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Design flooring as flooring: advantages and disadvantages of the popular floor type

Anyone looking for a new flooring will inevitably come across designer floors. Manufacturers extol this type of flooring: as a cheap, varied and even sustainable alternative to parquet, laminate or tiles. Many advantages, few disadvantages - does this really apply to design floors? We took a closer look for you.

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Differences: PVC, vinyl or design flooring

PVC, vinyl or design flooring - these terms often end up in one pot. Unfortunately, although there is some overlap, it's not that easy. Let's first clarify what is what:

PVC is the name of the classic, colorfully printed plastic floor on the roll. In the past, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) was often full of harmful plasticizers and increasingly suffered from a bad reputation. This is why manufacturers now mostly sell their goods under the term vinyl flooring. The plasticizers used in it are largely harmless - provided that the goods are manufactured and certified in Europe.

vinyl There is, however, another form, namely as a board or plank. The structure is similar to that of laminate: In the core there is a thin hardboard (HDF), over which there is vinyl and a decorative layer plus sealing. Thanks to the versatile design, this flooring is now popular on the market as a design floor.

Design floor has evolved. In the meantime, manufacturers have other plastic surfaces ready in addition to vinyl. For example polyurethane (PU), PET or polypropylene (PP) - without any harmful plasticizers or solvents.

Tip: It is best to pay attention to certification by the eco-Institut or the Blue Angel.

So we're talking about vinyl and design floors here and show you the advantages and disadvantages of floor coverings. You will also find out the price category and for which rooms both variants are suitable.

Advantages of vinyl and design floors

Wood look, tile pattern or industrial look - no other floor covering is as diverse. But that is by no means the only advantage of design floors.

Advantage 1: huge design choice

If you want an extra large selection when it comes to optics, you are right with design floors. Wooden floorboards or stone look, concrete, black and white chessboard or brightly colored patterns: there are no limits when it comes to decor.

Advantage 2: vinyl flooring is particularly easy to lay

You buy vinyl flooring in two meter wide strips that are glued to the sub-floor. Design floors come in handy tiles or planks. These are simply clicked into each other like laminate. Without sticking it. You take such a floating flooring with you when you move out. Great: individual panels can be replaced.

Advantage 3: the design floor is easy on the joints

In contrast to hard laminate, vinyl and design floors give in a little when you walk. This means that the floor covering is elastic, similar to cork. This spring protects your joints, you will notice it.

Advantage 4: warm feet, quiet and safe

Today's synthetic floors feel pretty warm underfoot and feel good all round, but that also depends on the structure chosen. There is no impact sound like with laminate with design flooring. The occurrence happens quietly - and safely: you won't slip on this floor covering.

Advantage 5: vinyl flooring is extra easy to care for

Vinyl and design floors are antistatic and repel dirt. The same applies to cleaning as to laminate: vacuum or sweep and then wipe with a damp cloth, done!

Advantage 6: design floor colors stay beautiful

UV rays, i.e. sunlight, cannot harm a good design floor. The decorative layer is lightfast, so the colors do not fade and stay as they are.

Advantage 7: Vinyl flooring is perfect for renovators

Vinyl or design flooring is only four to five millimeters thick. A feature that becomes particularly important when renovating. Because of the low installation height, the covering can usually be laid on the old sub-floor without stressing the doors, baseboards or thresholds.

Advantage 8: design floors are inexpensive

Vinyl by the meter costs around 12 euros per square meter. Multi-layer design flooring is just as inexpensive as laminate, maybe a little more expensive. You can start at around 15 euros, and good quality is available for 20 euros.

Disadvantages of vinyl and design floors

Disadvantage 1: Artificial and therefore not sustainable

Many are bothered by the fact that vinyl flooring is an artificial flooring. Plastic remains plastic, regardless of whether it is vinyl or polyurethane.

Disadvantage 2: be careful, quirks!

Neither vinyl nor design floors are permanently scratch-resistant. Heavy furniture also often leaves visible pressure marks. And if a sharp knife or a heavy saucepan falls on the floor, it is not without consequences. However, some manufacturers have already made improvements and promise that their design floors are insensitive to pressure points.

You can find out how to make scratches almost invisible again in our guide "How can you remove scratches on vinyl floors?".

Disadvantage 3: vinyl flooring cannot be sanded down

Vinyl as a floor covering does not last forever; a maximum useful life of 10 to 15 years is expected. Unfortunately, as with parquet or cork, sanding is not possible. As with laminate, you can fill in the quirks with hard wax or a color-matching paste. Alternatively, you can replace the plank or plate at Designboden.

Disadvantage 4: Vinyl flooring is not particularly healthy for living

It is true that the harmful plasticizers in the old PVC floors are largely a thing of the past. But that doesn't always apply. When buying, check carefully whether the synthetic floors are certified, for example with the "Blue Angel" or "natureplus" seal. Vinyl or design floors from the EU are considered harmless. More on this in our article "Are there also low-emission vinyl floors?".

Disadvantage 5: Design floors don't like wetness that much

Resilient floors are not the first choice for damp rooms. However, the moisture protection of modern design floors is improving more and more, and suitable variants are marked.

Which rooms are vinyl floors and design floors suitable for?

When asked which rooms design flooring can be installed in, one has to answer clearly: in all of them! The design is versatile enough. It just depends on how resistant your favorite floor should be. Vinyl or design floors only work to a limited extent in kitchens and bathrooms; you might prefer to lay tiles in frequently used damp rooms.

Conclusion: vinyl floors and design floors as flooring

Design floors in particular have more advantages than disadvantages and are rightly becoming increasingly popular. After all, it is chic, comfortable and affordable at the same time. For bathrooms and kitchens, however, we would only recommend the flooring with reservations.