Vinyl flooring is one of the most versatile flooring materials available. It is manufactured to be highly resistant to moisture, mildew and mold. Today’s vinyl floors are much more resistant to scuffs and scratches and are easy to maintain.
- Printed vinyl flooring is manufactured by placing a paper top coat on a thin vinyl, and then several layers of clear urethane or vinyl are applied to become the protective wear layer. More affordable, but less durable than inlaid vinyl.
- Inlaid vinyl flooring is manufactured by placing minute vinyl granules on the back, then forcing them up to the wear surface, creating varied colours and textures. Vinyl is used through the entire thickness, making it a more durable and heavier option.
- Sheet vinyl comes in rolls of either 6 or 12 feet. This single sheet is rolled out and then cut to fit the dimensions of your floor. In many cases, additional sheets are needed, which creates a seam where the sheets meet.
- SVT, or solid vinyl tile, usually comes various sizes, the most common being 12x12, 12x24 or 12x36 inch squares, or strips of three. Installation requires a smooth surface, and occasionally the addition of a subfloor is recommended. Some SVT comes with a self-stick adhesive backing, but others require the spreading of an adhesive over the existing floor before setting.
- LVT, or luxury vinyl tile, is the most expensive of the three options, but offers the most advanced manufacturing technology. A photograph of the natural product – hardwood, natural stone or ceramic - is transferred directly onto the tile. The process used to manufacture LVT is like that of prefinished hardwood - it is made up of several layers, including a urethane protective wear layer for durability. As it is available in planks, LVT is the most realistic form of vinyl flooring, showcasing natural textures, grains and colours with its 3D imaging.
- EVP, or engineered vinyl plank, is similar to a laminate floor. The top layer is constructed from the same materials as luxury vinyl planks. It is then manufactured together with a dimensionally stable high-density fiberboard (HDF) or medium-density fiberboard (MDF) to form a plank or panel, then fastened to a secure backing.
- Finishes – durability is determined by which type of finish is applied. Generally, the more expensive the vinyl flooring, the more durable the wear layer and thickness is. A vinyl no-wax surface will require polishing over time to retain its luster. Urethane coated finish is more durable and will the daily wear and tear better than no-wax vinyl flooring. The strongest finish is a combination of urethane finish with an enhanced coating such as aluminum oxide.
- Sound Transmission – many vinyl tile and plank floors have the addition of an acoustical cork backing or layer, which provides warmth underfoot and sound reduction within the room, and on the floors below.