Luxury Vinyl Buying Guide

Luxury Vinyl flooring has become a very popular choice in recent years because due to being cost-effective, attractive and coming in an almost unlimited number of colors, patterns and styles to suit almost every application. This affordable flooring options is easy to care for, and stands up to water very well.

One of the most appealing characteristics of vinyl is that it can be formed to imitate wood flooring, tile flooring, natural stone flooring and virtually anything else. It’s a wonderful choice for homes with small children because it stands up well to spills and toys, and it is softer than wood, stone or tile.

This guide to luxury vinyl flooring  was written to give you detailed information you can use to decide if vinyl flooring is the right choice for your home. In addition to this buying guide, we have detailed guides to the installation of vinyl, as well as maintenance and care for after its installed.

Materials, Lengths and Patterns

Most vinyl flooring is PVC plastic flooring. The base layer is often fiberglass or felt for strength, followed by an inner core layer of PVC and an outer layer of PVC that forms the decorative layer. The process of applying the print to the top layer of plastic is called rotogravure in which photoengraved plates and rotary press are used.

As noted, one of the key reasons vinyl flooring is so popular is the incredible number of styles and patterns available. Vinyl is typically made in 12’ rolls, but you will find it from 6’ to 12’ depending on where it is to be installed. Vinyl planks and vinyl tiles are also available. Tiles range in size from 12” to 18” square.

Wear and Durability

You’ll get 8-20 years from this flooring choice depending on the quality of the material and where it is installed. For best results, keep the flooring clean. Grit on it acts like sandpaper as it is walked upon, so sweep and mop regularly.  Placing mats at each entry door for foot-wiping is a good idea. Clean the mats frequently, as well as under the mats, to keep them from becoming abrasive to the floor.

Current Trends

In terms of pattern, the look of hand scraped wood is very popular. The look harkens back to an age when all wood flooring planks were cut and shaped by hand. In keeping with this trend, patterns simulating wider planks – another characteristic or flooring from the 18th and 19th centuries – are being chosen by more homeowners than ever.

In a different vein, pastel colors in flooring are gaining attention and starting to show up in more patterns.

Luxury Vinyl Flooring FAQs

Q: Is vinyl flooring installation a DIY project?
A: It certainly can be, though it has its challenges. Installing vinyl tiles is easier than installing sheet vinyl flooring.  If you have solid skills, you can give it a try yourself. See our Installation of Vinyl Guide for the details. If you want to ensure the best look though, our installers are as good as they come. 

Q: Is vinyl flooring green?
A: It’s not as environmentally-friendly as some other materials, but it does use byproduct of oil production, and the process of making the flooring is fairly energy-efficient.

Q: What is the most durable vinyl flooring?
A: Look for products with an enhanced urethane coating on the top layer.