Vinyl tile is a flooring material that is generally inexpensive, easy to install, and easy to maintain. Made primarily from polyvinyl chloride resins and plasticizers, these flooring tiles are waterproof and very durable. A floor covered with vinyl tile, if maintained properly, can last a very long time without appearing old or worn.
There are many styles of vinyl tile available on the market. In addition to basic colors and patterns, vinyl floor tiles are now being manufactured to simulate the looks of other types of more expensive flooring, such as wood strip, marble, and inlaid wood design. These tiles are made in a variety of textures to match the flooring style they imitate. Some vinyl flooring does a very good job of disguising itself as its more expensive counterpart. It is sometimes difficult to tell that a floor is made out of vinyl tile and not, for example, marble or wood.
Most vinyl floor tiles have a self-adhesive backing, making them easy enough for most homeowners to install themselves. To install the adhesive-backed tiles, one needs only to peel off the backing and press the tiles, properly placed, on the floor. Some vinyl floor tiles do not have adhesive backing, and need to be secured to the floor with an adhesive.
To maintain a vinyl tile floor properly, it should be swept often. Walking on a gritty or dirty vinyl floor can cause scratching. The floor should be mopped once a month with water or a specialized vinyl cleaning product. To maintain vinyl tiles with high gloss or satin finishes, specialized clear coatings can be applied. Detergents, abrasives, and waxes should not be used on vinyl floor tiles.
There are some things to watch out for with vinyl tile flooring. Because the vinyl is cut into tiles, vinyl tile flooring has lots of edges throughout. With frequent mopping over time, vinyl tiles can sometimes come loose. In addition, when a vinyl floor is mopped, dirt can get trapped in the cracks between the tiles, requiring extra effort to remove.
Many homeowners and businesses that choose vinyl flooring install it in high-traffic areas because of its durability. It is often used in kitchens because the tiles themselves are completely waterproof. Because the look and quality of vinyl tile has improved over the years, however, it has found its way out of the kitchen and into other rooms.