Comparison of Flooring Materials #2 – Vinyl Flooring Panels

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In the previous part of our series we talked about pros and cons of laminate flooring. This time we are going to talk about another type of popular flooring material – vinyl panels.

Types of vinyl flooring

There are 3 types of vinyl flooring panels available on the market – without underlay, with a thin cork underlay and with a thick cork underlay and HDF (high density fiberboard – see prev. article).

  1. Vinyl panels without underlay are usually up to 5 mm thick, they are fully waterproof and are well suited for underfloor radiant heating.
  2. Panels with cork underlay are also completely waterproof and do not require additional underlayment.
  3. Panels with a thick underlay of an HDF board and two layers of cork are equivalent to laminate flooring panels but with a different coating. Such panels may be as thick as .4″, but due to the use of HDF boards they are not recommended for underfloor heating and are not waterproof. Therefore, they should not be used in bathrooms where they are at risk of being in constant contact with water.

Most important information on vinyl flooring

Vinyl panels can be laid on a click-lock basis, with the use of snaps or glue.

Vinyl panels without underlayment and with a thin cork underlay are flexible and they can be cut with a wallpaper knife.

They are available in many patterns – we can easily find panels that imitate the texture of wood, stone or tiles. As a matter of interest, it is worth mentioning that panels that resemble wood are in the shape of boards, while those resembling gres or stone are rectangular or square.

It is easy to keep vinyl flooring panels clean – they do not pick up static, so they do not attract dust, and dirt is easily removable.

Compared to laminated panels, it is more difficult to scratch them in a visible way because the wear layer is thicker.

Vinyl panels can be laid on e.g. old tiles or panels without the need to remove them, which reduces costs and increases installation speed.

If we decide on an installation of panels with the use of glue, there is no need to leave an expansion gap, which positively affects the aesthetics especially on larger surfaces.

Before installing the panels, with or without a thin underlay, the surface must be perfectly smoothed.

The scratches are removed in the same way as in laminated panels.

Unlike laminated panels, vinyl panels do not attract dust, so they are allergy friendly.