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Before You Buy Vinyl / Resilient Flooring

You’ve made your decision and are ready to select and install your new vinyl flooring. You’ve gone through the descriptions on this site and discovered so many things, such as . . .

  • Vinyl is a decorator’s dream and also durable and affordable
  • Vinyl is the great imposter. It can look like wood, tile, even marble.
  • Vinyl is constructed in layers: the wear layer, the printed or decorative layer, an inner core consisting of a foam and vinyl layer, and a backing.

But before you pick up the phone or click that mouse, there are a few more things you should think about, starting with those layers.

Thickness

Thick flooring is not necessarily what you’re looking for.  You want a thick wear layer.  That’s the top layer and the one that really counts.  It’s the one that determines how well your flooring will stand up to traffic, as well as rips, tears and gouges.  Talk to your retailer about what’s right for you.

Quality

Pick the right vinyl flooring for the space.  Ask your retailer to review with you the manufacturer’s warranty and performance characteristics of the flooring you are interested in. You need to understand that premium products tend to have premium warranties.  A good warranty is a great stress reliever.

Seams

Vinyl sheets are manufactured in 6’ and 12’ widths.  Depending on the configuration of your room, seaming may be necessary.  Make sure your retailer can explain to you where the seams are likely to be when your new floor is laid down.  Certain floor patterns hide seams better.  For example, tile patterns with grout lines mask seams beautifully.

In rooms with heavy water use, such as bathrooms and laundry rooms, you may need to occasionally replace the heavy caulking where the flooring meets the walls or bathtub. You don’t want water seeping under your flooring.

Cost

“Cost per square yard” is just one component of the overall price tag for new vinyl flooring.  Ask your retailer to calculate the total cost of your floor-covering project.  Here’s what he or she may include beyond the cost of the vinyl, itself:

  • Furniture removal/replacement - Some retailers or installers may charge to remove (and then replace) furniture in the room.
  • Demolition/disposal of old floor covering - Unless your home is brand new, there’s probably an old floor covering that is going to need to be removed and properly disposed of.  Or, you may be able to “float” your floor over an existing one.
  • Sub-floor preparation - Depending on its condition (after removal of the old floor covering), your subfloor may need to be prepped for vinyl flooring installation.
  • Product delivery - Delivering your flooring may not be included in the “cost per square yard” price.
  • Installation - There will most likely be a “cost per square yard” to install your new vinyl flooring.
  • Materials required to complete the installation - Additional materials, like adhesives, moisture barriers, stairnosings and baseboards may be required to properly install your vinyl flooring.
  • Financing - Many retailers offer financing as an option of payment. Be sure to check the interest rate, minimum payment due and any finance charges if you choose to pay your purchase off over time.

In addition to your total project cost, annual cleanings are also recommended to maintain the beauty and life of your new vinyl flooring. Ask your retailer and/or consult the manufacturer’s warranty and care guide for directions on cleaning and maintenance.