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The sheet vinyl offered today is quite different than the vinyl of yesterday. Advances in construction and aesthetics have produced fashionable products that are both durable and affordable. Many of the popular patterns today are inspired by nature, including those that imitate the exquisite look of natural stone. With an abundance of patterns and new methods of texturing the surface, very realistic looks have been achieved.

Sheet vinyl is constructed of several different layers: the wear layer, the printed or decorative layer, an inner core consisting of a foam and vinyl layer and a backing. When selecting sheet vinyl, thicker is not always better. The density of the inner core is what will help your floor resist rips, tears, gouges and indentations. Additionally, the quality of the wearlayer, which is the actual surface layer of the floor, will determine how your floor will stand up to staining, scuffing and scratching. For example, a urethane wearlayer will help with stain resistance.

When selecting the right sheet vinyl for the rooms in your home, consider the room's foot traffic and the types of activities that will take place. Ask your design consultant to review with you the manufacturers' warranty and performance characteristics of the products that are available.

Since vinyl comes in 6' and 12' widths, seaming may be necessary depending on the area to be covered. Certain patterns will hide seams better. For example, tile patterns with grout lines are better able to mask seams. Additionally, seam sealers may be visible in contrast with different vinyl textures and finishes.

No matter which vinyl you choose, under extreme conditions, sheet vinyl can dent or tear. Stiletto heels can also dent or scratch your floor. Damage of this nature is not covered by warranty.

Place walk off mats at each entryway to collect dirt and grit that might be tracked in. These tiny particles act like sandpaper and will scratch your floor. Be sure to avoid using rubber-backed mats or rugs as they can damage and potentially discolor your floor instead use mats made especially for sheet vinyl floors and remember to shake them out regularly.

Take great precaution when moving heavy furniture or appliances. Using sheets of plywood when moving objects will protect your floor. Always cover table and chair legs with protectors designed to safeguard vinyl. Also, be aware that homeowners are responsible to maintain caulking in heavy water use areas.