Vinyl flooring was one of the most common floors used in Europe and North America during the 1950′s-2000. Alot of people may recall the term “no-wax” vinyl flooring which is what virtually all of today’s vinyl floors are made as. The reason the term “no-wax” was a marketing tool is because from the late 1800′s-1940′s linoleum was the most widely available resilient flooring option for most. Linoleum is cool in it’s own way, but requires waxing and or polishing on a regular basis. It is also easier to stain.
With advancements in PVC technology vinyl became a viable option that was much easier maintenance than linoleum.
Overtime the vinyl because more and more realistic and very durable. However, when Pergo was introduced in 1996 that was the “death” of vinyl flooring of the past. Pergo and other laminate flooring introductions later became dominate in the market especially for kitchens and larger areas. Laminate floors were so much easier to install and had the look of high end hardwood and yet had the easy maintenance like vinyl.
From 2000-2008 vinyl was a shrinking market. However starting in roughly 2009 a new category of vinyl flooring emerged to finally give laminate floors like Pergo a run for the money. This new generation of flooring has a more realistic look and is combined with easy installation.
In 2011 there is the most important emergence of vinyl flooring in the last 50 years. The newest generation of solid vinyl plank floors that have the look of wood, yet the click installation of laminate is truly a game changer. This product done correctly has the ability to revolutionize not just the vinyl market but also laminate.
Just as laminate beat vinyl with a knock out punch this could be the revenge of vinyl against laminate.
Although there are LOTS of positives to this product there are an equal about of potential GOTCHAS.
Some of the points of differentiation to be wary of including the quality of the product itself, the recycled content (Because it could be toxic – THIS IS NOT A POSITIVE ATTRIBUTE IN MOST CASES), the thickness as it related to the click joint integrity, the finish surface durability, scratch resistance, color changing, ease of maintenance and so much more.
As always it pays to be informed. In the near future a BRAND WARS: VINYL FLOORING article will be published showing the differences between click vinyl floors to join the series of BRAND WARS articles that have been read my millions looking at laminate and hardwood flooring.