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Vinyl Tile: a Union of Practicality and Aesthetics


Functioning as a sort of evolved and more modern version of linoleum, vinyl tile is increasingly catching on as a low-cost and highly customizable option for flooring in residential kitchens and bathrooms. This should come as no surprise to anyone who has experience with the surface, which is waterproof, easily cleaned, and warmer to the touch than traditional tile. It also happens to have the added benefit of coming in varieties that can emulate other types of residential flooring that you might have been considering.

Some homeowners are more than willing to sacrifice the authenticity of wood or stone in order to avoid their hazards and drawbacks, such as the potential for water damage or unsightly cracks. In those cases, some such homeowners are pleasantly surprised by how effectively vinyl tile can stand in for their first choice. They may be even more impressed months or years later when they discover that they can maintain the appearance of their vinyl tile without the need to call back the company that installed it in order to have it cleaned.

Of course, for others, the genuine appearance of wood, stone, or even traditional tile is worth the minor inconveniences that they might encounter over time. In that case, Fedco provides affordable residential cleaning services to keep your trickier flooring surfaces looking like the day they were installed.

Most decisions regarding flooring installation and maintenance come down to weighing pure aesthetics against practical benefits. We believe that vinyl tile is a wonderful compromise between these two factors, but we’d be more than happy to show you all of your alternatives, so you can decide which is most important to the future of your home.

Laminate Flooring and Your Health


There has been some recent controversy regarding the emission of formaldehyde gas from laminate flooring. Fortunately, Consumer Reports has provided some insight into the matter, having recently completed a small-scale study comparing pre-finished wood flooring to laminates and engineered wood products. The study found that the less expensive pre-finished alternative did indeed consistently emit less of the carcinogenic gas.

This is not to say that the emissions from laminate flooring are necessarily dangerous to your health. Although Consumer Reports found that those emissions generally exceeded the limits defined by the state of California, it is also the case that the emissions varied widely from one product to the next. Meanwhile, there are no federal regulations regarding formaldehyde, so it is generally up to the individual to determine where the line is for acceptable risk.

Formaldehyde is emitted from a wide range of products, so its presence in laminate flooring is no reason to push the panic button. And if you had laminates installed years ago, the gas has likely dissipated completely. Still, if you’re planning on installing brand new engineered wood flooring, the differing emission rates may be another factor to consider alongside price and appearance.

If you have young children or elderly relatives who will be in frequent contact with that floor, it may be wise to pay a little more for pre-finished wood flooring, since the very young and very old are more sensitive to the potential health hazards of formaldehyde. Additionally, you may want to exhibit similar precautions if you are just the type of person who is hyper-vigilant about the health of their home.

On the other hand, if you’re otherwise healthy and saving money on your flooring project is of particular importance to you, laminates and engineered products definitely remain a viable option. And Consumer Reports outlines some additional precautions you can take if you go that route.

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