Until recently, either wood or linoleum was used as finishing flooring. The first material – wooden floors – helped to create a certain atmosphere of home comfort and warmth, but had serious shortcomings. Over time, the tree dried up, cracked, it appeared cracks and chips. The second material – linoleum flooring – was much more practical, but the paucity of design, which always accompanied such a choice, did not allow expecting a high aesthetics of the final result. Today, a large number of alternative solutions can be found on the market. Among the most popular are vinyl floors.
They were able to become a worthy replacement for expensive parquet, and with their help you can create original stylistic compositions. Modern vinyl floors are very affordable, as they are in the middle price segment.
What is vinyl flooring
From a technical point of view, engineered vinyl floors are a multi-layer composite material, based on two components. This polymer is polyvinyl chloride and quartz crumb. It increases the rigidity, strength and elasticity of the final product.
Quartz is the substrate, the lowest layer. In the middle of the layered pie there is an intermediate plate, which is responsible for the color of the tile and its aesthetic appeal. It is on it that the desired pattern is applied with the help of special technology. It provides for only the color fastness, but also the precise contours of the drawing itself.
The color layer is protected by a special film, which protects the tile from the effects of ultraviolet radiation. This circumstance ensures long-term service of the tile, so that the vinyl flooring does not fade with age and does not lose its external appeal.
In form, the material described is similar to laminate flooring, but the lamellae lack a lock system. Instead, there are places and sinuses for bonding, which have already been smeared with special glue. Vinyl plate is very flexible, soft, but dense. It is 2 times thinner than laminate – in one package is stored 2.23 sq.m.
Advantages of new coating
It is noticed that vinyl floors are very profitable in use. And all because they have a number of significant advantages. They are:
- Resistant to dents and scratches
Today, engineered vinyl floors are sold in a variety of colors. They mimic the bark of the oak, the shades of maple and mahogany. Production technologies help to easily reproduce vinyl cover in the form of natural wood. The end result looks so believable that it is difficult to distinguish from the first that lies on the floor.
Disadvantages of vinyl flooring
Of course, there is no ideal material that would be deprived of all existing shortcomings. Vinyl plates are no exception. For the sake of justice, it is also necessary to point out the negative aspects of using the material described, so that the layman has an objective idea of vinyl flooring.
So, considering that the vinyl floor plate is much thinner than any other finishing material, it is advisable to conduct additional insulation of the entire surface when finishing the floor. And this is plus costs.
The new coating is not biodegradable, so it is difficult to call it environmentally friendly. The vinyl flooring cannot be taken care of with the usual and usual chemical detergents. Typically, on the packaging, each manufacturer indicates what to watch out for when cleaning the vinyl floor.
Classification of vinyl planks
As a rule, vinyl floors have the highest wear resistance. Therefore, such coverage is often used in places of great patency – in airports, retail outlets, offices and schools.
Tiles are produced in three groups:
- Average level of use (coating thickness 2 mm, wear resistance class up to 31).
- Intensive use level (coating thickness 2.5 mm, wear resistance class up to 42).
- The maximum level of use (coating thickness 3 mm, wear class 43).
For the house you can choose a vinyl plank of the first category.
Vinyl tiles are a very durable material that easily fits. Anyone who has at least some repair skills can do this.
The process is simple and neat. The installation scheme is similar to laying a laminate. The principle and algorithm of actions is the same. Instead of the lock system, the tiles have glued sinuses protected by a special film. It is removed, the lamellas are folded and the edges of the joint are pressed.
The elements can be shortened with a sharp knife, and the grooves and cuts for the pipes are made with metal scissors. Vinyl floor can be laid in a matter of hours.
Manufacturers argue that before laying, you do not need to prepare a surface. The material, according to the manufacturers, is good even for irregularities. But nevertheless, experts recommend thoroughly clean the floor and remove any bumps and sharp chips. Then the floors will be able to last a very long time.
Such a coating is universal. It looks equally good in the nursery and in the living room. But the vinyl floor is the perfect solution for a bathroom floor or the kitchen. He is not afraid of moisture, and, unlike tiles, vinyl is not cold. It can be laid on top of the heated floor, and its strength is much higher than that of the laminate.
Some questions and answers
During the installation of the floor, there can be different troubles.
If the vinyl panel was already glued, but the stacker realized that he was wrong, stuck there, can the lamella be re-glued?
You can – say specialists. But if you do it immediately, and not after 2 days. Better, of course, do everything from the first time, very carefully, following the recommendations of the manufacturers. Remember that the vinyl floor does not like dust, from which the adhesive groove immediately spoils. Therefore, the best way to make the installation is at the end of the repair, thoroughly cleaning the room from the building mud. And if you started laying vinyl tiles, it’s best not to leave it for tomorrow.
Is it possible to lay the vinyl tiles on an old covering or on uneven concrete?
It is better not to do this. Innovative coating will last much longer if, however, previously the concrete is treated with leveling compounds, and the tree is dismantled, especially if it has cracked, creaks and is sometimes rotten.
Ideal – to dismantle and install plywood slabs, on them a substrate, and only then vinyl planks. Any hillocks or pebbles will appear sooner or later. When walking they will create a certain discomfort, and visually such a floor will not look perfect.
Vinyl tiles are an excellent alternative for laminate, linoleum and ceramic tiles. It is available in the form of rectangles of different sizes and colors. The surface easily imitates not only wooden floors, but also stone, industrial concrete and ceramic tiles. This helps to make room in a traditional, and in a futuristic style, to implement a variety of design projects.
The surface of the material can be matte, and shiny, and rough. The latter option is preferable where the humidity of the room is high.