DIY | Home Maintenance | Home Trends

Vinyl Isn’t Just for Hipsters: Achieve the Look with Vinyl Tiles on a Budget

Achieve the look for less with Vinyl tiles
TrafficMASTER Allure Grey Travertine Vinyl Tile Flooring

Have you ever gone through a home décor magazine and ogled at the flawlessly designed houses? Maybe it was the luxurious furniture, porcelain or marble tiles or general interior finishes that caught your eye—but then reality hits when you realize how big of a budget you might need to replicate the same look. Beautiful floor or wall tiles such as glass or porcelain tiles can seriously invigorate your home by ten-folds. But sometimes these tiles don’t fit into a homeowner’s renovation budget. That’s why vinyl tiles are a popular and practical choice for many homeowners.

What are Vinyl Tiles?

Vinyl tiles (also known as synthetic tiles) are a cost-effective option if you’re on a tight budget. Since these tiles are manufactured, its available in various patterns, colors and sizes. If you’re dealing with self-adhesive vinyl, laying them on top of other materials is easy enough for most homeowners. Bear in mind that while vinyl wins for affordability, when it comes to durability, ceramic and porcelain tiles comes out on top.

Install Them Carefully

Achieve the Look for less with Vinyl Tiles
Fancy-fix Vinyl Peel and Stick Decorative Backsplash Kitchen Tile

Self-adhesive vinyl tiles are easy to install and you shouldn’t require help from a professional. The trickier part is making sure the subfloor is completely clean and ready before you lay down the tiles. If the subfloor isn’t cleaned well, bumps might show through the tiles causing the look and feel of an uneven floor.

The Longevity of Vinyl Tiles

If taken care of properly, vinyl tiles can last up to 10+ years. Longevity also depends on the thickness of the tile’s top layer. The thicker the top layer of the tile, the more durable it should be. Knowing that, try to avoid thin or impossibly cheap vinyl tiles. While they might be dirt cheap, you don’t want to end up replacing the tiles sooner than you have to. As a general note, vinyl flooring usually doesn’t add on value to a house’s resale value, so that’s something to keep in mind if you plan on selling your home anytime soon.

Install Them in Low-Traffic Areas

Vinyl tiles are not as durable as ceramic or porcelain tiles, so installing them in a busy area that needs to be cleaned daily (like your kitchen) should be reconsidered. With all the spills from liquids and food that could happen on kitchen floors, they have to be cleaned thoroughly especially on vinyl tiles. If you don’t, the tiles could wear out even faster than expected. Sharp objects like knives or broken glass could potentially puncture the tile surface if they ever drop on the floor. Heavy furniture like dining tables and fridges could also make dents through the tile’s surface. You’ll have to put floor protectors underneath furniture to prevent damaging vinyl tiles.

Instead of installing vinyl in busy spaces, consider  a room that doesn’t get much foot traffic like a laundry or storage room If the tiles get damaged or develop dents, at least people won’t be passing through these rooms to see it.

Vinyl Tiles Designed to Look Like Higher End Tiles Are Available

Achieve the look with Vinyl Tiles
Vinyl wood plank flooring. Photo by Bill Wilson

Vinyl tiles are definitely not the same as porcelain and ceramic tiles. However, many tile suppliers stock vinyl tiles that are designed to look like high-end tiles or even wood plank. From afar, you might think these tiles are the real deal. It’s not until you get up close that you’ll realize that the flooring isn’t wood or ceramic. These look-alike tiles are more affordable than the actual tiles themselves, but remember, it may not be as durable.

Give Your Tiles a Makeover

Let’s say brand new vinyl tile isn’t in the budget.  Consider painting your existing vinyl tile. It’s possible to revamp vinyl tiles through coating on a layer of paint. Of course, you’ll have to clean, prime and sand the tiles before you get creative. Choose a striking color or create a pattern. This DIY project is economical and should completely transform a room with minimal time and money.

Vinyl tiles are a great choice for homeowners on a budget. If they’re maintained and installed properly, it will tie in nicely with the surrounding furniture and décor. Despite the look and finish, vinyl tiles won’t add value to a home’s resale value like hardwood or pre-engineered hardwood floors or porcelain or ceramic tiles.  However vinyl, will give your space a refreshed and up to date look on a budget. 

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