Sheet vinyl flooring has always been a popular option in many homes due to its versatility and affordability. Its water-resistant nature and easy installation make it perfect for kitchens, bathrooms, as well as playrooms and home offices. Even with its popularity, sheet vinyl can still be a mystery to some people though, such as, how you lay it, the difference it has with linoleum and whether you’ll need to use an underlay. Don’t worry though, you too can become a flooring expert as we answer 8 common sheet vinyl questions.
Sheet vinyl and linoleum have been used interchangeably over the years, and although they do share some similarities, they are in fact two separate products. The main difference is how both are made. Linoleum is an all-natural product made from the likes of linseed oil and ground limestone, whereas sheet vinyl is made from synthetic materials, which allows for a more affordable product that holds characteristics you wouldn’t find in other floors.
So, which is better? Sheet vinyl or linoleum? Both floors have their advantages, linoleum isn’t as flexible, but does make it harder wearing. As such, it’s certainly more suitable for professional installers. Sheet vinyl on the other hand is suitable for DIY installations and thanks to the synthetic construction is water resistant, making it suitable for both bathrooms and kitchens.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SHEET VINYL
Sheet vinyl flooring is one of the most affordable flooring you can purchase. This is thanks in part due to the synthetic construction which allows for low-cost materials and manufacturing. These savings are therefore passed back to you as a customer, so if you’re looking for a quick and easy solution to pretty much any room in the home beyond wet rooms and conservatories then look no further than sheet vinyl.
Our flooring starts out at as little as £10.99 per m² for our Orion range of sheet vinyl. Available in both 3m and 4m widths, even though this is our lowest cost option, you get a great selection of wood plank, herringbone, and stone tile designs in an impressive water-resistant floor. For our more premium sheet vinyl options, you’ll expect to pay around £15.99 per m², this is for our Aquarius and Pegasus ranges. For your extra pennies, you’ll get a softer, more durable floor that looks and feels more premium.
Like most flooring, sheet vinyl does require acclimatisation. This helps your floor get used to the room’s natural humidity level and temperature, which can make your floor expand or shrink. As sheet vinyl is cut directly from the roll, we advise you unpack your sheet vinyl, cut it to size and lay it flat in the room you’re looking to place it in for 24 hours prior to installation.
HOW TO ACCLIMATISE YOUR FLOOR
Firstly, before you have even purchased your new floor, you need to measure the room you’re installing it in. As sheet vinyl is cut directly from the roll, always measure your room, and double check the measurements, before purchasing. Include an additional 10mm around the edge of your room to allow for any potential shrinkage during acclimatisation. For a full idea on how to measure your room, check out our “how to measure your room” blog.
Once you’ve purchased your new sheet vinyl floor, you have two options to choose from when installing. Sheet vinyl is one of the most DIY friendly floors available to you thanks to the ability to simply loose lay your choice directly on the subfloor. Our options can be loose laid up to 24m2 with our Pegasus range, but other ranges do vary. Loose laying is quick and easy, but as no adhesive is being used, it can lift or cause it to shift in high traffic areas.
If the room you’re looking to install in is over the loose lay limit, or will likely see a high amount of traffic, then you may prefer to attach your sheet vinyl using specialist tape or glue. This provides a strong bond to the subfloor and minimises the risk of your vinyl lifting at the edges. For a more in depth look at installing sheet vinyl flooring, check out our installation guide.
WHY YOU SHOULD CHOOSE SHEET VINYL
Most vinyl flooring, sheet vinyl included, don’t need underlay if the subfloor is level and smooth. Our Vitality range has either a felt or foam backing providing additional comfort and evening out any small subfloor irregularities you may find. If you’re looking to provide additional comfort though, then you may wish to purchase a suitable underlay to help with increased warmth, to even out any larger subfloor defects, or to reduce any noise from footsteps.
Under no circumstances should you use a steam mop on sheet vinyl. This floor is susceptible to high levels of moisture and heat over long periods of time. Using a steam mop can damage the floor and lift it in places. Sheet vinyl flooring is incredibly simple to maintain, only requiring a quick sweep, vacuum or wipe down with a damp cloth to ensure it stays looking its best. Damp cleaning is possible with a traditional, lightly damp, mop, but this should only be done occasionally as opposed to daily. For a full look on how to maintain your Vitality sheet vinyl floor, check out our maintenance guide.
You can repair sheet vinyl flooring, but it may not be your best option. For smaller rooms, it is likely easier, and more cost effective to simply replace the flooring, otherwise, if you’re a bit more confident in your ability, then it is possible to replace a section of sheet vinyl. This is done by carefully cutting out the damaged section and replacing it with a similarly styled piece of the same flooring – usually found in offcuts. As sheet vinyl is cut directly from the roll, finding a piece that looks the same can be difficult and it’s incredibly time consuming to stitch the two different pieces together. If you do wish to attempt a repair, be careful not to damage the rest of your floor.
If you’re looking to change up the look in your room, or you need to replace a damaged floor, you’ll firstly need to know how to remove any sheet vinyl you currently have installed. This can be as simple as lifting it from the floor if it has been loose laid, but if you’ve used some form of adhesive to glue down your sheet vinyl, then it may take a little bit of extra effort.
A lot of glue down sheet vinyl is perimeter installed, this means the adhesive has just been applied to the very edge. If this is the case, the easiest way to go about it is to cut out and remove the loose middle of your floor, this then makes it easier to focus on the edge, using a heat gun to melt the adhesive, or using a chemical based adhesive remover instead – although this can be quite smelly and messy. If your floor has had adhesive applied throughout the floor, then cutting it into strips and lifting one at a time may be easier than struggling with the whole thing. Once removed, make sure you clean off any excess adhesive on the floor, ensuring the subfloor is smooth and ready for your next flooring installation.
Sheet vinyl is a fantastic choice for any home. As an affordable option with tonnes of styles to choose form including wooden planks, stone tiles, herringbone, or patterned, there’s bound to be a design that’ll suit your room. Check out our huge range of sheet vinyl flooring and find your next favourite floor.