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Resilient Flooring

House Home Photo Door Resilient Flooring

A guide to choosing common resilient flooring materials, such as vinyl and rubber tiles, for kitchens, bathrooms and more.

Resilient flooring falls in the middle of the flooring spectrum when it comes to flexibility. They're not as hard as stone, not as soft as carpet, yet they offer some give. A thin floor-covering material, they are composed of resins, plasticizers, fibres and fillers and are formed using heat and pressure. Resilient flooring in sheet or tile form offers durability, affordability, comfort and ease of maintenance. The term linoleum is incorrectly used to describe resilients. Linoleum is actually the predecessor to current resilient flooring and is rarely used today.

Resilient flooring is available in two forms: inlaid vinyl and rotovinyl. Inlaid vinyl is the most durable and expensive of all resilient materials. The reason for this is that the colour and texture of the material is layered all the way through to the backing, therefore colours and patterns last longer with a deeper colour. It is heavier than other resilient material and consequently more difficult to install.

Rotovinyl uses photographic images topped by clear vinyl or polyurethane to simulate natural materials such as stone or brick. The thickness of this top layer determines appearance, durability and price. Average topcoat is 10 millimetres with 25 millimetres for the most expensive. Good quality materials should be solid yet firm and should recover from indentation easily.

Most resilients are available in “no-wax” finishes. These require minimum maintenance and resist staining and scuffing. Daily sweeping and occasional damp-mopping will suffice. Preparing the sub-floor is important, as any imperfections will show on the final floor.

Sheet vinyl

Description

  • wider range of colours, patterns and surface finishes than vinyl tile
  • provides good resilience and durability
  • sold in 6’, 9’ and 12’ widths
  • allows for a seamless floor
  • may require professional installation
  • more expensive than comparable material in tile form

Uses

  • recommended for spaces that will have a high level of contact with moisture
  • will prevent moisture seeping through the seams and loosening the adhesive below
  • ideal for kitchens, laundry rooms, bathrooms
  • can install below, on or above grade

Maintenance

  • easily maintained because it resists stains
  • requires sweeping, occasional washing
  • for washing, use only water-based products and use little water

Solid vinyl

Description

  • available in a variety of colours, patterns, embossed designs in smooth or gloss finishes
  • also simulate natural materials
  • easier to install than sheet vinyl
  • resistant to grease, moisture, acids, chipping and scuffing
  • available in 9” and 12” square tiles
  • most expensive and durable of all resilient tiles
  • burns can mar surface

Uses

  • can install below, on or above grade
  • ideal for entrances, kitchens, bathrooms, children’s rooms, family rooms

Maintenance

  • easily maintained because it resists stains
  • sweeping, occasional washing
  • for washing, use only water-based products and use little water

Vinyl composite tile

Description

  • similar to vinyl tile except the percentage of vinyl is lower and replaced with fillers
  • available in a variety of solid colours, marbleized patterns and textured finishes
  • excellent durability, resists grease, moisture, denting, although not as good as solid vinyl
  • available in 9” and 12” square tiles
  • not as quiet or resilient as solid vinyl

Uses

  • can install below, on or above grade
  • ideal for kitchens, entrances, bathrooms, family rooms, children’s rooms

Maintenance

  • easily maintained because it resists stains
  • sweeping, occasional washing
  • for washing, use only water-based products and use little water

Rubber tile

Description

  • made of synthetic rubber
  • comfortable, durable and provides good sound insulation
  • tiles available from 9” by 9” to 18” by 36”
  • available in few colours with smooth surface or with raised surface-pattern
  • slippery when wet if untextured
  • not very resistant to grease or oil

Uses

  • great for creating a utilitarian or high-tech look
  • good for areas that need to be moisture-resistant

Maintenance

  • hard wearing
  • resistant to dents and stains
  • washing, waxing or rubber polish
  • only water-based products should be used
  • will be damaged by strong detergents or grease

 

 

 

Photographer: 

Mark Burstyn

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