Not so long ago, PVC tiles appeared on the market of finishing materials. It is a good alternative to traditional ceramic coatings, as it is durable and easily tolerates dampness and moisture. Let’s take a closer look at this finishing material, as well as its pros and cons.
What it is?
PVC (or vinyl) tiles are similar in composition to linoleum. Because of this, flooring specialists have nicknamed it linoleum tiles. As a rule, this finishing material is in the shape of a square or rectangle..
The composition of PVC tiles contains the following components:
- Fillers of synthetic origin;
- Polyvinyl chloride;
Polyvinyl chloride acts as a binding element in PVC tiles. This component has high thermoplasticity. The elasticity and resilience of the material is provided by plasticizers.
Today, the choice of tile materials is greater than ever. You can choose the best option for any interior and stylistic direction. Some of the most popular and common are ceramic and tile coatings, however, in stores you can find good alternatives to these materials – plastic tiles..
Vinyl tiles have a structure made up of several different layers:
- Profiled base, which makes it possible to lay the finishing material on almost any base;
- The main layer, which provides the tiles with increased elasticity and strength;
- Layer that distributes the load on the material. It also protects PVC tiles from negative external influences;
- Decorative layer. It can have a beautiful pattern, natural texture or ornament;
- Protective layer, which is needed to keep the picture from wiping or loss of color saturation.
All layers are connected to each other, after which a fairly strong and durable tile is obtained, having a beautiful and bright pattern / color. You can use this original material for both flooring and wall decoration..
Many consumers are afraid to use plastic tiles, as they find them less durable and less wear-resistant. However, this opinion is erroneous. It is worth noting that PVC coatings can be safely used even in the decoration of rooms with high humidity, for example, in the bathroom or in the kitchen. The reliability of this finishing material is achieved due to its composition.
Due to its strength, PVC tiles are a good solution for floor decoration. It easily withstands significant loads.
Another distinguishing feature of plastic tiles is their attractive design. It is presented in a very rich range of colors, because plastic is easily processed and painted in a variety of palettes and prints. Coatings that repeat the structure of natural wood or rough brick look especially interesting and aesthetically pleasing. With such a rich selection, the ideal option can be found for both classic or rustic, as well as modern or industrial ensembles..
Often, the owners turn to original design solutions and combine a plastic profile of different colors in one room. For example, it can be a checkerboard layout or a combination of pastel shades..
This modern material makes it multi-tasking. It is permissible to lay PVC tiles both in a city apartment and in a private house.. In addition, it is quite often used in the design of sports clubs, office buildings, bars, restaurants and other entertainment establishments..
As for the laying of such coatings in the conditions of ordinary living quarters, then there are no restrictions here either. PVC plates can be safely used in the decoration of a bathroom, toilet, kitchen, living room, corridor, and even a bedroom.
Another distinguishing feature of the plastic material is its non-slip surface. Tile or ceramic coatings cannot boast of such a property, on which it is not difficult to slip. It is because of this that PVC tiles are considered an excellent solution for decorating a bathroom or a room with a pool, where the floor is constantly wet.
PVC tiles are often used as temporary floor coverings. Due to its shape and size, this finishing material is very easy and quick to install, and just as easy to disassemble. Moreover, in the process of these works, the tile does not deteriorate and does not lose its positive qualities..
Advantages and disadvantages
PVC tiles, like any other finishing material, have their own strengths and weaknesses. You need to know about them if you plan to finish the dwelling with such a coating.. First, let’s consider the advantages of multilayer plastic panels:
- First of all, it should be noted their easy installation. Laying PVC tiles on any surface does not take much time and does not take extra effort. For example, when finishing the floor from the room, you do not have to take out all the furniture, as is the case with laying linoleum. All items can simply be moved to one side, and then transferred to an already tiled surface.
- PVC tiles are not afraid of adverse external factors. It does not absorb moisture, so it does not deform when it comes into contact with water. Also, during the manufacturing process, this material is pressed with two-layer reinforcement, which makes it not so easy to leave a scratch or other similar damage on it..
- This finishing material is comfortable to use, in this it resembles wood flooring. PVC tiles keep warm and never slip if moisture gets on them.
- It should be noted the attractive appearance of this finishing material. As mentioned above, it comes in a very rich palette of colors, from classic to vibrant. In addition, in stores quite often there are specimens with imitation of natural wood, brick or marble..
- Vinyl tiles are easy to clean. It does not attract dust and dirt to its surface, and you can use any household chemicals to care for it without fear..
- The advantage of plastic tiles is their low weight – this is another difference of this material from traditional tiles or porcelain stoneware products. However, it should be borne in mind that the panels produced for floor finishing are heavier than products for walls or ceilings. For this reason, it is not recommended to use floor coverings to decorate ceilings or ceilings, and vice versa..
- High-quality polyvinyl chloride boards are moderately hard and elastic.
- Buyers often opt for vinyl tiles, since they have good sound insulation characteristics..
- Another advantage of PVC panels is their affordable cost, especially when compared with high-quality ceramics or porcelain stoneware..
The list of advantages of plastic tiles is quite rich, however, it also has its drawbacks:
- This finishing material is made exclusively from synthetic materials, therefore it cannot be called environmentally friendly..
- It is not durable. The average lifespan of PVC tiles is usually 10 years..
- Also, this finish does not tolerate contact with aggressive solvents and acetone..
- Vinyl tiles must be laid on a perfectly flat base, otherwise they will quickly deteriorate..
It is worth noting that PVC tiles are a relatively “young” material, therefore all its characteristics and nuances of use have not yet manifested themselves in the long term. Perhaps, over time, such coatings will show themselves to be more or less durable and reliable..
What is it for?
PVC tiles can be used for a variety of purposes. For different conditions, you should choose different-class coatings that have the required characteristics. For example, in rooms with low traffic it is quite acceptable to lay household PVC tiles on the floor, and in a public space it is better to use more reliable commercial grade material..
According to the scope of use, PVC floor tiles are divided into:
- Household. Such tiles have an aesthetic design, but their technical characteristics are rather mediocre. It is recommended to use such a finishing material only in low-intensity conditions..
- Semi-commercial. Such tiles are more reliable than household tiles. It can be safely used to decorate rooms with medium traffic..
- Commercial. Such materials are characterized by increased wear resistance and long service life. They are often used in the decoration of public premises..
- A special. This is a special coating that can boast fire safety, acid resistance, and electrical safety. Special PVC tiles are used in the finishing of production areas.
Both wall, floor and ceiling PVC tiles can be used in any living space. This can be not only a dry living room, but also a bathroom or kitchen with a high level of humidity. In such conditions, the finishing material does not deform and does not lose its characteristics, as it is resistant to moisture.
Often, high-quality PVC tiles can be found in garage design, in museums and at various shows (equipment, various equipment, elite animals).
There are several varieties of modern PVC tiles. Let’s consider them in more detail.
Such a tile consists of one layer of plastic, which has a color throughout its thickness. Such finishing materials cannot boast of a rich selection of colors. Colors can be different, but the texture will always be presented in two options: in the form of marble streaks or avant-garde patterns.
The main advantage of single-layer materials is their color fastness.. It does not lose its saturation throughout the entire life of the tile..
What layers such a tile consists of was mentioned above. It is the decorative layer that allows the production of material with various structural images and prints. The most popular options are stone, wood or lawn coatings..
This modular tile has a lock connection. Different trim elements are fastened to each other using special spikes and grooves that are initially present in their design.
According to experts, laying such material is difficult and time-consuming, since before this, you must carefully prepare the base for finishing. If the surface of the floor or wall is not perfectly flat, then the PVC coating will not only emphasize the differences in the level of the base, but also will not last long..
To install modular PVC tiles on a rough base, you do not need to apply an adhesive, since the reliability of the material is ensured by a special method of fastening.
The tactile tile has an embossed surface with protruding details. Most often it is used in the decoration of public premises and outdoors. Often, such material is installed in ordinary summer cottages or next to private houses, especially if people with low vision live in them. This type of tile is made not only from ceramics, granite and concrete, but also from various polymers..
Polymer tactile tiles are the most affordable. Such specimens are presented in rich colors. As a rule, they are produced with a self-adhesive backing..
Flexible PVC tiles are very popular because of their increased ductility. It’s very easy to work with her. Such a finishing material is an excellent solution for decorating transitions between various floor or wall coverings. It “smoothes” such surfaces, making them more aesthetic and neat.
Such finishing options have a number of positive characteristics, for which many consumers choose them:
- With the help of such details, you can bring to life any design ideas, even if they are far from standard ideas..
- No other material will allow you to form such smooth and discreet transitions..
- Flexible PVC panels (wall and floor) do not require preliminary preparation of the base. They can also be installed on non-ideal surfaces..
- A wide range of these finishing materials pleases the majority of buyers, as they have the opportunity to select the ideal option for any setting.
- Flexible PVC tiles are affordable.
- Self-adhesive flexible tile with a polyurethane layer is very wear-resistant and does not deteriorate from contact with water.
PVC tiles also differ in terms of wear resistance. For example, materials from category F are suitable for rooms with low traffic – it can be a cozy bedroom or a study. And coatings marked T or P are more suitable for rooms such as a bathroom or kitchen.. Besides:
- For residential premises, coatings of class 21-23 are suitable;
- For public institutions and buildings – class 31-33;
- For production and storage areas – class 41-43.
Today consumers have a choice of suitable PVC tiles of any size. There is simply no single standard here. The most popular are fragments with the following dimensional parameters:
- 450×450 mm;
- 100×920 mm;
- 305×305 mm;
- 1219.1×203.2 mm;
- 914.4×152.4 mm;
- 457×457 mm;
- 650×650 mm.
The thickness of the tiles can be 2.1-3.2 mm. The protective layer, as a rule, accounts for only 0.4-0.7 mm. The most common plastic tiles are rectangular and square..
Of course, in retail outlets there are also tiles that have different sizes. It all depends on the manufacturer that released the finishing material.
PVC tiles can be selected for almost any interior, as they are available in a rich color palette. In addition, on its surface, spectacular patterns or imitations of natural materials may be present..
So, tiles that imitate wood will successfully fit into the classic interior. Such coatings can replace expensive parquet or beautiful laminate. Spectacular materials with geometric patterns can be added to the floor in a spacious classic living room, making it elegant and expensive..
Modern styles can also be complemented with PVC tiles. For example, in the popular high-tech direction, it is permissible to safely use monochromatic coatings in black, gray, dark blue or white, and in the loft style it is completely allowed to install panels of almost any kind. These can be coatings that imitate old shabby wood or rough concrete..
It looks interesting PVC tiles under a stone. With its help, you can highlight an accent wall or visually divide a space. Most often, such coatings are found in loft or industrial styles. You can decorate historical or vintage interiors with similar details, however, do not use too much imitation stone, otherwise the situation will seem overloaded.
In eco, provence and country styles, vinyl walls that repeat the structure of a tree will look organic. Such coatings are able to revive the atmosphere, and the tiles can decorate only one of the walls, making it accent. Similar elements can be used in the design of any room, from the living room to the bathroom and toilet..
Fans of original and bright interiors should pay attention to the designer PVC mosaic. Most often it consists of tiny squares of different colors combined in one canvas. For laying the mosaic, as a rule, a bathroom, toilet or kitchen is chosen. In the latter case, you can decorate with mosaic tiles an apron or a small area on one of the walls.. In no case should the room be overloaded with a large number of mosaic elements., so that the situation does not seem too colorful and annoying.
PVC tiles look great on the ceiling. Snow-white panels with embossed patterns resembling stucco moldings can be used in classic interiors. The main thing is to securely fix these materials on the ceiling base. For this, the best solution would be a high-quality glue mixture or special mastic..
Laconic and monochromatic squares that do not have decorative inserts and embellishments will look great in a modern interior, for example, a minimalist one. As a rule, light materials are chosen for such ensembles. With their help, you can achieve the effect of a more spacious room area..
Which one to choose?
Thanks to the huge assortment of PVC tiles, consumers can bring any design ideas to life, the main thing is to choose the right material. For this, it is recommended to rely on the following criteria:
- Material quality. Don’t shop for too cheap plastic tiles, as they can be of low quality and even toxic. Such products already have an affordable price, so there is no point in looking for more economical options..
- Composition. Before purchasing this finishing material, be sure to familiarize yourself with its composition. You can ask the seller for a quality certificate. Study the composition – toxic and hazardous substances should not appear in it. This is necessary, because such materials a priori cannot be called environmentally friendly..
- Variety. Be sure to decide what kind of plastic tiles you need. Different types of materials have different fixings and installation methods. Some of the most common are products with a thorn-groove locking system, however, before installing them, the base should be prepared – it should be perfectly flat. Self-adhesive options are much easier to fix, but they often look cheap, so such products should be chosen more carefully..
- Colour. The colors of the tiles should correspond to the interior in which you want to place them. Of course, it is not forbidden to use contrasting solutions, but do not forget that they are not suitable for all stylistic directions..
- Print, drawing. One or another pattern may be present on the surface of vinyl tiles. For example, it can be imitation of wood, stone or brick. Such finishing materials look presentable, especially in the case of a correctly installed installation..
- Manufacturer. Buy PVC tiles from well-known manufacturers – this is the only way to save yourself from buying low-quality or even dangerous goods. Of course, branded products will cost a little more, but they will last a long time, will look attractive and will not harm the health of households..
Tips & Tricks
Currently, PVC tile is a very popular and demanded material, as it is inexpensive and easily replaces beautiful parquet, laminate or linoleum. Moreover, PVC tiles have a lot in common with the latter material – in particular, their compositions are very similar..
Choose PVC tiles based on their class. In rooms where the permeability is minimal, it is worth laying material of class F. It is not designed for heavy loads. It should be laid in rooms such as a bedroom, dressing room or work area, but class F is not suitable for a nursery, living room, kitchen or bathroom.. The greater the load on the area, the higher the tile class should be.
It’s no secret that PVC coatings are synthetic, so environmental friendliness is not their strong point. That is why experts recommend getting acquainted with the quality certificates for the selected products. Finishing materials should not contain hazardous substances. It is not recommended to use PVC tiles in the children’s room. In such conditions, it is better to turn only to natural and environmentally friendly materials, despite their high cost..
Always keep in mind that small tiles are only suitable for small areas. But large elements will look good in spacious rooms..
Today in the market of finishing materials there are many large companies that produce vinyl tiles for walls, floors and ceilings.. Let’s get acquainted with the list of the most popular and well-known manufacturers:
- Tarkett. This large brand produces a variety of finishing materials intended for both residential and office buildings, sports complexes, industrial areas, schools, hotels and shopping centers. Tarkett PVC tiles are distinguished by the highest quality, aesthetic design and a huge selection of colors / textures of the material.
One of the most popular lines of the company is Nordic, represented by adhesive parts of 33 and 34 classes of wear resistance.
- Quick Step. This is another well-known manufacturer that produces high-quality and durable laminate flooring, parquet boards and PVC tiles. The range of Quick Step vinyl flooring is impressive – here there are wood-like materials in different shades, and laconic monochromatic options, and coatings that look like aged boards.
- Decoria. This is a Russian manufacturer that offers customers not only high-quality vinyl tiles, but also adhesives, as well as tools for its installation. To a greater extent, the assortment of the company is represented by materials that imitate wood of different tones..
- Art Tole. The Korean company produces reliable and wear-resistant quartz vinyl tiles, featuring increased wear resistance, fire safety and durability..
Most consumers were satisfied with the purchase and installation of PVC tiles. They were pleased with its durability, beautiful and discreet design, relatively affordable cost, as well as easy installation. In addition, users were impressed by the water resistance of such materials.. Even in damp conditions, they do not deform, do not swell and do not move away from the bases.
To the disadvantages of such coatings, people attributed the fact that it is difficult to wipe away dirty spots and streaks from their light surface. Those who purchased low-grade material were upset that ugly scratches quickly appeared on its surface..
Beautiful examples in the interior
Tiles that imitate wood will successfully fit into the classic interior. Such coatings can replace expensive parquet or beautiful laminate. Spectacular materials with geometric patterns can be added to the floor in a spacious classic living room, making it elegant and expensive..
Contemporary styles can also be complemented by vinyl tiles. For finishing premises in high-tech and loft styles, coatings that imitate old shabby wood or rough concrete are perfect..
For eco, Provence and country styles, wall decoration that imitates wood will be a very good solution. Such repairs can concern both all the walls in the room, and only one, which, accordingly, will become an accent.
There are no restrictions on the scope of this design move – the solution is appropriate in rooms of any purpose.
PVC tiles allow for very modest money to pamper households with believable-looking stucco moldings on the ceiling. This solution looks appropriate only in emphatically old interiors, but still enjoys stable popularity..
Austere and extremely simple squares without any aesthetic finishing can also be perceived as an example of beauty if the entire room is renovated in a similar style. This is a great solution for those owners who are minimalist. In such situations, it is better to choose tiles in light shades..
In the next video, you will find an overview, marking and laying of flexible PVC tiles..