During the manufacturing process, vinyl can either be rolled out in sheets or cut into tiles or planks. Sheets of vinyl are usually 6 or 12 feet wide, kept in rolls and sold by length. 12 inches, but thanks to the flexibility of the manufacturing process, can be made bigger or smaller to fit the client’s needs. All of these different types are what make vinyl flooring suitable for a wide variety of room sizes and shapes, which significantly minimizes the amount of waste that’s left after installing. Another advantage of vinyl floors is their softness and slight bounciness.
It might not seem like an important characteristic of a residential floor, but a few days of walking on a vinyl plank floor would definitely change anybody’s mind. Vinyl tiles often have a layer of foam added during the manufacturing process that’s used to cushion the sound more. It makes for a surface that’s much softer than wood and laminate. Softer surfaces are great for crawling babies, clumsy kids and people who spend a lot of time on their feet, as it reduces the pressure on the knees and joints. Caring for floors made from natural materials requires special tools and a lot of time. Vinyl planks are water and stain resistant, so cleaning up after kids or pets requires nothing more than water and a mop.
When installed properly, vinyl planks are perfectly flat with no cracks or dents, which makes sweeping and vacuuming much easier. One of the biggest benefits of vinyl plank floors is that they are fast and easy to install. Most vinyl planks are made to lock into one another and, depending on their backing, can be installed without an adhesive. When installing vinyl planks, the surface rarely needs to be perfectly flat and allows for minor inconsistencies. Therefore, installing vinyl planks is a fast and a relatively hassle-free process, and can be done without removing the existing flooring and furniture from the room. Vinyl flooring installed in high-traffic commercial areas such as shopping malls, schools, and hospitals often come with ten or fifteen years of warranty.
Residential vinyl floors have quality standards very similar to industrial ones, so it’s safe to say it will last you at least a couple of decades. Vinyl planks are produced in a way that makes them water, stain, scratch and scuff resistant, which makes for a very durable floor that takes a lot of time to wear out. VOC stands for volatile organic compounds, and they’re organic chemicals that evaporate at room temperature and release dangerous emissions indoors. These compounds aren’t acutely toxic, but a prolonged exposure may lead to health problems such as asthma, eye and skin irritations, etc. Since 2010, many manufacturers reduced the amount of PVC used in the production of vinyl tiles, but low-end products often come with a high concentration of VOC. Although this is a problem mainly associated with vinyl sheets, vinyl planks can also suffer from this kind of damage. Planks have a much harder surface than sheets of vinyl, but the polyurethane top layer that luxury vinyl tiles have is still easy to dent.
However, a dropped knife will leave a pretty visible, irreparable cut. DIYer may not quite have. Although vinyl planks are probably the least expensive flooring option, they’re often the biggest expense when it comes to home renovating. Any major renovating project significantly raises the resale value of the property, with every renovating expense being an investment. However, investing in a vinyl plank floor will do little to increase the value of the property, as most buyers prefer more premium floors such as wood and stone. When you’re looking for vinyl planks online or in catalogs, planks on both ends of the price spectrum tend to look equally good, and their real life characteristics can’t be easily distinguishable.
There are a few things you should look for in vinyl planks that can help you determine its quality, and avoid buying an overpriced or a substandard product. The most important trait of vinyl planks is their thickness, which also determines their price. So mid to high range planks would be 5-6. Another thing to look for in a vinyl plank is a thick wear layer. A thick wear layer means more polyurethane, which is a lot harder than PVC and offers better protection from scratching and gouging. Luxury vinyl planks are more expensive than the plain variety, because they have a texture almost exactly like real wood or stone. The deeper and more detailed the embossing, the better it is.
Always try to pick a few random planks and check the quality of the texture with your fingers. Although the vinyl itself is pretty durable, the entire plank can easily wear and tear if not made properly. The cheapest vinyl planks usually come with the shortest warranty, and vice versa. It’s recommended you always choose a product at the top of your budget to ensure the best value for your money. Vinyl planks are, on average, by far one of the cheapest types of residential flooring. However, determining the exact cost per square foot can be a bit tricky as there are a lot of factors that determine the price, and each of those factors varies from case to case. To get a rough estimate, you should first know the cost of products on both ends of the price range. Don’t forget that the price per square foot you see is the price for the planks only. This fee includes flooring only. By analyzing this data you can get a pretty good estimate of what the average price of installing this type of flooring will be. When it comes to durability, Luxury Vinyl Tile flooring gets mixed reviews. Vinyl’s ability to resist most environmental factors is what sets it apart from any other type of residential flooring. Vinyl planks are completely water-resistant and can be installed in very humid rooms such as bathrooms, basements or garages. They’re less slippery and much warmer than ceramic tiles or concrete. What makes vinyl planks more desirable than hardwood floors is their ability to resist the wear and tear that comes after a lot of foot traffic.