Vinyl Tile and Plank Learning Center
Many things have changed significantly since the 1980's, including hairstyles, clothing, music and yes - vinyl tiles. Vinyl floor tiles have gone through some amazing technological advances over the years, including but not limited to the removal of asbestos in the production process and the addition of high definition images that perfectly mimic natural flooring options. Vinyl flooring is a low cost, versatile, durable and high performance material option for many spaces. Vinyl tiles from FlooringInc.com come in a variety of sizes, styles, and installation types. Our luxury vinyl floor tiles feature attractive, high-quality images to closely replicate the look of stone and wood at price points that can fit into any budget. The beauty of vinyl is that it can be installed anywhere (unlike expensive real hardwood) making it a truly versatile flooring product. In the past, popular sizes have been around 12” x 12”, but with the changing trends, tiles have gotten larger (18” x 18”) and even rectangular (18” x 36”). Choosing the right flooring for your application can be a daunting task. Below, we will help you understand a little more about vinyl tile flooring and (hopefully!) help you to make the right choice for your space.
Have you ever looking at a floor somewhere and wondered if it is real hardwood? With technological developments increasing like rapid fire, more and more imitation products are hitting the market that look like wood, but are, in fact, something else. Vinyl plank flooring, for example, is one of those imposters. Like a secret agent, modern vinyl planks pull out all the bells and whistles to trick you into thinking it is something it's not. To encourage the deception, manufacturers have made planks wider and longer to better mimic the look of real hardwood flooring. Planks even have the feel of real hardwood, complete with the look of graining and knots that have been given an emboss that follows the pattern in the print. Below, we will discuss many aspects of vinyl plank flooring to help you understand a little more and narrow down the right options for your needs.
Different vinyl construction types
Peel and Stick Vinyl Tiles
Peel and stick vinyl flooring is an excellent DIY flooring option for any medium foot traffic area where you may need a low cost floor covering. You literally peel the paper off the back of the vinyl tile, and stick it to the ground in the place you want it. The only way that the process could be easier would be if the tile peeled and stuck itself - but what would be the fun in that? Available in stone, wood, and checkerboard looks, custom designs can be created with these self adhesive tiles to include a splash of color or even a border around the room. Peel and stick tiles are typically thin and low cost, meaning they aren’t ideal as a permanent flooring solution in a large area that will receive a high amount of foot traffic. If your only concern is money spent and the easiest option possible, these are for you.
Vinyl Tiles and Planks
In the world of vinyl, luxury vinyl tiles have made a huge splash as technologies have increased and patterns have gotten better looking. There are many different specialty looks available with quality stone images, durability, and low cost options in a residential product that haven’t been seen before. Also known as LVT or LVP, luxury vinyl tiles and planks can be mixed and matched in sizes to create unique patterns that replicate actual stone or wood floors. FlooringInc.com has different installation options for vinyl tiles, including DIY interlocking, easy to do peel and stick, perimiter tape loose lay, or glue down for a permanent solution.
COREtec Vinyl Tiles and Planks
Considered by some to be the “best of the best”, COREtec engineered vinyl tiles & planks are known for their extreme durability, attractive vinyl top layer, waterproof high density core, and they even have added underlayment. Constructed with an interlocking mechanism, you can install the tiles right over your subfloor (provided that it is clean and flat) without the need for messy adhesives, creating a “floating” floor. Being 100% waterproof, no room is off limits with engineered floating vinyl tiles. Imagery is in high definition for the most realistic look that mimics natural hardwood or stone. These bad boys might cost a little bit more than a standard vinyl tile, but with all of the added benefits and extended warranty, it makes sense why this guy is the cream of the crop.
Peel And Stick Vinyl Tiles
Peel and stick installations are exactly that: you cut your tile to fit the space (if needed), peel the paper backing off to reveal the sticky adhesive, and place the tile on the subfloor in place. If you mess up the alignment, pull the tile up again and re-position it correctly, pushing down to ensure the tiles stick securely.
Interlocking Vinyl Tiles and Planks
Interlocking tiles and planks are specially designed with a tongue and groove connection that fits right into the tile next to it, locking the entire floor together as one, creating a floor that “floats” without any glue.
Glue-Free Vinyl Tiles and Planks
Some of our tiles have been specially designed to be put directly on the floor without any glue, interlocking, or sticking mechanism. These tiles are thick and less flexible than other options, and may either be loose laid or only require double sided carpet tape to be laid around the perimeter of the flooring to ensure the tiles don't slip.
Glue Down Vinyl Tiles and Planks
Vinyl that is “dry back” and does not have an interlocking system can be glued down for permanent installation to ensure the floor does not move. It is important to choose a pressure sensitive adhesive so that if a mistake is made, the tile can be quickly and easily pulled up and placed into position correctly.
What is a wear layer?
Think of a wear layer as the protective coating for paint on a car. The wear layer helps to protect the flooring from scuffs, dents, scratches, gouging, etc. As a rule of thumb, the thicker the wear layer, the better resistance to damage. Additionally, products with thicker wear layers typically come with longer warranties. They can also stand up to a higher amount of foot traffic. The thickness is measured in mils, with 1 mil being approximately equal in thickness to a page in a telephone book. Remember, it is always important to have entrance mats at doorways to remove excess dirt and rocks from shoes which could be tracked in and scratch the floor surface.
What does the wear layer "mil" mean?
- 6 mil is considered “Good” - appropriate for residential use.
- 12 mil is considered “Better” - great for residential and light commercial.
- 20 mil is the “Best” - Commercially rated, high traffic environments. Suitable for the home, but could be overkill.
Vinyl Tile Thickness
Thickness of a tile can go hand in hand with the tile’s durability and longevity. A thin tile that gets a decent amount of foot traffic may show quicker wear than a thicker tile. For instance, if something heavy is dropped and gouges a thin tile it may be more noticeable than if a thicker tile is damaged. Often, thicker tiles have a sturdier construction, making them more durable and long-lasting.