What to look for when buying vinyl flooring?

What to look for when buying vinyl flooring?

Vinyl flooring remains a top choice for homeowners and business owners alike, offering a perfect blend of affordability, style, and practicality. With a vast array of designs, textures, and functionalities available, selecting the ideal vinyl flooring for your needs can seem overwhelming. This comprehensive buyer’s guide equips you with the knowledge to make informed decisions when buying vinyl flooring. We’ll explore key factors to consider, from understanding different vinyl flooring types to evaluating features and functionalities.

buying vinyl flooring

Understanding Vinyl Flooring Types

Vinyl flooring comes in two primary categories: Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) and Vinyl Sheet Flooring. Each offers distinct advantages and caters to different needs:

  • Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT): LVT comprises individual tiles that click or lock together during installation. It mimics the look of natural materials like wood or stone with exceptional detail and realism. LVT is known for its ease of installation, making it a popular DIY option.
  • Vinyl Sheet Flooring: Vinyl sheet flooring comes in large rolls and offers a seamless appearance. It’s particularly well-suited for large open spaces, as it minimizes the appearance of seams. Vinyl sheet flooring is generally more affordable than LVT, but installation can be more complex and often requires professional help.

Within these categories, several sub-types exist, each with unique characteristics:

  • Vinyl Plank Flooring (LVT): Mimics the look of hardwood planks and offers a classic, timeless aesthetic.
  • Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring (LVP): An LVT subtype known for its thicker wear layer and enhanced durability, making it ideal for high-traffic areas.
  • Vinyl Tile Flooring (LVT): Available in various shapes and sizes, replicating the look of ceramic or stone tiles.
  • Woven Vinyl Flooring: Offers a textured surface that resembles woven materials like baskets or natural fibres.


Key Factors to Consider When Choosing Vinyl Flooring

Once you’ve familiarised yourself with vinyl flooring types, here are crucial factors to consider during the selection process:

  • Durability: Vinyl flooring comes with a wear layer, the topmost layer that protects against scratches, scuffs, and stains. A thicker wear layer translates to greater durability. Consider the intended use of the space and choose a wear layer thickness accordingly. High-traffic areas like kitchens or entryways benefit from a thicker wear layer (typically exceeding 12 mils).
  • Water Resistance: While vinyl flooring is generally water-resistant, it’s not entirely waterproof. For areas prone to moisture, such as bathrooms or laundry rooms, choose vinyl flooring specifically labelled as “waterproof” or “water-resistant with a closed-cell backing.”
  • Style and Design: Vinyl flooring offers a vast array of design options. Consider the overall aesthetic you desire for the space. LVT and vinyl tile flooring excel at mimicking the look of natural materials like wood or stone. Sheet vinyl flooring offers a wider variety of patterns and colors.
  • Texture: Vinyl flooring comes in smooth, textured, and even embossed finishes. Textured finishes provide better slip resistance, particularly important in areas prone to moisture. Smooth finishes generally offer a more contemporary look.
  • Installation: Consider your DIY skills and budget when choosing vinyl flooring. LVT is known for its click-lock or loose-lay installation, making it suitable for DIY projects. Vinyl sheet flooring installation is often more complex and may require professional assistance.
  • Cost: Vinyl flooring offers a range of price points depending on factors like thickness, durability features, and brand. Determine your budget beforehand and choose a product that aligns with your financial limitations.

Pro Tip: When shopping for vinyl flooring, request samples to examine the design, texture, and thickness firsthand. This allows you to make a more informed decision about the product’s suitability for your space.

Additional Features to Consider

Beyond the core factors, several additional features can enhance your vinyl flooring’s functionality and aesthetics:

  • Sound Dampening: Some vinyl flooring features a soundproofing underlayment that reduces noise transmission. This can be beneficial in apartments, multi-story homes, or rooms directly below high-traffic areas.
  • Attached Underlayment: Certain LVT products come with an attached underlayment, simplifying the installation process and potentially saving on underlayment material costs.
  • Scratch Resistance: Look for vinyl flooring with a scratch-resistant finish to minimize the appearance of wear and tear, especially in high-traffic areas.
  • Warranty: Pay attention to the warranty offered by the manufacturer. A longer warranty period generally indicates greater confidence in the product’s durability.

Where to Buy Vinyl Flooring

When it comes to buying vinyl flooring, you have options from a variety of retailers, such as:

  • Home improvement stores: Offer a wide selection of vinyl flooring brands and types at competitive prices.
  • Flooring specialty stores: Provide expert advice and a curated selection of high-quality vinyl flooring options. They may also offer professional installation services.
  • Online retailers: Offer a convenient way to shop for vinyl flooring from the comfort of your home. When buying vinyl flooring online, exercise caution and verify the retailer’s reputation. Check reviews and return policies beforehand.


Ask Questions and Do Your Research

When buying vinyl flooring, feel free to ask questions. Expert staff at flooring stores offer valuable guidance to find the perfect fit. Here are some key questions to ask when shopping for vinyl flooring:

  • What type of vinyl flooring is best suited for my intended use (kitchen, bathroom, living room, etc.)?
  • What is the wear layer thickness of this vinyl flooring?
  • Is this vinyl flooring waterproof or water-resistant?
  • Does this vinyl flooring require a separate underlayment?
  • What warranty does this vinyl flooring come with?
  • Do you offer professional installation services? If so, what is the estimated cost?

Taking the time to research different vinyl flooring options and asking informed questions will ensure you make a confident and well-informed purchase.

Key Takeaway

By understanding the various vinyl flooring types, key factors to consider, and additional features available, you are well-equipped to navigate the selection process and choose vinyl flooring that perfectly complements your space, lifestyle, and budget. Remember, don’t be afraid to ask questions and leverage the expertise of salespeople at flooring stores. With careful planning and research, you can find vinyl flooring that elevates the aesthetics and functionality of your home for years to come.

Eastwood Carpets & Flooring are Sydney’s leading flooring experts. Our team has been helping people transform their residential and commercial spaces for over 35 years.

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If you’d like to chat about your project, please call us on (02) 9638 2766 or fill out the form on our contact page and our team will be in touch.