4 Expert Tips To Choose Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring is a great way to bring comfort and warmth into your home without compromising on functionality. When it comes to picking the perfect type and design for your home, it may feel like the possibilities are endless.

That's why we've compiled some expert tips that will hopefully help you out in making such an important decision!

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What type of vinyl flooring is best for me?

When it comes to vinyl flooring, there are only really two main types: vinyl planks and vinyl tiles. When deciding on which type to use in your home, you'll mainly need to consider the overall appearance and aesthetic you'll be aiming for. This is because both types of vinyl flooring are very similar in durability and installation.

PLANK

  • Vinyl plank flooring was created to resemble hardwood and laminated planks, as the name suggests.
  • It was made as a solution to regular wooden planks not being very resistant to water and steam -- vinyl plank flooring won't absorb any water, and won't expand when exposed to steam.
  • This flooring is most often found in living rooms, bedrooms, and hallways.
Champigno Low Gloss Rigid Vinyl Plank
Gunstock Wood Look Flexible Vinyl Plank
African Wood Dark Flexible Vinyl Plank
Dark Espresso Rigid Vinyl Plank
Horizon Low Gloss Flexible Vinyl Plank
Light Beach Low Gloss Rigid Vinyl Plank

TILE

  • Vinyl tile flooring is much more versatile than vinyl plank flooring, as it can resemble almost any material and can come in many different colors or patterns.
  • They've become a great alternative for real stone and ceramic tiles as they're much cheaper and will not break from dropping something heavy on them, for example.
  • These floors are usually found in bathrooms and kitchens.
Black Flexible Textured Vinyl Tile
Ostrich Smooth Flexible Vinyl Tile
Exhibit Light Flexible Vinyl Tile
Blue Yellow Matte Flexible Vinyl Tile
Black Matte Flexible Vinyl Tile
Off White Smooth Flexible Vinyl Tile

What vinyl flooring look will work best in my home?

Since vinyl flooring is so versatile, you'll have quite a few options to choose from when it comes to design. You'll need to keep in mind the overall aesthetic of your home and the room where you'll be putting down the vinyl flooring -- the last thing you want is your floors to be clashing with the walls of the furniture!

WOOD

  • Wood-look vinyl flooring is usually only in the form of planks since real wood isn't made into tiles.
  • These planks come complete with the knots and grain detailing you would normally find in a real plank of wood -- the higher the quality and the price, the more realistic the planks will look!
  • You'll find them in practically any color you would a real plank of wood, as well as some slightly more unnatural finishes like black or grey.
  • For living rooms and hallways, we recommend medium to light-colored planks, as they really open up the space and make it appear visually larger.
  • For bedrooms, darker planks work great to create a cozier atmosphere and to bring out a little character.
White Pearl Wood Look Vinyl Plank
Matte Walnut Wood Look Vinyl Plank
Rooted Graphite Wood Look Vinyl Plank
Natural Acacia Wood Look Vinyl Plank
Wood Look Rigid Vinyl Plank
Golden Pine Wood Look Vinyl Plank

STONE

  • Stone-look vinyl flooring is a much cheaper alternative to buying tiles made out of real stone, though the price does affect the overall quality -- the more expensive the vinyl, the more realistic the stone look is.
  • It's also much lighter and easier to maintain since the vinyl won't get damaged from wear and tear as quickly and visibly as stone would.
  • This flooring usually comes in the form of tiles and is most commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Darker stone-look tiles that resemble slate, for example, look great in large, open-plan kitchens.
  • Lighter colored tiles, that resemble granite or limestone, are a perfect option for bathrooms and smaller, enclosed kitchens.
Gray Stone Slate Look Vinyl Tile
Textured Stone Slate Look Vinyl Tile
Graphite Stone Slate Look Vinyl Tile
Brown Matte Stone Slate Look Vinyl Tile
Misty Low Gloss Stone Slate Look Vinyl Plank
Ember Stone Slate Look Vinyl Tile

CERAMIC

  • Another popular style of vinyl flooring is ceramic-look flooring, which is commonly used in bathrooms, kitchens, and hallways in more modern and minimalistic-styled homes.
  • This style of flooring is the most versatile as it can come in practically any color or pattern imaginable, just like real ceramic and porcelain tiles.
  • Neutral colors like tan/brown, black, grey, and white are all pretty popular options as they blend well with almost any decorating style, and can be placed in practically any room of the home.
  • Patterned vinyl tiles can be a great eye-catching statement piece in otherwise neutrally decorated homes -- just make sure to stick to simpler, geometric patterns to avoid being too overwhelming.
  • The same goes for having colorful tiles in the home -- they're great as an accent piece in an otherwise neutral or monochromatic room, but the colors need to complementary, like orange and blue, or yellow and purple.
Multicolored Ceramic Look Flexible Vinyl Applique
Matte Ceramic Look Vinyl Tile
Boho Chic Ceramic Look Vinyl Plank
Low Gloss Ceramic Look Vinyl Plank
Iron Ceramic Look Flexible Vinyl Plank
Carbon Ceramic Look Vinyl Plank

Do water performance levels matter?

In short, yes, water performance levels really matter when it comes to buying vinyl flooring. You'll need to pay special attention to how well your vinyl flooring can resist water, especially if you're planning on putting it down in the bathroom or the kitchen.

  • Water-resistant vinyl flooring can only usually withstand minor spillages for about 24 hours.
  • This means that this type of flooring is best suited to use in hallways and living rooms, where the chances of regular spills are almost zero.
  • The price of water-resistant flooring is usually cheaper than that of waterproof flooring, but you will probably have to replace it much more often.
  • We usually don't recommend just water-resistant flooring to families that have children or individuals living with pets, as both of them can very easily cause spills and subsequent damage without intending to.
  • Waterproof vinyl flooring ranges from being able to withstand water damage for about 72 hours, to being completely unaffected by spills and water damage.
  • Obviously, the more expensive the flooring, the longer it will stay in good condition before becoming damaged by water.
  • This is the best type of flooring for bathrooms since the floors in there are exposed to water and steam almost daily.
  • Though it is more expensive than just water-resistant vinyl flooring, we believe that the investment is worth it, as the flooring will definitely last you much longer.

How should I install my vinyl flooring?

Once you finally choose your ideal type of vinyl flooring, you're going to have to get it installed. While it's usually recommended to get an expert to do it for you, it may not always be possible, or you may want to simply know the different methods that are out there. Here are some of the most popular installation methods, and their pros and cons.

GLUE-DOWN

  • One method of installing vinyl flooring is the glue-down method, where an adhesive is spread along the floor and the flooring is laid on top of it.
  • This method provides a lot of stability to the flooring, making it the perfect option for high-traffic areas like hallways.
  • Also, this method will help your vinyl flooring to absorb heavy loads, so you won't have to worry about heavier furniture leaving ugly indentations in the floor when removed.
  • However, this method makes replacing vinyl flooring a quite tedious process -- most of the adhesives used for this method are very durable and hold the vinyl flooring down with surprising strength.
Chateau Gray Marble Look Glue Down Vinyl Tile
Calypso Glue Down Rigid Vinyl Plank
Starry Night Glue Down Vinyl Plank
Esteemed Glue Down Rigid Vinyl Plank
Mountain Air Glue Down Vinyl Tile
Athena Wood Look Glue Down Vinyl Plank

FLOATING

  • Another installation method is the floating method, which actually has two distinct options, loose lay and click, but in general, involves little to no adhesive in the installation process.
  • Loose lay vinyl flooring usually involves gluing down the tiles or planks along the perimeter of the room first, to provide some basis, then laying the rest of the vinyl flooring flat along the top of the subfloor.
  • When done correctly, all of the tiles or planks should stay in place securely.
  • Sometimes, if the area is quite large, some adhesive will be placed on the subfloor in a loose grid formation, though there is never as much adhesive as there would be for the glue-down method.
  • The click installation method simply involves specifically designed planks or tiles that can snap into place next to each other using a click-locking system.
  • This method can only be done with vinyl flooring comprised of rigid core click -- it will not work with regular planks or tiles!
  • Both of these methods make the flooring a bit less durable than if they were glued down, so they're only recommended for lower traffic areas like living kitchens and bathrooms.
Gravelstone Floating Rigid Vinyl Plank
Sandbar Floating Rigid Vinyl Plank
Espresso Floating Rigid Vinyl Plank
Seal Floating Rigid Vinyl Plank
Light Tan Floating Rigid Vinyl Plank
Warm Pewter Floating Rigid Vinyl Plank

PEEL AND STICK

  • The third vinyl flooring installation method is the peel and stick method which, as the name implies, involves sticking tiles directly onto the subfloor without any additional adhesive.
  • This method can only be used if the planks or tiles you have purchased come with a self-adhesive on their back.
  • When installing, simply peel off the paper covering the self-adhesive on the back of the plank or tile, then press it down onto the floor.
  • Peel and stick vinyl flooring is generally the easiest to work with, as there is little room for mistakes and the installation can be completed without a specialist.
  • This method is actually pretty cost-effective, as you'll only have to ruin one tile if you make a mistake and have to undo your work -- unless, of course, you mess up a bigger area!
  • However, one big downside to this method is that flooring with self-adhesive on the back is often of the lowest quality, meaning that it will need to be replaced more often than other vinyl floorings.
  • Also, you'll need to make sure that the subfloor is really flat and level, as this type of flooring is usually a bit thinner and requires a completely flat surface to be installed properly.
Dark Brown Peel And Stick Vinyl Plank
Almond Peel And Stick Vinyl Tile
Black Peel And Stick Textured Vinyl Tile
White Black Peel And Stick Vinyl Tile
Dark Green Peel And Stick Vinyl Tile
Red Peel And Stick Flexible Vinyl Tile

Jessica started out as an interior photographer, but her love of pretty settings took her to the field of interior design, where she can combine two of her greatest passions, creating and then capturing the beauty of homes.