The Beginner’s Guide to Shopping for Vinyl Floors

Do you want your kitchen, lounge, bathroom or office flooring to look stylish but remain practical? Vinyl flooring may be the perfect solution and it just so happens to be bang on-trend right now.

An increasingly popular choice in many private homes and business properties, vinyl effectively combines style with durability. Research shows that vinyl sales increased more than 26 percent in 2015 and are still on the rise in 2017.

Whether you want a realistic wood, marble, metallic or stone look in black, cream, brown or even slate gray, vinyl floors are taking chic and affordable home decoration to the next level. What’s more, it only takes a few hours to fit.

But with so many different vinyl options out there, it can get a little confusing.

Fear not! This practical beginner’s guide to shopping for vinyl flooring should get your started and off on the right track.

First, let’s recap on why choosing vinyl is such a brilliant choice:

Benefits of vinyl flooring

  • Longlasting: It can last for 20 years or more if properly cared for.
  • Hypoallergenic: It does not trap dust particles and other allergens like pollen, dust mites, mold and other forms of bacteria – unlike carpeting.
  • Low maintenance: The floor only needs to be damp mopped once a week, making it a great choice for parents with active children and pet owners.
  • Resistant to damage: Vinyl is very resistant to most forms of dirt, scratching, fading and even stains. When something is spilled, it simply lies on the surface without being absorbed – unlike carpeting or paper-based laminate flooring.
  • Great in warm climates: The vinyl reduces indoor temperatures making your house cooler and more comfortable.
  • The options are endless: Over the past few years, vinyl flooring has been made available in more than 1,000 colors, styles, and designs, meaning there is something for everyone.
  • You have the option to mix and match patterns and colors: The look and finish of your floor can be totally unique and personal. You can also match it to the rest of your décor to elevate your interior design.
  • Highly affordable: Vinyl is as aesthetically pleasing as carpeting, laminate, solid hardwood or ceramic tiles – often for a fraction of the cost. You can get a square foot for as little as $1. Luxury vinyl can be between $3-7 per square foot.


When choosing from vinyl floors, it is essential you purchase the highest tile grade possible. You will want the colors to match perfectly and for the tiles to correctly line up during the installation process. Lower grade tiles are not always exactly the same size or shade.

The basic composition of vinyl flooring doesn’t change all that much. Some manufacturers may mix another material in the bottom backing layer but most stick to either vinyl on its own or a combination of vinyl and limestone.

Do some research and check out the composition and design among various brands.

Don’t get vinyl confused with linoleum

When people talk about vinyl flooring, people often imagine the outdated 1980s linoleum. While linoleum and vinyl look very similar and are both available in rolls and tile, they are completely different products.

Linoleum is a made from natural materials and vinyl is completely synthetic. Vinyl is far lower maintenance, easier to install and has a longer lifespan. It also doesn’t require additional sealants.

Always buy in bulk

It’s a good idea to purchase all your flooring in one go, especially if you want the same design to run throughout your home or office. You can’t guarantee that a shop or manufacturer will keep stocking your design in the future.

Removing your Old Floor Covering

You may have to remove your home’s flooring before you lay new vinyl flooring down. Empire Floors can connect you with a local flooring company who can advise you on the best route.

Vinyl in the kitchen

Vinyl is the perfect flooring choice for the kitchen with its durability and water/dirt resistance. Since vinyl offers a slightly softer surface than wood or tile, it’s easier to stand on for long periods of time. This makes it a great choice if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking or socializing.

Since vinyl flooring is so easy to clean, any dropped drinks, muddy footprints or cooking accidents can be mopped up within minutes. However, be aware that while vinyl may prevent glass breaking because of its spongier surface, sharp objects may damage the surface if dropped.

Vinyl in the bathroom

With vinyl being 100% waterproof, it works particularly well in bathrooms, where water often ends up on the floor.

Water beads on the vinyl surface, making it easy to mop up. It’s worth bearing in mind that over time, some vinyl floors develop bumps or curls at the edges or along the seams.

To prevent this from happening, the subflooring or underlayment beneath the vinyl floor must be perfectly smooth before installation.

Vinyl in entrance areas and halls

The resilience of vinyl flooring makes it an ideal solution for areas that take a lot of foot traffic, entrance areas or hallways for example.

Remember that after a few years of continual foot traffic in the same area, some signs of wear may appear. If this happens, the vinyl tile or plank can be removed and a new one installed. However, a sheet vinyl floor will need to be completely replaced.

Vinyl in living rooms, offices and bedrooms

Vinyl can also be brilliant in living rooms, offices, and bedrooms because there are so many affordable color, design and style options. While vinyl has in the past proved most popular in kitchens, hallways, and bathrooms, it is becoming a hot trend for other living and working areas.


It is essential that you choose the right flooring for your home or office.

The perfect flooring can elevate your décor, save you money and take the stress out of home or office maintenance.

Want a free quote for vinyl flooring? We can give you one within just a few minutes. What are you waiting for?