It may seem like an unlikely choice for a living room floor, but a vinyl sheet and tiles can provide you with durable, low maintenance, stylish surface for this social setting. With a variety of design and pattern options available to you, as well as numerous textural treatments, it can be used to reproduce the look of natural materials inexpensively or can help you to create a truly unique, personalized appearance.
Vinyl Living Room Floor Designs
- Printed Vinyl: This type of vinyl flooring is comprised of backing material, a print layer, and a wear layer that rests over the top. The backing provides stability for the piece, while the print layer can be imbued with nearly any image, pattern, or color combination imaginable. This allows you to simulate the look of natural wood, and stone, use emblem pieces, get creative with designs or even turn your floor into a living mural beneath your feet.
- Solid, and Composite Vinyl: Unlike printed vinyl which has separate and distinct layers, these surface coverings are manufactured in a process that produces a single, congruous material all the way through. Because they are not printed the design options in a living room are somewhat limited. However, the constituent consistency ensures that even as the material wears, the colors will not fade as they run true, all the way through.
- Vinyl Flooring Color Considerations: Make sure that the color and pattern of the floor that you choose will match with the existing styles of design and architecture which are found inherently in the living room. On the one hand, this should be relatively easy, as there are hundreds of different colors and patterns to choose from. However, this can also overwhelm you, in which case the assistance of a design professional may be required.
- Textural Enhancements: One of the classic drawbacks to vinyl is the fact that it feels flat, manufactured, and plastic. However, there are various textural treatments which can be applied to the material when it is produced, to give it a dimensional feel. This can include the slightly raised clefting of stone, or a more grained feel, simulating natural wood. You can also have random textural patterns that can add a depth of decorative beauty to the installation.
Vinyl Living Room Price Points
- Sheet Vinyl Floors: $0.50 - $2.00 per square foot. This consists of solid sheets of vinyl which are measured, cut, and then installed as a giant single, seamless piece in a room. The advantage to this is the designs can be printed on the whole floor, as if it were a canvas, allowing you to get very creative with living room designs. The drawback is that it is much more difficult to properly install sheet vinyl on your own, so it may be necessary to hire a professional, which can drive the cost of the floor up.
- Tile Vinyl Floors: $1.00 - $8.00 per square foot. Tiles of standard size and shape, usually consisting of squares or rectangles, which can then be sliced down into triangles. While the composite nature of the installation does hamper design capabilities somewhat, it also allows you to get very creative with the arrangement of individual pieces in the living room area. It is also much easier to install tile vinyl yourself, and if a single piece gets damaged, it can be removed and replaced for a perfect repair.
Maintenance and Durability in Social Settings
This is where vinyl shines in a living room. All of the design possibilities mentioned above are coupled with the material's inherent ability to resist wear, stains, and damage from a variety of hazards.
Vinyl is a particularly good living room flooring choice when you have children. The fact that it is low maintenance, and highly durable, is paired with the fact that it is a relatively soft surface covering. That means that the floor will not be harmed by your kids, and subsequently, they won’t be injured by trips and spills sending them toppling to the ground.
Functional Drawbacks to Vinyl Living Room Floors
- Rubber Reactions: One of the drawbacks to vinyl flooring in a living room is the fact that this material may have a chemical reaction when it comes in contact with rubber, which can cause a stain in its surface. For this reason, rubber-backed mats should be avoided. At the same time, the soles of rubber shoes can, when skidded, also cause a streak or discoloration, and it may be wise to institute shoes off policy in dens and family rooms where vinyl is installed.
- High Heeled Woes: Another problem with vinyl is that it is relatively soft, despite its durability. When faced with most weights it will simply yield beneath them, pressing down under the foot or furniture piece above, and then spring back into place.
Sharp punctures, such as dropped knives and forks, or the press of an unpadded high heel, can cause permanent holes in the material.
Life Cycle Of Vinyl Living Room Flooring
The living room is generally low to moderate foot traffic location in the home. While parties and social gatherings may be held there, and refreshments may occasionally spill, the inherent durability of vinyl will ensure that it is easy to clean and maintain, allowing it to achieve a full 10-20 year potential life cycle before it needs to be replaced.
- Maintenance: Caring for vinyl in a living room is a relatively easy process that requires you to sweep or vacuum it regularly. If an accidental spill occurs and there is some staining, you can use soap and warm water, or any mild detergent mopped onto its surface to clean the material.
- Sunlight: Often living rooms are built with big windows that allow bursts of bright, cheery sunlight to come streaming in. Unfortunately, over time, direct sunlight can cause a vinyl floor to discolor, taking on a yellowing hazy look. This can be offset by strategically placing curtains and or blinds in the windows, and shielding the floor against the brightest parts of the day.