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New Zealand Home & Building, October-November 1985


Photo courtesy L. T. Jacobsen Floorings Ltd.

Photo courtesy L. T. Jacobsen Floorings Ltd.

page 102

Vinyl sheeting is a product of today. It has been well proven and is now availble in a wide range of style, colour and cost. We import all vinyl products for the local market.

Vinyls are made in one of three ways:

1.As a pre-mixed solid slab of material which is baked on to a backing and contains one colour. This has very hard-wearing properties and is the way some commercial sheet vinyl is made.
2.As a series of layers. A jel is spread over the backing and printed with a pattern. Then a clear vinyl wear layer is added. These vinyls have a length of life that corresponds with the thickness of the wear layer. The cost of the vinyl is often indicative of the life expectancy of this wear layer.
3.Inlaid vinyl, which is a process somewhere between the two. The pattern is incorporated into the PVC material itself and is present throughout the vinyl thickness which produces a very hard-wearing product.

Prices of vinyls range from $20 to over $100 per linear meter, but it is a fact that in this sort of flooring cost is a good indicator of quality.

While most suppliers would recommend that vinyl be professionally laid, there is a growing market for the DIY enthusiast. A recent introduction to the market has been the 'lay flat' vinyls, which may be loose-layed not completely adhered to the floor, or layered in a temporary fashion with the use of special double sided tape. Vinyls can be laid on any hard surface provided that it is clean, dry and smooth.

There is a wide range of colour and design to choose from in New Zealand.

European styles have recently had a very strong influence locally, superseding designs from America which were more popular five years ago. This is attributed both to changing tastes and the strength of the American dollar. The European look is often soft using strong but muted earth tones, while the American look is usually light, bright and clean cut. Some of the new high-tech looks, however, have also come from Europe including 'metallic look' vinyl sheeting.

As fashions change, so does the use of vinyl. Vinyl wall cladding has become increasingly popular and the product used for this is the same as for flooring, as long as it is flexible. It is therefore important to consider the pliability of the vinyl you choose if you are considering using it on walls. Cladding for walls also comes in narrower widths than flooring vinyl.

For many years, vinyl has been used to simulate other more expensive floor surfaces; slate, for example, or quarry tiles. But today, vinyl sheeting is chosen for itself and is frequently used as a fashion item in its own right.