How to Shop for Quality Vinyl

Shopping for Quality

Vinyl was designed to replace linoleum, which graced many mid-20th-century homes. (Linoleum is still available today.)

All vinyl floor goods, however, are not created equal. The quality and the durability of the material vary widely and depend almost entirely on how much vinyl it contains.

Solid vinyl is tough, longest lasting, and the most expensive option. Its color and pattern are formed by embedded colored vinyl chips in the vinyl base material. Solid vinyl products also boast more choices of colors and patterns. Because the color and pattern go clear through the sheet, they don’t wear off easily.

The same goes for vinyl composition products, whose pattern and color are ingrained but are composed of both vinyl and nonvinyl ingredients. The reduced vinyl content makes this product less expensive.

Rotogravure vinyl sheets get their pattern from a printing process, and the printed layer has no vinyl content at all. It is protected by a urethane wear layer. Once this layer wears to expose the printed pattern, the design will begin to disappear.

You can tell a lot about the quality of vinyl sheet goods by their thickness. Thicker materials contain more vinyl and will last longer. To determine the right material for your application, consider the room’s use. For example, it makes sense to install a less expensive sheet in an infrequently used guest bath and a more expensive material in the kitchen.