Sheet Vinyl Basics

floors, flooringAs you shop for man-made flooring materials you’ll hear terms like “linoleum,” “vinyl,” and “resilient” floors. Even though the term continues to be used, linoleum is not a common flooring material today. It has been superseded by vinyl, also known as resilient flooring. Because “resilient” is a characteristic, not a material, this website refers to resilient flooring materials as “vinyl,” the primary material in the product.

However, resilient is a good term for what vinyl flooring is all about. Because it is made from a vinyl resin it can recover more easily than wood. A hammer can dent a wood floor but typically not a vinyl floor.

Another popular characteristic of vinyl flooring materials is that it can take on a specific color or shape when manufactured. So vinyl flooring can look like wood or ceramic tile or just about any other flooring material (except maybe dirt). True, it may not look exactly like the intended material, but it can be manufactured to suggest the look of more expensive flooring materials.

And therein lies the greatest benefit of vinyl flooring: cost. Vinyl flooring is relatively inexpensive compared to what it’s supposed to look like: tile or wood. In addition, it usually is easier to install and to maintain. That’s why vinyl flooring is so popular.

Vinyl is a resilient polymer resin that can be molded and colored to look like stone, ceramic, wood, or other more expensive flooring products. Sheet vinyl flooring material is manufactured in a thin sheet (1/16 to 1/8 inch thick), cut to a 6 ft. or 12 ft. width and rolled on a core for delivery.

Pro Tip

If you’ve not worked with sheet vinyl before, consider buying the narrower 6-ft. rolls as they are much easier to work with.

 
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