You've stepped on plenty of vinyl in your lifetime. One of the most common kitchen flooring materials, it's known as "resilient" because of its ability to bounce back into shape. That's what gives it a cushiony feel. Vinyl comes in sheet or tile form (which can be easier to install but also more susceptible to water damage because of its seams) and in all kinds of colors and patterns.
When you choose vinyl, you'll need to decide on a type: standard or inlaid. The key difference between the two is:
Standard vinyl uses a rotogravure process in which the color and pattern are printed on one sheet layered between a thick, clear upper surface (the wear layer) and a foamy vinyl core.
In inlaid vinyl, the color and pattern go all the way through the core material. Inlaid vinyl is considered the more dense and durable of the two.
Both types of vinyl have a protective no-wax coating or a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) surface (the same water-resistant resin used on raincoats). Jump around on the floor samples before you decide, as the cushiness will vary depending on the thickness of the core material in inlaid vinyl and of the wear layer in standard vinyl.
Recommended flooring support
Endless options for colors and patterns
No worries about water discoloring the floor
No maintenance beyond sweeping and mopping
Resists scuffs and stains from kids and pets
- Requires that you clean up spills quickly to avoid stains; it's stain-resistant but not stain-proof
- If the installation isn't done properly and as free of seams as possible, the flooring may peel up
- You shouldn't wear pointed heels while you stir the spaghetti, as they could dent the vinyl
About $1-$10 per square foot.