Last updated: August 5, 2021

Have you been looking for a robust, sound-absorbing yet stylish floor covering for a while? You want it to be durable, easy to clean and look deceptively like wood, but without having to dig deep into your pocket? Then you should take a closer look at vinyl flooring. You can find out everything about recommended subfloors, installation methods and the suitability of vinyl in damp rooms in our vinyl flooring test 2021.

We give you important tips and tricks that will help you decide between vinyl floors for gluing and clicking. We also show you how to install, clean and dispose of vinyl flooring.




Summary

  • Vinyl flooring, also called polyvinyl chloride (PVC) flooring, has many applications. Among other things, it is considered to be very hard-wearing and sound-absorbent.
  • There are two methods of installing vinyl flooring. It is either glued down or installed using a click system.
  • Vinyl floors are known for their deceptively real imitations of different patterns and styles. This means that there is a vinyl floor covering to suit every room.

The Best Vinyl Floor: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should deal with before buying vinyl flooring

Which rooms is vinyl flooring suitable for?

In general, vinyl or PVC is a flexible plastic material with versatile applications. It is suitable for just about any room, including wet rooms.

Esszimmer

Vinyl flooring is suitable for any room, whether it is a stylish living room or a wet room such as a bathroom. (Image source: pixabay.com / Pexels)

For damp rooms, however, you should make sure that the vinyl floor is made of 100% vinyl. The material composition should therefore be considered when buying according to your intended use. These properties make vinyl flooring popular not only for private use, but also for commercial or industrial use.

Vinyl flooring is often preferred over other floor coverings because it is easy to maintain, warm and hard-wearing.

Which subfloors is vinyl flooring suitable for?

The subfloor is important for the installation of a vinyl floor. This must meet some requirements in order to be suitable for the installation of a vinyl floor. The floor should be

  • dry
  • solid
  • even
  • dust-free
  • free from cracks, dirt, oil and grease.

Provided these conditions are met, it is also possible to install a vinyl floor on screed and tiles. With a tiled subfloor, you should make sure that the joints do not form any unevenness. Carpet is not suitable as a subfloor because it gives way under pressure. In addition, the carpet cannot be cleaned after the installation of a vinyl floor. This approach is therefore not advisable for hygienic reasons.

How long does vinyl flooring last?

In general, you can expect a vinyl floor to last for about 20 years. With good care, you can enjoy your vinyl floor even longer. However, the lifespan of a vinyl floor also depends on the composition of the material.

For example, a soft vinyl floor that contains softeners is more susceptible to damage than a hard vinyl floor. However, vinyl floors are generally considered to be very hard-wearing and robust. So you don't have to worry about having to replace your flooring quickly.

How much does vinyl flooring cost?

The price range of a PVC floor is between 10 and 50 euros. On average, a vinyl floor costs around 30 euros per square metre. The best way to compare flooring prices is by looking at the price per square metre. So before you look at the price per unit or package, look at the price per square metre.

However, the price depends on several factors that you should take into account when comparing prices. For example, vinyl flooring that needs to be glued down costs less than vinyl flooring that is installed using a click system. In addition, the visual design also has an impact on the price.

Where can I buy vinyl flooring?

You can buy vinyl flooring for your home in almost any DIY or flooring shop. But you can also find a large selection of different vinyl floors on the internet. Some online suppliers also offer the option of sending vinyl flooring samples.

What are the alternatives to vinyl flooring?

A variety of floor coverings can be used as alternatives to vinyl flooring. Like vinyl flooring, each of them has characteristic properties.

Alternative Description Properties
Parquet Parquet is made of real wood and creates a pleasant living atmosphere The natural product regulates the temperature and humidity in the room.
Laminate Laminate is a synthetic floor, which makes it particularly easy to care for It is considered very robust and heat-resistant. However, it is sensitive to moisture.
Tiles Tiles are particularly popular in kitchens and bathrooms. However, they are also increasingly found in the living room, as they have a noble and elegant look they are extremely moisture-resistant and easy to clean, which makes them so popular for bathrooms and kitchens.
Linoleum The material of linoleum flooring is made of natural substances It is known for its resistance and is particularly durable and easy to clean. It also has an extremely high fire resistance.
Cork flooring Cork is a very light natural product obtained from the bark of the cork oak It is particularly sound-absorbing and warm, which is why it is very popular with barefoot walkers.
Carpeting Carpeting is popular in offices and bedrooms Its impact sound insulation sets it apart. However, it requires more intensive cleaning than other floor coverings.

It is best to think about what requirements you want your floor to meet.

Decision: What types of vinyl flooring are there and which is right for you?

Basically, we distinguish between these types of vinyl flooring:

  • Vinyl flooring for gluing
  • Vinyl flooring for clicking

In the following, we explain the different types and their respective advantages and disadvantages. In this way, we want to help you find the most suitable vinyl floor for you.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of glue-down vinyl flooring?

Glue-down vinyl flooring requires an adhesive, which must be purchased separately. However, there are also floors that are self-adhesive. The adhesive is already applied to the underside of the floor - you only have to remove the foil. A smooth subfloor is required for gluing a vinyl floor. The thin floor covering has difficulty compensating for unevenness.

Advantages
  • No slipping of the panels
  • Adhesive layer serves as impact sound insulation
  • More suitable for underfloor heating
  • Lower thickness
Disadvantages
  • Long drying time of the adhesive
  • More time-consuming
  • Smooth subfloor required

As the vinyl floor is firmly bonded to the subfloor, it is not possible for the panels to slip. In addition, the heat is transferred better with underfloor heating. The adhesive layer also serves as impact sound insulation. However, when laying the floor, bear in mind that it can only be walked on after the adhesive has dried completely.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of click vinyl flooring?

A vinyl floor that is installed using a click system does not require any adhesive. Therefore, it can be walked on immediately after installation. There is an air space between the subfloor and the covering. An additional impact sound underlay is therefore advisable. Furthermore, an additional underlay can promote the heat conduction of an underfloor heating system.

Advantages
  • Uncomplicated
  • No adhesive required
  • Can be walked on immediately
  • Small unevenness can be levelled out
Disadvantages
  • Impact sound underlay advisable
  • Heat conduction worse with underfloor heating
  • Thicker thickness

Click vinyl floors are usually thicker, so small unevennesses can be evened out. Note, however, that the thickness of the covering does not obstruct any doors.

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate vinyl floors

In the following, we will show you which criteria you can use to compare and evaluate vinyl flooring. This will make it easier for you to get an overview and decide on a suitable and effective product. In summary, these are the following criteria:

  • Installation method
  • Colour and pattern
  • Unit of purchase
  • Suitability in damp rooms

In the following, you can read what each criterion is about and find out why it makes sense for you to purchase a product based on the criteria or not.

Installation method

As mentioned in the previous section, vinyl flooring is available for glue-down or click-down installation. When making your decision, you should consider a number of factors regarding the installation method. For example, the amount of time you have available to install your vinyl floor is important.

You should also consider the condition of your subfloor or the thickness of the covering. Ask yourself the following questions to help you decide: Do I have underfloor heating? Is my subfloor smooth? Are doors obstructed by the thickness of the floor?

Colour and pattern

Vinyl flooring is available in many different colours and patterns. This ensures that you can find the right one for every room.

Whether it's a wood, stone or tile look, vinyl flooring is known for its deceptively realistic imitations of different patterns and styles.

So you can choose from a variety of colours and patterns. However, don't forget to match your vinyl flooring with your décor too.

Purchase unit

You can buy vinyl flooring in different units. Vinyl floors are available either as panels, tiles or rolls. A roll of vinyl flooring is sold by the metre. This gives you the flexibility to cut it to size for your use. Panels of vinyl are usually clickable. With panels, but also with the tile variant, you have the advantage that individual elements can be replaced. In the table below you will find an overview of the purchase units and their properties:

Purchase unit properties
Roll goods can be flexibly cut to size, mostly for gluing
Panels mostly for clicking, individual elements can be exchanged, plank look is supported
Tiles individual elements can be exchanged, deceptive tile look is guaranteed

Suitability in damp rooms

One property of vinyl flooring is its resistance to moisture. It is therefore also suitable for the bathroom or basement. For damp rooms, however, attention should be paid to the material composition. A vinyl floor with a high vinyl content is more suitable for damp rooms. Vinyl does not absorb moisture. For the bathroom or basement, 100% Vinly flooring is best.

Click vinyl floors are also suitable for your bathroom.

Facts worth knowing about vinyl flooring

How do you install vinyl flooring?

There are two ways to install your vinyl floor. Either it is glued flat or the panels are clicked together. There are many instructional videos on the internet that explain how to properly install your vinyl floor.

How do I clean a vinyl floor?

A vinyl floor is very easy to clean. However, avoid aggressive cleaning agents. An all-purpose cleaner is sufficient. However, there are also special cleaners that are specially adapted to the needs and properties of vinyl floors.

A special coating or sealant for your vinyl floor is not necessary. Vacuuming with a hoover or sweeping with a broom is of course no problem. PVC is water-resistant. So you can clean it wet without hesitation. With your vinyl floor, you have found an easy-to-clean alternative.

How do I dispose of vinyl flooring?

In terms of sustainability, vinyl floors are not considered very environmentally friendly. Disposal in particular is considered problematic. Burning vinyl flooring produces carcinogenic dioxins. If PVC is recycled, only an inferior second product is produced.

Therefore, when disposing of your vinyl flooring, make sure that you dispose of it at a suitable incineration plant. There, the toxic emissions can be filtered out before they are released into the air.

Does vinyl flooring have impact sound insulation?

Vinyl is considered to be a soft material and is known for its sound-absorbing properties. This is convenient if you like to walk in shoes at home or have noise-sensitive neighbours. An additional underlay is therefore not necessary.

However, it is advisable for a click-on vinyl floor to optimise sound insulation. With glue-down vinyl flooring, the adhesive layer serves as impact sound insulation. The adhesive layer replaces an additional sound-absorbing underlay, so to speak.

Picture source: 123rf.com / 31062527

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