Although vinyl flooring has been around since the 1930's, modern luxury vinyl flooring bears little resemblance to the vintage classic, except in name. An inexpensive alternative to linoleum tile flooring, early vinyl was available in a wide range of designs, which is why renovators find themselves ripping up layers of avocado green and harvest gold from the 1970's.
Modern homeowners are no longer on board with the tacky vinyl fads of years gone by, and require a much more sophisticated look; however there are a few things about vinyl that haven't changed much – it's still durable and easy to maintain, and it's still available in many different designs and hues. Plus, even luxury vinyl flooring is less expensive than its lookalike flooring options of hardwood, ceramic or natural stone tile, or even other flooring options popular today. And besides all that, vinyl flooring can be put into nearly any room in a home or commercial space. It's that versatile!
With the many beautiful looks of modern vinyl flooring, it's not surprising that many homeowners are sold! But which type of vinyl flooring is right for you – sheet vinyl or luxury vinyl flooring (LVF)?
Vinyl tile is nothing new, but modern vinyl is definitely "not your Grandma's vinyl floors"! Luxury vinyl flooring is available in planks, traditional squares, or rectangles, so you can get the look you want, whether it's natural stone, hardwood, or something different altogether. The authenticity of luxury vinyl tile's natural wood and stone looks is remarkable, and the variety of grains, veining patterns, and hues take LVT truly over the top with its many options.
Similarly, sheet vinyl comes in many patterns and colors, giving you the option of solid color, stone looks or even wood. Remember that when it comes to modern sheet vinyl, the design you see is the design you will get. If that sounds attractive to you and you don't feel the need to have greater variation or customization, it might be the ticket for your design.
What Do Vinyl Floors Feel Like to Walk On?
LVT and LVP flooring are great options for your kitchen or prep space because they have a pre-attached underlayment that adds cushion, so you can comfortably work in the kitchen. In contrast, flooring materials such as stone or ceramic tile tend to be hard on the feet and prone to feeling very cold. In addition to being comfortable, LVT and LVP flooring are also very durable. The material is made with a wear-resistant surface that will stand up to heavy traffic and many years of use. This makes it a great option for areas such as kitchens and prep spaces, where people spend a lot of time walking back and forth between different areas in the room.
How Durable is Vinyl, and Can It Be Repaired?
Rigid core LVP and LVT flooring are extremely durable, but hard use and accidents can damage even the most durable materials, including luxury vinyl flooring (LVF). Sheet vinyl tends to be more vulnerable than LVF. It's more delicate, particularly the less pricey options, and harder to repair, since it's all one big sheet of flooring material. It's tricky to cut out a piece of sheet vinyl flooring and match it with a new piece. The seams may be difficult or impossible to conceal entirely, so in the event of a significant damage, replacing the entire sheet vinyl flooring may be your best option. In contrast, a damaged luxury vinyl plank or tile can just be popped out and replaced. So, it's a good idea to purchase extra material and keep it on hand.
Can I Install Vinyl Flooring Myself?
When it comes to achieving a professional looking installation, sheet vinyl can be intimidating for DIY projects. After all, sheet vinyl installs demand careful measurement and cuts, which can be particularly difficult in rooms with irregular corners or shapes to work around.
On the other hand, luxury vinyl floor is a much easier DIY project, even for beginners. Still, DIY-ers should be sure to follow appropriate steps: they should mark the underlayment to ensure perfectly straight rows and should make sure to account for irregular contours or obstructions as they go, cutting each piece as it is needed instead of having to plan everything out from the start. With vinyl tile, mistakes are easier to remedy, and repairs are less expensive.