October 28, 2021

Ask the Expert

How and where to use wood effect vinyl tiles

Imagine a flooring material that reproduced the same aesthetic effect and texture of wood, but without any of the hassle or cost. There is such a material and it’s wood effect vinyl tiles.

The ever-increasing demands on our time mean that when it comes to home décor, we are looking for finishes that don’t require much maintenance. But neither do we want to sacrifice good looks nor quality. And this is where vinyl tiles come into their own. Not only are they hassle-free, but also they are specifically designed for demanding areas. The following article examines how and where to use wood effect vinyl tiles.

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Linkfloor Multiformat Silver (available in-store)

 

The advantages of wood effect vinyl tiles

Vinyl flooring is a category of floor finishes that includes sheets, planks and tiles. Nowadays, vinyl represents a floor finish that is simply light years away from traditional sheet vinyl. Thanks to significant technological advances, both in terms of performance and looks, vinyl is a floor finish worth giving serious consideration. And an option that is currently giving natural wood a run for its money. Its layered structure, composed of different sandwiched materials, provides a hard-wearing, highly resistant and waterproof flooring option. Wood effect vinyl tiles also look indistinguishable from the real thing. Luxury Vinyl Tile or LVT flooring is especially convincing in this regard.

 

Vinyl tiles: a contemporary product made using layers

Typically, the generic wood effect vinyl flooring includes the following layers. From the base to the upper layer, they contain:

  • A sound absorption layer (usually cork or similar).
  • A rigid core that lends weight and durability.
  • An embellishment layer with high-definition photographic recreation of timber.
  • An upper protective layer provides texture and resistance to scratches etc.

 


Linkfloor

Vinyl Tiles

Take a look at the wood effect vinyl floors available in our online shop.

 

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The look and feel of natural wood

With high definition photography and advances in printing technology, the embellishment layer faithfully recreates natural wood. For a realistic effect, the colours, the texture and the aesthetic of timber knots and grains of different timber species are artfully recreated. Because the tiles also feature the timber texture, this means that when light hits the tile at an angle, the realistic effect is maintained. However, the performance of wood effect vinyl tiles is diametrically different from that of timber. And today, a significant proportion of the tiles are made with recycled materials, which means a smaller carbon footprint.

 

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Linkfloor Hotel Air Saw Grey 121.92X17.78 (available in-store)

Grey wood effect vinyl tiles

Because wood effect vinyl tiles are man-made, there are a variety of non-traditional colour options. Together with tones that imitate natural timber species, others can add a more designer finish. Among those colours is a choice of silver and grey wood-effect vinyl tiles, which are very much in demand right now.

Dark and light shades of grey in vinyl flooring tiles evoke both a contemporary and timeless quality. Grey is especially appropriate for lending kitchens and bathrooms a fresh and modern aesthetic. The contrast between bathroom artefacts or kitchen cabinets looks stylish while also being hygienic and easy to maintain. Just a daily sweep and a regular mopping with a non-abrasive cleaner will keep the floor in pristine condition.

Where to use wood effect vinyl tiles?

Wood finishes are warm, cosy and connect us back to nature. That’s why timber floors are so prevalent in open-plan living areas, dining rooms and eat-in kitchens. In hallways, they make a good impression and provide a welcome home. But natural wood has its disadvantages like buckling if flooded, requiring sanding and ongoing maintenance etc.

Wood effect vinyl flooring, on the other hand, is waterproof, requires almost no maintenance and will not buckle if flooded. Its convincing appearance makes it possible to finish an entire ground floor with the same material to get the continuous flooring effect. Even mudrooms, utility rooms, and pantries are suitable to tile with wood-effect vinyl flooring without fear of damage.

In short, every room inside the house is suitable for wood effect vinyl flooring. Whether living rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, hallways, mudrooms, utility rooms, pantries, etc.

 


Where not to use wood-effect vinyl tiles?

We do not recommend using vinyl tiles outdoors as sunlight can fade their colour, and the always unpredictable UK weather can take its toll over time. Although vinyl tiles are waterproof, wind, dirt, debris and temperature changes can affect their quality and appearance, as they are not designed for outdoor use.


 

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Linkfloor Kingdom Celt 22.8X180X0.55 (available online & in-store)

 

How to lay wood effect vinyl tiles?

There are two popular methods for laying wood effect vinyl tiles; floating or self-adhesive. Depending on whether you install it yourself and the individual circumstances, one or the other will be more appropriate. The following link provides a step by step guide for how to laying vinyl flooring.

Take a look at the following video that explains the process of laying Linkfloor flooring, the vinyl tiles from PORCELANOSA Group. The video also shows how to join the pieces with the “lock” system, guaranteeing a perfect fit.

 

 

▶ Can wood effect vinyl flooring be laid over tiles?

Linkfloor vinyl tiles can be laid directly over the existing flooring without removing the old floor, whether ceramic tiles, concrete, wood or another vinyl flooring. The critical thing to get right is to make sure that the flooring is level. It might involve laying a levelling compound, adding a substrate or repairing damaged areas. Once you have checked that the floor is level, join the pieces together using this innovative system.

AC Rating for wood-effect vinyl tiles

The AC rating is a metric that guarantees vinyl floor tile performance and quality. The rating applies to any laminate and vinyl floor and measures its resistance to wear, impact and staining.

Flooring materials are only provided with an AC Rating if they have passed all the tests to which they are submitted. These include resistance to heavyweight furniture legs, rolling castors, swelling at its edges and other day-to-day hazards.

The range of Ratings goes from AC1 (suitable for residential applications with very light foot traffic, such as bedrooms) to AC6 (for commercial heavy intensive trafficked areas such as supermarkets, airport terminals and public-facing government buildings).

FAQs

There are numerous advantages/disadvantages to consider when deciding on one or the other. Chief amongst which is the budget. Wood effect vinyl flooring is much cheaper and easier to install than hardwood floors. Vinyl performs better than hardwood. It is especially relevant for families with young children or pets, for whom maintenance is an issue.

One of the disadvantages of vinyl is that it can be easily dented and scratched because it is only 1.5 to 5 mm thick. Hardwood, on the other hand, can be sanded and looks as good as new. With vinyl, the tiles will require replacement. Similarly, in terms of resale value, hardwood will outperform wood effect vinyl tiles because it is considered a superior finish. But with LVT and other advances, this perception is slowly turning around.

Yes, they are almost indistinguishable. Thanks to both the printed and the upper protective layers, wood effect vinyl tiles reproduce in detail the look and texture of natural wood.

The use of LVT (luxury vinyl tiles) is highly recommended for refurbishment projects, spaces where underfloor heating is installed and for those areas where moisture resistance is required. Kitchens, bathrooms, hallways, living rooms, etc. Anywhere where the floor is subject to traffic. Spaces where a robust and waterproof floor covering with a quality finish is required.


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