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What is vinyl?

What is vinyl?

Vinyl flooring, or sheet vinyl, is a water-resistant, flexible floor covering made from different layers of synthetic materials, backed with either felt or foam. Available in a range of thicknesses and designs, it's very comfortable underfoot and adds a bit of personality to your floor! Using the latest printing technology and embossing techniques, vinyl can provide the authentic look of a tiled or wooden floor at a fraction of the price and with far less maintenance. Sounds good so far – tell us more about vinyl!

How is vinyl made?

Vinyl sheet flooring is made up of several different layers of synthetic materials using modern production methods. On the top you have a wear and tear layer, finished with a clear coating to prevent scuffs and stains, and add an extra layer of protection. Underneath that you have the design layer, which also might be embossed to mimic the texture of a real wood, stone, or tiled floor. Finally, you have the core layers, which provide structure and water-resistance. Some styles of vinyl will also have an additional layer of cushioned felt backing at the bottom to add extra comfort beneath your feet and reduce noise.

What are the benefits of vinyl flooring?

Aside from the cost factor, there are many other benefits to choosing vinyl flooring: it's quick to install, hard-wearing, water-resistant, and easy to clean. Vinyl flooring features a wear and tear layer - a clear protective coating that goes on top of the design, which is stain-resistant, water-resistant, and slip-resistant, making it the perfect flooring choice for kitchens and bathrooms.

What designs are available on vinyl?

Vinyl flooring also comes in a range of striking designs, from patterned tiles to a simpler stone or wood floor effect. If you like the look of tiled floors but think they’re too cold and too expensive, then vinyl is a great alternative. It’s more affordable, cheaper to fit, and is also warmer and more cushioned underfoot. At Tapi, our patterned vinyl collection includes gorgeous designs that look just like ceramic tiles, such as modern art deco tiles, traditional black and white Victorian tiles, colourful Moroccan mosaic tiles, and vintage Spanish tiles. Vinyl gives you a chance to play around and have a bit of fun with your floor!

How do you fit vinyl flooring?

Vinyl flooring can be fitted in two ways: loose lay or fully stuck. The type of vinyl and the type and size of the room will determine which fitting method you use. Foam-backed vinyl can be loose laid up to 12sqm and felt-backed vinyl over 12sqm, depending on the quality. The best thing about fitting vinyl flooring is that it doesn't need underlay; instead, you spray adhesive around the edges of the vinyl (loose lay) or use spread adhesive on the subfloor itself (fully stuck) to fix it into place. One can of spray adhesive covers approximately 10sqm. Prior to fitting, it's best to leave your roll of vinyl indoors where it can adapt to the room temperature before being unrolled. Take a look at our guide on how to fit vinyl flooring for more details.

  • Tapi Top Tip Pssst… We can arrange to fit your vinyl flooring with our trusted fitters if you need us to! Just request this service when you place your order.

Which room is best for vinyl flooring?

Thanks to its water-resistance, vinyl flooring is best for use in the bathroom, utility room, kitchen, conservatory, and hallway. Vinyl also has a slight texture on the surface (some are more textured than others) which offers slip-resistance.

What is the difference between vinyl and lino?

Whilst similar in appearance, there are a few key differences between lino flooring and vinyl:


  • Made from layers of synthetic materials
  • Design is printed on a separate layer, which is protected by a wear and tear layer
  • Realistic imitation of natural wood and stone
  • Water-resistant
  • Flexible and therefore easier to lay


  • Made from a mixture of natural materials, like linseed oil, ground cork, and jute
  • Design is embedded throughout the materials - a bit like a stick of rock - so the pattern may disappear or fade in heavy traffic areas
  • Doesn't quite have the same realistic look and feel of wood or stone that vinyl does
  • Not completely water-resistant - starts to curl up at the edges if it comes into contact with any water
  • Stiffer and therefore harder to lay

Both vinyl and lino are a hardwearing and affordable flooring choice, but vinyl is the better option because of its range and depth of designs, water-resistance, and durability. Take a look at our vinyl flooring at your nearest store or explore the range online.

How much does a vinyl floor cost?

We stock a huge range of vinyl designs at Tapi, from simple grey and white vinyl, to incredibly detailed patterns like marble, art deco, and vintage ceramic tiles, and the price varies depending on the style you choose. Our cheapest vinyl flooring starts from £14.99m², while our top of the range, luxury embossed vinyl with a thick felt backing for extra comfort is £27.99m². So, based on a 3x3m room and a £14.99 vinyl plus £80 for fitting, the total cost of a new vinyl floor would be less than £250, which also includes spray adhesive for a perimeter fix and a door bar.

Our flooring experts will be able to talk you through all the costs involved in buying and installing vinyl flooring when you visit us in store or book a home visit, but there's also a handy vinyl flooring cost calculator on all of our vinyl product pages to give you an estimate of how much your floor will cost (excluding fitting).


Learn more about vinyl