Vinyl flooring Review

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Vinyl flooring
Bottom Line Experts say that vinyl flooring offers some advantages beyond low cost, ease of installation and suitability for wet environments like kitchens and bathrooms. Vinyl flooring is reasonably durable and easily replaced. It's less likely than wood to fade with prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. It's non-absorbent and easy to clean. It's not as cold underfoot as stone or tile. And it comes in an almost limitless variety of designs, colors and textures. However, vinyl flooring isn't particularly elegant. You're more likely to need professional help installing sheet vinyl than with small vinyl tile squares, but there will be fewer seams with sheet vinyl. For a similar type of flooring, made of natural materials rather than plastic, reviewers recommend linoleum (*est. $3 to $7 per square foot).Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to install
  • Easy to clean
  • Good for kitchens, bathrooms
Cons
  • Varies in appeal
  • Grades vary widely
  • Not a natural material

Consumer Reports presents the most comprehensive unbiased coverage available, rating ten vinyl flooring products. However, you'll need a subscription to see the chart. We found good general advice on the website of home-improvement columnist Tim Carter, at Better Homes & Gardens and at retailers Lowes.com and WolfeFlooring.com.

Our Sources

1. ConsumerReports.org

Flooring: Green Gets Better, Editors of Consumer Reports, Aug. 2008

Consumer Reports test 10 vinyl flooring products and rates them according to their ability to resist wear, scratches, dents, stains and sunlight. A subscription is required to view the ratings, however.

2. AskTheBuilder.com

Flooring, Tim Carter

Home improvement columnist Tim Carter presents helpful information on vinyl flooring while answering readers' questions. Several articles address installation, types, and common problems with vinyl flooring.

3. Lowes.com

What Type of Flooring is Right for Me?, Editors of Lowes.com

This retailer website offers helpful information on choosing, maintaining, and installing vinyl flooring. There's an especially helpful section on installing sheet vinyl.

4. Better Homes & Gardens

A Guide to Flooring, Editors of Better Homes and Gardens

This report describes basic flooring options and includes a very short section on vinyl that mainly highlights the different types without much information on installation or costs.

5. Better Homes & Gardens

Flooring Ideas for Problem Spots, Editors of Better Homes and Gardens

This report offers brief flooring suggestions for heavily trafficked areas. Vinyl is mentioned several times, but there's little information here on installation or cost.

6. Essential Industries, Inc.

Common Flooring Types, Editors of Essential Industries, Inc.

Essential Industries makes resins and polymers for floor finishes. However, this website offers a helpful overview of the general characteristics of vinyl flooring.

7. WolfeFlooring.com

Flooring Type Comparison, Editors of WolfeFlooring.com

This retailer website sells flooring. It also presents useful information on buying and installing vinyl tile and sheet vinyl.

8. FlooringGuide.com

Flooring, Editors of FlooringGuide.com

This website offers detailed information on installing and caring for vinyl flooring. The how-to sections include some photos, so it's easier to get an idea of the labor involved.