Buying and installing vinyl flooring
Vinyl flooring has struck a chord with homeowners who want an inexpensive, durable, easy-to-care-for floor that still looks good. It is crafted from synthetic fibers, and vinyl sheet flooring usually consists of a vinyl or cardboard base that is topped with a layer of finished vinyl and a protective coat. Typically, the finished layer has a geometric pattern or print.
Shopping for Vinyl Flooring
You should know the basics about vinyl flooring before heading to the showroom. This way, you'll know what to expect and will be in a better position to evaluate the various options available.
Vinyl sheet flooring is usually sold in rolls which measure 6 feet or 12 feet in width. Normally, vinyl tile flooring is sold in 1-foot squares, though you can also get 9-, 14-, 16- and 18-inch squares as well.
To the eye, vinyl flooring shares many characteristics with linoleum flooring. In fact, the principal difference between the two is that vinyl is synthetic and linoleum is natural. Many people say that vinyl has better overall durability, but the difference between the two is very slight.
Every consumer wants discount vinyl flooring, but how do you make sure you're still getting a quality product for the low price? Look at the protective coat: the thicker, the better. Vinyl flooring comes with either urethane or no-wax finish. Which you choose is a matter of preference; urethane is high-gloss, and no-wax is matte.
Installing and Removing Vinyl Flooring
Installing vinyl flooring is relatively straightforward. First, you'll need to ensure your subfloor is level and free of damage. You'll need a utility knife, measuring tape, chalk, pencil and a straight edge (if you're cutting from a sheet). Most vinyl flooring products come with adhesive layers, so they're ready to go; all you need to do is peel off the backing and lay the tile.
Removing vinyl flooring is a lot harder than laying it. Keep in mind that you can lay a new floor right on top of your old vinyl floor, so you might want to save yourself the labor. If you do decide to remove the old flooring, you'll need other flooring tools: a heat gun and a long chisel. Apply heat to soften up the glue on the back side of the vinyl flooring pieces, and then use the chisel to lift them off the subfloor and scrape them free.