The foremost decision to be made while undertaking a flooring installation project in your home is the material you want to invest in. From hardwood and vinyl to cork and laminate flooring, there are many choices available. Homeowners looking for an affordable but stylish and durable material often opt for vinyl flooring. However, there are many homeowners who hesitate in using this flooring option for their home. That’s why our vinyl flooring experts in Toronto have come up with this post.
Here are answers to some questions about vinyl that many homeowners ask to give you a head start with your flooring project.
- Why is luxury vinyl flooring highly recommended?
This flooring material is available as sheets, tiles, and luxury vinyl planks. It is highly recommended because of its variety and superior quality. The tiles and planks are accurate and detailed in their imitation of real hardwood or stone
- Why is vinyl called resilient flooring?
“Resilient” refers to a certain amount of elasticity that vinyl flooring has. Vinyl is a firm material which is slightly flexible. Often resilient and vinyl flooring are used interchangeably though it is not the only flooring material that has this property. Other resilient flooring materials include cork, linoleum, and rubber.
- Why should I choose vinyl?
There are several advantages of vinyl flooring, making it a perfect choice for home and commercial areas. It is durable, versatile and available in a variety of styles and textures. This material is suitable for any room including bathroom and kitchen. Moreover, it is easy to maintain, clean, and less likely to need repairs in the future.
- Are linoleum and vinyl the same?
While both vinyl and linoleum are resilient flooring options, they are not the same. Vinyl flooring is made from artificial raw materials such as felt, fibreglass and vinyl while linoleum is produced from various natural products such as linseed oil, resin, cork shavings and wood flour.
- How to determine the quantity of flooring material I need?
It is easy to calculate how much vinyl plank flooring or other variations of vinyl will be needed for your room. First, calculate the total square footage of the room and the square footage of the vinyl planks or tiles. Divide the total area of the room by that of the planks to find the number of the material you will need. While buying the boxes, shop for 5-10% extra material as some may get wasted during the installation for various reasons.
- Are there any drawbacks to vinyl?
The only drawback of luxury vinyl flooring is that it does not add to the value of your home. Over the years, vinyl can get scratched, discoloured and curl up at the edges. However, these troubles can be avoided with periodic maintenance to maximize the lifespan of the flooring.
- What cleaning products are best for vinyl flooring?
Usually, the manufacturer will be able to recommend the right cleaning products for the flooring material you have chosen. In general, luxury vinyl can be cleaned with soap and water and regular sweeping. Avoid using abrasive cleaners and harsh detergents which can lead to discolouration of the floor. Solvent-based polishes and paste wax should also be avoided.
- Can I install luxury vinyl flooring over my existing flooring?
In many cases, homeowners can install luxury vinyl flooring on top of their existing flooring. However, it depends on what type of floor you already have and what is its condition. If your existing flooring is smooth, seamless and tightly sealed, you can install vinyl over it. On the other hand, if your present floor is like sheet vinyl, it is advisable to remove it and then lay the new flooring to avoid imperfections.
- How does vinyl flooring affect the acoustics of the room?
The acoustics of your home is largely influenced by the flooring material you opt for. If your existing flooring is cork or carpet, you will find your living space seems louder than usual after installing vinyl flooring. Compared to other harder surfaces like hardwood and laminate flooring, vinyl is much quieter. For better acoustics, consider thicker LVT along with thick underlayment.
- Which installation mechanism is the best?
You can opt for vinyl click flooring or gluing-down planks and tiles. Both have a few advantages associated with them. The click-lock mechanism is gaining more popularity largely because it is easier to install and can be done without professional help. Gluing down is much stronger and permanent installation method, making it a better choice if you are thinking on a long-term basis.
- Is the surface of vinyl planks textured?
The texture of the planks has a significant impact on the overall aesthetics. Luxury vinyl tiles or planks can have a textured or a smooth surface. The best quality luxury vinyl plank flooring is often textured and styled to accurately replicate the natural products and hence have a suitable texture embossed on the surface. However, while finding the flooring material, make sure the embossed texture is not too deep as it can accumulate dust and dirt and be difficult to maintain.
- What is the thickness of the wear layer?
Vinyl flooring has a wear layer that lies between the printed design and urethane finish. It is a clear protective layer to keep the printed surface from scratches and wear. The thicker this layer, the longer your flooring will last. It can be of varied thickness based on the brand and quality of the product. This layer’s thickness is measured in mil which is 1000th of an inch. Products with wear layer more than 28mil thick are over-engineered which adds to its cost but may not enhance its performance as much. It can be misleading as many people feel products with such high thickness wear layer will fare well in the industrial setting where LVT is not the most suitable option.
- Can vinyl flooring resist scratches and moisture?
Vinyl flooring can resist scratches and dents, and you won’t have to worry about it fading or staining. This is possible as vinyl plank flooring suppliers offer products that come with a customizable wear layer. So, if, for instance, you have children and/or pets, you can choose a thicker wear layer for better protection.
The core of vinyl flooring is a combination of stone plastic composite (SPC) or wood plastic composite (WPC). This makes the material impervious to water, ensuring it can be installed n laundry rooms, basements, kitchens and other areas that may experience damp conditions.
- Which cleaning products can I use on vinyl flooring?
When you shop for vinyl flooring planks, it’s best to talk to the flooring suppliers regarding cleaning products. They will know the exact specifications of each product, so are your best bet to understand which may or may not be suitable.
In general, it’s best to steer clear of abrasive cleaners and harsh detergents, as they may ruin the wear layer and vinyl flooring over time. Also, never use solvent-based polishes or paste wax.
- Can I use a steam mop to clean vinyl floors?
Our vinyl plank flooring suppliers and experts recommend not using heat, as intense temperatures can make vinyl unstable.
- Should vinyl flooring be installed in homes with pets?
Thanks to its protective coatings and wear layer, vinyl flooring resists scratches well. However, the quality of the product you choose and the thickness of the wear layer will determine how well it will stand up to everyday activities. Moreover, vinyl dampens sound, which can minimize the sound of your pet’s nails. Its waterproof quality allows for easy cleanup in case of accidents too.
- Should I supervise the installation of my vinyl flooring?
Property owners need to verify that the correct product is delivered to their property. So, it’s a good idea to be home on the first day of the vinyl flooring installation. It will also help you understand the scope of the installer’s work, including how long it might take. Moreover, there are often minor decisions that need to be made during the installation process.
So, if you’re planning to stay elsewhere during the installation, make sure you leave your contact information and check back regularly to remain up to date on the progress.
- Do luxury vinyl planks expand and contract with changes in temperature and humidity?
No. Luxury vinyl planks do not expand or contract like real wood, even in areas that experience hot or cold temperatures.
However, make sure the product is purchased from reputable vinyl plank flooring suppliers and installed by professionals. In this way you will receive the highest quality products and the installation will be done meticulously.
- Is vinyl suitable for installation beneath kitchen appliances?
When you shop for vinyl flooring from a reputable supplier, your product will offer superior durability. Besides resisting cracks, dents and scratches, vinyl flooring has a waterproof core that offers protection against the water damage that may occur in this area. This makes vinyl a suitable option for flooring beneath kitchen appliances.
- What are the differences between luxury vinyl tile, luxury vinyl planks, and sheet vinyl?
When you shop for vinyl flooring at reliable stores, you will come across various types. Luxury vinyl tile, luxury vinyl planks and sheet vinyl are the most popular.
The only major difference between luxury vinyl tile (LVT) and luxury vinyl planks (LVP) is that they are cut into different shapes. Also, LVT is typically made to mimic the look and feel of tile, while LVP is manufactured to look and feel like wood. Finally, sheet vinyl flooring is made using a long and continuous product that is attached to the subfloor.
Homeowners looking for a cost-effective flooring material often turn to vinyl flooring but are apprehensive of the investment, particularly if they have never experienced vinyl flooring before. Hopefully, the answers to these questions have helped you in clarifying your doubts as a buyer. If you are planning to visit the store soon, having these answers will help you to quickly decide the right choice for your home.