In the flooring world, there has always been a vinyl tile in one form or another. Today, the vinyl tile category continues to remain popular today, and continues to be the fastest growing market segment with double digit growth last year. LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile), which offers 3D printing technology which adds depth and realism, durability, with a high performance wear-layer to a vinyl tile product. LVT offers the option of a less permanent floor than wood or ceramic tile, especially with the growing popularity of floating LVT floors. When a consumer selects a wood or ceramic floor, they should really be in love with it, as it will probably be in the home for a very long time. Whereas, LVT offers the option of changing the room design much easier.
More Flooring Options…
- Hardwood Flooring
- Cork Flooring
- Laminate Flooring
- Ceramic Flooring
- Stone Tile
- Natural Stone Flooring
- Agglomerate Flooring
- Area Rugs
- Stained Concrete
The term Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT), is not recognized as a separate flooring category by ASTM, but it is a term that is known all over the flooring industry. ASTM International, is an international standards organization that develops and publishes voluntary consensus technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems, and services.
Luxury Vinyl Tile floors are a durable, affordable and attractive alternative to ceramic tile, natural stone and hardwood. Patterns can be created for a modern look with metallic styles or traditional looks with travertine and slate looks.
Advantages to these floors include:
Ease on joints
More quiet underfoot than most hard surfaces
Easy to maintain
Available in wide variety of styles, colors and sizes
Commercial and residential use
Real wood, tile and stone looks
Easier installation than ceramic or stone
Maybe you’ve never heard of resilient/vinyl flooring and just clicked here out of curiosity.
Maybe you’re aware of it and want to learn more. Or maybe buying resilient/vinyl flooring for your home is a done deal and you’re shopping for ideas and applications.
We want you to know all about the flooring called resilient/vinyl.
Whether it’s at our store or here in our website, we want you to understand, learn, experience — know — as much about resilient/vinyl as you need to. We call on our experience to provide you with valuable information, delivered in an easy to understand way, so you make the smartest decisions for you, your family and home.
First, allow us to clear up some of the terminology so you can be a smarter shopper in this category of flooring.
Resilient floors, as the name implies, have some “give” or elasticity when you walk across them. Resilient floors are often used in kitchens and baths because of their good looks, resistance to moisture and wide variety of colors and textures.
These floors are relatively easy to keep clean. Their main enemy is grit or sand that can be ground into the surface. (Don’t worry, we’ll tell you how to maintain them in the Maintenance section.)
No matter which resilient floor you choose, you will find stylish options, high performance and tremendous value.
You can completely customize your floor by mixing contrasting colors patchwork style, creating medallions or curved cuts that express your unique vision and personality. Let your imagination run free!
Now, some resilient floors are vinyl but not all vinyl floors are resilient.
However, the most common type of resilient flooring is vinyl, which is why most of the sections in this part of the website are labeled Vinyl.
There are two types of vinyl flooring: sheet vinyl and vinyl composition tiles (VCT).
For our purposes here, and throughout the rest of the sections, we will refer to sheet vinyl simply as vinyl, or vinyl flooring.
VCT has all the advantages of vinyl, is available in a wide array of colors and can look good anywhere.
Spare vinyl composition tiles can be kept on hand to repair worn areas, and the VCT format opens up unlimited possibilities for creating your own unique patterns.
However, vinyl flooring also offers you many tempting advantages.
In fact, no other floor covering category offers you the selection, styling, ease of maintenance and value as a vinyl floor!
Thanks to some great advancements in styling and technology, vinyl floors have been changed forever. Vinyl flooring can now realistically mimic the look and textures of real resilient, stone and wood grain patterns.
These amazing replicas have such incredible realism it is difficult for most people to tell whether it’s the real thing or not. Who needs to know, right?
Finally, a note about linoleum, which is not a resilient flooring but the one you probably recall as the original kitchen and bath flooring.
While linoleum, because it is a “natural” flooring material, is enjoying somewhat of a renaissance, the most popular floor covering material in this category is vinyl.
A look at how vinyl is manufactured.
Today, living an entire day without vinyl is virtually impossible.
Products made of vinyl package our food and drink, trim out every car built and protect millions of professional and weekend athletes.
With such a total presence in our lives, one would think the manufacturing of vinyl flooring would consist of a simple, age-old process, repeated as needed. Well, think again.
The production of vinyl flooring uses highly sophisticated techniques, complex methods and precise systems.
All to provide you with beautiful high quality, high performing vinyl flooring.
Recently, a newer process has been developed that offers you even more beautiful, durable and fashionable choices.
We invite you to read on and build your knowledge as we explain how vinyl flooring is made.
Who knows, what you learn here and in the other vinyl sections just may turn your home into one decorated with one of life’s most popular products.
The rotogravure process spins out unlimited choices.
The rotogravure printing process is the most commonly used method for making residential vinyl floors.
It offers you unlimited possibilities in pattern and design.
The rotogravure process involves a print cylinder that spins around while the vinyl’s core layer (called the gel coat) passes underneath.
The cylinder systematically prints various colored ink dyes to create the pattern.
After the print dyes are set a clear wearlayer is applied to the surface.
The appearance retention of a rotogravure vinyl floor is dependent on the durability of the clear wearlayer.
Know this about vinyl flooring.
The wearlayer is absolutely critical to the performance of your vinyl floor.
The thickness of the wearlayer varies with each vinyl product collection, or series, and is generally measured in mils.
The thickness of a mil is about the same as a page in your telephone book.
So a 10-mil wearlayer would be comparable in thickness to about 10 pages of your telephone book.
Generally, the more expensive vinyl floors have thicker wearlayers.
Your expectations for how long your vinyl floor will look new and attractive are based on the wearlayer’s performance.
To help you understand wearlayer capabilities we need to define what the performance characteristics are that you are looking for in a vinyl floor.
These performance characteristics can be divided into several areas:
Easy to clean
Stays looking like new
Resists staining from normal household products
Doesn’t show scratches easily
Easy to clean up spills
The easy to clean characteristic relates to how tough it is to remove soiling and other marks from the floor’s surface.
When a floor begins to look old and drab it is usually caused by hundreds of fine hairline scratches in the wearlayer.
These fine scratches come from dirt, grit and sand laying on the wearlayer’s surface.
However there’s good news. The new generation of vinyl floors has all the ingredients to resist showing wear and staining.
Plus all the beauty, style and value to certainly put vinyl in the running as a potential flooring for your home and home life.
Luxury vinyl flooring is a layered product construction. The base layer is made primarily of PVC vinyl, which offers flexibility as well as dimensional stability. The decorative PVC film is laid on top of the base layer. The wearlayer is typically a clear vinyl wearlayer and may or may not include a urethane coating that provides superior protection from everyday wear and tear.
There are many advantages to using Luxury Vinyl Tile products. They include the following:
Softer and quieter underfoot;
Easy to clean and maintain;
Available in a wide variety of styles, colours and sizes;
Commercial and residential use;
Realistic wood, tile and stone looks;
Some tiles have the option of grouting for even more realism;
Easier installation than ceramic or stone;
Able to replace an individual tile or plank.
Clearly, Luxury Vinyl is a flooring product category that offers something for everyone!
This concludes our section on how vinyl is made.
If you’re looking for flooring that offers many distinctive choices, built-in beauty and easy care, plus hard to beat value, this product should be on your shopping list.
Things to know about today’s versatile vinyl styles
Maybe your vision of vinyl is a little dated. If, when you hear vinyl flooring, you see a small choice of colors and a lack of interesting patterns, allow us to paint a totally different picture.
Today, vinyl flooring has joined the ranks of tile, laminate and carpeting in offering you beautiful products, a broad spectrum of colors, virtually endless patterns and configurations – options to inspire and fire your imagination.
Given that, the goal today is to determine what combination of aesthetics, style and performance best fit your vinyl flooring budget.
To help with that, and make you a smarter, more knowledgeable shopper, we created this section.
It’s all about vinyl flooring style tips, the advantages and benefits of vinyl, factors to consider when decorating with vinyl and more.
Please read on and build your knowledge base on this traditional product that has been transformed into true contemporary flooring.
You’ll be floored by today’s vinyl.
Today’s vinyl flooring has truly advanced from that of yesterday.
Long gone are the shiny, plastic-looking floors that easily dented and ripped.
There is now a broad selection of fashionable colors, patterns and textures that offer durability and easy maintenance.
Many of these stylish new products emulate the look of natural stone, slate or ceramic tile and can fit into any budget.
Vinyl is on the move throughout the home.
Traditionally, vinyl flooring has been found in your kitchen, bath or laundry room areas.
This is because vinyl is a practical, functional and fashionable option for today’s active households.
Vinyl is also known to be cushiony and warm underfoot in comparison to natural stone or ceramic tile.
But now, thanks to innovations in design and performance, vinyl flooring is at home in any room in your home. So factor that into your planning.
With vinyl it’s easy in and easy out.
If replacing any flooring may be in your future, keep vinyl in mind.
Vinyl floors are much easier to remove than a grouted ceramic tile or natural stone floor.
This could potentially save you time and money in the long run if and when replacement is a possibility.
As you buy up, the benefits escalate.
As you move up in the vinyl flooring price range there are many benefits.
In terms of product selection alone, more versatile patterns, colors and textures will be available to you.
When talking about performance, today’s premium wearlayers offer superior resistance to stains, scuffs and scratches. That’s worth noting if you live in an active household, or with kids or pets.
Some premium wearlayers are enhanced with aluminum oxide, which provides exceptional resistance to scratching.
More importantly, these wearlayers make clean up a breeze. Make your life a little easier.
You’ll also notice that, as you move up, you’ll get enhanced performance constructions, designed to protect your floor from rips, tears, gouges and permanent indentations.
Know this: style is determined by two sizes.
When selecting a vinyl pattern, you want to consider the size of the room and the size of the pattern.
The decorating rule of thumb still applies to vinyl flooring in relation to room size and color.
Lighter flooring colors will make a smaller room appear larger, while darker colors will absorb the light and create a more intimate setting.
When working with vinyl flooring pattern sizes, a smaller pattern works well in small areas or in rooms where the pattern will be visually interrupted with pieces of furniture, or a kitchen island.
However, keep in mind that larger flooring patterns can sometimes actually visually expand a room.
Be aware of your surroundings.
When considering vinyl flooring styles you’ll also want to consider any printed fabric on your furniture or wallpaper in the room.
If the fabric or wallpaper is a large-scale print you’ll want to look at smaller patterns for the floor.
Conversely, if you have a small-scale pattern in the fabric or wallpaper you’ll want a larger pattern for the floor.
Take a shine to understanding gloss.
Vinyl flooring products come in a selection of gloss levels to suit your needs.
Generally speaking, the lower the gloss level, the more forgiving your floor will be to the daily wear of foot traffic. Choose your gloss level accordingly.
Style is unique, personal and individual.
That’s good. Because today’s vinyl flooring is all that and more. It’s one of the most popular and most economical flooring choices on the market. And if this product is on your shopping list we invite you to read more, know more about it, in the other vinyl sections.
Luxury vinyl tile comes in a variety of styles, shapes and colours. The different types of styles include:
Tile and stone looks
Grout option or no grout option
An advantage to Luxury Vinyl Flooring is the ability to install modular patterns. Different tiles can be combined, different planks can be combined as well as tiles and planks can be combined.
Special knowledge about unique resilient products.
If you’ve been through all the vinyl flooring sections and still haven’t found the product for you, maybe you require something more specialized.
That’s why we created this section. Within it you’ll discover four different and distinct products that really are in a class by themselves.
All are beautiful, stylish and have their own personality – to create a special feeling and atmosphere in your home.
All are resilient floors, that means, as the name implies, they have some “give” or elasticity when you walk across them.
We invite you to browse through these Specialty Products and, who knows, maybe there’s one here that will capture a special place in your heart.
And in your home.
Linoleum: Today’s linoleum is a far cry from the flooring you crawled around on in your mother’s kitchen.
It’s enjoying renewed popularity as a flooring choice because it is made of natural ingredients. So you may take a natural liking to it.
These natural ingredients include linseed oil, cork, limestone, wood flour and tree resins.
An advantage to you is the fact that the color in linoleum goes all the way through, making it extremely wearable and durable.
Another reason for linoleum’s renaissance is that, while it normally comes in sheets, it can be hand-cut for intricate patterning and one-of-a-kind artistry.
Thus it’s very customizable, giving you wide freedom to express yourself.
Linoleum is a quiet, warm surface that cushions your feet and requires minimal maintenance, although it may scuff or mark if not kept well polished.
Its main nemesis is dirt, grit or sand that can be ground into the surface. Utilize walk-off mats or rugs whenever possible. And sweep clean.
Linoleum can be wiped with water but should not be left wet
Cork: for those who want to uncork something special.
Beautiful and unique, warm and inviting, cork flooring commands attention, discussion and a typical question: what kind of floor is that?
Read on and you can easily answer that question, and more; impress friends and neighbors alike.
Cork is actually the bark of a tree commonly known as Cork Oak. Predominantly found in Portugal and Spain, Cork Oak is native to the Mediterranean region.
The bark naturally splits every 9 to 15 years and can be safely harvested causing no harm to the tree. That’s good news for the environment.
The bark re-grows and the cycle continues on for years and years. Some Cork Oak trees have been known to live up to 500 years.
Cork flooring can be a viable alternative for any room in your home.
It is a natural product, so even if finished in color or left natural, it will show variations in characteristics, tones and shades from tile to tile.
Cork flooring is installed much like a hardwood floor in that, once installed, a urethane coating is applied.
However, cork flooring is much warmer than wood as well as being durable and forgiving.
You should know that cork flooring is warm to walk on and extremely quiet with natural sound absorbing qualities. It’s also naturally hypoallergenic and naturally resistant to mold and mildew. Great advantages one and all.
Maintaining a cork floor depends on the type of finish, but it is usually treated like wood, which means sweeping or vacuuming regularly to keep it grit-free.
Wipe up spills promptly, and only use cleansers that are recommended by the flooring manufacturer.
Cork flooring can be wiped with a barely damp cloth and towel-dried.
Never wet mop.
Waxed cork needs occasional re-waxing and buffing to preserve its beauty.
Rubber: allow us to bounce this knowledge off you.
Today rubber flooring can be purchased in a wide array of handsome, clear colors to match your home and its personality.
Stud rubber flooring is available in either sheet or tile form.
Rubber floors offer you and your home a variety of benefits. Rubber flooring is extremely durable, virtually indestructible, quiet and warm to walk on.
It is also very good at resisting dents and stains and its waterproof surface has an anti-slip finish.
However, rubber is a relatively expensive flooring choice and must be installed by an experienced installer for maximum performance.
But if it’s truly unique you’re after, and a sure-fire conversation starter, rubber flooring is an idea well worth bouncing around.
Specialty Resilient: two great ideas in one floor.
Recently, manufacturers have begun selling a new product that offers the benefits of resilient flooring with the look and feel of real ceramic tile or wood.
Called specialty resilient, this flooring material is made of vinyl and aluminum oxide.
The result is a lightweight, durable floor that creates less strain on your back and legs. And who wouldn’t appreciate that?
Like resilient flooring, specialty resilient flooring is applied with a mastic over a sound subfloor.
This product is available in residential grades and comes in many patterns and designs based on stone, granite, marble and exotic wood grains.
Just imagine the possibilities in your home.
Basic product sizes are 16″ x 16″ and 17″ x 17″.
Certain types of specialty resilient flooring can even be grouted to virtually guarantee the ceramic tile look.
Now you know about Specialty Products.
One thing is certain, these flooring products are all very unique and definitely out of the mainstream. If that seems to describe you, your lifestyle and living space, welcome home.
Useful knowledge prior to buying vinyl flooring.
Click here for a full size video
If you’re a smart vinyl shopper you’ve checked out the other sections on vinyl and may be getting close to buying this popular and versatile flooring.
You’ve learned that the vinyl flooring of yesterday is long gone and newer, better performing vinyl flooring is underfoot today.
In this section we’ll introduce you to product insights, performance considerations, construction points and installation tips about vinyl flooring you should be aware of before you buy.
We’ll also provide a list of possible costs you should keep in mind; costs that go beyond the basic price per square foot.
Today’s vinyl flooring offers wall-to-wall benefits.
The vinyl offered today is quite different than the vinyl of yesterday.
Advances in construction and aesthetics have produced fashionable products that are both durable and affordable.
You should know that many of the popular patterns today are inspired by nature, including those that imitate the exquisite look of natural stone.
With an abundance of patterns and new methods of texturing the surface, very realistic vinyl looks have been achieved.
Vinyl flooring brings to mind the layer cake.
Vinyl is constructed of several different layers: the wear layer, the printed or decorative layer, an inner core consisting of a foam and vinyl layer, and a backing.
Don’t automatically pick thick.
When selecting your vinyl flooring, thicker is not always better.
It’s the density of the inner core that will help your floor resist rips, tears, gouges and indentations.
Above all, concentrate on the top layer.
Understand that the quality of the wearlayer, which is the actual surface layer of the floor, will determine how your floor will stand up to staining, scuffing and scratching.
For example, a urethane wearlayer will help with stain resistance.
We recommend you consult with us about the wearlayer that’s right for your home and lifestyle.
Study and know local traffic patterns.
When selecting the right vinyl for the rooms in your home, consider the room’s foot traffic and the types of activities that will take place.
Ask us to review with you the manufacturer’s warranty and performance characteristics of the products that are available.
Usually, extended warranties are available with upgraded products, giving you added confidence that your floor will stand up to your active household.
Here’s the line on seams.
Since vinyl comes in 6’ and 12’ widths, seaming may be necessary depending on the area to be covered.
Certain patterns will hide seams better. For example, tile patterns with grout lines are better able to mask seams.
Additionally, seam sealers may be visible in contrast with different vinyl textures and finishes.
Be aware that it is your responsibility to maintain caulking in heavy water use areas.
Get on top of the bottom line. Know the entire cost of ownership.
The “cost per square foot” of your vinyl floor is just one component of the entire project cost. To ensure there are no surprises, and the vinyl you select fits within your overall project budget, be sure to ask us to calculate the total cost of your floor covering project.
Here’s a list of potential additional expenses you may incur:
Demolition/disposal of old floor covering. Depending on the existing floor covering, this can be an expensive item; also, be sure to include the cost to dispose of the old floor covering.
Subfloor preparation. Depending on the condition of the subfloor, it may require additional work.
Vinyl installation. Determine the cost per square foot to install it.
Materials required to complete the installation. Your new vinyl floor may require additional materials to install it properly.
Vinyl is one of America’s favorite floors, due to its unbeatable offering of design choices, durability and value. With the added knowledge from this section we hope we’ve made it a popular possibility for your home.
Tips for Vinyl, LVT and Vinyl Variant Flooring
These floors should not be used in high moisture areas.
Typically, these floors should not be installed over existing resilient floors.
When using radiant heat flooring, the substrate should not exceed 85°F.
If not installed properly, the floors can look unsightly and not wear properly.
These floors can scratch and indentations can be made.
It is recommended that these floors not be exposed to too much sunlight. Drapes and window coverings are recommended during peak sunlight hours.
Hot items like cigarettes and matches can burn the floors.
What to know before the installers arrive.
If you’re like many shoppers, you can just picture your new vinyl flooring, all beautifully installed, clean and promising – an inviting new stage upon which life in your home will now unfold.
Well, don’t lose that picture but do be prepared.
Being prepared and involved will help insure that the installation process is done smoothly and efficiently, and, hopefully, eliminate expressions of “I wish I’d known that.”.
Knowing what to expect will be a lot less stressful on you, your family and your home.
To that point, we’ve built this section around many of the things you should be aware of, plan ahead about, and carefully consider before your new vinyl flooring arrives.
Our first tip is about who should do the installation.
Now, you may be wondering if you could install your vinyl floor. Well, allow us to answer that right up front.
That way you can be assured of a beautiful, efficient and correct installation.
However, while installing vinyl flooring is a skill that is developed through years of experience, your understanding of the basics of installation will increase your knowledge of the process, and enhance your confidence in the professionals working in your home.
To begin, the installers get to the bottom of things.
As with most flooring products, the first step is to prepare the substrate, the surface on which the vinyl flooring will be laid.
If installing over a wood substrate, an underlayment will generally be necessary.
Installing over a concrete substrate will not require an underlayment but will require some floor preparation.
You will need to give attention to the height of your appliances to counters and cabinets if an underlayment is required.
Moisture testing for installations over concrete is required by manufacturers, so please understand that if your installers perform that task.
Can you install new vinyl flooring over existing vinyl flooring?
In some cases, yes. This is where employing qualified flooring professionals really pays off.
They can determine if your existing vinyl flooring is acceptable or if it will need to be removed.
Three methods are used to install vinyl flooring depending on manufacturer and style: Full Spread, Perimeter Adhered or Floating.
Full Spread means the adhesive is trowled over the entire substrate.
Perimeter Adhered is an installation method in which adhesive is only applied to the perimeter of the flooring and also at the seams.
Floating is a type of installation in which the vinyl flooring is not bonded to the substrate by any adhesive.
Your beautiful new vinyl floor will be professionally installed using one of those three methods.
What to know and do before installation day
Your furniture is priority one.
Remove all furniture and other objects and materials from the areas where the installation will take place. Some installers will move your furniture, but there may be an additional charge for doing so.
Before moving, you’ll also need to empty the contents of china cabinets, closets and the like.
Be aware that the area of installation must be climate controlled (heated or air conditioned). Indoor humidity should be maintained between 45-65%.
Make a decision on your old floor covering.
Please consider how your old floor covering will be taken up and disposed of. This can be a time consuming task. We recommend that you check with us about the cost and the method of disposal.
If you prefer to remove your present floor covering, do it at least one day prior to arrival of your vinyl product to allow for cleanup and floor preparation. If removing old carpet, please leave tack strips in place and pull the staples out of the floor from the original pad.
What’s to be done with the trim?
In many cases, moldings and baseboards need to be removed for vinyl installation. Your installer may do this but at an additional charge and they will probably not be responsible for damage or breakage due to dry or brittle wood.
Painted baseboards, woodwork and paint may need retouching after the installation is complete. If necessary, this is your responsibility.
Next area is the subflooring.
Your existing subfloor may need to be prepared to receive the vinyl, or a new subfloor may be required. We suggest you discuss this with us and, if subfloor work is necessary, that it be done by qualified professionals. It is important that the subfloor be as clean and level as possible.
Get in the know about the clean-up.
Installing new vinyl will produce waste. Usually these materials are collected by your installer and left at your trash collection site. Check with us before the day of installation so you’re clear about the clean up, if there are added costs to do so, and ask about the plan for vinyl remnants.
What to know and do during installation day
Be home on the big day.
Be prepared to be at home the day of installation and be available in case the installation crew has questions. Your presence will insure that the correct vinyl is installed in the right areas. Because it is difficult to estimate the length and circumstances of each job, some installers may not be able to give you an exact time of arrival. We suggest you be flexible and keep in touch with us.
Keep safety top of mind.
Your installers will use a variety of tools and techniques that can make the work area hazardous. Please make sure that your children and pets are kept out of the work area on installation day.
Walk through and ask questions.
We recommend that, prior to the completion of the installation, you walk through the job with the chief installer. This will give you the opportunity to ask questions and be clear on any final details.
What to know and do after installation day
Time and temp are key.
For a minimum of 24 hours after your new vinyl floor is installed, protect all the seamed areas, don’t walk on them or the seam sealer.
Keep the room at 68° F or greater for at least 2 days after installation to allow the adhesives to setup properly.
If you are sensitive to dust and odors, good ventilation should be established for 48 to 72 hours after installation.
If your vinyl floor was installed using the Full Spread method, no appliances should be moved in for a minimum of 24-72 hours after installation. Light foot traffic is allowed after 24 hours.
If the Perimeter Adhered installation method was utilized, no appliances should be moved in for a minimum of 24-72 hours after installation. Light foot traffic is allowed after 24 hours.
If the installers used the Floating method, appliances can be moved in immediately and foot traffic is OK immediately following installation.
When you are ready to move appliances back into the room, an underlayment type of product such as plywood or particleboard with a minimum thickness of 3/8,” placed on the new flooring prior to moving the appliances, will greatly reduce any mishaps.
Do not rely on the wheels that may be attached to the refrigerator to move the appliance back in as they can cause damage to the new floor.
Allow 5 days before thoroughly washing your floor. This will give time for the adhesive to cure.
When it comes to preparing for your vinyl flooring installation, we want you to know. Know all about those things that will make the installation as smooth and efficient as possible. So that the picture of the vinyl flooring you have in your mind today will come true, and stay true for many years.
Flooring, no matter how new or beautiful, is meant to be walked upon. Vinyl flooring is no exception. Time and the onslaught of foot traffic will most certainly take its toll. But take heart, keeping your vinyl flooring as beautiful and inviting as the day it was installed just requires a little knowledge.
So check out the following advice and be a little smarter about smart and stylish vinyl flooring.
Consistency is the key.
New vinyl floors are extremely durable and long lasting, but like any floor covering they still need regular maintenance to stay looking like new.
Follow these general guidelines for vinyl flooring. For more detailed information always refer to the manufacturer’s written floor care procedures.
Know this about time and temperature.
For the first 24 hours after your new vinyl floor is installed, protect all the seamed areas and don’t walk on the seam sealer.
Keep the room at 68° F or greater for at least 2 days after installation to allow the adhesives to setup properly.
Do not roll heavy objects directly on to a newly installed vinyl floor for at least 5 days. This can cause the vinyl and adhesive to become compressed, and once the adhesive sets up any compressed marks will become permanent.
Allow 5 days before thoroughly washing your floor. This will give the adhesive time to cure.
It’s smart to spread your weight around.
Before moving heavy objects across your vinyl floor, hold on! Always lay plywood or underlayment sheets down to disperse the weight.
Before placing chairs or furniture on your new vinyl floor check the condition of all the casters or rollers before setting them on your floor. Replace any worn casters or rollers.
Protect your vinyl floor by covering the legs of furniture with felt protectors.
Get down and dirty with dirt.
Remove dust, sand and grit particles frequently by sweeping or vacuuming your vinyl floor.
Don’t use a vacuum with a beater bar as it may scratch your floor.
The attachments that come with your vacuum are useful to clean the edges or to get to hard to reach areas
When sweeping or vacuuming does not remove the dirt, mop the floor with clean warm water.
Rinse the floor thoroughly with fresh water. If water alone does not clean the surface, use cleaning products recommended by the manufacturer.
If you are unable to determine the manufacturer’s recommendations, use one tablespoon of liquid dish washing detergent to one quart of water.
Or use one tablespoon of clear ammonia to one quart of lukewarm water. Make sure you rinse the surface to avoid leaving behind a film.
Finally, think prevention. Place non-staining, walk-off mats or rugs at every outside entry to your room.
This will help keep sand and grit from being tracked on to your floor in the first place.
Just be sure to avoid using rubber-backed mats or rugs as they can damage and potentially discolor your floor.
Instead use mats or rugs made especially for vinyl floors and remember to treat them accordingly. Shake, shake, shake!
Spills happen. Use these tips.
For spots or spills, wipe them up immediately and use a clean cloth to wipe the cleaner onto the floor.
Make sure the floor’s manufacturer recommends the cleaner and that the product label indicates “self-cleaning,” meaning you will not get an accumulation of wax on your floor.
Rinse the spot or spill area thoroughly and wipe dry with a clean cloth.
Avoid using abrasive scrubbing tools as they will leave scratches.
Never use abrasive cleaners, soaps, paste waxes, or solvents on your vinyl floor
How to get the old sparkle back.
If your floor becomes dull looking, first, try cleaning it with lukewarm water and clear ammonia to see if there’s a film on your floor causing the dullness. (Exact proportions of water to ammonia are stated above.)
If that doesn’t work, use the manufacturer’s recommended floor polish to restore your vinyl floor to its original gloss level.
If you purchased a PVC vinyl floor you should consider placing 2-3 coats of the manufacturer’s recommended floor polish on the floor immediately.
Any vinyl floor with a PVC wearlayer will show scuffs, scratches and other marks very easily. By adding the coats of floor polish you will make the floor easier to maintain.
For serious damage, call on the pros.
If you have a seam open, cover it immediately, do not wash that area, and contact us for a vinyl floor covering professional to repair the seam.
If your floor gets a cut or gouge in it, cover the area immediately and call us. A professional installer can repair the area, but if the cut is filled with dirt it may be difficult to repair correctly.
For more maintenance information specific to your vinyl flooring, remember to consult the manufacturers’ recommendations.
You can’t avoid wear on your vinyl flooring, but knowing how to care for and maintain it can keep you floor in beautiful condition and make it a source of pride for years to come.
Floors should never be flooded with water or be allowed to have standing water. This can loosen the adhesive.
Care should be taken with heavy furniture and appliances. Furniture protectors should be used that are at least 2” in diameter. The hard and small buttons sometimes found on the bottom of chairs and other pieces of furniture should be removed. High heeled shoes also apply here.
Protect the floors from dirt and grit that can be tracked in by using walk off mats at every entrance.
Do not use rubber backed mats. Certain rubber compounds can permanently stain vinyl.
Never use vinegar, acetone or lacquer thinner to clean these floors.
For extreme staining like nail polish , paint, dye and permanent markers try applying fingernail polish remover that contains acetone, but is not pure acetone with a soft cloth and gently rub.
Spills should be removed immediately.
The floor should be swept, dust mopped or vacuumed on a regular basis.
Stubborn rubber heel marks can be removed with a soft cloth dampened with mineral spirits.
When the floor gets build up, consult the with the manufacturer’s recommended cleaner system to see if a stripper is available.
Resilient floors are very sturdy. Even so, they can become scratched, stained, or gouged, and they may develop bumps, bubbles, or curled edges. Although most have surfaces protected by a wear layer, heavy foot traffic or the constant movement of furniture can cause wear patterns. Keeping resilient floors clean saves them from damage by ground-in dirt particles, which wear away the surface over time.
Colors and patterns can also fade if the sun shines directly on them for too long, which makes them a poor choice for areas of the house that may receive a lot of sun. In addition to this, moisture can cause sheet vinyl to work loose around the edges of a room. Rooms with floors at or below grade level often have moisture problems as a result of poor drainage outside. If this is the case in your home, you’ll have to solve the moisture problem before repairing the flooring; otherwise, the problem will recur.
With resilient tile floors, it’s usually easier to replace a damaged tile than try to repair the floor (but only if you can find a matching replacement). With sheet flooring, repair may be the only practical option. You can probably handle minor repairs; for difficult jobs, contact a resilient floor installer.
For information on cleaning a vinyl or resilient floor, see How to Clean a Resilient Floor.
Repairing Curled Floor Tiles
Minor surface problems such as lifted corners can be fixed easily, but check first that they don’t indicate problems with the subfloor. Before you try to repair or replace damaged sections of resilient flooring, you’ll need to determine the cause of the damage and correct it. Then you can either touch up the surface to conceal the flaws or patch or replace the damaged area. If you must replace flooring, match materials and adhesives. As always, when installing a new floor, save some material or tiles for future repairs.
Warm the flooring with a hair dryer to make it pliable.
Warm the flooring with a hair dryer to make it pliable.
When tiles begin to curl, they most often need to be replaced. First find out if your flooring or its adhesive contains asbestos, known to cause cancer if inhaled. Consult an expert to determine if this is the case. Asbestos-control experts often recommend encapsulation rather than removal.
Once you have determined that your flooring is asbestos-free, you can reaffix a tile that’s lifted at one corner in a few quick steps. Warm the tile that has begun to curl with a hair dryer, iron, or propane torch (be careful!), focusing the heat on the lifting corner.
Apply adhesive for the replacement piece.
Apply adhesive for the replacement piece.
Peel up the corner or, if possible, the entire tile, using a putty knife. Scrape off the old adhesive.
Using a notched spreader or trowel, spread resilient tile adhesive on the subfloor and push the tile firmly into it.
Wipe away any excess adhesive.
Separated Vinyl Floor Seams
When the seams of vinyl sheet flooring separate and pucker, you can glue them back down with a vinyl flooring sealer kit. Generic types are available at home improvement stores; better, order kits made specifically for your type of flooring (if you know the brand) from a flooring dealer.
1Use a hair dryer to warm the edges of the raised seam so you can peel them back to work on them.
2Brush and/or vacuum the dirt out from the subfloor beneath the seam area.
3With masking tape, protect the flooring surfaces on both sides of the seam.
4Use a brush to apply multi-purpose sheet flooring adhesive to the back of the raised flooring.
5Press the edges down and wipe off any excess adhesive. Then put a heavy, flat board along the seam and add weight with phone books or other heavy objects. Allow to dry overnight.
6Use the seam-sealing kit as prescribed on the label to clean and permanently fuse the seam along the surface.
Discolored Vinyl Floor
Vinyl and most other types of resilient flooring don’t need to be protected by waxing, but many floor care products include wax to brighten the shine. When wax builds up, it begins to discolor.
Discoloration that results from wax buildup is easily remedied. Use a solution of white vinegar and water or a cleaner specifically formulated for your type of flooring. Mop the solution onto the surface with a sponge mop and then rinse with clear water.
Scratched or Blistered Vinyl Floor
Scratches that don’t penetrate through resilient flooring often can be sanded out (sanding creates fine airborne dust, which may be hazardous if the flooring contains asbestos so have a sample of your floor tested first).
If you do sand, use a medium-grit sandpaper followed by finer grits until the scratch disappears. Apply floor wax to restore the shine on the buffed area.
Blisters in sheet vinyl can be reglued. Make a knife cut along the edge of the blister, just large enough to let you work glue into the void. Use an artist’s brush to apply contact cement on both the subflooring and the blister flap.
Let the glue dry until tacky and then lay the flap down and place a weight on the repaired area for several hours.
Bumpy Resilient Flooring
Bumps that appear on the surface of a floor covering material are usually the result of nails or screws beneath the material that have loosened and raised. If there are bumps showing through the flooring from your subfloor, place a block of wood over the bumps and tap lightly with a hammer.
If this doesn’t work, the bumps will be difficult to get rid of and you’ll have to remove the floor covering to gain access to the subfloor so you can replace the nails or screws.
Replacing Resilient Floor Tiles
When you replace resilient flooring tiles, use the adhesive the manufacturer specifies.
If your flooring is old, you may need to take a sample to a flooring materials supplier and ask what kind of adhesive is recommended. Also be sure you know what kind of subfloor you have. It may be that you cannot find a matching tile to make a repair.
Consider using a complementary or even contrasting color or design. To replace a damaged tile, warm the tile with a hair dryer, iron, or propane torch until it begins to lift up. With the help of a putty knife, peel the tile up and scrape off the old adhesive and replace the tile as discussed above under Repairing a Curled Floor Tile.
To replace tiles over a concrete slab with residual adhesive, first try to remove most of the old adhesive with a heat gun and a scraper. Then use a latex-modified thinset over the mastic.
For definitions of other terms not listed here, please go to these vinyl sections: How It’s Made, Styles, Before You Buy, Before Installation and Maintenance.
Acclimation: The adaptation of the laminate floor to its installation environment.
Adhesive: a substance that bonds the floor to the subfloor.Adhered
See Perimeter Adhered.
Added to the urethane finish for increased abrasion resistance of the wear layer.
Vinyl is constructed of several different layers: the wear layer, the printed or decorative layer, an inner core consisting of a foam and vinyl layer, and a backing. The type of backing determines how it can be installed.
The bark of a tree commonly known as Cork Oak and native to the Mediterranean region. The bark naturally splits every 9 to 15 years and can be safely harvested causing no harm to the tree. Cork is naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to mold and mildew.
The rotogravure printing process offers a multitude of design possibilities that are expressed through the decorative layer such as patterns, geometrics, natural stone designs and more.
A method of vinyl flooring installation in which the flooring is not bonded to the substrate by any adhesive.
A vinyl flooring installation method in which the adhesive is trowled over the entire substrate.
A vinyl manufacturing process that uses solid colored vinyl chips laid on top of a carrier sheet and then bonded together with heat and pressure. The inlaid process has been around for years and generally results in geometric type patterns and designs.
Consisting of a foam and vinyl wear layer, the inner core provides durability, insulation and comfort.
Made of natural ingredients that include linseed oil, cork, limestone, wood flour and tree resins. The color goes all the way through, making it extremely wearable and durable.
A vinyl flooring installation method in which adhesive is only applied to the perimeter of the flooring and also at the seams.
These floors have some “give” or elasticity when you walk across them. This category includes linoleum, cork, rubber and specialty resilient.
The most commonly used method for making residential vinyl floors.
This process involves a print cylinder that spins around while the vinyl’s core layer (called the gel coat) passes underneath. The cylinder systematically prints various colored ink dyes to create the pattern.
Rubber flooring is extremely durable, virtually indestructible, quiet and warm to walk on. It also resists dents and stains and its waterproof surface has an anti-slip finish. However, rubber is relatively expensive and must be installed by an experienced installer for maximum performance.
Since vinyl comes in 6’ and 12’ widths, seaming may be necessary depending on the area to be covered. Certain patterns will hide seams better. For example, tile patterns with grout lines are better able to mask seams.
A thin liquid adhesive applied to the cut edges of carpet to lock in the tufts and prevent edge ravel. Seam sealers may be visible in contrast with different vinyl textures and finishes.
A rough floor on top of which the vinyl flooring is applied.
The surface on which the vinyl flooring will be laid. If installing over a wood substrate, an underlayment will generally be necessary. A concrete substrate will not require an underlayment but will require some floor preparation.
Vinyl Composition Tiles. A resilient floor covering made of vinyl or vinyl composition materials. VCT has all the advantages of vinyl.
Made from a mixture of polyvinyl chloride and plasticizer, it is usually flexible and non-porous. Pigments are added for color.
A layer of material applied to the top surface of vinyl flooring. The thickness of the wearlayer varies with each vinyl product collection, or series, and is generally measured in mils. The thickness of a mil is about the same as a page in a phone book. Premium wearlayers offer superior resistance to stains, scuffs and scratches. How long a vinyl floor will look new and fresh is based on the wearlayer’s performance.