Unlike tiled floors or carpet, which are either made up of minerals or fibres, resilient flooring is made up of materials that have a degree of give, or flexibility called resilience. These kinds of floors can handle a degree of wear that other floor types couldn’t, meaning that they are favoured for use in high traffic areas, or environments where the possibility of of rough treatment is more likely. Commercial and industrial sectors tend to go for resilient flooring for this exact reason.
Of the most common types of resilient flooring, vinyl makes up a huge portion of the spread of materials used. Other common types include linoleum, cork and rubber. Generally resilient surfaces are most suitable for commercial floors but is highly versatile, used across hospitality, aged care and healthcare, industrial spaces and eduction sectors – industry sectors that require a degree of toughness, are easily cleaned and provide of high level of hygiene control. These are some of the most common types of resilient flooring.
Sheet vinyl is probably the most common kind of resilient flooring you will find in education, healthcare and hospitality sectors, favoured due to extremely high hygiene rating and toughness. Sheet vinyl is made from coloured vinyl chips which are ‘welded’ together under pressure and heat. It stored as large ‘sheets’ and rolled out on top of a surface, to then be heat welded into place. This process makes sure that no dirt or residue can be trapped under the surface, ensuring absolute surface integrity. Vinyl is water and slip resistant, and is highly durable.
Vinyl planks are manufactured in a very similar way to sheet vinyl and have many of the same characteristics. Depending on the desired style and finish, plank vinyl can have a photographic layer can be added underneath the surface to mimic wood, tiles and other materials. Modern vinyl finishes are very convincing.
Depending on the product and its application, planks can be wet or dry laid. If dry laid they have a special backing that prevents slip and stops any curling or lifting. They are faster and less costly to lay then sheet vinyl.
Vinyl flooring as a whole provides enormous scope for designers to create tough, hard wearing yet attractive and inspirational work and living spaces.
A favourite in the 60s and 70s, linoleum was surpassed in popularity by vinyl in the past few decades. Linoleum is a natural product made from solidified linseed oil (linoxyn), pine rosin, ground cork dust, wood flour, and mineral fillers such as calcium carbonate. These materials are most commonly melded onto a burlap or canvas backing. Until the late 1950s, linoleum was considered the go-to material for high-use areas that required cheap, durable floors. It is also an aesthetically versatile material with patterns being able to be printed surface as required.
Another natural material commonly used in flooring is cork. Cork flooring is made from bark of a cork tree, providing a very unique surface. Laid in sheets or tiles, cork provides warm, woody look – suitable mostly in homes or areas with less traffic. It is generally less durable than vinyl options, and for commercial uses, is usually not the best choice.
Resilient flooring is one of the most reliable and versatile options for flooring across a number of different industry sectors. If you are in need of quality flooring solutions or have questions regarding the best way to care for your floors, talk to the experts at Aussie Flooring Insights. Our highly trained professionals will be more than happy to help.