Flooring can give your kitchen, bathroom, or other room a unique look. The material you choose may depend on cost, style, material, and ease of maintenance, which will affect what option will fit your needs.
If you’re a homeowner who wants to update your kitchen or a landlord looking to bring in new tenants, check out this guide so that you know which flooring option is best for you.
Both regular vinyl flooring and luxury vinyl flooring were originally designed to look like ceramic tiles. The first option is your best bet if most of the room that you’re focusing on include these tiles so it matches well with what you have.
But modern technology has allowed luxury vinyl to mimic the appearance of other materials, as well, such as porcelain, wood, and stone. Three-dimensional textures can be applied to add to the authenticity, which can come in handy if you have one room composed of stone and another one made up of wood. An image is created from a photo and is applied to the surface layer and combines with the texture to resemble other materials. This can also come in handy if you want the flooring to look different from the material on the walls and ceiling so that the room has variety.
The shape of the tiles you use to make up the flooring can determine how it looks once it is all put together, as well as how much work you’ll need to do applying it. The tiles used for regular vinyl flooring often are a square shape, usually measuring 12 inches by 12 inches or 16 inches by 16 inches. If you have a relatively small kitchen or living room, then it won’t take as long to apply these tiles.
The tiles used for luxury vinyl, however, usually resemble a narrow, plank shape, because they imitate solid wood flooring. Each tile usually measures 7 inches by 48 inches, making them perfect for larger rooms, as well as rooms that are longer and narrower. Because luxury vinyl resembles wood, it won’t look out of place in a house that has wood floors in other rooms.
Vinyl tiles typically have four layers. The backing layer at the bottom provides structure and a solid base so that the tile can handle whatever steps or lands on it. Above this layer is the design layer, which is where the photo print is installed so that it looks like wood, stone or whatever material you desire. Next is the clear film, which keeps the tile safe from rips, tears and other forms of damage. Finally, the aluminum oxide is installed at the top and keeps shoe scuffs, lighting and other obstacles from harming the surface.
Whether you decide to go with regular or luxury vinyl in this scenario depends on how thick you want the layers to be. Luxury vinyl is better if you want a more solid foundation.
Cleaning up water and other things spilled on the floor can be difficult if your floor isn’t designed to keep liquid from seeping in. You won’t have to worry about that with standard or luxury vinyl, because these options are waterproof. This makes vinyl flooring the way to go for bathrooms, basements, laundry rooms and other parts of the house where spills commonly occur.
The fiberboard core makes it difficult for laminate floors to handle water because softening and swelling occurs if liquids make contact. The best rooms for laminate flooring would be living rooms and bedrooms, depending on how often you bring drinks with you into those rooms. Using laminate flooring in your kitchen is not recommended.
Installing Flooring Yourself
Some people prefer to install flooring themselves, either to save on the cost of hiring someone or because they have enough experience in this field. If that’s the case with you, then laminate flooring will be the best option for you because of its click-and-lock system. All you need is a circular or table saw that comes with a fine-tooth blade to cut the laminate planks before putting them into place.
Those who prefer vinyl flooring will have a tougher time installing the tiles themselves, but luxury variants tend to be easier to put in place than standard options.
Fans of sheet vinyl will want to have a professional install the planks because it is among the cheaper forms of this flooring and take a short amount of time to put together.
Dog- and cat-lovers who want to make sure that pets don’t leave scratches or messes on their floors will want to stick with vinyl flooring. Being able to avoid absorbing water and drinks give regular and luxury options the ability to handle dogs and cats jumping out of the tub during a bath and running around the room, leaving water to wipe off once they’re cleaned up. This also comes in handy when your dog was playing in the mud or rain and manages to run inside around the room before you can prepare the room to resist their paw prints.
Because laminate, ceramic and other flooring consists of natural material, it makes them more likely to absorb any mud, water, and dirt that a cat or dog brings in from the outside.
We all try to save money on floor installation any way we can. Laminate, standard vinyl, and luxury vinyl are all relatively affordable, but the standard variant is the way to go if you’re trying to keep your wallet full.
However, laminate and luxury vinyl are usually found in the same price range, and their durability and ability to resemble other materials makes them worth forking over a few extra bucks.
Laminate flooring has the advantage in real estate value by being made almost completely of wood byproducts, but luxury vinyl flooring is especially worth the extra money because it’s waterproof and easier to clean and protect.
You have a lot to think about when you’re ready to put new floors in your home. This guide provides a few considerations. Whatever choice you make, Palmetto Carpet & Flooring Covers has what you need to give your floor your desired look.