FAQs - Vinyl and Vinyl Tiles
Below you’ll find answers to the questions we get asked the most about our Vinyl and Vinyl Tiles.
This information is supplied as basic guidelines only
Which Quality do I buy and is a thicker vinyl better?
The quality of a vinyl is determined by a few factors. The quality of the materials being used to make the vinyl, the density of the backing material, the slip resistance and the wear layer.
Nearly all vinyl’s are made with a phthalate free pvc so it is suitable for the home environment.
The denser the backing material of a vinyl means it is more resistant to indentation.
Generally the more textured a finish on the vinyl surface means a more slip resistant product.
The wear layer is the thin hard layer above the pattern of the vinyl. It varies from 0.15mm up to 0.40mm in thickness. This is where there is a big difference in appearance and lifespan as the thicker wear layer is more resistant to scuffs and will take longer to wear down to the pattern underneath.
Two vinyl’s with the same overall thickness may not have the same wear layer or density of backing. A vinyl with a softer backing layer and a thinner wear layer will indent more and wear out more quickly than a vinyl with a dense backing layer and a thicker wear layer. Overall thicknesses of vinyls can range from 1mm to 4.5mm.
Some thinner dense backed vinyl’s with a thick wear layer can often be more resistant to indentation than a thicker backed vinyl. Although you lose the comfort and warmth factor.
A thick vinyl with a dense backing layer and good thickness wear layer will feel softer and warmer underfoot.
Most vinyls are slip resistant but any smooth surface can still be a hazard if spills are not cleaned up quickly or the wrong type of footwear is worn. A lot of vinyls have a textured surface that increases their slip resistance. Another benefit of this textured surface can make the vinyl look a lot more natural and realistic. A down side on some heavily textured vinyls is that it may hold dirt more and need more regular cleaning.
Your vinyl flooring surface is water resistant. While this makes it ideal for the kitchen and bathroom where there’s a high risk of spills or spray, you will need to wipe up liquids immediately to reduce the risk of slips.
The final appearance and performance of your flooring will depend on the quality and preparation of the sub-floor upon which it is laid.
The sub-floor surface must be smooth, clean, level, dry and free from dust and small particles, with a damp proof membrane incorporated in solid ground floor situations.
Smoothing compound and plywood will not make your floor perfectly flat. They can only follow the profile of the existing sub-floor. They are designed to smooth out the floor as much as possible
Floorboards should be overlaid with diamond quality plywood or flooring grade hardboard sheets fixed at 100mm centres with ring shank nails.
Your new vinyl flooring must not be laid over a timber sub-floor that has been treated with wood preservative, asphalt floors, vinyl or thermoplastic tiles. These surfaces should be treated with a minimum layer of 3mm screed underlayment to prevent migration staining and/or bubbling of the sheet vinyl above.
The manufacturers recommend that the floor covering is fully adhered to the sub-floor using a suitable acrylic adhesive for areas greater than 12 square metres. Although we will look at every job individually and assess the requirements and practicalities.
If the vinyl is loose laid then perimeter fixing by spray adhesive and adhesive tape around the edges is not advised as it can result in bubbling of the vinyl due to changes in room conditions. This includes sealing the edges of the vinyl with a sealant.
Vinyl should not be cut in too tightly up to skirtings etc as this could stop the material lying flat – an approximate gap of 1mm, the thickness of a credit card, between the edge of the floor and the skirting board is recommended to allow for buckling due to normal room expansion and contraction.
1mm is a guide only as we have to remember that it is cut by hand.
Maintenance and Cleaning?
A regular cleaning and maintenance programme will help to ensure your new flooring keeps
its appearance and good looks for the future.
Regularly sweep your flooring with a soft broom to remove dirt and grit to prevent
scratches etc. Wash using only mild detergent and rinse with clean water.
Steam mops are not recommended for sheet vinyl and vinyl tiles. Misuse of these will
distort and stretch vinyl or vinyl tiles.
Heavy items of furniture must have good quality castor cups to help spread the load on impact points.
Felt pads should be used on chairs and tables or furniture that moves so that the surface of the vinyl is protected. These will need changing regularly as they can get clogged with dirt and grit which will mark the vinyl surface.
Your flooring can be kept looking as good as new with periodical application of a
proprietary acrylic polish.
Certain rubbers, which contain anti-oxidants can permanently stain your flooring. Some
common causes of staining can be rubber backed mats and rugs along with certain
types of soles on shoes.
Staining can also result from coming into contact with chemicals, solvents, strong dyes and
certain food colourings.
Do not use abrasive cleaners or strong detergents as this may cause discolouration. Any
staining resulting from contact with these, or any other products is not a
manufacturing defect or product failure.
The use of “beater bar” rotary suction vacuum cleaners is not recommended as surface
damage may result, especially when the vinyl flooring product has been loose
My floor is uneven - Do I need Plywood or Smoothing compound?
If the sub-floor is uneven whether it is floorboards or concrete it may need to be smoothed out with plywood or a smoothing compound. This will help to stop the sub-floor showing through the carpet or vinyl flooring. When measuring for flooring we cannot always tell if the sub-floor is smooth and even. Particularly if there is a floor covering already there. Even if we look underneath in one area we cannot know what the entire floor is like until the existing flooring is removed. Uneven floorboards are one of the most common that we come across but sometimes it can be old stone fireplaces or large holes in the floor that have been previously covered. Generally on wooden floors we would recommend overlaying the sub-floor with a 6mm plywood. On most floors this will be good enough but in some cases where the sub-floor is very uneven it may mean you will need a joiner or builder to repair or replace the sub-floor. A suitable flexible smoothing compound can be applied to the plywood if there are still some undulations but these will only take out differences of 3-4mm. The sub-floor needs to be as flat as possible before anything else is applied.
Most concrete floors can have a smoothing compound applied to them to make it a smooth base for floorcoverings. They cannot and do not make a floor flat and level if the existing sub-floor is not flat and level. They can only follow the existing sub-floors levels. If a floor is particularly bad we sometimes have to apply more than one layer of smoothing compound. We generally only quote for one layer as in most domestic areas with a relatively flat sound floor this should be enough. Extra layers of smoothing compound will be chargeable if they are required.
Why is my vinyl not exactly the same colour as my sample?
Samples shown in store are a guide only and representative of normal production. The flooring ordered for you is likely to be from a different production batch to the one the sample was taken from. Variations between batches are normal and must therefore be expected. An average vinyl pattern repeat is 1m x 1m and the samples are a lot smaller than this so shade variation and different parts of that design are not always shown. A lot vinyl sample books do show a picture of the design in a larger piece but not all of them do this. We regularly check vinyls against the samples to ensure that each batch is a satisfactory match and within the legal tolerance. As well as batch variations, differences may also be due to different lighting or the effect of the surrounding decor in your home,
Colour matching between widths of vinyl and areas ordered at different times
Most manufacturers of flooring will not guarantee a colour and texture match between the different widths of flooring they produce. They can look very different and yet still be within the manufacturers tolerances. The reason for this is that different width vinyls eg 3m wide and 4m wide are produced on different machines. Even if the same dye batch yarn is used they can look a different colour and texture because of the slight differences in the machine tolerances. They can look like 2 different vinyls. Unless they are side by side it is not often noticed. Generally it is doorways where they would come together. Different widths are used to help with planning and minimising waste and joints in multiple areas. To keep a colour match throughout a property then you would have to use only one width of vinyl from the same roll/batch. This would often lead to joints or excessive waste.Samples shown in store are representative of normal production. The flooring ordered for you is likely to be from a different production batch to the one the sample was taken from. Variations between batches are normal and must therefore be expected. We regularly check vinyls against the samples to ensure that each batch is a satisfactory match and within the legal tolerance. As well as batch variations, differences may also be due to different lighting or the effect of the surrounding decor in your home.
The same colour vinyl that is ordered at 2 different times will be different in colour and texture as it is from a different dye batch and production run. Again they can look like 2 different vinyls. Bear in mind though that even if you ordered 2 vinyls at the same time and one is fitted immediately and then another fitted even a short time later they can look very different as one has been subjected to wear from trafficking and UV light causing first fade (a general reduction in colour intensity from when the flooring is first laid). The second vinyl when fitted is still very new with no wear and has not been subjected to UV light.
Will I see the joints in my new vinyl?
The simple answer is Yes. Some joins can be less visible than others depending on different factors. The plainer, less patterned it is and stronger light source shining across a joint will make it show up more. Often the darker, more patterned and less strong a light source will mean the joint is less visible.
We try wherever possible to avoid joins but sometimes wastage and room sizes mean that it is the most cost effective or only way a room can be planned. We try to plan joins in flooring in less obvious or less trafficked areas wherever possible.The joins on vinyl are stuck down to the sub-floor. They will show more over time as the joint will attract dirt eventually causing the adhesive and vinyl to move apart showing a gap.
Why has my vinyl got a line and/or crease marks?
Vinyls are rolled around a cardboard tube for transportation. As the edge of the vinyl wraps around the tube and is rolled up the cut edge presses into the backing of the vinyl and causes a pressure line approximately 15” (45cm) in from the end (this is the approximate circumference of the tube). This will recover after several weeks of normal use as the vinyl acclimatises and recovers.
Crease marks are generally caused by delivery of the vinyl into the area being fitted and laying out of the flooring in the area being fitted. Vinyls are manufactured in wide rolls and often have to be bent to get into an area or upstairs. Fitters try to minimise this as much as they can but every property is different and requires different methods of getting into the area being fitted. The flooring supplied can be heavy and is obviously bigger than the room being fitted so it will fold over in some areas as it is pulled and twisted into the correct position for fitting. They do show up more in certain lights but they will also recover after several weeks of normal use.
Will my vinyl fade?
Yes it will.
Vinyl flooring is UV resistant but it will fade with wear and with exposure to UV light whether it is direct or indirect.
Think of when a rug, a piece of furniture or a bed is moved after a number of years. The flooring underneath has had less wear and exposure to UV light.
Your goods will be stored in our warehouse free of charge for up to 6 weeks from the date they arrive into our warehouse.
Should you be unable to accept delivery within the 6 week period a storage charge of £3 per day will be incurred until your order is delivered to your premises. This includes part delivered orders. An invoice for storage costs where appropriate will be raised and must be paid prior to delivery taking place.