Vinyl flooring tiles offer an economical and versatile home flooring option. Made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), vinyl flooring tiles are commonly used in kitchens, bathrooms, and hallways. The two main types of vinyl flooring are standard tiles and self-sticking tiles. When choosing vinyl flooring, buyers should take the time to compare different material options to find the best tiles for each application.
Standard vinyl flooring tiles are made of relatively thin, square tiles in a variety of colors and patterns. These tiles are the cheapest option for vinyl flooring, but may not be as easy to install as other varieties. In order to install these tiles, homeowners must cover the floor with a separate adhesive. The adhesive needs to be left in place until it starts to cure, then the tiles can be installed in the desired pattern. This type of installation is often messy and requires a great deal of cleanup, particularly for novice installers.
Self-sticking vinyl flooring tiles may provide a better option for do-it-yourself homeowners. While these tiles tend to cost a bit more than standard vinyl tiles, they are easier to install and create less mess. Self-stick tiles have adhesive already built into the back of the tile, so there's no need to apply a separate glue. Installers simply peel off the paper backing from each tile and press it to the floor.
In addition to two basic types of vinyl flooring tiles, some manufacturers now produce vinyl flooring planks. These planks resemble a length of traditional wood flooring, but feature the same basic construction as standard vinyl flooring tiles. Plank flooring often features specialty finishes, which make it easy and affordable to create a stone or wood-like finish. These planks typically include channels along either edge so that the flooring can be locked together without the use of adhesives.
Buyers should also consider the different types of quality and finish options available when choosing vinyl tiles. Any of these three vinyl flooring options are available with either an inlaid or printed finish. Inlaid models feature color or patterns built into the structure of the tile, while printed versions feature only a printed top layer.
Vinyl flooring tile manufacturers also offer different types of protective coatings on these tiles that can impact durability. The most basic types of tiles feature a simple no-wax wear coat, which is best suited to low-traffic areas. Urethane coatings work better in standard traffic scenarios, while enhanced urethane may be required for busy homes or commercial applications.