Commercial flooring needs to be robust to sustain more foot traffic than for instance in the average household. Offices and schools need to carefully consider their choice of flooring to ensure that it will be durable for the long-term.
The following are a few options that has stood the test of time.
Vinyl Composition Tile (VCT)
The vinyl composition tile is currently by far the most popular resilient flooring choice. The tiles are available in a variety of colors and grades, easy to install and very cost effective. The vinyl tiles offer good dimensional stability, durability, impact resistance, UV light stability and also heat stability.
Composition: Roughly 60 – 70% limestone/clay/talc mixture, 15 – 20% binder (filler), 10% vinyl (resin), 5% fiberglass, 3 – 5% plasticizer and 1 – 5% pigment.
Maintenance: VCT holds all types and brands of floor finish beautifully due to its porous nature.
It was invented by a British rubber manufacturer in 1860. A tough, natural ingredient-based flooring that has recently enjoyed a comeback due to its positive environmental profile. Used in commercial applications because of its high durability, it’s nearly impossible to tell sheet vinyl from linoleum once installed.
Composition: Linseed oil mixed with powdered wood and/or cork, ground limestone, resin binders, drying agents and pigments applied to a jute backing.
Maintenance: it should be kept finished at all times since it’s quite porous. New installations can be tough to finish for a few weeks since it off-gases linseed oil vapors. It’s not recommended that the floors are stripped with highly alkaline strippers since bleaching and fading can occur. Clean with neutral detergent.
Unglazed Ceramic or Quarry Tile
Quarry tile creates an attractive floor that is durable and easy to maintain. The tiles are usually red in color and 6” x 6” in size with a thickness of ½”. They are often installed in foodservice areas.
Composition: a mixture of clays that are fired at high temperatures (approximately 2200 degrees).
Maintenance: can be finished with standard floor care products although it’s not advised in foodservice or other “production areas”. Installed in hallways, stairwells or other non-production areas, Eccothane™ can be used with great success on these floors. Clean tiles with neutral detergent or an all-purpose cleaner.
These tiles create a durable surface, easy to clean and resistant to stains and scratches. It doesn’t fade and is slip-resistant.
Composition: same as unglazed tiles except a liquid glass is applied to the tile at very high temperatures that creates a hard, non-porous surface.
Maintenance: the tile will not hold floor finish due to the surface being too smooth for proper floor finish adhesion to occur. Clean with neutral detergent or all-purpose cleaner.