Kitchen flooring needs to be easy to clean, non-slip and low-maintenance. The average family kitchen is a high-traffic area that is subjected to spillages and wear and tear, so it needs to be up to the job. While many people decide on tiles or real wood, the same aesthetic properties can be achieved with vinyl at a fraction of the price.
The exact composition of vinyl flooring can differ, depending on the manufacturer. However, it is usually a synthetic material made with fiberglass, PVC vinyl, and various plastics. A typical sheet of vinyl flooring can be printed with elaborate patterns, which often mimic other surfaces. Extra strength and durability is provided by a top layer of polyurethane. And a cushioning underlayer of foam gives vinyl a soft bounce.
Vinyl flooring is usually delivered in the form of large sheets, which are cut to fit kitchens in the same way the carpet is. However, there are also vinyl tiles and planks, which are laid individually. These options allow you to achieve a classic real wood or tiled aesthetic with a modest budget.
If you’re thinking of laying vinyl on your kitchen floor, there are several issues you should consider. There are many options available, and the right one for your kitchen might not be what you have in mind right now. But if you know what you’re looking for, and you’re willing to shop around, buying vinyl flooring should be an enjoyable, rewarding experience.
We’ve put together a few tips for buying vinyl flooring. Use them to ensure you’ve covered all your bases when it’s time to replace your kitchen floor.
The Advantages of Vinyl Flooring
Sometimes referred to as linoleum, vinyl flooring is a simple, low-maintenance solution that can deliver a huge range of looks. It’s strong, functional and versatile, meaning it can be fitted in any type of kitchen. Not only is vinyl resistant to high temperatures, it’s also waterproof and scratch-resistant.
In most situations, cleaning vinyl flooring simply couldn’t be easier. As long as you have a quality vacuum cleaner and a steam mop, the process should be very quick and straightforward. In fact, most spillages and stains can be cleaned up with just a damp, microfiber cloth.
And, most importantly, vinyl lasts for years. It is designed to take a huge amount of punishment — without becoming damaged or faded. If you’re working on a tight budget for your busy family kitchen, vinyl is a great choice? Why? Well, it’s very durable, and it can withstand everything young children throw at it. And vinyl flooring is a more affordable way of achieving that real wood or tiled aesthetic you’ve always wanted.
What Are the Different Types of Vinyl Flooring?
You’ll be glad to know that there are several different types of vinyl flooring available these days. They all deliver both aesthetic and practical benefits, but some are more suited to certain kitchens than others.
Sheet vinyl is delivered to stores as huge rolls — in much the same way carpet is delivered. If you’re looking for the cheapest and quickest solution, this is definitely the one. You can buy pre-cut sections of vinyl sheeting, as well as custom-cut sections if you’re covering an irregularly shaped kitchen floor. There are no joins, as this type of carpet is cut to the shape of the space.
Self-Adhesive Vinyl Floor Tiles
Self-adhesive vinyl tiles are perfect if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to traditional tiles. They’re laid individually by sticking them directly onto the floor. If you’re laying the vinyl yourself, choosing tiles makes the process a lot more manageable. If you make a mistake, you only lose a single tile — rather than an entire sheet.
Vinyl planks are usually fitted in the same way as vinyl floor tiles are. There’s a self-adhesive surface on the underside of each plank, which means it can be stuck directly to the floor. If you want a wood-effect floor at a fraction of the price, this is definitely the best option.
Vinyl Click Flooring
Vinyl click flooring is one of the most luxurious options on the market today. The fitting process is similar to the one used for laminate flooring. Each individual section is “clicked” into the preceding one. A lot of DIY enthusiasts choose this option, as mistakes can usually be rectified quickly and cheaply. Vinyl click flooring is highly durable, heat-resistant and scratch-resistant — thanks to a tough polyurethane coating.
What Are the Different Styles of Vinyl Flooring?
Take a quick look at the huge range of vinyl floors available at Express Flooring. There are dozens of different styles and hundreds of designs. But to start your search, it’s probably best to decide on the overall style you’re looking for. Here are a few to get you started:
If you have a traditional kitchen, the chances are you want a traditional floor. A wood-effect vinyl is perfect, as it looks just like the real thing. Highly detailed with authentic grains and knots, this stylish option comes in a range of natural shades. Whether you want the rich darkness of walnut or the light tones of beech, there’s a wood-effect vinyl for every imaginable type of kitchen.
If you want added realism, look for textured vinyls, that often feel like wood. You’ll get that unmistakable aesthetic you’re looking for, without all the maintenance and constant resealing.
If you’re looking for a contemporary or retro floor, patterned vinyl could be the answer. There are dozens of interesting options to choose from, including geometric shapes, zigzags, and stripes. You can recreate ornate tiled floors or antique wood flooring by choosing the right patterned vinyl for your kitchen.
Tiles look great on most kitchen floors, but they’re not without their drawbacks. For example, tiles are usually quite expensive, and laying them is a skilled job that is best left to the professionals. Not only that, floor tiles are always susceptible to cracks. But the latest tile-effect vinyl looks exactly like the real thing. In fact, until you stand on it, you probably won’t be able to tell the difference. Choose from a wide range of tile types, including terracotta, ceramic, porcelain and glass.
If your kitchen is already packed with color or design features, you might be looking for a relatively subdued flooring solution. You can blend your floor into the rest of the decor by choosing a plain vinyl. Modern manufacturing methods have created the largest palette of colors ever. And there always various flecks, textures and shades to choose from if you want to add something a little different.
Laying a typical stone floor is usually a very expensive endeavor. The cost of materials alone is prohibitive for many household budgets. But add the cost of installation, and you’re looking at a huge investment. But you can achieve exactly the same look at a fraction of the price with stone-effect vinyl.
One of the great things about stone-effect flooring is that it is suited to both traditional and contemporary kitchens. Whether you’re going for a retro 1950s aesthetic or something minimalist, there’s a stone-effect vinyl that’s perfect for your kitchen. Choose from a wide range of colors and stones, including limestone, marble, and granite. And unlike real stone, this floor covering won’t become a slipping hazard when it’s wet.
Real mosaic floors are hugely expensive, and they’re not always practical for busy family kitchens. But by laying mosaic-effect vinyl, you can enjoy all the benefits without any of the disadvantages. Maintenance involves vacuuming and mopping — without ever having to worry about replacing the sealant or grout.
Top Tips for Choosing a Color
The color of vinyl flooring can change the way a kitchen looks and feels. Choose the wrong color, and this very important space in your home could end up looking inhospitable, small and overly clinical. Here are a few tips for choosing the right color for your particular kitchen.
Assess the Size of Your Kitchen
If you are covering a large, wide floor space, consider darker tones such as walnut and mahogany. You can make your kitchen look a lot smaller, which might be advantageous if you have large expanses of floor space. Adding a dark color to the floor brings everything else in the room closer together — creating a feeling of coziness.
Assess the Natural Light in Your Kitchen
When you assess your kitchen and start thinking about vinyl colors, do so when natural light is flooding into space. Don’t do it, for instance, at night — when you’re relying on artificial light. Natural light changes the way colors are interpreted, so try laying a few samples in natural light during your decision-making process.
Consider the Bigger Picture
It’s not enough to match your vinyl flooring to your walls. You have to take everything into consideration, including appliances, worktops, cabinets and artwork. There may be times when a neutral shade is required in order to keep everything balanced. Similarly, a huge injection of color may be exactly what your kitchen needs. Again, take home a few samples, and take a look at them with the bigger picture in mind.
Top Tips for Choosing the Right Pattern
Patterning and textures on vinyl flooring can completely change a kitchen’s overall aesthetic. For example, imagine you have a very small kitchen with very little visible flooring. Choosing a large and elaborate design could overpower other decorative features in the space. Similarly, sticking to a plain, texture-free vinyl in a large, expansive and minimalist kitchen might leave it feeling cold and bare.
But patterning doesn’t always mean a design. Take a marble-effect vinyl, for example. Marble has its own pattern — given to it by Mother Nature. In a large, expansive dining kitchen, this natural pattern could be just what you need to add a touch of elegance. You can also create a natural look with wood-effect and tile-effect flooring.
As a simple rule of thumb, stick to relatively neutral and unpatterned vinyl for small kitchens. But when you have a little more space to play with, don’t be afraid to inject some texture.
Don’t Forget Those Little Extras
Depending on the finish you’re hoping to achieve, you might need a few extras to go with your new vinyl floor. For example, you’ll probably need a threshold strip to separate your kitchen flooring from the flooring in the adjoining room. You can also create a clean finish against baseboards and walls with the addition of edging strips.
If you’re not using self-adhesive vinyl flooring, you’ll need adhesive, which often comes in the form of a tape. You might also need underlay, depending on the type of vinyl and whether or not you’re laying on top of wooden floorboards.
Yes, this is a lot to take in, so you should take your time when shopping around for the best vinyl flooring for your kitchen. Alternatively, you can speak to the experts and schedule your in-home appointment today. You may qualify for a Vacation Voucher.