Today in the building stores presents a wide selection of flooring. Porcelain tile, parquet, tile, linoleum, carpet, laminate – a variety of different options for every taste and wallet, for the realization of the most bizarre design ideas. The emergence of a new type of coverage has made it easier for customers to choose. This is a novelty – vinyl flooring: the pros and cons of many other types of flooring finishes are combined in it.
Structure and technology of manufacturing vinyl floors
The advantages of vinyl floors are explained by the peculiarity of their structure. They are a multilayer material, the main components of which are polyvinyl chloride and mineral (most often, quartz) chips. Also in the composition of vinyl floors include stabilizers, inert fillers, resins and plasticizers. By hot pressing these components are combined into a new material with a multilayer structure.
The basis consists of PVC and a quartz crumb which gives to floors the necessary elasticity and durability. It is because of the presence of quartz, such floors are called quartz-vinyl. Some models have another bottom layer – a self-adhesive backing with a protective film.
On top is a colored decorative layer. A picture imitating a tile, board, parquet, cork, stone, pebble, a strict geometric or bright abstract pattern is applied on it. To protect the pattern from abrasion, a special film of polyurethane is applied on top.
The uppermost transparent layer protects the quartz vinyl coating from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation.
Such a complex structure allows to achieve incredible strength and wear resistance of the material. He has not lost sight for decades.
Interesting fact! In vinyl floors, it is possible to combine the advantages of many types of flooring. Flexibility they resemble linoleum, durability – a stone, ease in laying and a form – a laminate. Only, unlike the latter, vinyl tile has no locking system. It is replaced by special hollow sinuses, smeared with glue. Another difference is the thickness of the coating – it is two times thinner than the laminate.
Vinyl flooring appeared in the second half of the last century. Over the past years, it has significantly changed and gradually acquired the unique characteristics that guaranteed its popularity today. They are used in offices, industrial facilities, apartments. More and more people prefer this type of flooring. What are the pros and cons of vinyl floors, according to reviews of these people, were identified during their operation?
One of the main advantages of quartz vinyl floor is its amazing strength and durability. It serves for decades, without losing the original form. Due to its mineral crumb, it is almost not subject to abrasion, and a special protective layer of the film does not allow it to fade from intense exposure to sunlight or aggressive detergents. True, this is true only in relation to expensive vinyl flooring (reviews can be found on specialized forums).
Vinyl coating also differs in increased wear resistance, is not afraid of scratches and cracks, it does not form dents from furniture legs, as is the case with cork floors.
Among other advantages of finishing material, it is worth mentioning water resistance. It allows you to lay vinyl on the floor in rooms with high humidity and significant temperature differences, such as bathrooms or outdoor areas. The coating will provide a sufficient level of waterproofing over the years, since it is not afraid of water and cannot be deformed due to exposure to steam or heat.
Judging by the numerous reviews of vinyl floors on the Internet, they do not form a mold or fungus. And the fact that it is not attractive for themselves small pests, such as mice and rats, allows you to use this type of coverage in private homes.
Specialized stores have a large selection of quartzvinyl coating of various colors and textures. The assortment is so diverse that it is often difficult to understand when looking at vinyl floors, what it is – wood, stone or leather. Photos of quartz vinyl floors on the Internet clearly demonstrate how easy and very believable they imitate any natural and synthetic materials.
If you wish, you can find vinyl tiles that resemble expensive wood, pebbles, natural or artificial stone, as well as bright abstractions or an unusual pattern. This will allow you to design the interior in any style from classic to high-tech and with minimal cost. The aesthetics of the material is not limited to a wide color palette. This coating has no visible seams and joints.
If you compare the cost of vinyl tiles and other types of flooring, it turns out that it roughly corresponds to the cost of ceramic tiles and less than the cost of parquet or cork flooring.
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Despite the undeniable advantages of this coating, the disadvantages of vinyl laminate are well known.
Given the composition of the vinyl coating, it is impossible to consider it as environmentally friendly. This entails several problems at once. Firstly, this composite material is not subject to decomposition, which means that it cannot be disposed of. Secondly, the new vinyl coating releases toxins for some time. They won’t do harm to an adult, but it’s better not to use it in children’s rooms. It is not suitable for asthmatics, allergy sufferers, people with weakened immune systems, since the substances secreted by them can irritate the mucous membranes and provoke the development of respiratory diseases.
Helpful advice! Before buying a vinyl coating, you should ask for a hygienic certificate of quality. Its presence guarantees the safety of the use of finishing material in the apartment.
It is not recommended to use fire-hazardous vinyl in the kitchen, since it is impossible to exclude the possibility of fire in this room, and the material emit toxic substances during combustion.
The vinyl tile represents a strong, durable and hermetic covering. But because of these qualities, dismantling the floor is difficult. Even if only a small portion of the floor is damaged, it cannot be replaced. You have to shoot all the vinyl completely.
Vinyl floor is resistant to mechanical stress and aggressive chemical attack. However, there are substances and materials, contact with which will negatively affect the appearance and quality of vinyl tile. One of these unsuitable materials is rubber. Vinyl becomes discolored and tarnishes from contact with it. For this reason, it is not necessary to purchase rubber mats for the bathroom with vinyl flooring.
Due to the small thickness of the coating it is impossible to make the vinyl floor warm. The floor will have to be additionally insulated, which will increase the cost of repairs.
There are several classifications of vinyl coating.
Depending on the technological characteristics of the following varieties distinguish:
- universal tile on a sticky basis (the easiest for laying option, the adhesive already applied on the lower part of the tile ensures perfect adhesion to any clean surface);
- a coating with a locking compound (glue is applied not on the reverse side, but on the edge of a single-sided vinyl laminate (with or without a facet), thus the floor “floats”, as it were, an excellent option for high-traffic areas and a warm floor finishing);
- adhesive coating (the most democratic option in terms of price, it is laid using adhesive for vinyl tiles).
Depending on the size, you can select the following types of coverage:
- vinyl tile (PVC tile) 300X600 mm in size with lockless and locking connection;
- quartz vinyl laminate of 180X920 cm and 100X920 mm;
- in the form of rolls (2000X25000 mm), resembling linoleum.
Depending on the level of wear resistance, vinyl coating is used in apartments and offices, airports, schools, shops. Correctly choose the necessary option allows the division of coverage into several classes:
- The average level of use, wear resistance class 23-31. It is used in residential areas with low traffic. The lifetime of this coating with a thickness of 2 mm is not great (only 6 years), but it is represented by a huge assortment of colors and textures.
- Intensive level, grade 32-42, coating thickness 2.5 mm. It is used in public and commercial buildings – offices, schools, shopping centers, etc. It can serve up to 15 years, and in apartments up to 30 years.
- Maximum level, 43 class, thickness 3 mm. It was created specifically for areas with high traffic and large mechanical loads – in manufacturing, gyms, airports, garages. Its distinctive characteristics are high elasticity, good antistatic and anti-slip properties.
Before you start laying vinyl floors (video can be found on the Internet), it is necessary to thoroughly clean the floor from any debris and dry. Otherwise, even small particles can ruin the soft bottom layer and cause deformation and tearing of the coating during its further operation.
The surface on which you plan to lay vinyl tiles should be perfectly flat. Since the floor drops should not exceed 3 mm, the concrete floor should be leveled with a self-leveling screed, and then treated with a primer. The wooden base is also suitable for pasting tiles, but it is pre-leveled with thin plywood. Wood chipboard (chipboard) can be used instead of plywood, but they are not suitable for mounting adhesive laminate because of its rough and non-uniform surface.
Helpful advice! To facilitate the work with the finishing material, vinyl after purchase must be left for a while in the room, without removing from the packaging. If the temperature outside during the transportation of the tile was below +100C, this time should be at least two days.
Be sure to apply the markup on the floor, if you have to work with adhesive coating. The room should be divided into 4 sectors relative to the center. Installation of tiles begin with the site, which is located furthest from the door and is conducted from the center to the corners of the room. The glue itself is applied to the concrete screed for a quarter of an hour, after which the tile is laid and pressed with a rubber roller or flat board. It is necessary to completely remove the film from under it, otherwise the surface will be uneven. Apply glue must be a comb with very fine teeth.
The installation of the locking connection is the same as the installation of a conventional laminate. On the protruding edge of the coating there is a protective strip covering the adhesive edge. It must be removed, put the protrusion into the groove of the laid laminate and knock with a rubber hammer to connect the edges.
When laying tiles on a self-adhesive backing film is removed and pressed to the floor. It is important to do it the first time, because if you glue the tiles several times and tear them off, you will not be able to glue them properly. To avoid this, you must first remove the narrow edge of the protective film and apply a vinyl coating to the tile that has already been laid. Then remove the entire film and press it firmly to the floor. It is important to trim the edges and adjust the tile before the adhesive film is removed.
Important! During the installation of quartz vinyl coating, you must move over the already laid laminate. First of all, this is due to the need to observe the ideal purity of the surface on which the coating is applied.
Immediately after installation, it is necessary to check the quality of installation, so that there are no cavities or bumps. The corners and joints should be smooth and neat.
Remove excess glue can be a cloth moistened with an alcohol solution or soapy water. You can wash the floor a day after laying the floor, and arrange the furniture – in two days.
Care for quartz vinyl floors, according to reviews on the Internet, is not difficult. They can be vacuumed, including with the help of a vacuum cleaner for wet cleaning of premises, to sweep, to wash with a damp cloth. Glitter will give them special tools for linoleum (various solutions and mastics).
Despite the excellent wear resistance and durability of vinyl floors (photos are presented in this article), they cannot be washed with aggressive abrasive detergents and industrial cleaners. They not only can lead to discoloration of the coating, but also deform it. If such a tool is still spilled, it should be removed immediately.
Although the vinyl floor is not afraid of hard mechanical impact, still when moving furniture you should use special suede lining for the legs or plywood sheets.
These simple rules will keep the vinyl floor in perfect condition over the years.