These all rank near the bottom of the price scale and are right at the top of the low-maintenance list. Inlay vinyl is made by scattering a pattern of vinyl chips on a backing and melting them together. The other type, rotovinyl, is made by laminating a vinyl pattern between a backing sheet and a clear wear layer, and is much easier to install. We’ve chosen to demonstrate installation of felt-backed rotovinyl over a new layer of special 1/4-in. Home centers and flooring retailers keep a few rolls of sheet vinyl flooring in stock.
The felt-backed version that we’re using requires you to spread glue over the entire floor, whereas the vinyl-backed flooring requires only a narrow band of adhesive around the perimeter and along the seams. Installation procedures and adhesives differ for each type of vinyl flooring, and vary from one manufacturer to another, so be sure to get instructions for the type of flooring you choose.
Higher-priced flooring has a thicker wear layer and may have richer patterns, but even less-expensive flooring will last a decade. If the backing breaks easily or the vinyl seems stiff, you’ll have a hard time installing the flooring without tearing it. Check the installation requirements and purchase the correct adhesive, seam sealer (if your installation requires a seam), trowel, floor filler and matching caulk.
Technically linoleum and vinyl flooring are not the same thing, though both can come in a tile or sheet style. Unlike the dated floors of past generations, today’s vinyl features better textures and colors for a more realistic appearance, thanks to improvements in the rotogravure (engraving) process for the surface. Inspired by nature, this luxury vinyl tile closely mimics slate, complete with rich colors and weathering. Some manufacturers now offer vinyl tiles that can be used with color-coordinated grout, making them look even more like tile.
The Lowdown: Vinyl is composed of four layers: a protective urethane top coat, a protective clear vinyl layer, a printed design layer, and a felt or fiberglass backing. Vinyl planks can mimic distressed surfaces or exotic species, and have beveled edges. With proper prep, vinyl can be installed over virtually any flat, dry, clean surface. A new line created to replicate the look of real hardwood, ceramic and stone in a durable, affordable luxury vinyl material.