Plano Commercial Flooring
Is Sheet Vinyl Any Good?
Well, that’s a loaded question! The first thing you want to do is make sure that you understand the differences between sheet vinyl, luxury vinyl tile (LVT), luxury vinyl plank LVP, and fashion carpets.
What we’re going to do in this article is try to give you a stronger understanding of what your vinyl options are in flooring today.
It seems like sheet vinyl is not as popular as it once was and everyone is talking about luxury vinyl tile (LVT).
So why are more people interested in LVT over sheet vinyl?
Well, sheet vinyl is a solid time-tested flooring material. It works fantastic when you need to cover a large area like a kitchen or basement or a smaller space when you are on a tight budget.
Sheet Vinyl Advantages
The advantages of sheet vinyl are that it is easy to install. In some cases, even a novice installer can put the product down themselves.
Sheet Vinyl Disadvantages
One significant disadvantage of sheet vinyl is that it is prone to damage. If there is an active or heavily used area with pivot points with a lot of traffic, or if someone accidentally dropped or dragged something across the surface of the floor, it could cause significant damage. This would potentially leave marks or dents on the floor.
Unfortunately, with sheet vinyl, there is no way to repair this kind of damage and you would have to replace the entire floor to get rid of the damage. That means moving all the furniture, so you can rip up the floor and then put down an entire new layer of sheet vinyl.
The sheet vinyl would likely be glued down, so in this process you would have to scrape off all of the old glue to prepare the surface for the replacement vinyl sheet. Sheet vinyl is so thin that if there is any unwanted material underneath the flooring, you will notice every imperfection when you look at the surface of the flooring. That’s a lot of labor intensive manual preparation work!
Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)
In addition to luxury vinyl tile, there’s luxury vinyl plank which basically just replicates the look of a natural tile floor for a fraction of the cost of tile.
Luxury Vinyl Advantages
Vinyl products are a little more forgiving than sheet vinyl. That means that if you drop something breakable, the product is more forgiving and the object may be less likely to break as a result.
Another advantage to these products is that they have the look of a natural wood or tile floor and if there is damage to one plank, it’s possible to simply replace it with a new piece rather than replacing the entire floor. This makes the cost of ownership for the lifetime of the floor much lower and also extends the enjoyment of the floor because you can almost always keep it looking great throughout it’s useful life. These are the reasons why more people are gravitating to LVT options these days.
Luxury Vinyl Plank
Luxury vinyl plank replicates the look of an actual plank from a wood floor. What the manufacturers do is they take a picture of an existing hardwood floor, and then they take the image and imprint it on top of a vinyl backing. You take the plank product and simply adhere it with adhesive onto the substrate on your floor. The installation it’s pretty simple and the result is that you have a floor that looks exactly like a wood floor. The added benefit is that the floor is a little more scratch resistant because the wear layers are a little more commercially rated than normal. The aesthetic is a little warmer and the feel is a little more forgiving to walk on compared to walking on a standard hardwood floor. In addition, if you drop an object, it is far less likely to break as well.
So above we mentioned the majority of the pros and cons to vinyl flooring products. With luxury vinyl tiles, if you have a damaged spot, you can simply pick up the plank and put a new one down just like it never happened. With the sheet vinyl goods, you can’t do that. If you damage the floor, then you’ll have to replace the entire project, take out all the furniture, scrape up the floor, prepare the floor when you scrape up the existing floor. You’re going to have to scrape the glue and plywood as well, flash coat your existing floor to make a glass-like or plastic surface because if not, and that’s with LVT as well, the surface needs to be glass-like. If not, then every little thing that lies underneath will telegraph through the material. Especially when there’s direct sunlight, you’ll see every little imperfection if the subfloor is not completely level or glass-like. It is imperative that your floor is prepped properly.
There’s two different options when it comes to LVT as well. You can either glue down your LVT and the product is extremely pliable. So that’s great. So it contours easily with existing floors. That’s the good part. The bad of it though, is that it telegraph’s everything that’s underneath on the subfloor. So if you’re doing a glue down model, it’s paramount that the floor has to be totally collapsible like plastic.
Vinyl Floor Installation
What you do during installation is you apply adhesive and then you simply just paint the lie the plank down on the subfloor. These products have a lock and click system just like a laminate floor, like a tongue and groove just like a wood floor and all you simply do is just attach the tongue to the rear the groove, and you assemble the two models and you could simply have an LVT floor that literally floats on top of your existing poor.
Even if your existing floor isn’t totally level or perfect, the floating option is really good because it’s more forgiving as far as telegraphing the substrate. That means it will contour more and show less imperfection, especially if you put a proper underlay or a pad underneath that will increase the comfort underfoot as well as improve sound absorption.
Wood Plastic Composite (WPC)
Wood Plastic Composite or WPC is one of the hottest trends in the vinyl industry today. A great feature and benefit of WPC floor in comparison to a vinyl floor is that it goes down a whole lot quicker and fraction of the time. Additionally, it’s extremely forgiving and far less likely to telegraph the substrate of existing floors. That means that WPC is more rigid, so you can put it over an existing floor and it will not telegraph the substrate like a LVT product. It’s a thicker core, so less likely to show indentations when you drop or have heavy rolling traffic on top of it. It goes down in a fraction of the time with LVT. So you have don’t have to invest all the money that prep work and you can install it down in a fraction of the time, making it much more user friendly.
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