If you are renovating or updating your home, luxury vinyl flooring offers many new options you should consider. I still shudder when remembering the shiny gold and white patterned vinyl my mom installed in our kitchen in the 70’s (to match her harvest gold appliances). Get that image out of your mind because vinyl flooring now comes in styles to mimic the look of hardwood, natural stone and even tile. The good news is these products are cheaper, more durable and easier to clean. Also known as resilient flooring, the top companies are working to design new floor ideas and products that give you the look of designer floors for less.

Many manufacturers have begun creating stylish, innovative resilient floor products. Recent improvements in the manufacturing process have allowed companies to create flooring that mimics just about any type of product. Special texturing and embossing treatments enhance the realistic look of these products, imitating wood grain or the surface of natural stone. Low gloss vinyl plank flooring makes a beautiful substitute for hardwood in living rooms, bedrooms and hallways. Unusual flooring options such as textured leather or linen are other options you can choose to get the look you want in your home.

You may wonder why you should consider vinyl floor over slate or natural stone. The reasons are simple. Finding the right products to care for natural stone floors can be difficult. Not all cleaning products can be safely used to clean natural stone. Floor tiles can crack and chip. If the tiles are ceramic, chips will expose dark spots which are the clay used to make the tiles. If you need to clean your grout, you’ll likely have to hire a professional who uses an acid product to get your grout clean. Regular sealing is also required to protect grout. Wood floors can expand and contract, which may cause floors to warp or crack. It can be a challenge to know how to clean your wood floor. However, caring for a resilient floor requires no special equipment or products. A broom for sweeping up loose dirt and a mop are all you really need.

It's not hardwood, but this luxury vinyl plank floor updates this room with a rich, warm look.

Easy to Care for Flooring with the Look and Style You Want

Most luxury vinyl comes in sheets, planks or tiles, allowing you to customize the look for any room in your home. For a seamless modern look in any room of your home, vinyl sheet flooring makes a great choice. Vinyl floor tiles offer more installation options. Simply installing resilient floor tiles at an angle can visually enlarge a small room. For a classic look, install stone look tiles in a staggered pattern. Choose plank flooring in any area where you’d use wood or laminate. As an added benefit, you won’t need to worry about water damage when using resilient plank floor in wet areas, like kitchens, bathrooms or mudrooms.   

Luxury vinyl flooring offers many benefits over wood and laminate floors. Companies build protective coatings into their luxury vinyl floor products. The coatings help the flooring resistant scratching, scuffs and stains. Unlike concrete, natural stone or hardwoods, some products provide slip resistance and even offer anti-bacterial protection. One line of luxury vinyl flooring from Congoleum features ScotchGuard® to repel soil and stains and add mold and mildew protection.  Fiberglass cushioning, found in Shaw’s DuraTru® line helps reduce noise. Natural stone and tile products don’t offer any of these added benefits, and they cost more. Mannington’s Adura® line even offers a Never Yellow Guarantee which promises the rubber backing on many throw rugs won’t cause yellow spots on your luxury vinyl flooring.

Metroflor’s product lines imitate many types of popular natural stone and wood flooring. Their luxury vinyl floor tiles mimic the look of tumbled travertine, granite and even slate, with texture and colors that make it tough to tell these resilient flooring products from the real thing. You can also select tiles in sizes up to 18x18 and plank resilient flooring sized in lengths as large as those used for hardwood and laminate. The company even offers sheet vinyl that resembles concrete flooring. Their TruWoods product earns high marks as one of the most innovative luxury vinyl flooring products. Real wood veneer is sealed beneath a layer of clear vinyl taking it a notch above many products that use a printed wood grain sheet to create a wood look. Details make a difference, such as rolled or beveled edges and textures that mimic hand-scraping on resilient plank flooring.

Can you tell the difference between this Brazilian Cherry style resilient flooring and the real thing?
Luxury vinyl flooring offers unique options too, like this style featuring a crocodile pattern.

Resilient Flooring: The Best Choice for Your Home Renovation Project

These new flooring products also offer new ways to install the floor. Floating vinyl plank systems can be laid over existing floors. Instead of being glued down, the planks stick to each other with an adhesive strip running along the side of each one. Some floor tiles have grout lines built into the product, so when they are laid, the vinyl floor tiles replicate the look of a tile floor, complete with grout lines. Both Mannington and Armstrong luxury vinyl flooring products can be installed with or without grout, which can be applied later, to make the resilient floor tiles look even more realistic. Armstrong’s StrataMax® flooring requires no glue to install. The sheet vinyl has a fiberglass backing that helps the floor lay flat.

When looking for floor ideas, check magazines and home displays. When you find a look you like, whether the product is natural stone, wood or tile, then see if you can duplicate the look for less with a luxury vinyl flooring product. The goal of luxury vinyl flooring is to imitate the look of wood, stone and tile products. Amazing new manufacturing techniques make it difficult to tell these new flooring products from the real thing. Special coatings protect your floors and make them easy to care for. Slip resistant coatings and anti-bacterial protection offer extra peace of mind. Whether you want new flooring that looks like stone, wood or tile, you can buy a luxury vinyl product to bring your floor ideas life.

Easy care vinyl tile feels softer underfoot while offering the look of a traditional tile floor. Best of all the grout doesn't require special cleaning.