26 Nov 2015

Flooring: No limitations with imitations

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Homeowners are increasingly turning to vinyl as their preferred choice of flooring in residential and projects. But why, after so many years acting as the poorer cousin, is vinyl making a comeback?

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Vinyl, in both its sheet and luxury tile forms, is gaining in popularity day by day and has been over the past few years. Technological advancements and increased design versatility mean the most authentic of looks can be achieved in these flooring types, super-realism no longer reserved to laminates, solids and engineered woods.

For too long self-builders have faced a choice between a compromise in quality, and meeting budget requirements. With the output of premium vinyl manufacturers today, there is now no need to choose between the two, as the ‘real deal’ is replicated with more and more attention to detail with every passing day. What’s more, vinyl flooring is totally waterproof and ready to withstand the pressures of hectic family life, simple to look after and quick to install so ideal for meeting tight deadlines.

Styles and options

Quick-Step epitomises this in its popular LIVYN collection, luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) at their very best and an integral part of the QS stable for some time. Re-launched in the run-up to 2016, LIVYN now boasts 16 unique wood designs in its Balance portfolio, and four equally impressive stone and slate looks in Ambient.

But what if luxury vinyl tiles are not favoured, or perhaps an even more budget-conscious solution is required? The answer could well be found in sheet or ‘cushion’ vinyl, the wall-to-wall floor covering that has also seen a rejuvenation in recent years as its production process continues to evolve.

Avenue Floors and Leoline, both UK cushion vinyl brands falling under the IVC umbrella, are on hand to help with two of the most versatile design portfolios you could wish to find.

Starting with Avenue Floors, we see three price divisions to ensure the simplest of decision-making processes for self-builders everywhere. A Touch of Class, featuring Ultimate Timber and Ultimate Elements, Superior, featuring Classic Limestone, Titanium XT and Ultimate Design, and Choice, featuring ‘Bubblegum & Liquorice’, come together to create a flexible offering blending quality with rich design inspiration.

An alternative route is found in Leoline, a sister to Avenue with an impressive, price-conscious product stable. IVC is used to producing floors for the most challenging of environments with its commercial ranges, and these skills have been passed on to Leoline through floors that are equally adept in any area, with Superguard low maintenance and R10 additional slip resistance available for more demanding homes.

Similar to Avenue, the Leoline range comprises exciting wood, stone and slate looks – and indeed some more vibrant styles! Again split into three price tiers, available to explore are Elite: Stonemark and Quartz, Priviledge: Luxury Woods, Luxury Trends and Woodmark, and Family: Comfortz and Changing Roomz.

Authentic flooring

From the trendy herringbone or ‘parquet’ look to some more established favourites, a design of almost any ilk can be found with Leoline, and most importantly without the drawbacks of alternative materials. Coming in varying widths for fewer seam marks, it is fair to say floors from Leoline are more authentic than ever before, just another factor in the recent resurgence of sheet vinyl.

Whether sheet vinyl or LVT is most applicable to your project, technological advancements have made this material a viable choice for self-builders up and down the country. More practical than the majority of its flooring counterparts, there really is a ‘best of all worlds’ feel to vinyl.

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