Using Decorative Vinyl Floor Mats
Rugs and carpets have been used in some form for millennia. Their uses are varied, but the two main ones are for comfort and decoration. This means woven rugs have become both very ornate and plush, often using various kinds of natural and synthetic fibers. However, since rugs are floor furnishings, they can get dirty very easily. It can be hard to balance the two signs of practicality and ornament.
Vinyl floor mats are nothing new. They are a piece of vinyl which can be used instead of rugs to be placed on hard floors. While many can have quite plain designs, they have become much more popular as decoration. This doesn't mean they aren't useful. At oneHOWTO, we look at the advantages and disadvantages of using decorative vinyl floor mats.
What are vinyl floor mats?
Although they have been around for a while, there are some who are still not familiar with vinyl floor mats. They are sometimes referred to as vinyl floor cloths, but this can be confusing. Cloths are usually made of a softer material and it may be used to describe a piece of fabric used to clean vinyl flooring, not the floor mat itself.
They are made from various types of plastic and other material. These include:
- Polyvinyl chloride (also known as PVC)
- Polyethylene terephthalate (commonly abbreviated to PET)
Because of their materials, they are able to be decorated in various styles. This means they can be very attractive and even have intricate designs which would be difficult to make with more traditional mats and rugs. It is even possible you can have a custom vinyl mat made. Some business can print images, including photographs, onto vinyl rugs for novelty or gift purposes.
Disadvantages of vinyl floor mats
Vinyl flooring in itself can be very useful as it is sturdy, durable and great for areas where there is a lot of foot traffic. Vinyl floor mats can be used on top of existing vinyl flooring, but it can also be put on top of other types of flooring such as carpet or linoleum. We will go into the advantages of vinyl floor mats below, but there are some negatives when compared with other flooring types:
- Uncomfortable: while you can can have a thicker gauge vinyl floor mat which is softer than others, it can't compare in terms of softness to other materials. A shag carpet is famous for being very soft, with fibers allowing us to sink into them. Vinyl is not as comfortable to sit or lie down on.
- Not eco-friendly: while it depends on the manufacturer, since vinyl floor mats require plastics to be made, they are not very eco-friendly. They are also difficult to recycle.
- Not as stylish: thanks to new developments, we are seeing some really cool vinyl print mats. However, they are not seen as stylish and collectable as other rugs and carpets (e.g. Persian rugs).
- Yellowing: due to their construction, vinyl mats are fairly susceptible to yellowing and discoloration. This is exacerbated in areas which receive a lot of sunlight.
Vinyl floor mats are often seen as more utilitarian than decorative. However, as with all rugs and floor coverings, it depends on the product. More upscale vinyl floor mats are being sold.
Advantages of vinyl floor mats
Although they may not be as highly prized as other types of rug or mat, vinyl floor mats can be incredibly useful. There are various uses, whether decorative or practical. We look at some of the general advantages of vinyl floor mats:
- Robust: due to their material, vinyl floor mats are robust and are designed to be walked over. How robust and durable they are will depend on how thick and well-made the design.
- Cleanable: since vinyl floor mats are wipe-free, they are very easy to clean and waterproof. Soaking carpets and other rugs can be quite a hassle and take a long time to dry, but vinyl can be dried in moments.
- Versatile: as we stated above, the design of decorative vinyl floor mats can be customized to have almost anything you want on them.
- Protective: since it is cheaper than other types of rug and floor coverings, vinyl mats can be used to protect wood, tiled or other more vulnerable types of flooring. This is particularly good in areas with high foot traffic.
- Cheap: while you should pay for quality, vinyl floor mats can be relatively cheap. The quality and design will affect the price of the mat.
- Stain resistant: due to the robust material of vinyl, it is difficult to stain with household spillages.
Decorative uses of vinyl floor mats
For those who need a floor covering to define a space with modern style, but also need to be practical, vinyl floor mats might be your answer. Typically, vinyl mats are cut from rolls which are 1 or 2 meters wide. However, specially custom designs might not be cut from a roll, so will be pf a given length. The size will depend on the manufacturer and availability.
While you can also purchase vinyl flooring which will cover the entire surface, decorative vinyl floor mats have more specific usages. They include:
- Protection: there may be a part of the floor which needs to be protected more than others, typically areas near doorways. They also protect floors from furnishings and are great for putting under dining tables.
- Kitchen: decorative vinyl floor mats are also great for use in the kitchen. If you want to stay stay in front of the cooker, the vinyl mat will protect the flooring, but also be wipe-clean for any food spillage. The decorative nature means they can also blend well with your kitchen's style.
- Brighten: since decorative vinyl floor mats come in all types of styles, designs and colors, they can be used as an accent to the decoration without getting in the way.
- Fun: since you can find vinyl mat makers who will put custom images on the mats, you can have some fun. You can even make novelty versions as a gift for friends or family.
- Style: if you are finding it difficult to find a rug to fit your style and design of a given space, then customizable decorative vinyl mats might be an affordable solution.
- Outdoors: due to their durability and waterproof nature, decorative vinyl mats are also great for use outdoors. This could be to put under a patio table or simply make a shabby garden area look better.
Decorative vinyl mats are a great way to make accent your home without having to worry about expensive rugs. Since they are adaptable to your style, they may be what you need to finish decoration a living room or bedroom.
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