When it comes to consideration of the most affordable flooring options for homeowners, vinyl flooring and laminate flooring top the list each and every time. This is because of many reasons as we will see with vinyl flooring below. So,
This is a type of a synthetic flooring material that is affordable, easy to install and durable.
Commonly confused with laminate and linoleum, vinyl tiles and planks have the ability to hold up in moist environments and have a stone tile appearance.
Vinyl Flooring Vs Laminate
Vinyl flooring and laminate flooring are alsmost similar. The main difference setting them apart is the presence of wood byproducts and resins in the core of laminate flooring materials.
Therefore Laminate flooring give a more realistic look and feel of wood flooring than Vinyl. But again, due to this factor, vinyl flooring materials stand out in terms of versatility and durability more than Laminate because they consist of purely synthetic materials in their core and underlayment.
Composition of Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl flooring is usually made of 4 layers;
1. The Wear Layer
the upper most layer that protects the print layer from wear. This layer is made up of a clear urethane sealant, which determines its durability and water resistance characteristics.
2. The Print Layer
This is the second layer that gives the vinyl flooring its unique appearance visible through the wear layer.
3. The Core
These are waterproof stone plastic composites that give the vinyl the characteristics of either flexibility or rigidity.
4. The Underlayment
This is the bottom layer and is usually made of fiber, rubber or foam to provide extra cushioning and insulation.
Note that this layer can come either pre-attached to the vinyl or separately.
The wear layer may be the most important variable in vinyl flooring materials, as the thickness easily matches with the favorable installation environment of the flooring.
Wear Layer Thickness Factor
- 1-13 ml: best for average traffic areas. E.g a typical home environment
- 14-20 ml: best for higher traffic areas. like homes that have children who play a lot or pets
- Over 20 ml: extreme traffic like schools, malls or churches
- Easy to install
- Variety of textures and colors
- Does not stain easily
- Difficult to repair in case of scratches, punctures or dents.
- It is purely synthetic and therefore will not achieve the 100% feel of hardwood or slate.
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