When most people think vinyl flooring, they conjure up images of supermarket style industrial vinyl tiles or cheap linoleum products. That just isn’t the case, anymore. In fact, the newest generation of luxury vinyl tile, vinyl plank flooring, and vinyl sheet flooring is as durable and attractive as any other flooring material on the market. And because they remain some of the easiest flooring materials to install, luxury vinyl tile and other vinyl flooring products are a favorite of weekend handymen, as well.
Luxury Vinyl Tile Style
What sets today’s luxury vinyl tile apart from the vinyl of days past is appearance. The hokey designs and limited options of yesteryear are history. New vinyl flooring mimics any of a number of other flooring materials and does it so well that most people can’t tell the difference between it and the real thing. Vinyl flooring can be purchased to look like hardwoods, stone, ceramic tile, metal flooring, bamboo, marble, and even inlayed hardwood medallions and borders. The truth is there’s an imitation vinyl tile, plank, or sheet out there to match just about any flooring material you desire.
Installing Luxury Vinyl Tile
Besides the almost limitless design possibilities of vinyl flooring, its easy installation also wins a lot of homeowners over. Like with any flooring material, it’s important that you make sure you have a level and clean surface to lay the floor down on. Beyond that, all you have to be competent at to lay vinyl tile, planks, or sheets is applying adhesive and measuring and marking some beginning reference lines to ensure your tile gets laid down straight. And with vinyl tile and vinyl plank flooring that is self-adhering, you don’t even need to know that. All you’ve got to do is peel off the protective covering on the back of the tile, lay the tile down, and use a roller or rolling pin to set your new tiles in place.
Luxury Vinyl Tiles vs. Vinyl Plank Flooring vs. Vinyl Sheet Flooring
If and when you start shopping for vinyl flooring, you’re sure to run into the three main types of vinyl flooring materials: tiles, planks, and sheets. Luxury vinyl tile is your best option if you want a floor that resembles any variety of stone or ceramic tile or if you are going for more contemporary colored vinyl tile designs. Vinyl plank flooring, on the other hand, is most common with imitation hardwoods and bamboo and is really just a long, rectangular tile, cut to resemble a wood plank. By staggering these vinyl planks just as you would the planks of a hardwood floor, you’ll end up with a floor that fools even the experts at first glance. And if you’re just looking for an economical, quick flooring installation, such as is common in laundry rooms, entryways, and other utility areas, vinyl sheet flooring is still the quickest, cheapest, and easiest to install of the bunch.
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Maintaining Luxury Vinyl Tile
Once your new tile, vinyl plank flooring, or vinyl sheet flooring is installed, all that’s left is taking care of it so that it lasts as long as possible. Depending on the traffic over the floor, you have the choice of leaving the floor unprotected (not suggested) or applying urethanes of varying strengths. A protective urethane not only protects the floor from heavy foot traffic but also against the scrapes, tears, and scratches that can be caused by everything from sliding chairs to the family dog. Combine a good protective coating with a regular regimen of sweeping and light mopping to pick up the dirt that gets tracked in on a regular basis, and your new vinyl floor should last you for years to come. If vinyl flooring sounds like the right match for you, talk to a vinyl flooring supplier or a flooring contractor experienced in laying vinyl flooring products about getting your materials ordered and your flooring installation underway.