What is Resilient Flooring?

Are you considering a switch from porcelain tiles to resilient flooring? Is your current flooring shouting out its decade to everybody who visits your building? If what’s underfoot is underperforming, but you don’t know where to start in choosing the right flooring, knowing the basics about the different durable flooring options will prepare you for your flooring makeover. To help you make smarter decisions along the way, check out the chart at the end of this article for a quick reference on the attributes of different types of flooring.

Rubber flooring

With waterproof and slip-resistant properties that make it ideal for harsh environments or spaces where slips and falls might occur, rubber flooring is commonly used in industrial and education settings. The flooring often comes with a texture (studs or ribbing) to enhance its slip resistance.

While most of today’s rubber flooring contains synthetic materials, manufacturers still use some natural rubber to create their products. Natural rubber is a renewable raw material extracted from the sap of the tropical rubber plant.

In the past, rubber floors were definitely appreciated for function over beauty, but today’s rubber flooring can be as dazzling as any other type of resilient flooring choice.

Why should you choose rubber? Because:

  • It has an incredibly long life.
  • It’s ideal for wet or hazardous spaces, or spaces that require frequent, harsh cleaning.
  • It can now fit in with any aesthetic.

A Rundown on Durable Flooring

Type

Cost Per Sq Ft

Environmental Friendliness

Installation

Care and Maintenance

Special Features

VINYL

VCT: $1.50 to $3

Sheet Vinyl: $3.50 to $6

Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT): $4 to $5

The production of vinyl uses nonrenewable resources (petroleum), but many manufacturers are now using recycled content as well.

Adhesive bonds product to the subfloor; subfloor preparation is
required.

Check manufacturer specifications; generally, sweeping and damp mopping will do the trick.

For shine, use polish.

Durable.

Moisture resistant.

Scratch and scuff
resistant.

Long life (7 to 10 years in retail, 15 to 20 years in healthcare).

LINOLEUM

$3.50 to $6

Made with natural materials.

Adhesive bonds product to the
subfloor; subfloor preparation is
required.

Check manufacturer specifications; generally, sweeping and damp mopping will do the trick.

For shine, use polish.

Durable and long lasting.

Resists tears and gouging.

Moisture and stain resistant.

RUBBER

$4 to $9

While today’s rubber floors are made of more than just natural rubber, their long life-cycle equals energy savings in the end.

Adhesive bonds product to the subfloor; subfloor preparation is required.

Rubber floors can stand up under harsh chemical cleaning, but damp mopping is good routine
maintenance.

Extreme moisture and slip resistance.

Great for conditions that require more grip.

Extremely durable and gouge resistant.

CORK

$3 to $7

Cork flooring is made from a quick-renewing source: cork oak bark.

Cork flooring can be adhered to the
subfloor or floated on top.

Sealant protects the cork flooring from moisture, but check manufacturer specifications for any cleaning that goes beyond sweeping.

The temperature of the cork provides a warm feel underfoot.

Made from renewable resources.

Can be mixed with rubber for increased slip resistance.

LAMINATE

$4.50 to $6

While most laminate floors contain some synthetic components, renewable and recycled materials are also used.

Laminate floors can be snapped together and float above the subfloor.

Check manufacturer specifications; an ammonia or vinegar/
water mixture on a damp mop works well.

Print technology gives the realistic look of wood, metal, stone, etc.

Floated installation is easy for retrofits.

Stain and chemical resistant.

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