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Vinyl, also called
resilient, is a versatile flooring option. There are literally
hundreds of styles and colors to choose from, and pricing
options that make vinyl workable for most any budget. Vinyl
floors are known for their easy care and cleaning, and are
generally wear-resistant. They're also resilient. They "give"
when you walk on them, which creates a soft, comfortable feel
underfoot, and also reduces the chances of plates and glasses
breaking when dropped.
The unique manufacturing processes used today can replicate
the look and textures of real ceramic tile, stone and wood
grains. Plus, resilient manufacturers have created new
manufacturing processes to make vinyl floors more tear and
There are three basic types
of vinyl floors currently used in homes and commercial
Vinyl : The
standard wear layer for base grade vinyl floors. Although this
is considered a no wax floor, it should be given an occasional
polish to give the floor a shine.
Urethane : The
upgrade wear layer for vinyl floors. This is easier to clean
and is more resistant to scratching than ordinary vinyl
no-wax. Weekly cleaning with a no-rinse floor cleaner is all
that is required on most urethane floors.
PVC : PVC
(Polyvinyl chloride), the latest technology in resilient
flooring offers a fiberglass interlayer and comfort backing.
With the option of endless design and color options, this
floor offers dimensional stability so the flooring will not
expand, contract, crack or curl.
The wear layer
is critical to the performance of a vinyl floor. The thickness
of the wear layer varies with each manufacturer's collection
or series and is generally measured in mils.
The thickness of a mil is about the same as a page in your
telephone book. So a 10 mil wear layer would be comparable in
thickness to about 10 pages in your telephone book.
The more expensive vinyl floors generally will have a thicker
wear layer and a much better finish. How long your vinyl floor
will look new is based on the wear layer’s performance.
Performance characteristics for vinyl are:
Easy to clean
staining from normal household products
to tearing, gouging, ripping and indentations
Ease of cleaning
relates to how difficult it is to remove soiling and other
marks from a floor's surface. When a floor begins to look old
and dull it is usually caused by hundreds of fine hair-line
scratches in the wear layer. The fine scratches come from
dirt, grit, and sand rubbing on the wear layer's surface.
The new, high-end vinyl floors have better technology to help
resist showing wear and staining far better than any of the
middle to low-end vinyl floors made today. The special
urethane finishes used on today's residential, high-end vinyl
floors will give you a richer looking floor, better designs,
better tear-resistance and much better performance.