Vinyl flooring: need to know buying tips

Vinyl flooring kitchen

Are you renovating your home and have spent way too much on a gorgeous freestanding bath or filled your home with too many smart appliances? Don’t worry – we’ve got exactly what you need! Vinyl flooring is the perfect budget-friendly alternative to authentic wood, marble or any other expensive material. Already tempted? Then here are our top tips for buying vinyl flooring.

With a lot of benefits, vinyl flooring is low maintenance, easy to clean, scratch resistant, and waterproof, to name a few – which makes it an ideal choice for kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms with an adjoining ensuite. While you may think of those rolls of traditional vinyl, the material has come a long way in terms of its appearance and durability and, in addition to its most common form, developed a more sophisticated option – luxury vinyl tiles (LVT).

Also available as planks, these are much thicker than standard rolls and mimic the appearance of natural materials such as wood, marble, stone, and even encaustic tiles – great news, you can achieve the real deal’s look for less. All types of vinyl are made from a combination of layers compressed together, including at least a protective top layer, a sheet featuring the pattern or design, and a padded backing. Because of this, it can usually be laid without any need for additional underlay and is normally compatible with underfloor heating.

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vinyl flooring
Available as 22 x 20cm rectangular tiles, Goldie from Avenue Floors’ Ultimate Expressions collection features a multitonal hexangonal-effect design, priced £19 per sq m.

Buying tips

You’ll need to calculate exactly how much floor you need to cover before purchasing any vinyl, and this should be worked out by the square metre. Standard rolls are usually sold in certain widths, which you can then cut to size, whereas LVT come as tiles or planks that slot together. Depending on what you go for, you may need to consider the cost of adhesive or underlay for added comfort and soundproofing – also think about skirting board trims for a neat look.

Design decisions

With so many different finishes and authentic-looking replicas of marble, stone, and wood – just to name a few – there are endless possibilities when it comes to the design of your vinyl. Many of the available textured options feel like natural wood grain or luxury matt marble, can be sourced in a range of patterns, and you can also opt for bold colours or shimmery finishes. Additionally, most LVT can be laid in pattern formations such as herringbone to create a variety of looks to suit your style and space.

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Need to know

Vinyl is an easy surface to clean and maintain (thankfully), but there are some precautions you should take to increase its longevity. Sweep your tiles regularly to remove debris and mop up any dirt or spillages with a warm, soapy solution. Many brands have their own products, made specifically for their flooring, which are useful for deep cleans. And while vinyl can look as good as the real deal, it won’t add the same value to your home as investing in, for example, real wood flooring could do. Keep an eye out for brands that offer long guarantees, as vinyl is not easy to repair if damaged.


Vinyl is one of the most affordable types of flooring, with prices starting from around £6 per sq m – but you could pay up to around £80 per sq m for luxury vinyl tiles.

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Featured image: Available in Lavastone, Ochre, Flax (pictured), Ink Black, and Oxford Blue, Neisha Crosland’s Dovetail luxury vinyl tiles cost £44.80 per sq m from Harvey Maria.

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