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Originally posted 3rd June 2024

Last updated 13th June 2024

Vinyl Flooring Buying Guide

Have you considered vinyl flooring for your home or commercial space? It offers a durable...

Paul Hambidge

Managing Director Factory Direct Flooring Ltd

12 min read
Written by Expert

Have you considered vinyl flooring for your home or commercial space? It offers a durable and stylish solution perfect for any environment. In this guide, we'll explore everything you need to know about vinyl flooring, from the variety of styles available to practical installation tips. Whether you're renovating your home or revamping an office, this guide will equip you with the knowledge to achieve a flawless finish using vinyl flooring that withstands the test of time.

Why choose vinyl flooring?

Vinyl flooring is an excellent choice for various reasons, offering a range of benefits that cater to different needs and preferences. Choosing vinyl can guarantee a blend of style, functionality, and affordability, making it a smart investment for any home or business.

  • Seamless Appearance: Vinyl flooring can be installed without visible seams, creating a smooth and uninterrupted surface that enhances the visual appeal of any room.
  • Versatile looks: With advanced printing technology, vinyl flooring can replicate the appearance of natural wood and tile, providing the aesthetic appeal of these materials without the associated costs and maintenance.
  • Waterproof: Vinyl flooring is inherently water-resistant, making it an ideal choice for areas prone to moisture such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. This feature helps prevent water damage and prolongs the floor’s lifespan.
  • Low Maintenance: One of the major advantages of vinyl flooring is its ease of maintenance. Regular sweeping and occasional mopping are usually all that is required to keep the floor looking new, saving you time and effort.
  • Durable: Designed to withstand heavy foot traffic, vinyl flooring is highly durable and resistant to scratches, dents, and stains making it a great option to stand the test of time. This makes it a practical option for both residential and commercial spaces.
  • Comfort and Warm Touch: Vinyl flooring provides a soft and warm surface underfoot, making it comfortable to walk on. Some vinyl floors also come with an additional cushioned layer for extra comfort. Perfect for creating a softness and comfort to a home or living space.
  • Cost-Effective: Vinyl flooring is a budget-friendly option that offers great value for money. It provides the look of more expensive materials at a fraction of the cost, making it much more accessible.

What is vinyl flooring?

Vinyl flooring is a type of flooring made from synthetic materials. It looks like real wood, stone, or tile but is easier to clean and maintain. It's perfect for busy areas like kitchens and bathrooms because it's durable and water-resistant. Easy to install and maintain, it offers a quality finish at a low cost. Brands like Polyflor and Aqua Plank (LVT) are popular in commercial settings like salons, hospitals and shops. If you want to learn more about vinyl flooring, check out our article "What is vinyl flooring".

Is vinyl flooring good?

Vinyl flooring and Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) share similarities but also have distinct differences. For a deeper dive into LVT flooring, check out our page to learn more. When it comes to vinyl flooring, the distinction between commercial and domestic use is crucial. Commercial vinyl flooring tends to be more durable and designed to withstand heavy foot traffic, while domestic vinyl flooring prioritises comfort and aesthetics. One of the standout features of vinyl flooring is its waterproof properties, making it perfect for kitchens and bathrooms. 

Types of vinyl flooring

We offer a wide range of vinyl flooring styles, from vibrant colours to realistic wood and tile effects. Whether you're looking for the warmth of wood or the simplicity of a plain design, vinyl flooring has something for everyone.

Vinyl flooring colours

From classic neutrals to bold shades, you can find the perfect flooring to match your style. If you prefer understated tones or vibrant colours, vinyl flooring offers endless options to enhance any room. Its versatility allows for unique patterns and designs, making it easy to create a space that reflects your personality.

Wood effect vinyl flooring 

Wood effect vinyl flooring gives you the beauty of hardwood without the hassle. It's durable, easy to clean, and comes in various styles, so you can enjoy the look of real wood without worrying about maintenance or high price tags.

Tile effect vinyl flooring 

Tile effect vinyl flooring offers the appearance of ceramic or stone tiles with the added benefits of durability, easy maintenance, and affordability. This flooring option provides the look of various tile styles, including sleek porcelain and rustic travertine, allowing you to achieve the desired aesthetic without the complexity of installation or the upkeep requirements of traditional tiles.

Plain vinyl flooring 

Plain vinyl flooring offers a clean and versatile solution for any space. With its smooth surface and uniform appearance, plain vinyl flooring provides a sleek and modern look that complements a variety of interior styles. Available in a range of colours and finishes, plain vinyl flooring allows you to create a seamless look throughout your space, adding both aesthetic appeal and functionality.

 

Choosing vinyl flooring by room

Each room has its unique requirements and considerations, and selecting the right flooring can make all the difference in both aesthetics and functionality. We’ve provided insights into the best styles, textures, and features to enhance the beauty and functionality of your living spaces.When it comes to vinyl flooring, the options are diverse, catering to various needs and styles. Whether you're revamping your kitchen, remodelling your bathroom, or transforming your living space, the choice of vinyl flooring can significantly impact the ambiance and practicality of the room. 

Take a look at the different options we have for each room and don’t worry we’ve already considered everything you’ll need: from moisture resistance for high-traffic areas to warmth and comfort underfoot in bedrooms, understanding how to choose vinyl flooring tailored to each room's specific demands is essential.

Bathroom flooring

Vinyl flooring is perfect for your bathroom space due to its water-resistant properties and durability. Unlike traditional flooring options like hardwood or carpet, vinyl flooring can withstand moisture and humidity without warping or deteriorating. Its seamless installation also reduces the risk of water seeping into cracks or seams.

Kitchen & dining vinyl flooring

Vinyl flooring is an excellent choice for kitchen and dining room areas due to its combination of durability, water resistance, and easy maintenance. In the kitchen, where spills are inevitable, vinyl flooring makes cleanup a breeze. Its durable surface can withstand the high traffic typically found in these areas, ensuring long-lasting performance even in busy households.

Playroom vinyl

Vinyl flooring is an ideal choice for playrooms due to its durability, safety features, and easy maintenance.  and offers a soft and forgiving surface that reduces the risk of injuries from falls. Its resilient nature can withstand the wear and tear of energetic play. Additionally, vinyl flooring is easy to clean, helping to maintain a hygienic environment for children.

Living room vinyl

The lounge is a central space in your home, where you relax, read, entertain, and host friends and family. Vinyl flooring is an ideal choice for this room due to its stylish designs that mimic natural wood and tile, adding a touch of elegance. It offers a comfortable and warm surface underfoot, enhancing the cosy atmosphere of your lounge. Vinyl is durable, able to withstand heavy foot traffic, and low maintenance, making it easy to keep clean. Additionally, it is a cost-effective option, providing a luxurious look without a hefty price tag. 

Bedroom vinyl

Vinyl flooring is a versatile and practical choice for bedrooms, offering a wide variety of designs and patterns to match any style. Whether you're decorating a child's room, a guest bedroom, or your own personal retreat, vinyl provides a comfortable and warm underfoot feel, making it perfect for creating a cosy atmosphere. It’s durability ensures it can handle the everyday wear and tear, while it’s low maintenance means you can spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying your space.

Conservatory

Vinyl flooring offers unmatched versatility and practicality, especially in conservatories. Just like bedrooms, conservatories demand both style and functionality. With it’s wide array of designs and patterns, vinyl flooring effortlessly complements any conservatory decor. It’s warmth and comfortable underfoot feel create a cosy ambiance, perfect for relaxation or social gatherings. Despite the challenges of fluctuating temperatures and occasional moisture exposure, vinyl flooring stands strong, requiring minimal upkeep.

Hall, stairs and landing

Vinyl flooring is an excellent choice for hallways, landings, and stairs due to its durability and style. These high-traffic areas benefit from vinyl's robust nature, which can withstand constant foot traffic without showing wear. Its water-resistant properties make it ideal for areas where spills and dirt are common. Additionally, vinyl comes in a variety of designs, allowing you to match any decor seamlessly. Easy to clean and maintain, vinyl ensures that your hallways and stairs remain pristine and welcoming with minimal effort.

Shopping vinyl by style or features:

From classic wood and slate effects to intricate herringbone and mosaic designs, the world of vinyl flooring offers options to suit every want and need. Additionally, considering features like thickness, wear layer, and installation methods can help you select a vinyl flooring that not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of your room but also meets your practical needs. In this section, we'll delve into the various styles and features available, guiding you through the process of finding the ideal vinyl flooring to elevate your home.

  • Commercial Vinyl: Commercial vinyl flooring is specifically designed to withstand heavy foot traffic and maintain its appearance in commercial settings such as offices, retail spaces, and healthcare facilities. Explore the benefits of commercial vinyl here.
  • Cushion Flooring: Cushion flooring offers a soft and comfortable surface underfoot, making it ideal for areas where comfort is a priority. Learn more about cushion flooring here.
  • Slate effect: Slate effect vinyl is a brilliant option if you’re seeking a sleek and sophisticated look. Mimicking the natural beauty of slate stone, this vinyl flooring option adds an air of elegance to any space. With rich textures and earthy hues, slate effect vinyl creates a timeless aesthetic that complements both modern and traditional decor styles.
  • Herringbone effect: For a classic yet contemporary aesthetic, herringbone effect vinyl flooring offers a timeless choice. This distinctive pattern adds visual interest and sophistication to any room, creating a sense of depth and texture underfoot. With its intricate design, herringbone effect vinyl flooring lends a touch of elegance to both traditional and modern interiors.
  • Mosaic effect: For those who appreciate intricate detailing and artistic flair, mosaic effect vinyl flooring offers a captivating option. Inspired by the beauty of mosaic tiles, this vinyl flooring style adds a touch of sophistication and personality to any space. With its intricate patterns and vibrant colours, mosaic effect vinyl creates a dynamic focal point that elevates the ambiance of your room. Whether you're aiming for a contemporary or eclectic look, mosaic effect vinyl flooring brings a unique charm to your home.
  • Wood effect: Wood effect vinyl flooring offers the timeless elegance of hardwood with the added benefits of vinyl. With realistic wood grain patterns and textures, wood effect vinyl creates a warm and inviting ambiance in any room. It's also highly durable, resistant to scratches, stains, and water, making it ideal for high-traffic areas like kitchens and hallways.
  • Acoustic Vinyl: Acoustic vinyl flooring is engineered to reduce noise transmission and absorb sound, making it an excellent choice for environments where noise control is important, such as offices and schools. Discover more about acoustic vinyl here
  • Felt Back Vinyl: Felt back vinyl flooring features a felt backing that provides additional cushioning and insulation while also aiding in noise reduction. Find out more about felt back vinyl here.

 

What else will I need for my vinyl floor

Several key components play pivotal roles in ensuring your vinyl flooring investment stands the test of time. We’ve considered the essential additional elements that can enhance its longevity below:

  • Underlay: Quality underlay is the unsung hero of vinyl flooring installations, providing essential support for a flawless finish. Not only does it offer superior sound insulation, reducing noise transmission between floors, but it also enhances underfoot comfort for a luxurious feel. Additionally, underlay helps to smooth out minor imperfections in the subfloor, ensuring your vinyl flooring maintains its integrity over time
  • Floor cleaning: Ensuring the cleanliness of your subfloor before laying vinyl flooring is crucial for a smooth and durable installation. Properly cleaning the subfloor removes any debris or residues that could affect the adhesive bond, guaranteeing a secure and long-lasting fit for your vinyl planks. Once your vinyl flooring is installed, maintaining its pristine appearance becomes paramount for long-term enjoyment. Investing in quality cleaning products is key to effortless maintenance without compromising the integrity of your flooring.
  • Floor beading: Beading plays a crucial role in achieving a polished and seamless look. This trim not only enhances the aesthetics of your space but also serves a practical purpose by covering the expansion gap between the flooring and the walls. Choosing the right floor beading ensures a clean and professional finish, transforming your room into a cohesive and inviting space.

Vinyl flooring FAQs

  • How do I choose a good vinyl floor?
    To select the right vinyl flooring, assess the room's foot traffic. Opt for a high wear layer for areas with heavy foot traffic, while thickness and wear layer are less critical for spaces with minimal traffic.
  • How to tell good quality vinyl flooring?
    To identify good quality vinyl flooring, focus on features such as a durable wear layer, thicker construction, strong core layer, realistic surface texture, appropriate plank size, and suitable installation methods.
  • What thickness of vinyl flooring is best?
    For optimal durability and performance in high-traffic areas like kitchens and living rooms, opt for vinyl flooring with a thickness ranging from 4 to 6mm. This thickness offers enhanced durability, scratch resistance, and longevity.
  • How to choose good quality vinyl flooring?
    When selecting quality vinyl flooring, consider factors like thickness, installation ease, durability, and climate suitability. Thin vinyl flooring is ideal for easy installation, while thicker options offer increased durability and longevity. Additionally, assess your local climate to ensure the flooring can withstand temperature and humidity fluctuations effectively.
  • Which type of vinyl flooring is best?
    Consider your priorities and needs to determine which type of vinyl flooring best suits your requirements. Luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) stands out for its superior appearance and performance, making it a preferred choice despite the higher cost. However, sheet vinyl remains a viable option, especially in bathrooms, where a seamless, waterproof surface is essential and guaranteed.

 

Our flooring calculator 

Our Flooring Calculator is conveniently located on every product page, making it easy to plan your project accurately. Simply input the surface area in either metres or feet squared, and our My Project calculator will instantly calculate the number of packs you need and the associated cost.

By measuring your room and entering your dimensions, you'll receive an instant price for any flooring type you're browsing. You can input the total coverage or your width and length measurements, in metres or feet. Plus, you can save your measurements room by room, streamlining your shopping experience.

For added peace of mind, our calculator suggests adding an extra 10% for wastage. While it may increase the cost slightly, this precautionary measure ensures you have enough flooring to account for any mishaps during installation.

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About the Author

Paul Hambidge, Managing Director

Paul has 32 years of flooring industry knowledge & experience from both an installation and manufacturing perspective. He started out as installer of very large commercial flooring projects for multiple retailers. As director of Factory Direct Flooring Ltd, he has been involved in all aspects of flooring and has worked with some of the largest producers of wood flooring, vinyl flooring and laminate floors.