Resilient Flooring - Product Knowledge
Durability & Life Expectancy
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Resilient flooring offers great choices for cost-effective, easy-to-maintain floors. Unlike old-fashioned linoleum or vinyl flooring, today's resilient flooring is a highly engineered combination of polymer materials. This combination enables a wide variety of flooring colors, designs, textures and sizes. From florals, and decoratives to geometrics and naturals, from 16"x16" tiles to 12' sheet goods, there are hundreds of choices to enhance the look of your room.
Versatile, durable, easy to care for, and available in an unparalleled selection of colors and styles, no other flooring product offers you so many options. More comfortable underfoot and warmer to the touch than ceramic or wood and with an endless rainbow of colors and designs to choose from, resilient flooring lets you imagine, plan and create the room of your dreams.
Finding the perfect floor is easy with resilient flooring. Whether your decorating style is contemporary, country or traditional, you're sure to find a pattern and color that complements your decorating style.
1. Vinyl Sheet
Vinyl sheet is a layered construction sold in 6' and 12' widths. There are two types of construction, typically described by the type of backing:
- Felt represents the majority of vinyl sheet floors sold today.
- Fiberglass is a newer construction format. Fiberglass is
the "cushiest" form of vinyl flooring and offers the most installation options.
The uppermost layers for both types are identical:
A) Protective top coat: Urethane or other high-performance top coats which make the product easy to clean and resist scratches and scuffs.
B) Protective clear vinyl layer: Adds durability and helps protect against rips, tears and gouges. The thicker this layer, the better the performance. The flooring's appearance retention and general durability is largely dependent on the quality and thickness of the clear wear layer.
C) Printed vinyl design layer: The rotogravure printing process offers an unlimited range of patterns and designs, including very realistic interpretations of natural materials.
The bottom layers for both constructions differ:
D-Felt) Felt bottom layer that is adhered to the subfloor.
D-Fiberglass) A fiberglass structural layer makes the product more dimensionally stable (will not curl, allows it to lay flat, and install without glue). A cushiony vinyl backing provides added underfoot comfort.
Keep In Mind:
Where Can I Use Vinyl Sheet?
Vinyl can be used anywhere in your home. It's a good choice for high traffic areas such as playrooms, and wet areas including bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms. It can be installed below grade level, making it a good choice for basements.
Keep In Mind:
- Although vinyl is waterproof, the installation adhesive is water-soluble. Do not over-expose vinyl floors to water around the perimeter
or near any seams.
- Thicker is better! But only where it concerns the wear layerI. If you plan to install vinyl flooring in a high traffic
area or in a primary bathroom, or if the floor needs to withstand wear from children and pets, choose a thicker vinyl with a urethane or
enhanced urethane wear layer.
- Avoid using vinyl sheet on stairs, as it is meant for flat, level surfaces.
A properly installed and maintained, high quality vinyl floor can last 20 to 30 years. Recent improvements in wear layers have enhanced vinyl's resistance to stains, scratches, moisture and fading. Because the 12' width allows for fewer or even no seams, vinyl floors reduce or eliminate places where dirt or moisture can accumulate. Vinyl's surface is waterproof for worry-free living, even when spills are not wiped up immediately. Because of all of these benefits, vinyl sheet is one of the best choices for high traffic areas, or households with active children or pets.
Keep In Mind:
Five to 20 year range, depending on quality, against rips tear, gouges and stains. Better quality floors carry a lifetime warranty on manufacturing defects and wear-through. Lower end products may warrant for fewer years and/or just certain aspects.
2. Vinyl Tile
Advantages and Considerations of Vinyl Sheet
- Broadest Range of Colors and Designs
If you want to mimic the look and texture of natural materials such as hardwood, stone or ceramic,
or if you prefer a visual that's only possible with modern print technology, vinyl flooring offers you the widest array of designs
and colors in any one flooring category.
- A Great Buy
Value-priced vinyl sheet is one of the best buys in flooring, compared to other floor coverings.
- Underfoot Comfort and Resilience
Vinyl is easier to stand on for long periods of time, compared with other hard surface flooring. Its
resiliency is more forgiving on dropped glasses or other objects. Vinyl's cushy construction is toddler-friendly and easier on elderly
- Low Maintenance
Vinyl requires minimal maintenance—much less than any other flooring category.
- Water Resistant
Vinyl sheet doesn't absorb liquids, so it's suitable for any room of the house, especially bathrooms and kitchens.
It also has fewer seams than vinyl tile, for less places water or dirt can accumulate.
- Install Anywhere
Vinyl can be used below, on or above grade level, over most subfloors (except carpet).
- Virtually Seamless
Vinyl sheet is 6' or 12' feet wide, which creates a more uniform-looking installation.
- Easier to Rip or Gouge
Thinner vinyl is more susceptible to gouging and other durability problems. For high-traffic areas, it's best
to install thicker and higher quality vinyl.
- Not as DIY-Friendly as Other Flooring (laminate, glueless vinyl tile)
For DIYers, vinyl sheet is not too complicated to install, but
it does require precision and preparation. The subfloor must be prepped to be smooth, flat and dry before the floor goes down. After
the floor is laid, sealing the seams can be difficult. When a seam is required, installation is best left to a professional.
- Must Allow for Expansion and Contraction
Subfloors shrink and expand with temperature and humidity fluctuations.
Vinyl tile is a composite, layered construction consisting of:
A) Protective wear layer: Urethane and other high-performance wear layers make the product easy to clean and resist scratches and scuffs. Enhanced urethane offers the maximum amount of protection and is priced above regular urethane.
Less expensive vinyl no-wax tile does not have this protective wear layer.
B) Protective clear film layer: This film adds durability and helps protects against rips, tears and gouges.
C) Printed design layer: On this layer, a rotogravure printing process creates the myriad of designs available in vinyl tile. The visuals range from very realistic interpretations of natural materials to original and unique patterns.
D) Vinyl tile backing: This bottom-most layer adds structural strength and durability. Generally the thicker the backing, the more durable the product.
Vinyl tiles come in several qualities, from inexpensive "peel and stick" to luxury vinyl tiles. Luxury tiles, like Congoleum's Duraceramic™ and Mannington's Adura™ have excellent durability and have edges that are milled precisely enough to allow installation without any gaps between the tiles.
To add to the realism of the designs, both DuraCeramic™ and Adura™ can be grouted to give the look of a ceramic tile, while still being warmer and softer than ceramic.
Durability & Life Expectancy
Vinyl tile should last five to 20 years, depending on the quality of the tile and the level of care it receives. Congoleum's DuraceramicTM has a lifetime wear warranty. Tile with a urethane or enhanced urethane wear layer is more durable and will last longer than a vinyl no-wax tile. The tile thickness is also a factor – the thicker, the more durable the tile.
Where Can I Use Vinyl Tile?
Vinyl tile can be used anywhere in your home, including below grade level bathrooms and basements. It is a good choice for areas where you want a combination of economical performance and design. Vinyl tile has many of the benefits of vinyl sheet, but inexpensive "peel and stick" tiles have seams where dirt and moisture can accumulate. For these tiles, take extra care in bathroom installations to promptly wipe up moisture and pooling water, which might soak into the seams and damage the floor substrate. Like sheet vinyl, vinyl tile should not be used on stairs.
Keep In Mind:
- The type of backing determines how it can be installed
Five-year to lifetime warranties.
Advantages and Considerations of Vinyl Tile
- Great Value
Vinyl tile is one of the best values in flooring.
- Easy Installation
For DIYers, glueless and peel 'n stick vinyl tile is the easiest floor to install.
- Install Anywhere in the Home
Can be installed in any room, including bathrooms. Can be installed on all levels including below grade.
- Wide Variety of Designs, Sizes and Shapes
A wide variety of designs ranging from natural materials to original patterns in 12" x 12",
large formats and planks. Vinyl has the look of wood, stone or ceramic tile at a lower price point.
- Low Maintenance
Just sweep and mop occasionally.
- Seams That Can Accumulate Dirt and Moisture
Water can seep into tile seams. This can create maintenance, adhesive bonding and subfloor
- Gouging and Tearing
Resilient, vinyl tile is easier to gouge and tear than ceramic tile. In higher traffic areas, be sure to install
thicker vinyl tile for better performance.
- Does Not Increase Home's Value
Vinyl tile is less likely than natural flooring products to enhance the monetary value of your home.