There has been a resurgence of vinyl – and no, we are not talking about records, but about vinyl flooring.
A synthetic counterpart of linoleum, vinyl flooring is water- and stain-resistant, versatile and durable, and has become a major flooring trendsetter, especially in wet areas in the home.
“Vinyl flooring was first invented in the 1930s, and it remains a popular option today because of a variety of desirable characteristics such as easy maintenance, that it stays warm underfoot, and is cost effective,” explains Kyle Turner of Bathroom Bizarre.
Dr Mehran Zarrebini, chief executive of Van Dyck Carpets, says added benefits are ease of installation and the fact that no glue or nails are needed, unlike other flooring options in the marketplace.
Turner offers an overview on the many benefits of vinyl flooring:
Moisture resistance: vinyl flooring is waterproof, so it can be used anywhere inside the home.
It is suited to wet areas, where water often ends up on the floor, such as bathrooms, kitchens and laundries.
Aesthetic versatility: Vinyl flooring is available in a wide range of colours and patterns to suit any decor style. The most popular vinyl designs are those that simulate natural materials, such as timber and natural stone.
Faux timber vinyl flooring is especially popular – it is available in planks, similar to genuine wooden floorboards, and looks just like genuine timber floors when it is laid. This allows homeowners to enjoy the look of natural timber in wet areas, without running the risk of it warping and flaking.
Quick and easy installation: Vinyl flooring is available in sheets, tiles and planks, and is easy to install. Some sheeting needs to be glued down, and most often, the tiles come with a “peel-and-stick” backing, so it is just a matter of laying them out evenly and neatly. Vinyl planks on the other hand, are laid in much the same way as laminate flooring – boasting a tongue-and-groove profile that simply clicks together. The key to successfully installing vinyl flooring lies beneath the floor itself – vinyl flooring requires an extremely smooth surface, as any flaws or imperfections will show through as bumps and indentations eventually. Vinyl flooring is best laid on top of a layer of well-sanded plywood or smooth concrete screed.
Durability: Vinyl flooring is generally considered to be a durable flooring option, which if properly installed and well maintained, can last between 10 and 20 years. However, as with anything, the quality of the product you buy will ultimately determine its lifespan. Any vinyl flooring worth its salt should have a wear layer. The wear layer is located on top of the vinyl itself, and guarantees that the flooring will enjoy a long life, even in high traffic areas.
Hygienic and stain-resistant: All you need to do to keep vinyl flooring looking as good as new is to ensure that all grit and dirt are regularly swept or vacuumed away, and that it is cleaned with a damp mop and vinyl-approved cleaner whenever required. The clear wear layer acts as a surface barrier, protecting the floor from stains and spills. It’s incredibly easy to clean and is stain-resistant, it boasts non-allergenic qualities, it is fire-retardant and absorbs sound.
Underfoot comfort: Vinyl flooring does not get cold, even during winter, making it a great option for traditionally cold areas in the home. It is a resilient flooring, which means that its soft texture provides a little bit of “give” when you walk on it, especially if it has been laid with a foam-type underlay underneath. This underlay is designed to even out uneven subfloors, better insulate the flooring, and provide better mildew and moisture resistance. A bonus is that it adds a bit of spring to the flooring and enables better soundproofing as well.