Vinyl flooring is really popular at the moment and is THE trend flooring for anyone looking for an easy-care floor. But other floors are also easy to clean. So why is vinyl so popular? What are the advantages and disadvantages of vinyl flooring? And where can it be installed? We answer all questions about vinyl here.
Vinyl flooring is in vouge
Easy care: Design vinyl is extremely easy to care for, maintenance cleaning is uncomplicated and quick, and yet the floor retains its beauty in the long term. Vacuuming and damp mopping are sufficient for cleaning. Unlike parquet, vinyl floors do not need to be treated with oil or similar products.
Very resistant: Vinyl design floors are ideal for heavy use - they are scratch-resistant, dimensionally stable and suitable for any area - from the home to restaurants, kindergartens or other social facilities. Vinyl gives a feeling of freedom: no matter whether pets, high heels or falling objects - vinyl defies almost any load. The different usage classes of vinyl floors indicate which rooms the floor is suitable for. Use class 23/32 is the most common. It is suitable for all living rooms.
Quiet: Compared to laminate, there is less walking noise because it is more elastic. Vinyl flooring is also warm underfoot - that is, warmer than laminate and tiles.
Moisture resistant: Adhesive vinyl sheet or Hydro-Smart floors are suitable for installation in bathrooms. It is always important that the subfloor is prepared for bonding in accordance with standards and that the correct design flooring adhesive is used. Vinyl floors on HDF substrates are not suitable for wet rooms.
Versatile: Design floorings can be realised in almost all designs. From wood to stone décor to abstract patterns, everything is possible.
Tile-look vinyl flooring is particularly popular because it offers several advantages over real tiles: It is quicker and easier to install and provides better room acoustics. It is also just as easy to clean and very hard-wearing. If you are looking for a real alternative to tiles, tile-look vinyl flooring is the right choice for you.
The most common types of vinyl flooring
- Vinyl on HDF core board: The total installation height is approx. 10mm. High-quality PU-finished surface with transparent wear layer (approx. 1mm). LVT decor film on vinyl carrier in wood or stone look. Highly compressed swell-reduced HDF board as middle layer (approx. 8mm). The impact sound insulation consists of approx. 2mm pressed cork (bark from the cork oak). Vinyl HDF prefabricated flooring is laid as a floating floor.
- Vinyl Hydro-Smart: The total installation height is approx. 5.5mm. High-quality PU-finished surface with transparent wear layer. LVT decor film in many different designs. The middle layer is a waterproof HYDRO core board. The backing layer is a moisture-insensitive, pressure-resistant impact sound insulation. This is suitable for both floating and full-surface gluing.
- Vinyl adhesive sheet: The total installation height is approx. 2mm. High-quality PU-coated surface with transparent wear layer. LVT decor film in many different design versions. The adhesive sheets are only suitable for full-surface bonding.
Advantages and disadvantages of vinyl flooring
Here is a brief overview of the advantages and disadvantages of vinyl flooring:
- easy-care in daily maintenance cleaning (no oiling and polishing necessary)
- easy and quick to install also suitable for DIY
- low-noise impact sound improvement of up to 20 dB
- large selection of decors and colours such as wood and stone decors
- gsuitable for pets
- fwarm underfoot and pleasant to walk on
- low height, therefore ideal for renovations
- Hydro-Smart and vinyl adhesive sheets are suitable for damp rooms
- low thermal resistanc: well suited for underfloor heating
- Very level subfloor required for laying
- cannot be laid on every existing old floor covering
- heavy objects can leave pressure marks
- glued vinyl flooring is difficult to remove
- May contain harmful plasticisers if not certified or produced in the EU.
Pay attention to where your vinyl floor comes from
Vinyl flooring is made of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC for short. This material is very hard. Therefore, it cannot be used to make floor coverings on its own. Vinyl floors contain additives such as plasticisers. This makes the floors light-resistant and elastic. Because of the plasticisers, vinyl or PVC used to have a bad reputation. Today, the additives are no longer a cause for concern. In the EU, there are strict rules for the production of vinyl floors and other products made of PVC. We can also supply PVC-free vinyl floors. These therefore contain neither chlorine nor plasticisers.
What do you have to bear in mind when laying?
Vinyl flooring is easy and quick to install. You don't need a saw to shorten it except with HDF core board: Simply score the planks with a cutter knife and then crease them by hand. Only install on a dry, clean and even subfloor. The maximum permissible unevenness of the subfloor must not exceed 2 mm over a length of 1 m (according to ÖNORM DIN 18202), otherwise level out with a suitable levelling compound. HDF prefabricated floors and Hydro-Smart vinyl floors are suitable for floating installation on screeds with hot water underfloor heating, provided that the regulations regarding heating according to the "heating protocol" as well as the "screed residual moisture" before installation of a maximum of 1.8% CM for cement screed, or 0.3% CM for anhydrite screed are observed. A 0.2 mm PE foil (vapour-barrier bonded) must be laid under the finished floor. The maximum surface temperature of the floor on (hot water) underfloor heating should not exceed 26°C according to generally applicable guide values (Ö-Norm). Hydro-Smart can also be laid on electric underfloor heating.
Where you can install vinyl flooring?
Living room, kitchen, bedroom, hallways or bathroom. Vinyl flooring is suitable for almost all rooms. If you pay attention to a few special features, you will enjoy your new vinyl floor for a long time:
In damp rooms such as bathrooms, install your Hydro-Smart vinyl floor over the entire surface. Seal the expansion joint with silicone. This prevents moisture from getting under the floor. Floating floors cannot be sealed. If moisture gets under the floor, mould can develop.
Vinyl flooring is well suited for the kitchen. However, you should only place the kitchen unit on bonded vinyl. We recommend the Hydro-Smart version, which is suitable for all-over adhesion. The kitchen is too heavy for floating floors. Heavy kitchen islands should be excluded from the floating installation under the plinth, these work and the weight of the kitchen would hinder this. This can damage the floor.
Go for tiles in the sauna because of the high humidity and heat. Vinyl flooring is not designed for such temperatures and would break.
Vinyl is only suitable for conservatories to a limited extent. The sun can quickly heat up the conservatory to 50 °C and more. At such temperatures, the floor warps. The same applies to south-facing rooms with large glass fronts. Here, too, very high temperatures occur on the floor, which can lead to warping. Such rooms must be equipped with automatic shading or it is better to choose a different floor covering in such rooms.
Can vinyl flooring be installed over old floor coverings?
You cannot install vinyl flooring over any existing floor covering.
We do not recommend it on floating floors. Remove the old laminate, parquet or vinyl before installing the new floor. This will also save you installation height.
The subfloor must be level and load-bearing; do not lay vinyl on solid wood planks, for example. Wood works - even if you can't see it. This can lead to permanent damage to the vinyl floor (click connection).
Remove old carpet before installing new vinyl flooring (and also with any other new flooring). The click joints can be damaged by the carpet giving way. In addition, the carpet can become mouldy and unpleasant odours will develop.
Check tiles for evenness before laying them. If your floor is level enough and you have chosen a vinyl floor with HDF backing, you can lay the floor as a floating floor without filling the joints. If you have chosen a thinner vinyl floor, you must fill the joints with levelling compound.
How to clean vinyl flooring
As a rule, initial care or maintenance of factory-finished PU floorings is not necessary. In heavily frequented rooms, an initial or initial care is recommended.
Ongoing cleaning/maintenance cleaning
Daily cleaning: First clean your vinyl floor with a hoover or a broom. Treat stubborn dirt with neutral or PU cleaner. In heavily frequented rooms, e.g. business premises, the surface can be polished with a single-disc machine and a white pad if necessary.
Damp mopping: Good cleaning results are achieved by 2-step mopping (2-mop system) with a double moving bucket.
Polishing / cleaning: In this procedure, the floor covering is polished with an appropriate machine (min. 400-600 rpm) or cleaned with the additional use of a spray cleaner product. Both methods compact the maintenance film or the PU coating and thus visually enhance the floorcovering. In both cases, a clean, soft pad (white) must be used.
If adherent soiling can no longer be removed in the course of ongoing cleaning, it is recommended to carry out intermediate cleaning with a neutral or PU cleaner according to the manufacturer's instructions.
A basic cleaning is necessary from time to time, e.g. when a satisfactory result can no longer be achieved through regular maintenance cleaning. The floor is cleaned with a vinyl basic cleaner in combination with a single-disc machine and a green pad. All dirt and care product residues are removed completely and the floor is then sufficiently neutralised with water. Afterwards, a coating with WEARMAX Express or a PU sealer is required. Please proceed according to the recommendations of the cleaning agent manufacturer.
Basically, if you want to care for the vinyl floor properly, always remove stains as soon as possible.
Dispose of the old vinyl floor
Vinyl flooring is easy to dispose of. It is not hazardous waste. However, the floors are not disposed of via the classic household or bulky waste, but must be taken to the recycling centre. But they can be recycled. By disposing of it properly, the floor is returned to the material cycle. Old vinyl planks are then used, for example, to make window profiles, pipes, flower and beverage boxes or foils.
Vinyl is a great and practical floor covering. Weigh up the pros and cons of vinyl flooring before deciding whether it suits you. If the positive features convince you, vinyl is the perfect floor for you. However, if you have something other than vinyl flooring in mind, you will find more information about parquet and solid wood flooring in our range.