Vinyl is a material with an interesting (and with a not so far back) moment of inception. Back in 1920, when Doctor Waldo Semon wanted to develop an adhesive that would bond rubber to metal, he was known to experiment with the discarded material in his lab; many experiments later he one day decided to apply heat to some of the leftovers in the lab, and boom – the outcome was what we call vinyl today. And what an outcome that was! Vinyl is one of today’s most used and most versatile materials for the building and construction industries.
Vinyl is the outcome of what happens when salt and petroleum undergo a process, a combination of both hot temperature and pressure. The process continues until you’re left with just ethylene. The complete chemical reaction is a bit more complex than just this, but what matters is that now we have a kind of plastic that has changed the building game forever.
Quick clarification: PVC (polyvinyl chloride), a material mostly used for making window frames, drainage pipe, water service pipe, medical devices, blood storage bags, is just another type of vinyl.
The Amazing Advantages of Vinyl Flooring for Bathrooms
Now that we’ve covered some basics, let’s get more into bathroom floor vinyl. There are other materials for your bathroom flooring out there such as ceramic tile (made by clay) which also has its pros and cons. But when it comes to vinyl, here are some of the features that have made it a favourite for many buyers around the world.
Vinyl flooring is durable. If installed and maintained correctly, it can last over 10 years in rooms in your house that get the most foot traffic, like the bathroom, and up to 20 years for rooms with not as frequent traffic. However, be careful with low-quality vinyl because it may be prone to rips and tears, and the challenge with it is refinishing because once damaged, vinyl has to be replaced.
Quick reminder: Just like with most flooring materials, to keep the new look as long as you can – try to minimise vinyl’s direct exposure to sunlight that comes through your doors or windows whenever possible.
Versatility in Design
Some homeowners say that the design options of vinyl are their favourite feature. With so many different colours and patterns of the decorative layer on the vinyl, your options are countless. For instance, you can combine solid and composite vinyl to “randomly” create unique patterns. There is also printed vinyl, typically used to mimic hardwood or wood without the expense of using those actual materials.
Vinyl is known to be highly resistant to moisture. This also depends on the kind of finish your floor is going to get. Stone plastic composite and rigid core vinyl are designed to be 100% waterproof. This means that not even constant exposure to humidity or moisture can cause damage to your flooring. Sounds like it’s worth investing in a bathroom floor vinyl product.
Not only waterproof but thanks to vinyl’s chlorine base, its siding does not ignite quickly, therefore flame-retardant is another feature worthy of consideration.
Stain Resistance and Easy Maintenance
Maintenance tends to be one of the easiest chores with vinyl. No wonder homeowners love vinyl’s tile. After sweeping to remove dirt and grit, simply run a damp mop over it using a cleaner specific for vinyl and you’re good to go. Most vinyl tiles have a “no-wax” finish and additionally help keep vinyl’s shine last longer.
For your consideration, there are 3 types of finishes for vinyl flooring:
- Vinyl no-wax finish – Lightest type and recommended for areas with light foot traffic and minimal moisture.
Urethane finish – More durable finish than no-wax, is heavier, can stand up to moderate foot traffic and is more resistant to scratching.
- Enhanced urethane finish – This is the toughest available vinyl finish, can accommodate the heaviest foot traffic. This one is highly resistant to stains and scratches and holds its shine even without constant maintenance.
Designing a Bathroom with Vinyl
Remember the part I mentioned vinyl is homeowners’ favourite flooring option because of the various design solutions? Then maybe you’re already eager for a bathroom brainstorming session before you jump into making a list of the essentials for a modern bathroom renovation. Here are some ideas on how to design a bathroom with vinyl floors.
I’m no expert in fashion but I am old-fashioned and retro is back, isn’t it? So, have you considered a retro floral theme for your floor with soft baby blue walls and a simple white sink?
Maybe you’re into more minimalist ideas, such as the classic combo of black and white stripes (on the floor) which go perfectly with bold red and green details and a white wall splashed with silver-grey. Now, this is a bathroom to check out.
If you’re someone who enjoys a warm atmosphere, faux wood vinyl tile might do the job. Earthy tones could be your theme, not just your floor, but the frame of your mirror, the drawers, bathroom towel ring holders, etc. And to brighten it up a bit, add one simple soft yellow decoration, like a painting or faux sunflower.
- Tiny space? No problem. Use only bright or only dark colours (specifically for your walls) to give any room more depth. Also, use a few larger decorations instead of many small decorative items.
- Don’t forget about considering plants. Even your bathroom can make space for them and here I come with a list of plants that would be happy to be in such an environment: Bird’s Nest Fern, Pothos, Tillandsia / Air Plant, Aloe Vera, Gardenia etc. They not only brighten your mood and beautify your space but truly add that last touch to the new vinyl floor you always wanted to have.