If you’re shopping for resilient flooring, you’ll need to choose between sheet vinyl and vinyl tiles; however, in a kitchen, this choice is fairly clear. Vinyl tiles are easy to install, and many come with peel-and-stick adhesive backing. But since the floor ends up with a lot of seams, moisture can easily seep in between the tiles and ruin the bond. For this reason, sheet vinyl tile is a much better choice for a kitchen floor. Sheet vinyl can be installed in two ways.
Perimeter-bond vinyl has a vinyl backing and is easier to install, since it’s glued down only at its seams and edges. Full-spread vinyl has a felt or paper backing and is installed over a coat of adhesive spread over the entire floor. In most kitchens, full-spread vinyl is the best choice. Perimeter-bond vinyl was developed to be installed over existing vinyl floors, and is able to disguise minor imperfections in the surface; select it only if this is a major issue in your kitchen.
Sheet vinyl comes in 6, 9- and 12-ft. widths that are cut to fit the floor space. Although the 6-ft. width is the easiest to manage and the most economical, it’s not the best choice for most kitchen floors, where it’s important to minimize the number of seams. If your floor must have a seam, place it as far as possible from the sink, dishwasher, or another water source.
Installing it Yourself
If you want to install resilient flooring yourself, select a product with a warranty that allows do-it-yourself installation. For full-spread vinyl, you’ll need to nail, screw or staple a new plywood underlayment to the sub-floor and fill all the holes and seams with patching compound. Check the manufacturer’s installation specifications, as some will void the warranty if their flooring is installed over a substandard underlayment. To protect your new flooring while you move the kitchen appliances and furniture back into place, cover it with hardboard panels until everything is set.