What are the Different Types of Sheet Flooring?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Sheet flooring is a popular option for home floor coverings today. Generally considered a viable alternative to tile, the use of sheeting is sometimes less expensive, while also providing durability and an attractive appearance for many years after installation. The two most common forms of sheet flooring are composed of vinyl or linoleum.

Laminate flooring is an inexpensive alternative to hardwood flooring.
Laminate flooring is an inexpensive alternative to hardwood flooring.

Linoleum sheet flooring is often considered one of the more environmentally friendly forms of floor covering. Constructed with the use of linseed oil that is converted into a solid, then mixed with cork dust or wood flour, the sheeting is often backed with burlap or canvas. The end result is a sturdy flooring option that can hold up to a great deal of foot traffic over an extended period of time.

In addition to linoleum flooring, vinyl flooring is also produced in sheets. While manufactured with the use of mainly synthetic materials, vinyl sheet flooring offers many of the same advantages as linoleum. Generally, vinyl will be slightly more expensive than linoleum, and there is some difference of opinion as to whether vinyl holds up as well as linoleum.

With both types of sheet flooring, modern construction methods have made it possible to choose from a wide range of colors and patterns. Where colors were once applied to the surface in order to create the color scheme and the pattern for the sheeting, it is possible today to have the colors permeate throughout the material. In addition, both types of sheet flooring are often sealed with a laminate, giving them a sheen that is very similar to that of laminate flooring made from wood or some sort of stone.

While vinyl and linoleum sheet flooring are both durable, there are some basic safeguards to be observed once the flooring is in place. Linoleum and vinyl are both waterproof, but the adhesives used to secure them to the floor are not. Should water manage to get under the sheeting somehow, the adhesive is likely to weaken, allowing the sheeting to curl around the edges or at any seam where two sections of sheeting were joined. In addition, vinyl is usually not a good option for use on stairs, but will work very well on smooth surfaces.

Both types of sheet flooring can be purchased at a number of retail outlets. Many discount retail stores will carry the sheeting in limited quantities and styles. Home remodeling stores will usually have a wider selection and will sell the sheeting for a flat price per linear unit. This makes it possible to secure a sheet that is as long as required for your space.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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