Sheet Vinyl Flooring

Sheet Vinyl Flooring

Sheet Vinyl Flooring — Benefits Over Using Vinyl Tiles Or Other Flooring

Vinyl is one material that is a perfect choice for flooring at home. It wears extremely well, resists water and it gives your feet that cushion that it needs when stepping on it. It cushions the feet much better than hardwood or laminate. Sheet vinyl flooring is one type of vinyl that is very commonly used in home flooring.

Generally vinyl flooring is available in two main types: sheet vinyl and vinyl tiles. While both have the same basic common material, vinyl, some people seem to favor the one over the other type. Sometimes when people are installing their first flooring and deciding upon vinyl, they are not sure which type to go with, as the differences between the two are not always so clear cut.

So here I will try to give an overview of both types and help any person who is unsure which to get with the best information to make a good purchasing decision. Personally I’ve had direct contact with both, having at one time or another each in my home flooring, and I truly like both vinyl types. However, of course, there are some differences in cut, installation and wear that you should be aware of before buying. Also there are many differences between vinyl and hardood or laminate flooring in general.

But first of all what is vinyl?

Generally speaking vinyl is a floor type material made of several layers ending with a top protective clear layer made of urethane which keeps the vinyl from being damaged by heavy wear and tear. Next comes the printed vinyl layer which has the various patterns, colors and designs on it that attract so many people in buying it based on their personal preferences and home decor. Finally the backing is the lowest layer which is actually touching the floor. As I mentioned above, the clear, top layer is there to protect the vinyl from various scratches, scuff marks, rips and tears. Depending how thick this particular layer is will determine how durable your flooring will be.

Benefits and disadvantages of sheet vinyl flooring

Sheet vinyl is constructed exactly the same way as I mentioned here, however there is a small difference. The backing is made of felt or fiberglass so the floor is even more cushioned and it lends itself to a wider variety of installation options.

Sheet vinyl is very popular in homes because it can be installed practically in any room or part of a house. While hardwood is very sensitive to any water spills, sheet vinyl has no problem with water or humidity on its surface. Thus it is very easy to install in the kitchen area or bathroom, two high traffic areas that are known to have both water spills and higher levels of humidity. The same reason allows it to be installed in basements and the laundry room.

If you are looking for one disadvantage of sheet vinyl versus hardwood is installing it on stairs because you can really only install it over surface that are smooth, flat and even.

If you take good care of your floor made of sheet vinyl, you can expect it to last you for about 20 or 30 years without any need for heavy repairs. Compared to hardwood flooring you don’t need to wax it, buff or polish it. To maintain it and keep it clean you simply need to sweep and vacuum it regularly and once a week mop it with a vinyl floor cleaner that can be bought in any home improvement (DIY) stores nearby.

As to the installation procedures, I have to say that I found vinyl tiles to install easier, but more on that later. Suffice to say that sheet vinyl flooring is not the easiest to install, particularly if you have a first time go at it. The main problem is because of its big, bulky and large size which lends itself to problems when trying to cut it to proper size. Many homeowners prefer asking a professional to install it for them, so they get a good and quality job done on their floor.

Some of the best manufacturers of commercial and residential sheet vinyl flooring and vinyl flooring in general are Armstrong, Congoleum, Mannington and they all design high quality floors for all budgets and preferences.

Benefits and disadvantages of vinyl tiles

In terms of material, vinyl tiling is the same with sheet vinyl except for the backing layer, which is often a peel and stick adhesive layer that lends itself very easily to install it on your own. And here lays one of the biggest advantages of tiles vs sheet: ease in installation. As to the color, patterns and design options, it has just as a wide variety of choices as the sheet vinyl. Both are equally well equipped at the flooring stores offline and online.

One of the disadvantages of vinyl tiles versus the sheet version is that due to the fact that the tiles are cut to size, dirt can easily find its way between the groves of the tiles, whereas vinyl, being one big seamless surface, will no encounter this problem. This sadly reduces the life expectancy of vinyl tiling to anything between 5 and 20 years, depending on how it was originally installed and the quality of the initial material, and of course based on heavy use and abuse.

When it comes to installation, there are two main types available: a glueless type that has adhesive tabs or spray glue, or the peel and stick version, which again does not need any glue. Both are easy to install and remove if any tile needs replacing.

As a final note, both vinyl flooring versions are very popular with homeowners. Sheet vinyl lasts longer, however it is more difficult to install initially. Vinyl tiles are easy to install and replace, however they lifespan is rather short compared to the previous version, so you might end up spending more in the long run when you need to replace your flooring more often. Which one you go for, the choice is really yours.


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