What is vinyl flooring and how is it made?
Vinyl flooring offers a great variety of choices. You can replicate the look of tile, stone and hardwood floors. Also known as resilient flooring, vinyl floors are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). They are generally composed of four layers. The bottom layer adds structural strength and durability. The thicker the backing, the more durable the product is. On top of that is the printed design, which is covered by a protective wear layer.
Who is vinyl flooring best for?
Vinyl flooring is best for someone who is looking for inexpensive and very versatile flooring. Vinyl flooring is also for someone looking for a floor that is easy to clean and maintain. It is an easy choice for a self-installer as most vinyl tile is self-stick.
What are the advantages of vinyl flooring?
One of the advantages of vinyl flooring is that it's an inexpensive way to get the look of materials like hardwood and tile. Vinyl floors are one of the easiest types of flooring to self-install (especially vinyl tile), and high quality vinyl flooring can last over 30 years.
What are the disadvantages of vinyl flooring?
The adhesive on vinyl flooring is sometimes water-soluble and should not be exposed to water for an extended period of time. Seams Vinyl flooring does not add as much value to your home as other natural products. Once vinyl flooring is nicked or scratched, the damage cannot be repaired but can sometimes be hidden or covered. All vinyl floors are affected by direct sunlight and color can fade.
Where can I install vinyl flooring?
Vinyl flooring can be installed in almost any situation, above, below, or on grade. It is okay to use in bathrooms and basements, however the adhesive on vinyl tile is sometimes water-soluble and should not be exposed to water for an extended period of time. You can install vinyl flooring over concrete, hardwood, or plywood, but not over carpet, chip board, or particle board. Installing vinyl flooring over existing vinyl is possible but it is not recommended that you install over two or more pre-existing layers. Make sure that you install over a subfloor that is free of bumps and imperfections as these will often show through your vinyl flooring.
How much vinyl flooring do I need?
1. Divide the floor into rectangles
2. Measure the length and width of each individual rectangle
3. Multiply the length by the width of each individual rectangle
4. Add your total for each rectangle together to get the total square footage
5. Add an additional 5-10% (depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations) of the total square footage to cover the waste factor.
What is the average lifetime of a vinyl floor?
Vinyl flooring can last anywhere from 5-30 years. There are differences in quality between vinyl flooring products that can make the lifetime vary greatly. Care and maintenance are also very important factors in the life of your vinyl flooring
Is vinyl flooring recommended for a self-installer?
Yes. Vinyl flooring is known to be one of the easiest to self install. Vinyl floor tiles are usually much easier to install than vinyl sheet flooring. Subfloor preparation is very important. Any imperfections in your subfloor can show through the vinyl flooring as it is very flexible.
Can sunlight fade the color of vinyl flooring?
Yes, all vinyl floors are prone to fading in direct sunlight. It is recommended that you close blinds or drapes on sunny days to protect your vinyl flooring.
What should I do before I begin vinyl flooring installation?
The single most important step when installing vinyl floors is subfloor preparation. Use primer to prepare the sub-floor for vinyl. This will help to prevent moisture from getting between tiles and the sub-floor. Inspect your vinyl flooring panels carefully before you begin installation and make sure you have the proper tools for the job. Look for any defective or damaged product. Always read your manufacturer’s instructions completely before beginning installation and make sure you understand them. If not, contact the manufacturer for clarification.
Why do I need to roll my vinyl flooring after installation and how do I do this?
Rolling vinyl floors ensures a solid bond to the subfloor and helps to seal seams. Use an ordinary kitchen rolling pin and roll the flooring from the center to the outside edges. You may want to protect your rolling pin with plastic wrap to prevent glue from getting on it. Wipe any access adhesive with mineral water and a damp cloth.
If I am using self-stick vinyl tiles do I still need to buy extra glue?
No. If purchasing self stick vinyl tiles, no extra glue is needed. You only need glue for vinyl flooring that is not self stick.
Is there a difference from tile to tile in the same box when purchasing vinyl flooring?
It depends on the product. Most manufacturers do not produce identical vinyl floor tiles, since unique vinyl floor tiles give the floor a more natural look.
Should I use an underlayment when installing my vinyl floor?
Any imperfections in your subfloor will usually show through your vinyl flooring. If your floor is uneven or has bumps or other imperfections an underlayment is a quick and effective fix. This will also help to protect your subfloor.
How do I properly clean and maintain my vinyl flooring?
Sweep or vacuum vinyl floors with a solid floor attachment. To clean dirt that won’t come up with a sweep or vacuum, use a non-rinsing cleaner that leaves no film and a mop. Never use an abrasive cleaner, oil cleaner, or dish detergent.
How can I get the longest life out of my vinyl floor?
There are several steps you can take to help maintain your vinyl floor besides regular maintenance.
• Use a doormat outside to collect any dirt, moisture or other substances that can harm your floor.
• Use felt floor protectors on furniture to reduce scratching or gouging.
• Rubber backed rugs and mats should not be used as they tend to make the vinyl floors appear yellow. Anything rubber stains vinyl flooring very easily.
• All vinyl floors are affected by direct sunlight and are prone to color fading. Keep blinds closed and direct sunlight off the vinyl floor on sunny days when possible.
• Keep large animals with long nails off the floor as they can scratch and damage the vinyl.
• Keep liquids off the floor as much as possible.They can leak through seams and damage the subfloor which can also cause your vinyl’s adhesive to loosen.
• If you are moving appliances or heavy furniture never slide them across vinyl flooring.
• If you find a seam has opened, it needs to be closed immediately according to the manufacturer’s recommendations to prevent further damage.
Can I walk on my vinyl floor and mop it immediately after installation?
It is not recommended that you walk on your vinyl floor after installation for at least 24 hours. If the seams in your new flooring are disturbed before the adhesive has set, you can damage your vinyl flooring. You should not thoroughly mop your floor until five days after installation to allow the adhesive to cure.
Is there anything I can do to make my vinyl floor shine more?
Generally all your vinyl floor needs to shine is a good cleaning. When this doesn’t do the trick, follow your manufacturer’s recommendations to restore the shine. Some manufacturers have a special gloss floor finish that you can apply. Others will recommend that you remove the wax layer and replace it. Only some vinyl floors have a wax finish, so be careful to follow the procedure that your manufacturer recommends.
How do I repair a chip or scratch in my vinyl flooring?
Chips and deep scratches in vinyl generally cannot be removed, but can be hidden or concealed. Many vinyl flooring manufacturers have products specifically for repairing chips and scratches. These products generally work best, however there are some at home products that can be used to help conceal scratches and scuffs. To remove scuff marks try rubbing a drop of mineral spirits, turpentine, paint thinner, or baby oil over the mark. Then wipe the scuff away with a soft cloth. If you try any of these methods, be sure to wipe the vinyl floor thoroughly with a damp cloth afterwards, as these solutions can leave the floor slippery.
How do I replace a damaged tile in my vinyl flooring?
Note: Some vinyl flooring installed before the mid-1970s may contain asbestos. If your flooring was installed before this time, consult your local home and building center for instructions on removing it safely.
To remove a damaged vinyl tile, use a blow dryer on the 'hot' setting on the damaged tile until it becomes malleable. Placing a piece of tin foil on the vinyl tile can speed this up. Then, run a putty knife along the seams to separate it from any other tiles. Place the putty blade under the edge of the damaged vinyl tile and pry it off the subfloor. Scrape the old adhesive off the subfloor, starting at the edges and working towards the center. Now you are ready to install the new vinyl tile. Once glued and in place, roll with a rolling pin and remove any excess adhesive with a damp cloth. Stay off the spot for at least 8 hours.