Your kitchen is the one room in your home where everyone wants to gather. It is the hearth of your home and sees lots of foot traffic. Your kitchen floor reflects your lifestyle. But, the kitchen floor should not be your biggest worry in the grand scheme of things.
Vinyl flooring more recently has been one of the best choices for a kitchen. It tolerates lots of foot traffic, is easy to maintain, and is easy to install. Vinyl is water-resistant, ideal in a kitchen that sees lots of liquid and food spills. Understanding the make-up of vinyl, the available types, and the differences between them will help you make the best choice in vinyl flooring for your kitchen.
Anatomy of Vinyl Flooring
The Wear Layer
The wear layer is the layer of protection, the floor’s first defence against water, dirt, and shoes. This layer needs to be thick for two reasons, there will be lots of foot traffic and it will see its share of water, food, and drink spills. The wear layer protects the design and keeps the floor looking new for years to come.
There are three wear layers. All three are polyurethane-based finishes that protect the floor from stains and scuff marks. You want a thick wear layer so that it will have more protection on your kitchen floor. The durability of this layer ensures that your kitchen floor will last a long time.
Enhanced urethane doesn’t need polishing or buffing. It’s easy to clean, resistant to scratching and scuffing, and resists stains. It is the most durable wear layer and maintains its shine the longest.
Urethane is less resistant to scuffing. It doesn’t need buffing or polishing to keep its shine. It also resists stains and is easy to clean. While it is very durable, it is not as durable as enhanced urethane.
No wax vinyl is the most economical topcoat. You don’t have to polish or buff it, and it remains shiny for years. It is also stain-resistant. Of the three, it is the least durable and is not scratch or scuff-resistant.
The print layer has the design. The aesthetic layer is why you choose that particular kitchen vinyl flooring. It is the layer people see when they wander into your kitchen. This layer has various options in textures, colours, and designs. This layer can be your kitchen’s focal point.
Water Resistant Layer
You find this layer in the core of the vinyl kitchen floor. It ensures moisture doesn’t compromise the flooring by absorbing the moisture without swelling. There are two water-proofing layer options. Both contain plastic composite mixed with a second component.
This layer floats on the subfloor or underlay. If it has a layer of foam or cork, it will not need an underlay. It is the layer that cushions your feet and absorbs sound.
If your kitchen flooring does not have a backing layer, you’ll want to buy an underlay to insulate the floor, act as a moisture and sound barrier, and assist in making the fitting and installation easier.
Vinyl Flooring Choices
Vinyl flooring is budget-friendly and durable. You can have a professional install it, yet it is easy enough for you to install it yourself. The newer click-and-lock vinyl flooring is literally a snap to install. You can install it in a moderate-sized kitchen in several hours.
Vinyl flooring has three options, sheet vinyl, luxury vinyl plank (LVP), and luxury vinyl tile (LVT). All three offer something different and are by far the best choices for vinyl kitchen flooring.
Most people are familiar with sheet vinyl. Although most of us grew up in a home with sheet vinyl flooring in the kitchen and bathroom, it was usually placed in the basement. Sheet vinyl has gotten an upgrade. It is water-resistant and comes in a multitude of colours, textures, and designs.
The sheet vinyl of today offers textures that mimic stone and wood. It is a softer vinyl flooring than vinyl tiles and plank, so it will scratch easier. It is perfect for kitchen flooring because stains and spills can be cleaned up with a damp cloth or mop – nice and easy.
Subflooring is vital for the sheet vinyl to lay smooth and flat, so your subfloor needs to be stable. Sheet vinyl requires seaming (seams welded together to look like one large piece.) Sheet vinyl is often difficult to work with and should ideally be installed by a professional.
Luxury Vinyl Planks
Luxury vinyl planks are more rigid than sheet vinyl making them scratch-resistant and durable. The planks are narrow and long with a realistic wood look— consisting of PVC with a design layer and top coat. The more durable your top coat, the less you need to worry about tears, scratches, and stains on your vinyl kitchen flooring.
Luxury vinyl planks come as a glued-down plank and click and lock options. Both come in various patterns, colours, and finished. The planks have waterproof surfaces that withstand standing water. In addition, you can use luxury vinyl planks as a focal point in your kitchen by installing a pattern such as a chevron or herringbone, which is a very popular look these days. When choosing kitchen vinyl flooring, luxury vinyl planks are ideal!
Luxury Vinyl Tile
The engineering of the luxury vinyl tiling makes it look and feel like ceramic porcelain or stone. In addition, the tile is made up of many layers making it very durable.
Like luxury vinyl planks, tiles can be glued down or clicked into place. Luxury vinyl tile is so easy to install that you don’t need a professional. You can lay the tiles right on top of your existing flooring!
Luxury vinyl tiles are waterproof and highly durable. Unlike genuine tiles and stone, they offer better slip resistance. Using a kitchen vinyl floor cleaner on these tiles keeps them shiny and increases the floor’s longevity.
Making the Decision
The choice of what type of vinyl to use is in your kitchen is up to you and there are no shortage of options when it comes to vinyl. Sheet vinyl, luxury vinyl planks, and luxury vinyl tiles give your kitchen an upgrade with a new aesthetic and provide waterproof and durable kitchen flooring that will last you a long time. Whether you’re installing it yourself or getting a professional do it, you have chosen the best flooring for your kitchen!