o FAQ: Introduction to Resilient Flooring

Linoleum, cork, vinyl, and rubber all fall within the category of resilient flooring, though vinyl is by far the most common resilient flooring material.

General considerations for any type of flooring:

Will there be heavy wear?

Is the area subject to moisture?

Does the floor need to be a sound barrier?

How easy is it to clean and maintain, and how much time are you willing to invest to do so?

To what degree does the floor need to be slip resistant?

Is there anyone in the home who suffers from allergies or asthma? Usually the harder the surface, the more hypoallergenic flooring product.

How durable is the product?

What is the warranty coverage?

Cost of the material and cost of installation?

Is the new flooring suitable for the type of subfloor? Does the subfloor require preparation or repairs?

LINOLEUM

Advantages

1) Wide variety of choices.

2) Considered environmentally friendly by some.

3) Easier installation than other choices like ceramic tile or hardwood.

4) Good durability - has been used in high traffic areas of commercial buildings.

5) Reasonably comfortable to stand on for long periods of time.

6) Better indentation resistance than vinyl composition tile (VCT).

7) Stain resistant.

8) Naturally anti-bacterial and moderately easy to clean.

9) Consistent color wear since color is solidly through the whole product.

Disadvantages

1) Requires more maintenance than other choices like vinyl.

2) Maintenance requires use of chemical agents that some feel compromises indoor air quality, making it a less attractive choice.

3) Some sensitive individuals may have issue with smell (i.e. linseed-oil scent) of product.

4) More expensive than other choices like vinyl.

5) Requires skilled installation and attentive flooring preparation (such as smooth underlayment) since irregularities in the floor underneath will show through more than other choices like ceramic tile.

6) Many people dislike the commercial look of linoleum.

Other considerations

1) Requires annual stripping and sealing for best performance, although there is some controversy about periodic maintenance issues.

2) If the indoor air quality benefits of linoleum are to be realized, then low-VOC adhesives must be used in its installation.

3) DIY installation is allegedly more difficult (seams, etc.).

4) While the warrantees on linoleum are typically shorter than high quality vinyl, some claim the lifetime of linoleum can outlast vinyl with proper care.

5) Has been touted as a healthy choice for people who suffer from allergies or asthma due to hypoallergenic, mold and mildew-resistant, antibacterial qualities. However, similar claims could be made for ceramic tile and hardwood floors.

6) May not be compatible with more traditional home decor, but it is highly compatible with modernist styles, loft living, and any place designed for an industrial look.

VINYL

Advantages

1) Wide variety of choice.

2) Good durability.

3) Many products inexpensive.

4) Easier installation than other choices like ceramic tile or hardwood.

5) Easily to clean.

6) Most grades of vinyl are highly stain resistant.

Disadvantages

1) Many do not consider vinyl to be an environmentally sensitive choice.

2) Some sensitive individuals may have issues with smell/odor of product.

3) Quality of product varies significantly.

4) Requires skilled installation and attentive flooring preparation (such as smooth underlayment) since irregularities in the floor underneath will show through more than other choices like ceramic tile.

Other considerations

1) Installation is more suited to DIY than other choices like hardwood.

2) If the indoor air quality benefits of vinyl are to be realized, then low-VOC adhesives must be used in its installation.

3) Placing items with rubber backing over vinyl can result in significant, permanent staining.

CORK

Advantages

1) Resilient surface that is comfortable to walk on and forgiving with dropped objects.

2) As a renewable resource, cork flooring is environmentally friendly.

3) Acoustically insulating.

4) Some claim that insulating properties of cork can help p reduce heating and cooling costs.

5) Cork is available as a floating floor installation.

Disadvantages

1) Unfinished cork (e.g. not coated with polyurethane) may not be a water repellant as other choices such as ceramic tile.

2) Natural cork may not have as wide a variety of styles as other choices like vinyl. However, it can be painted or stained.

3) Unfinished cork (e.g. not coated with polyurethane) may not be a durable as other choices like ceramic tile

4) May be more expensive than other choices like vinyl.

5) Unfinished cork (e.g. not coated with a UV resistant coating) may have fading problems over time with UV and ambient light.

6) Depending on how it is coated, refinishing or restaining cork can difficult due to the soft, thin nature of the outer layer. This can result in an uneven uptake of stain.

Other considerations

1) Has been touted as a healthy choice for people who suffer from allergies or asthma due to hypoallergenic, mold and mildew-resistant qualities. However, similar claims could be made for ceramic tile and hardwood floors.

2) Natural cork flooring products are quite different from a widely marketed cork-vinyl composite floor; natural cork flooring is a more environmentally-friendly choice that avoids the PVCs found in composites.

3) Investigation of low toxicity binders and installation methods needs to be done if the indoor air quality benefits of cork are to be realized.

4) Some cork products require periodic maintenance.

RUBBER

Advantages

1) Excellent durability.

2) Some products made from recycled materials.

3) Good slip and stain resistance.

4) Acoustically insulating.

5) Resilient surface that is comfortable to walk on and forgiving with dropped objects.

6) Consistent color wear since color is solidly through the whole product.

Disadvantages

1) Choice of styles may be limited.

2) Many people dislike the commercial look of rubber.

3) Rubber flooring is typically not recommended for areas in which it will be exposed to fats and oils.

Other considerations

1) May not be compatible with more traditional home decor, but it is highly compatible with modernist styles or settings designed for an industrial look.

Entered by Swanoir

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