and bathroom applications. Vinyl flooring is water-and stain-resistant, versatile, and provides good durability for the cost.
While sheet flooring is more water resistant and is easier to install, many homeowners prefer vinyl tile, which replicates the look of a ceramic tile floor at a more affordable cost.
A vinyl tile floor is often installed in commercial settings where high traffic is a constant, or where a clean or static-free environment is desired. It can also be a versatile and cost effective choice for any household. In the home, vinyl tile flooring is often used where a significant amount of moisture is expected. It is also frequently used in remodels to replace higher maintenance flooring, like carpet.
The makeup of a vinyl tile floor is made in one of two ways. Inlay vinyl tile has multiple layers of the same colored vinyl that are fused together. With inlay tile, the color or pattern goes all the way through to the backing. This is a plus because the color will be the same, even if a layer or two wears away.
“Rotogravure” vinyl tile floors are less expensive than inlaid floors. The tiles in this type of floor have a thin layer of vinyl on top that is colored with vinyl paint and covered with a protective coating. Over time or under extreme amounts of traffic, the layer of vinyl can wear through and the color will be compromised.
Vinyl flooring is durable and stands up well to heavy foot traffic. It is comfortable under foot and reduces noise, which can be important for owners with kids or pets. It is also less expensive than many other flooring options and is easy to install and maintain. Vinyl flooring comes in a broad range of colors and patterns to match every decor, including a variety of lifelike wood grains.
On the other hand, vinyl floors do not stand up well to heavy loads and can be damaged by sharp objects. Also, colors can fade with exposure to too much direct sunlight and floors can be damaged by extreme temperatures. For that reason, vinyl is not recommended for outdoor or indoor/outdoor uses.