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Both the old and new generation of vinyl floor tiles have a lot to offer homes, offices and places of business. Self-adhesive glue has become stronger, and for most models it is enough to get them in place without the additional use of third part adhesives. Now that vinyl has become faster to install than any other tile, consumers can be a little bit pickier with their choices. While some models excel at design, others seem to be more durable. Finding the right balance between design and function is hard, with only a few companies capable of producing consistent models. Buyers will also have to consider the cost per tile in a box, as most models have different quantities. A little forethought is required to get everything just right with a final decision. Once you find the right vinyl tile, installing it is an easy to follow DIY project.
Our Top 3 Picks
Home Dynamix and Achim Home Furnishings are the two biggest names on the list. The former has several collections that work well inside and outside of the home. Their color and design choices are incredible, with all of their products coming with an extensive five year warranty. Achim Home Furnishings is the safest bet on the list for consumers that aren’t quite sure what they want out of vinyl flooring. The other brands are great for users that have used vinyl before and are looking to their next big project. Majority of the choices on the list use self-stick adhesive, so brand specific adhesives (or third party choices) are not needed.
Maintenance and Cleaning Tips
Cleaning vinyl floors is a simple task, and not that much different from cleaning regular floors. This could of course change depending on whether the vinyl floors are installed badly or correctly. Badly installed vinyl floors will leave small gaps where dirt can collect. So the best upfront maintenance for vinyl floor tiles is to install them correctly the first time so that cleaning them doesn’t require extra effort.
Maintaining Tiles – Because of the low cost of tiles, if there are any cracks in your vinyl, replacing it is the best maintenance option. Tiles that come up due to weak adhesives or badly applied glue can be redone without replacing the entire tile. When installing tiles, keep everything as uniform as possible so bigger maintenance issues with gaps don’t show up in the later years.
Cleaning Tiles – To keep your tiles looking brand new, periodically sweep the floors before dirt gets a chance to settle. When dirt settles, you can move to stronger techniques like apple cider vinegar+water and a mop. That will get just about anything off of your vinyl. Commercial cleaners meant just for vinyl are available, so that is an option if you want to clean while also adding a fresh scent to the area. Users should be careful about the type of cleaners they use outside of these suggested two items since harsh chemicals can damage vinyl floors.
Between prices, design and adhesive types, vinyl flooring tiles have all sorts of small things to look at. None of the three features just mentioned cover durability, another important factor when buying vinyl floor tiles. If there are three things that make the buying choice easier, it is the following;
Price/Quantity Ratio – You want a good balance of each when doing small and medium rooms. A lower priced set isn’t always the best choice if the quantity in the box is small. For larger rooms, quantity will always trump price since it keeps you from buying multiple boxes.
Durability – Higher durability keeps buyers from having to constantly replace tiles that are breaking in high traffic areas, or from being too generic to keep up with daily demand. A long warranty is nice, but it is better to have vinyl tiles that can keep up with the demands of the area.
Design – Floor tiles don’t have to be an extravagant work of art, but the colors and design needs to not look cheap. This is where a good finish can make a big difference in how nice the floor looks. A good design is one that you’ll want to reuse constantly, and may also introduce you to other products from the same company.
Modern vinyl flooring is made up of colored polyvinyl chloride chips. There are many different variations of the material, so some may feel more authentic than others based on their material division. But thicker does not mean higher quality, although it usually points to more durable materials. When you have it in your hands, vinyl flooring feels and acts like plastic since it is made from the same synthetic materials as plastic. It isn’t uncommon to fine ethylene and chlorine traces in the finished materials before they’re shipped out. The quantity of both is up to the manufacturer and the overall quality of the shipped tiles.
The benefits of luxury vinyl comes with better quality, durability, moisture resistance and even look. There are a lot of colors and patterns only found within the luxury vinyl line. The con of buying luxury vinyl is the expense. You’ll end up eating the extra cost whether it is a small or large area that needs to be covered, so size doesn’t really factor in. Luxury vinyl is a better long-term value than regular vinyl flooring. In areas where you expect a lot of foot traffic, getting luxury vinyl may be worth the extra expense. But with projects that have a capped priced, regular vinyl flooring does the job without any trouble. Doing measurements beforehand will give you a general idea of which type works with the project.
Vinyl floors can come with glue or without it. The glue that comes with the vinyl floor is good, and will hold just fine against impacts, spills and scratches. For vinyl that relies on your applying the glue yourself, its strength will depend strongly on how well you spread the adhesive. So with that in mind, vinyl without glue is the better choice as it puts the strength of the adhesive in the hands of the user. You can choose any compatible brand, and if you spend a little more, can purchase adhesives that are strong enough to last 20+ years without reapplying.
No, in fact it is more stable than regular vinyl that comes with the glue already applied. This has to do with the thicker texture and how they fall in place like pieces to a puzzle. All of this hefty construction of loose-lay vinyl helps it to last years longer than other materials. You’re also less likely to install it wrong, so once it is in place the area is set for a couple of decades (unless it isn’t properly maintained). No glue is involved with this method, making replacing a broken tile a trivial process.
There are plenty of contenders in the category for best vinyl adhesive. This of course applies to vinyl flooring that doesn’t come pre-glued. Roberts has large and small options and seems to dominate the shelves on a lot of local stores. They also have relevance with a lot of big name chains like Home Depot. But there is also a lot of noise for Loctite, a favorite of many consumers. It has the same popular reputation that Gorilla Glue has- tough, reliable and great pricing.
The biggest reason to consider vinyl flooring is the price, which is always going to be cheaper than alternative options. The second reason is variety, which is something you will get accustomed to when looking at luxury vinyl. It is comparative in quality to a lot of high end floor options, yet still has a lower price. The third reason consumer’s buy vinyl flooring has to do with durability. When you want moisture resistance without sacrificing looks, vinyl flooring is going to be the best choice.
With all of the great things that come with vinyl flooring, there are also some cons. It’s easier to replace vinyl flooring than it is to repair it if something goes wrong. This is only an issue if you didn’t install the flooring yourself. A lot of information needs to be digested before handling a DIY install. But a lot of customers still forget to check whether the vinyl comes pre-glued or not. So even if you have the vinyl in hand ready to be installed, the project may be put on hold if you forgot to purchase separate adhesives.
Yes! The biggest hurdle is the information gathering. After that, the only thing you have to do is lay down the materials with simple to follow directions. With a lot of planning ahead, installing vinyl flooring is an incredibly fun DIY project. A lot of measuring is needed, but that is no different than if you were installing regular flooring. The most time spent installing vinyl is with deciding on the type and design that best fits your project area. Since pricing is balanced within the industry, the only time you’ll have to put though into it is when deciding between regular and luxury vinyl flooring.
A couple of tools are required, but nothing out of the ordinary. Consumers that have worked on a DIY project before will most likely have these tools ready. A tape measure, pencil or chalk, utility knife and optional adhesive if you purchase vinyl flooring that isn’t pre-glued. That about rounds up all the important tools needed to get the job done on project sizes of all scales. So the other good news with this project is that the price won’t go up substantially if tools need to be purchased.
That comes down to your personal expertise with DIY installations. Vinyl flooring is on the easy side, but there are still consumers that want the convenience of professional installation. It guarantees the floors get done correctly, and of course are backed by a warranty should something go wrong. You don’t have to worry about getting the wrong measurements, forgetting the adhesive or leaving uneven patches all over the floor. When the DIY option is too costly of your time, then consider hiring a professional to do the job.
Surface embossing is what makes vinyl look like the type of surface it is mimicking. Think of it as a way to rate the quality of the pieces you’re buying. Want vinyl to look like wood? The surface embossing will make this possible. Surface embossing that is deep tends to be more realistic, even when you’re holding the vinyl at an angle. Surface embossing has different levels, and can produce products that even pass for aged wood. Users that are specific about the design of a room will want to pay attention to surface embossing with their vinyl.
Instead of pulling up all the vinyl to install new tile, you can save time and money by skipping the removal step. Instructions vary since it can’t be done with all setups. For instance, it is a good idea to only do this with vinyl that is in good condition. The same applies to the floor underneath the vinyl, which could possibly be in bad condition. A lot of prerequisites like this have to be met before installing tile over vinyl, but there are plenty of guides available to help you through the process.
Yes, and it can be a great alternative for stairs that are past their prime. Consumers that want an easy way to spruce up their old stairs can use leftover vinyl flooring from their main project. That way it matches the current setting and doesn’t cost you extra. If you intend to prioritize adding vinyl flooring to stairs, then consider making it a separate project altogether. You can buy specific vinyl flooring that fits your current theme.
Rolling a vinyl floor after installation will bond it to the area for a better fit. You would usually do this before the adhesive dries and has time to settle. A rolling pin wrapped in a plastic bag will do the trick, but using a tool meant for the job will give better results. Rolling isn’t necessary yet remains a great way to ensure the installation stays put. This prevents the vinyl from coming up at the seams or in any other easy to miss areas. If you’re in doubt about this method, then look through the instructions.
This is confusing for users that buy 20+ packs of vinyl flooring. If the tiles look a little different from one another, it is normal. This is done to give them a natural look instead of making the floor one big generic space. The changes are subtle enough from one tile to the next so they are still uniform, but unique in their own way. When you finish doing the floors, take a look to see why the differences in the tiles make sense for a project.
Constant sunrays won’t damage vinyl flooring, but it will affect the color. Buyers will notice that vinyl floors exposed to sunlight for long periods of time will fade in color. This has nothing to do with brand, and it isn’t a quality issue. Materials that make up vinyl flooring react with the sunlight, so it is a natural progression for the colors to fade when left in in sun rays. The best way to counter this is by closing drapes or blinds on sunny days so that the contact with the light is limited, even by a little.
Consumers will often be recommended adhesives from the same brand that they purchased new vinyl flooring from. There is nothing ‘specialized’ about the adhesive, so you don’t have to buy brand specific adhesives when they are recommended. There are no special benefits to doing so, and by going to a different brand you may save money. Think of the recommendation for brand adhesives as optional rather than mandatory. Even when handling full reapplication to old vinyl floors, using the type you want will get the job done without a problem.
When we looked at the vinyl floor tiles across many lists, some stood out more than others. We prioritized the following when determining our criteria; durability, price, design, adhesive strength and brand. These are the five criteria used to balance out the list, the same one that decided Achim Home Furnishings deserved multiple top spots. There was no point in ranking the tiles on their ease of use, as all vinyl tiles follow the same easy to install instructions for small and large projects.
With durability, tiles were rated on their ability to withstand cracking and chips. Vinyl flooring that was naturally low maintenance consistently ranked high with the durability criteria. They were resistant to dirt and easy to clean with non-harsh chemicals. Any tiles that were too flimsy didn’t make the list, since they were a problem waiting to happen. High durability doesn’t mean that the tiles were hard to cut, so there was only upside to scoring high with this criteria. Brands that offered long warranties scored extra points, making it much easier for consumers to go all in on one model. It was mentioned before, but price is also tied to durability. This determines the full value of the criteria, making it more about how much a consumer gets for their money. That is why a lot of vinyl floor tiles didn’t make the list even if they scored high in other areas. Only one super expensive brand even made the top ten, and it still had a lot to do with their overall value per piece. The price criteria wasn’t too divisive once a few adjustments were made (quantity per box) and it allowed some brands to make a push for the top three.
Design is subjective, so a better way of describing this criteria is whether the design lasts the lifetime of the product. Vinyl floor tiles are often put in high traffic areas like the kitchen, bathroom and even the living room. Multiple people will walk across it, spill stuff on it and track dirt from point A to point B. The difference with the design criteria from durability is that it measures a models ability to ‘look new’ after heavy usage. It also takes into consideration that some colors may fade, or be completely off from pictures shown of the tiles online. In extreme cases, these models were not included in the top ten. There is an incident with a Home Dynamix model where the rose in the middle was the weakest part of the design due to the color.
It made the list only because this was a minor design flaw, and not a representation of the entire tile. Adhesive strength measured the quality of the glue that came with tiles using their own adhesive. After peeling off one end and putting it down, it isn’t uncommon for bad adhesive to make the tile come up. That can be a frustrating experience when you have an entire room to finish. Although it is an easy fix by purchasing third party adhesives, we chose to exclude any model from the list that had low quality glue. This trimmed down the list quite a bit, but got rid of brands that thought of their adhesives as an afterthought. For Peel N Stick models, low quality glue was an almost guaranteed removal from the list.
The last criteria we measured was brands, which is made up of two things; variety of tiles available and how quickly the company got in touch with consumers. The easy takeaway from this criteria is any company that had a reputation for bad customer service was left off of the list. There was no point in including them since it would also affect warranties, personal services and returns. Variety of tiles available for the brand criteria was a solid win for companies like Home Dynamix and Achim Home Furnishings. They have an extensive catalog so were included multiple times within the top ten.