A new year often gets us planning lots of new projects for our homes: what’s on your list for 2018?
We’re planning a big kitchen renovation and a new look for our lounge, and both of those projects will involve a flooring re-think.
With two kids and a pet cat, the flooring we choose will most definitely need to cope with busy family life; think muddy paws and wellies, heavy traffic and indoor football, and you get the picture! Having looked at lots of options, I think vinyl flooring is the way to go.
Types of vinyl flooring
The new LVT range of vinyl floor tiles deliver real wow factor. Luxury vinyl tiles, or LVT, combine impressive technology and manufacturing processes to create a top-notch product that’s a million miles away from traditional vinyl. LVT consists of three highly compressed layers that create a super-strong finish, which also looks and feels very natural.
Luxury vinyl tiles are available in two formats. Tiles are used for stone effect finishes, and mimic the square cut of ceramic tiles. Tiles are a popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms. I’m definitely going for this option with our new kitchen, I love the idea of using large tiles to create real impact.
Luxury vinyl tiles are also available in plank format. This shape is used for wood effect finishes, and echoes the typically longer cuts of traditional hardwood flooring. LVT planks look fantastic in living and dining rooms – see what I mean about them looking like the real thing?
This is the entry level option, where the vinyl is supplied as a sheet which is cut to fit your floor. If you think of this format as old-fashioned, think again; developments in technology have delivered improved designs and textures that look much more natural. If you’ve got a high-traffic, functional area like a utility room, vinyl sheet flooring is ideal.
Benefits of vinyl flooring
So why is vinyl flooring a great option for family homes? Well for starters, it’s incredibly durable. It’s tough, resistant to stains and marks, and will withstand heavy footfall, furniture feet and having things dropped on it regularly much better than other flooring options. Most brands offer a twenty year guarantee for domestic use.
Vinyl flooring is also waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about damage from spills, wet shoes or humidity. For this reason it’s a great option in kitchens, bathrooms and entrance areas. Any spills are easy to clean up too, as there are no gaps between planks or tiles.
While we’re on the subject of water, it’s great to see that LVT is also anti-slip, thanks to the combination of fine and deeper grooves and grains in the top layer. Given how my kids charge around the house, this is a real bonus. Oh and it will also reduce the noise of them clattering about!
I’m loving the fact that vinyl flooring is a warm option; having lived with ceramic tiles and draughty wooden plank floors, I really like the fact that vinyl is warmer underfoot. It can also be used with underfloor heating for extra toasty toes, I’m definitely considering this option in our chilly lounge.
Luxury vinyl tiles are quite straightforward when it comes to installation too. They are either glued down or clicked together like a jigsaw, and both formats are pretty quick to install. Depending on the condition of your floor you may need to create a level base first, this is usually done with plywood or a concrete screed and your flooring supplier will be able to advise you on the best option.
So, vinyl flooring ticks all the important boxes when it comes to practicality, but what about looks? I was expecting the number of finishes to be pretty limited, but actually there’s a really great range available. From plank-shaped wood effect to tile-shaped stone and ceramic effect, it’s easy to match the style and finish to your room scheme – and really hard to spot it isn’t the real thing.
Have I convinced you that vinyl flooring is a great option for family homes? Perhaps you’ve already installed it in yours, if so do share your experience in the comments. I’m off to have some fun checking out all the finishes on offer, I may be some time 😉