In the vast supply of building materials, vinyl gets a low score in appeal and often in performance; but let's not be so quick to discredit vinyl as an option in some cases. In the 1960s, housewives of America were thrilled to finally have a product that did not require a paste wax application for a clean and shiny kitchen floor. It was practically a revolution; television commercials sang the praises of the new product, and every household in the country wanted a new kitchen floor. The space age was coming of age
Vinyl has taken a bit of a beating in the ensuing decades as new products were introduced and vinyl showed its shortcomings: tearing, discoloration and those "trendy, colorful patterns". Almost as soon as vinyl hit its peak it was being replaced by hardy ceramic tile, with its own inherent problems.
In spite of its history, vinyl still has a place in our homes. It has some disadvantages, certainly. If you have high concentrations of moisture in your concrete, pass on vinyl as the moisture will simply be trapped, and you will soon find discoloration and hard mineral deposits forming lumps under the vinyl.
On the positive side, one of my favorite vinyls is the vinyl plank, and it has come a long way from the vinyl of yesteryear. Where you want a wood floor, but it is not practical due to overly high traffic patterns, go to vinyl plank. Your home entry is one possibility, where an excited medium-to-large dog is waiting to greet you, digging sharp nails onto your flooring. Vinyl plank will take the beating that will outperform wood by a high percentage.
Bathrooms that have a tub shower combination are excellent places for high quality vinyl tiles; look for brand names like Marmoleum and Amtico. In vinyl planks look for Congoleum. These products have been greatly improved over the decades, and consumers often cannot tell them apart from the products they are imitating-- honestly.
You will find very expensive applications of all of these products that will rival the cost of natural stone and high-end hardwoods; however, you will also find more modestly priced products as well.
Think in terms of where you would love to have the more expensive hardwoods, and ask if they will perform adequately; if not, think vinyl plank or tiles. I am not endorsing the old peel and stick vinyl tiles here, but suggesting that you look into the above-named products for better choices.
Vinyl planks will come in all the current looks of exotic woods in varying widths and go down one plank at a time, just like hardwoods. You can add contrasting borders and patterns at much lower cost than hardwoods.
Vinyl planks in entryways where heavy dirt, mud and snow are an issue make for a good solution; just remember that any "hard surface" will require a mat to wipe your feet; but it is far easier to wash an appropriate mat or rug than shampoo carpet.