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Floor panels are undoubtedly one of the most popular floor finishing solutions. They are competing with ceramic tiles, classic wood or increasingly popular resin. However, before you head to the store to do your shopping, it’s worth getting an idea of the differences between the two basic types of floor panels. You can choose between vinyl and laminate panels
Vinyl panels have appeared on the market quite recently. Innovative technology allows the use of a synthetic material consisting of several layers of vinyl and a layer of polyurethane. This material makes the floor panels of this type are very durable, strong, resistant to damage, scratches, destruction. For many years they are able to present themselves invariably well. Installation of floor panels of this type does not pose any problem. After all, they also allow for underfloor heating
These modern floor panels are 100% water resistant unlike classic laminate panels. So vinyl flooring works well not only in the living room, but also in the kitchen or bathroom, i.e. in rooms exposed to higher temperatures and moisture. Some modern vinyl panels are also used around swimming pools and saunas. They do not have to worry about deformation of the floor under the influence of moisture. It is also easier to keep such panels clean, because there is no risk associated with washing or cleaning them with other means
Such floor panels for kitchens or hallways are resistant to intensive exploitation. It is therefore possible to place them without any risk in spaces which are intensively used, where there are frequent household members. They can also be safely used in office spaces. In contrast to some wooden panels or cheaper other panel models they are resistant to scratches, UV rays, impacts and other mechanical damages
It is also a plus that there are really many vinyl panels. There is no shortage of motifs, patterns and colors. You can find imitations of wood, stone or even metal. You can buy dark floor panels, light floor panels, and also those in a less obvious color. Finally, the selection of floor panels also includes 3D patterns.
It is worth remembering that vinyl panels are quite an expensive solution. However, it is not only about the price of the panels themselves, but also the underlay under them. It is also necessary to take into account the cost of finishing profiles. However, it is worth to pay attention to the specific requirements for the installation of these panels. First of all, it is about a perfect preparation of the surface for laying the panels. It must be perfectly smooth, otherwise achieving the effect may require more work and additional costs. Therefore one should also take this into account when choosing a particular solution
Cheap floor panels include laminated panels made mostly of MDF, which is covered with laminated paper of special properties. It is of course properly protected against damage. As in the case of vinyl panels, the choice of these panels is very rich. It is also easy to carry out their installation. Many people decide to install such panels on their own. You don’t have to glue them, thanks to which you can use a room with such a floor immediately after installation. It is also just as easy to dismantle it and replace it with another one
A particular advantage is, of course, the availability of panels, both in terms of price and the scale of models and patterns, which allow you to create a floor with a very different character – imitating stone, ceramics, wood, etc
The level of protection of laminate panels is not as high as in the case of vinyl panels. They are less resistant to moisture, chemicals, impacts and scratches. Therefore they deteriorate faster, under the influence of moisture they are able to warp quite quickly. It is also impossible to renovate them, so when they are damaged they need to be replaced. A disadvantage may also be their weaker acoustic insulation. However if we care about much cheaper and easy in installation solution this kind of panels will be perfect
Panels form a very wide and diversified category. The choice of a particular solution should be obviously dictated by the effect you want to achieve. Key in the choice should be, above all, durability and resistance to various possible damages. Resistance to abrasion or cleaning is also important. The choice of specific solutions is of course influenced by their price, but if you can afford to buy vinyl floor panels, it is certainly a better choice than slightly less durable laminate panels. However, you must remember that vinyl models require perfectly prepared surfaces. If the problem is the evenness of the surface on which the panels are to be laid, laminate panels may be a better choice as they are easier to adapt to the surface
Photo: client’s press material.