How to Choose Vinyl Flooring
You learned about the benefits of vinyl and you’re thinking this may be a good option for you. Now, you’re ready to buy, but where do you start?
Knowing how to choose vinyl flooring for your home isn’t always easy. With so many options available, it’s hard to narrow down your choices and make the right decision for your next project.
Help is here. Deciding on the perfect vinyl flooring for your house doesn’t have to overwhelm you. By asking yourself the following questions, you’ll be well on your way to choosing the right vinyl flooring for your home or business’s needs.
1. What type of room will this be going in?
Type of Room
This is an important first step to figuring out which floor is best for your needs. Are you installing in a basement or moisture prone area, such as a kitchen or bathroom? Are you planning to use this in a business, such as a cafe, boutique or restaurant?
If so, vinyl is a perfect option as it can be installed below grade rooms and is 100% moisture proof. You will not need to worry about spills, water on shoes or damage when exposed to moisture. It is a perfect solution for nearly any room!
Second, you will need to consider how much foot traffic the room or area will see on a regular basis. If you’re installing your vinyl in an area that will see heavy foot traffic, such as the foyer or in a cafe, you’ll want to go with a vinyl that has a higher wear layer, such as a 12 or 20 mil.. If your vinyl will be housed in a guest room or other space with minimal traffic, the wear layer and thickness are not as big of a concern.
For high traffic areas and commercial applications, you may also consider a thicker plank that is more stable, such as a WPC or SPC rigid core vinyl. A rigid core vinyl has an engineered core that will hold up to dents, high traffic and temperature fluctuations. These planks are less susceptible to movement and damage.
2. What is your style and decor goals?
Vinyl flooring can be found in many versatile decors. Depending on your style, you can find vinyl floors in wood, stone, cement and shabby chic looks. With advances in surface technology, vinyl can be found with beautiful textures to mimic real tile and hardwoods. Vinyl plank flooring can be found with wide planks, multi-plank designs and more traditional plank widths. Adding to the style, beveled edges or square edges are also available.
No matter what style you are looking for, you will be amazed at how vinyl can transform your home or business!
3. What feel do you want to your flooring?
Comfort is important factor when you’re investing in your home, family or business. When it comes to vinyl, there are a few factors to consider when it comes to the comfort or softness of your vinyl floor.
Your subfloor will be a big factor in how your flooring feels under your foot. If you are installing a vinyl on top of a concrete subfloor, you will have a very hard surface beneath your floor. With a thin vinyl, this will feel like you are stepping on a hard surface. If you install a vinyl on a wood subfloor or an existing surface, you will have a softer start to your installation. This will still be a solid surface and feel hard, but it will not feel as blunt as a concrete subfloor will.
Vinyl underlayment could be an option for your vinyl floor installation if you opt for click lock planks of 4mm or thicker. You can also find vinyl floors with an attached underlayment. Adding an underlayment under your vinyl will make a big impact in the softness under your foot, especially if you are installing over a concrete subfloor. If you choose a vinyl with an attached underlayment, you do not need worry about buying underlayment separately.
The thickness of your vinyl will be another factor that adds to softness under foot. A thicker vinyl will give you a softer feel above your subfloor. When you install a thinner vinyl on top of your subfloor, you will get a similar feel to walking on your subfloor. There is not enough material to change the feel under your foot.
4. Will you be installing the vinyl flooring?
Are you installing the flooring or are you hiring a contractor to install it for you?
There are various installation methods for vinyl. Keeping your skill level in mind, determine how well you can install the flooring on your own. Most vinyls are DIY friendly, but some can be harder to install than others.
Glue down vinyl requires adhesive and additional tools. Click lock vinyls are fairly easy and do not require many extra tools. If you feel overwhelmed with the idea of installing it yourself, look into professional help. A flooring contractor to install vinyl will be less expensive than a tile or solid hardwood installation.
5. What is your budget?
Vinyl has been known for years to be a budget friendly option. While this is still true, there is a variety of price ranges available due to new technological advances in the vinyl flooring market. Standard vinyl flooring that is glue down or click lock with no bells and whistles will still be a very budget friendly and affordable option.
When you start looking at rigid core construction, attached underlayments, specialized textures and other vinyl flooring features, you may see prices start to rise. Although these floors may be more expensive than a laminate, you must keep in mind that these floors are waterproof, durable and will last for years. You can review vinyl and other floor comparisons here.
Along with the price of the actual floor, you will need to factor in underlayment and installation cost. Most click lock vinyls can be installed with an underlayment for added cushion and sound reduction. Underlayment is not a necessary addition, but you may want this upgrade for your home. Lastly, if you will be gluing down your vinyl or hiring a contractor, you will need to factor in your installation costs.
6. What type of warranty does your vinyl come with?
The warranty is important for a few reasons. First, it defines how well protected your flooring is. Second, it determines how you’ll need to install the flooring in your home.
Some warranties require that a professional contractor installs them, especially for commercial grade products. If that’s the case, you’ll want to know before you attempt a DIY installation.
Before installing any floor, you should always inspect the planks to ensure no manufacturer defects are present. Once you begin to install, you’ve accepted the condition of the planks!
Another consideration with warranties are your floor protectors. Some warranties will not cover dents in vinyl flooring because the wrong floor protectors were used. Know this before it’s too late.
When choosing your vinyl flooring, it’s important to take all of the small print into consideration. If you’re still feeling overwhelmed, we’re here to help. Contact one of our flooring experts. We’ll guide you in the right direction, letting you know the important attributes of each type of vinyl you’re considering!