New Groove: Vinyl Floors Are Back!

  • (Fiddlehead Design Group, LLC/Houzz)

  • (Highmark Builders/Houzz)

  • (Kaufman Homes, Inc./Houzz)


Forget everything you think you know about vinyl floors in the kitchens of the past decades. Vinyl is back and better than ever. It is durable and easy to clean, and it comes in a wide range of colors and patterns. This often undervalued material deserves a second chance to be a part of a modern home. Here is why.

Vinyl Stands up to Use and Abuse

Vinyl is one of the most resilient flooring products available on the market. It is easy to sweep and mop, and not abrasive or thing easily. This makes it a popular choice for entryways, mudrooms, and other areas that are frequently cleaned. Leaf installations with no real grout grooves means that there is no place for dirt and grease to catch it, so that the floor can remain almost untouched.

Vinyl is also a good choice for laundry rooms and other areas where there is a risk of water or chemicals, which can enjoy in flooring materials with more disastrous results. Vinyl is the lack of absorption of moisture prevents mildew and mold and, consequently, musty odors.

Vinyl Imitates Other Materials at a Fraction of the Cost

Such as laminate, tiles, vinyl can be created in any kind of colorway or print, which means that it can be printed to appear like exotic wood or stone tiles that can be too expensive for your project — and it requires a lot less maintenance.

Sheet laminate is not always effective to simulate wooden planks (make sure to get a large sample of whatever product you are considering to verify the quality), but it does well as a simulation for products such as cork, which also come in larger sheets or seamless installations.

Vinyl Creates Fascinating Looks

While it can simulate the look of other materials, vinyl is perhaps even better at making a statement in itself.

Vinyl Looks Great in Dramatic Patterns

The fact that it often comes in large sheets does not mean that you have to install the vinyl as a single piece. Regardless of whether you use the plate or tile, a combination of multiple colors in various patterns can customize the look, without adding too much to the material cost.

Tip: For a pattern floor that will not overwhelm you, try a palette of charcoal gray, warm taupe, and white or slightly off-white.

Vinyl Can Add Retro Charm

What says dinner more than a black-and-white checkered floor in the classic vinyl? This pattern and material are destined for each other. Use the combos in each style of the kitchen to add a touch of retro appeal without the room looking like the set of a period film.

Vinyl Can Be Applied on Top of Old Flooring

If you want a flooring makeover without a complete remodel? Self-adhesive vinyl tile can be placed on top of the tiles and leaving the grout exposed for a more realistic effect), or placed on slippery floors so they look new for only a few hundred dollars, and a very doable DIY project.

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