Seven Factors To Consider Before Buying A Vinyl Floor
Vinyl flooring is a popular option among homeowners because it’s durable, easy to maintain and comes in many different styles. However, choosing the right vinyl flooring finish can be tricky because there are several factors that go into determining its quality.
It might be tempting to simply choose the cheapest option, but it’s often far better to invest in quality now than worry about replacing the flooring a few years down the line. If you’re looking for a new home improvement project, read on to learn about how to choose the best vinyl flooring finish for your needs.
Types of vinyl flooring
Vinyl flooring is made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a plastic material from ethylene, which comes from crude oil. Vinyl flooring comes in a variety of colours and patterns, making it an easy and more affordable choice for homeowners. Vinyl flooring often emulates natural textures like wood, tile or stone using a top photographic layer. Natural materials are often expensive and can damage easily, which makes textured vinyl flooring a sensible choice.
There are two main types of vinyl flooring: solid and engineered. Solid vinyl is manufactured with one layer of the material, while engineered floors consist of two layers bonded together to provide extra strength at an affordable price. The quality isn’t denoted by the construction – you can get excellent quality click vinyl and excellent quality solid vinyl.
Click vinyl, or engineered vinyl usually has the edge on quality because of its ease of installation and maintenance. It’s also usually the more affordable option.
Abrasion resistance, durability and life expectancy
Durability is a very important factor in determining the quality of vinyl floor finishes. The finish needs to be thick enough to withstand foot traffic and abrasion without wearing through to the substrate or showing visible signs of wear within normal use.
Some factors that can affect durability outside of standard wear and tear include laying vinyl in particularly high-traffic areas, allowing pets to scratch or attempt to chew the floor, or spilling liquids and not clearing them up.
The abrasion resistance of a vinyl flooring finish is one of its most important properties because it directly affects how long it takes for the surface of your flooring installation to become worn out from foot traffic, pets, children and other factors. This means that if you want something that’s going to hold up well over time, then make sure it has strong abrasion resistance – this usually means having fewer layers between you and your original hardwood floors.
Stain resistance is a big part of what makes a vinyl floor finish last. Vinyl flooring can be damaged by common household stains, food and drink, and pet mess. These three factors can be harmful to vinyl floors because they can seep deeper into the floor.
To resist these types of stains, look for a vinyl floor finish that has been tested in accordance with industry standards. Often websites will claim to be stain, slip or wear-resistant, but it’s important to ensure that the company offers test results to back this up.
Resilience is the ability of flooring to spring back to its original shape after being compressed. The higher the resilience, the more durable a flooring will be. Resilience is usually measured in pounds per square inch (psi) and can be expressed as an absolute measurement or as an upper or lower range.
For example, if your finish has a resilience rating between 20-25 psi, it will withstand heavy traffic but may not perform well under extreme conditions such as walking on it with hard-soled shoes or throwing items across it.
Ease of maintenance
The ease of maintaining your vinyl floor will depend on the type of finish you choose. Some are easier to clean than others, and some can be repaired more easily than others.
If you have a low-gloss or matte-finish product on your floors, it is recommended that you use a professional cleaner with specialised equipment to ensure that it does not damage or dull the finish. This also applies if your product has an abrasion resistance of less than 50% (for example, if it’s not resistant to wear).
Pro-Tek™ flooring can be cleaned with products commonly found in the supermarket. It is also recommended to vacuum your floors weekly so that dust doesn’t get trapped in pores in the vinyl surface and cause scratches or other damage.
When making a decision, think about your lifestyle and where the flooring will be installed. Light flooring hides dust, scratches and pet hair better, but dark wood is better for families with young children. Choosing a mid-toned wood effect will go with most interior design styles.
The cost of vinyl flooring can vary, depending on the type of flooring, the thickness and the type of finish. The cost of vinyl flooring is often less than other types of flooring, and it’s often more hardwearing. Vinyl tiles are priced comparably to ceramic tiles and can be more affordable if you install them yourself.
There are multiple factors that should be considered when determining the quality of vinyl flooring finishes. Consider how it’s made, test results and the durability and life expectancy of your vinyl floors before you make any large financial decisions.