This cost-effective option is easy to maintain and is hard-wearing, even in high traffic areas. Vinyl planks comes in individual pieces which look perhaps surprisingly, very much like timber boards. Perhaps the stand-out feature of the vinyl system is the ability to easily replace vinyl planks in the event of damage. Unlike click-together boards, vinyl planks easily pop out individually to be replaced, as opposed to replacing the entire area of flooring. This along with it’s resilience to water makes it a great option for wet areas, such as bathrooms and kitchens. There are many different types of LVP but the most popular is the thicker “Drop Down Plank”. These planks have great acoustic properties and also have a high quality coating for easy maintenance.
LVP (Luxury Vinyl Plank)
Stone look is a great alternative to the real thing- and warmer to the touch as opposed to the imitation stone tiles and other products. As with the real material, stone vinyl is available in various tones and styles. As the product is printed, a more varied pattern will create greater realism in it’s imitation of the actual material, while a more controlled and consistent pattern will appear neater although further away from real stone.
- Warmer Stone (neutrals/ beiges)- Team this back with brown based products such as warm timbers, brown and cream-whites and natural fibres. This will produce a timeless look which is tasteful. While it will work in contemporary settings, it will tend to be a more classic feeling space.
- Cooler Stones (whites/ greys)- This stone-look material will work well in more contemporary spaces which can be teamed back with crisper colours such as fresh white and clean materials like stainless steel and blonde timbers. In reality, greys work back with most colours and are quite flexible.
Popularity of polished concrete flooring is rising rapidly and a vinyl imitation version is a good option for those who either don’t want to spend the money involved with the real product or if it is not structurally possible in their homes. Similarly, to stone-look materials, the more variation in design, the more realistic the finish will look. Concrete can have beautiful tone and pattern with aggregates different polishes. It needs to be decided if the flooring will become the feature of the space- a highly patterned look will take centre stage while everything around it should support this, while a softer, more consistent looking concrete will allow for the furniture, rugs and other materials to be more adventurous.
PATTERNS & TILE LOOKS
There really is nothing more timeless than a black and white checkerboard vinyl style. This works particularly well in renovated period homes in kitchens and informal spaces such as meals areas and conservatories. Consider the angle of the installation. When laid on an angle, this can be quite directional, drawing the eye to a particular space and manipulating the visual size of a room-sometimes not for the better. There are some other “retro” inspired patterns remerging, such as slate-tile look which is a good alternative to the real product. While it may not feel the same and perhaps not have the benefits of the natural products such as lustre of finish and variation of pattern, it does have its strengths. It’s easy to maintain and affordable. Slate is a cool-feeling colour, with warmer undertones. It is a heavy and dominant material and works well in open plan spaces which can hold the weight of its presence. Teamed with strong timbers and woven elements, it can create a warm look, while when working back with crisp whites and contemporary furniture- it’s given a modern twist. If the vinyl is in a tile format, ensure the direction of the pattern is considered well. Just like timber flooring, angled tiles can distort our perception of space and create dynamism, while more traditionally laid linear tiles are a little safer. Think of where you would like the eye to be drawn, or is there already a line which needs to be followed, such as a hallway or timber flooring. This will often hold the answer to the question of which direction the tiles should be laid.