Vinyl Flooring - Vinyl Types and Finishes
Want a stone, wood or ceramic look without the price tag?
Vinyl flooring is one of the more popular choices. Having been around since the late 1800s, vinyl has opened up a whole new dimension to the flooring industry by giving consumers a near limitless choice of colors and patterns.
Vinyl floors can now confidently mimic stone, different types of wood and ceramic tiles thanks to the continual advancements in imaging technology.
There are two vinyl types.
The first is called inlaid construction. This older type is produced by bonding colored vinyl chips to a carrier sheet with pressure and heat. Although wearable this type is usually restricted to patterns that are simple and very geometric in nature. A transparent "wear-layer" is then laid on over the chips (this is what you are walking on.)
Vinyl tile type number two is called rotogravure construction. It differs from the inlaid construction type in that a rotogravure printing process is used to imprint the designs which can be quite complex and detailed. Technological imaging enhancements have made the design possibilities even more limitless.
Vinyl Flooring Tiles - Wear Layers and Finishes
As you can imagine the "wear-layer" determines just how long the floor surface will last. Companies vary the thickness of this layer from one collection to another. But the same general rule applies - the thicker the “wear-layer" the better the finish and the higher the price. This is because this layer also governs:
* How easy it will be to clean the surface
* How resistant it will be to staining and scratching. As the little scratches build up they give a worn dull look that is very unflattering.
* How resistant the vinyl floor will be to tearing and slitting.
There are 3 basic types:
* No wax wear surface (Vinyl No-Wax) which requires frequent washing and polishing to keep it shiny.
* Urethane - more resilient to scratching keeping its new appearance for a longer period.
* Enhanced Urethane which is the most resistant and only needs the odd sweep and occasional wipe.
Vinyl flooring needs to be maintained to keep it in mint condition. This involves it being swept / vacuumed on a regular basis with intermittent washing with a floor cleaner that does not require rinsing. Avoid any abrasive cleaners or ones that have a soap base. Vinyl floors do not need to be polished with waxes, just a little liquid polish to give it its shine back. Indentations can arise from furniture, so it is a good idea to use protectors that are designed to distribute the furniture's weight evenly. Lastly if you are going to have mats around try and stick to ones that are made of natural fibers. It has been found that mats that have rubber underside can sometimes stain the vinyl floor tiles.