Vinyl is a petroleum-based polyvinyl chloride (PVC) that was invented by Waldo Semon in 1926. It is one of most produced plastic polymers and can be manufactured for many different applications, such as piping, electrical cables, coated fabrics, and flooring. Vinyl coated fabrics are often used as faux leather, which is a cost-effective material used for fashion and furniture upholstery, and in the automotive industry. Innovated low VOCs and phthalates-free vinyl have gained popularity due to health and environmental concerns. Vinyl is also used for wallcoverings since it is inherently stain-resistant, abrasion-resistant and more applicable for humid environments than traditional wallpaper.
Vinyl flooring is used as faux stone or faux wood flooring in high traffic environments. It is durable, cost-effective, easy to install, and low-maintenance. However, unlike the natural wood flooring, vinyl flooring cannot be refinished.