As I’ve been gearing up to renovate the Kid’s/Guest bathroom I’ve been considering several different options for new flooring. As I’ve searched I’ve been very impressed by what I have seen in the vinyl flooring arena.
Over the years it seems vinyl has gotten a bad reputation in the design world for being outdated and weak on the scale of durability. You may be surprised when you learn these following myth busters regarding vinyl flooring.
1). Vinyl flooring is outdated and unattractive.
Vinyl flooring has come a long way in both looks and durability. I think for many people the term vinyl flooring conjures up images of one giant seamless sheet of vinyl rolled out onto the floor. However, this is only one type of vinyl flooring.
Two more contemporary vinyl options are vinyl tiles and vinyl planks. Vinyl tiles are pre cut square pieces of vinyl that usually come in 12x 12 inch or 18 x18 inch sizes. They are often designed to mimic the visual appearance of ceramic or other stone tiles.
Over the past 5-8 years vinyl tiles have increased in popularity and it’s realistic appearance. There are even vinyl tiles available that can be grouted in the same manner that ceramic tile would be grouted.
(TrafficMASTER Allure Ultra Aspen White Oak)
2). All vinyl flooring is created equal.
This is not so! Vinyl flooring varies in quality and durability. The durability of vinyl hangs on two factors, the thickness of the vinyl and the finish. Thinner vinyl will wear more quickly. Hence, in most cases the thicker the vinyl the better the quality.
Vinyl also has levels of durability based on the surface finish. For example, some vinyl has no finish, others a urethane finish, and the most protective finish is called enhanced urethane.
It is important to pay close attention to these characteristics of vinyl as well manafacturer warranties and customer reviews when searching for durable vinyl.
3). Installing vinyl flooring should be left to the pros.
No way, especially with all of the stick and peel options out there this is totally a do it yourself project you can tackle even if you are a beginner. In fact other than painting walls this was my very first DIY project ever! It came about 9 years ago when i was using the bathroom at a friend’s house. I liked her flooring and asked her about it. She told me she had used peel and stick vinyl tiles and had done it herself.
What? I had no idea this even existed! So when we bought our first home a couple of years later and the master bathroom had 13 year old vinyl sheet flooring that had become worn and dingy so I asked her more about it. She told me all she did was clean the previous floors really well and then use good scissors and an exacto knife to cut the vinyl tiles when going around the toilet, sink, and walls.
In tricky spots like the toilet you can use a 12×12 piece of paper as a template to draw the line around it and then trace it onto the vinyl tile (or you could lift the toilet if you know how). Anyways, here’s some links to how to lay a variety of vinyl tiles. Just know it’s definitely doable!
4). Vinyl flooring is a less expensive option to tile and laminate floorings.
Surprisingly not always! Perhaps for a very basic sheet of vinyl or a solid color vinyl tile but not necessarily for some of the better quality look-a-likes.
I did score some vinyl peel and stick tiles at Home Depot clearanced at 33 cents a square feet to do my current master bathroom floors. One of the best $20 I’ve ever spent!
It is a great quality laminate and even a friend with very expensive taste thought it was tile! But that was lucky, most of the nicer quality vinyl will be closer to the $2 and up range.
5) If vinyl isn’t a lot cheaper than other options then there is no reason to purchase it.
Vinyl actually has some great intrinsic qualities. Personally I prefer it over tile for several reasons. One, is it is easier on the foot. You can call me a pansy but I don’t like the hard feel of tile as well as how cold it gets in the winter (go ahead say it, I can take it) I feel vinyl is more comfortable to walk on barefoot for these reasons.
Also with children I worry with falls that they could become injured if they hit their head on tile. Vinyl seems like a softer, less dangerous material to me. In addition tile requires more upkeep and maintenance. Right now we have tile throughout our foyer, kitchen, and half bath. In a few areas the grout has become cracked and chipped away (as shown below) and needs repair.
In addition, compared to laminates and woods it does better holding up to moisture and to nicks from dog nails and other wear.
Lastly, although vinyl may not necessarily be less expensive as tile and laminate it is easier to install. So if you are able to install it yourself than you do save money by going the vinyl route vs. the tile or laminate route.
I hope this post on myth busters of vinyl has been helpful! Do you have experience with vinyl? Do share!
UPDATE: I ended up going with Oyster Travertine peel and stick vinyl tiles in our Kids/Master Bathroom and love it! You can see it in action here!:-)