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Is It Time For Vinyl?

Written by Jaymi Naciri Posted On Friday, 30 May 2014 11:11

It's gaudy, it's cheap, and it elicits terrifying '70s flashbacks of yellow and gold diamond patterns underfoot. So why would we be talking about vinyl floors? Because today's vinyl is easy to install, easy to care for, and new technology has created vinyl products that can masquerade as wood or stone at a lower cost.

Luxury Vinyl Tiles

Luxury vinyl tile flooring, also known as LVT, has sought to separate itself from regular ‘ole vinyl to eliminate any negative associations and brand itself for a more upscale market. If you hear vinyl and think tacky Brady Bunch kitchen, that's exactly the point.

"Luxury vinyl tile couldn't be more different," said the World Floor Covering Association, not only in how it's manufactured, but in the total aesthetic and applications."

New Home Source agreed. "'Luxury vinyl' isn't a contradiction in terms - it's the phrase du jour among those who pay close attention to the materials home buyers are eager to walk on. It's the fastest-growing portion of the industry in the past two years. This flooring category has developed thanks to extraordinary photo technology that mimics wood (or just about any other material) so closely that you have to look twice to see that it's vinyl."

Today's vinyl floors apply "advanced photographic technologies" that are used to create authentic details and textures for products that are water, scratch, dent, and stain resistant, easy to clean and maintain, perfect for high-traffic rooms, pet friendly, and DIY friendly for installation.

In a nutshell, today's LVT is giving wood and tile a run for its money. "The most popular type of resilient flooring, vinyl is durable, low maintenance, and easy on the budget," said HGTV Remodels. "Vinyl floor has more depth and texture today than it did a generation ago, so it can look like hardwood, tile, and stone, and it comes in a variety of colors. Vinyl is soft underfoot, so it's comfortable to stand on for long periods. It's also warmer to the touch than hard surfaces like tile. Vinyl comes in various levels of gloss so you can get a range of looks."


Vinyl still comes in sheets or six- or 12-foot-wide rolls and tiles that are great for custom patterns. Many of the newer LVT products come in planks - often the choice of those who want to replicate a wood floor look. "Designed to closely resemble hardwood, vinyl planks come in the same size as wood planks, and boast realistic features such as texturing and beveled edges. High-end styles are making their way into living spaces."

Doing it Yourself

One of the great advantages to using vinyl is how easy it can be to install. Even with a higher-end LTV that is comparable to the cost of a lower-end hardwood floor, the potential for installing it yourself can save you thousands.

"Vinyl typically costs between $1 and $5 per square foot, uninstalled," said HGTV. "Although vinyl tiles are fairly DIY-friendly, sheet-vinyl installation is generally better left to professionals. With proper preparation, vinyl can be installed over virtually any flat, dry, clean surface."

Think you might want to put laminate in your home? See some more ideas here.

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