Resilient flooring earns its fitting name by prioritizing resilience and long-lasting performance. This extensive category encompasses various vinyl flooring options, alongside distinctive materials such as cork, linoleum, and rubber. The remarkable combination of comfort and durability makes resilient flooring a top choice. However, determining the most suitable resilient flooring type for your home can be a thoughtful decision.
What Is Resilient Flooring?
Flooring encompasses all types of floor coverings that differ from wood, textile, stone, concrete, or ceramic materials. It offers a comfortable underfoot experience due to its ability to provide a subtle rebound. An instance of this type of flooring is vinyl flooring.
Rigid Core Luxury Vinyl Tile and Planks
Rigid core luxury vinyl flooring presents a unique combination of features, merging the desirable qualities of laminate flooring, such as rigidity and secure joinery, with the strengths of vinyl flooring, including water resistance and durability. These luxury vinyl planks or tiles can reach a thickness of up to 8 mm (over 1/3rd of an inch), matching the thickness of many laminates.
Unlike laminate, which contains wood and is susceptible to swelling and mold, rigid core luxury vinyl is composed of 100 percent waterproof inorganic materials. Its tight-locking snap-lock joinery on all four sides ensures water resistance, making it an excellent choice for areas exposed to moisture.
If you prefer hassle-free installation without the need for glue-down flooring, then rigid core luxury vinyl flooring is the ideal option. Its four- or five-layer construction allows it to perform well on cold subfloors. Furthermore, the thick construction enables deeper embossing, providing a more authentic wood- or stone-like texture.
In addition to its easy cleaning properties, rigid core luxury vinyl is highly durable and suitable for households with pets. It serves as a versatile flooring solution and excels particularly in spaces prone to water, such as bathrooms and kitchens.
Flexible Luxury Vinyl Tile and Planks
Luxury vinyl tile and planks offer a flexible flooring solution with various size options. Planks are available in dimensions of 6 or 7 inches by 48 inches, while squares come in sizes of 12 and 18 inches, including rectangles.
Vinyl tile and planks offer remarkable flexibility, with the ability to be as thin as 2mm, making them four times thinner than rigid-core vinyl floor coverings. Some of these boards feature click-and-lock joinery, but due to their thinness, there can be issues with joint instability. As a result, glue-down installation is more commonly recommended for flexible vinyl flooring, ensuring larger areas of flooring remain secure without any lifting or shifting.
While flexible vinyl flooring offers affordability and durability, it’s important to note that it lacks the deep texture found in thicker boards. The limited amount of material in thin vinyl doesn’t allow for embossing, resulting in a smoother surface. Despite this, the cost of flexible vinyl flooring correlates with its thickness, meaning that 2mm flooring can be up to four times less expensive than 8mm rigid core flooring.
Sheet Vinyl Flooring
Sheet vinyl flooring is available in rolls that are 12 feet wide and come in various thicknesses, ranging from the traditional 0.050-inch to the cushioned 0.10-inch version. One of the notable advantages of sheet vinyl flooring is its exceptional water resistance, which is due to the minimal number of seams or, in some cases, the complete absence of seams. For instance, small rooms that have sheet vinyl flooring without any seams are considered completely waterproof.
However, if you prefer a resilient flooring option that you can install on your own, sheet vinyl can present some challenges. The material itself is heavy and bulky, requiring precise measurements and accurate cuts. Unlike plank or tile vinyl, where you can simply discard a piece if the cut is incorrect, with sheet vinyl, you only have one opportunity to make the cut accurately.
When it comes to ease of installation, modified loose-lay sheet vinyl is the most convenient option. This type of sheet vinyl is secured to the subfloor or underlayment using tape, eliminating the need for glue. Modified loose-lay sheet vinyl can be directly placed on plywood or OSB (oriented strand board). It’s worth noting that only one seam is allowed with loose lay, but a 24-foot-wide span (consisting of two sheets with one seam) is generally sufficient for most rooms.
To enhance the durability of your flooring, opt for full-spread sheet vinyl for a stronger bond. The adhesive extends across the entire underside of the floor, ensuring comprehensive coverage. With the flexibility to accommodate multiple seams, this product becomes less susceptible to lifting, while also offering enhanced water resistance properties.
Cork floors offer a delightful combination of warmth, resistance to moisture, and aesthetic appeal, comparable to both solid hardwood and engineered wood flooring. However, cork flooring possesses a unique quality: its inherent resilience provides a natural springiness, resulting in a noticeable bounce when walked upon.
You can find cork flooring available in square tiles or long planks, allowing for easy installation as floating floors with a simple side-to-side attachment. Alternatively, for enhanced resilience and durability, you have the option to glue down the cork flooring.
Not all cork flooring resembles traditional cork. Certain cork floors undergo a high-definition digital printing process to replicate the appearance of wood or stone. This technique allows for a wide range of visual options.
Cork flooring stands out as the most environmentally friendly resilient flooring choice. It utilizes recycled cork stopper waste that is often combined with urethane to create cork sheets. These sheets are then bonded to high-density fiberboard, forming tongue-and-groove planks. Additionally, waste cork powder is frequently utilized to generate energy for the production of cork tiles. It is important to note that when cork flooring material is stripped, the source of the cork, the tree, remains intact. This characteristic distinguishes cork from other flooring products.
Cork flooring offers a warm and comfortable feel, making it suitable for basements and areas where floor insulation is crucial. It is an excellent choice for individuals seeking a healthier flooring option with minimal or no synthetic additives.
Linoleum, the forerunner of vinyl flooring, possesses remarkable durability, density, and a vibrant appearance. It is a completely natural product crafted from linseed oil, wood flour, pine rosins, and pigments. Modern linoleum can be found in three distinct forms: glue-down tiles, click-lock tiles, and planks, as well as large sheets. While the availability of linoleum may be more limited compared to the past, it remains an exceptionally resilient flooring option for contemporary settings. Renowned manufacturers such as Marmoleum, MCT Elementals, and Textura produce linoleum in sheet rolls ranging from 6 to 7 feet wide, as well as tiles and planks spanning dimensions from 12 inches square to nearly 40 inches by 10 inches.
Many individuals rarely opt for linoleum flooring over alternative resilient flooring options such as vinyl. The majority of homeowners specifically choose linoleum flooring to bestow an authentic vintage appearance upon their homes or to enjoy the vibrant and striking solid colors it offers. Linoleum tiles and planks are renowned for their exceptional density and weight, which contribute significantly to the material’s impressive durability. Moreover, linoleum, along with cork, is predominantly crafted from renewable resources, further highlighting its eco-friendly nature.
Solid Vinyl Tile (SVT)
The majority of vinyl flooring may give the impression of being solid vinyl, but in reality, it is not. Rather, it comprises various layers, starting with a felt backing at the bottom and ending with a transparent wear layer on the top. This composition makes it susceptible to delamination. Conversely, solid vinyl tile is entirely vinyl throughout its structure, eliminating the risk of delamination.
While through-body construction is commonly found in ceramic and porcelain tiles, it is less prevalent in resilient flooring. However, solid vinyl tile also features through-body construction. The primary advantage of this type of construction is that there are no layers that gradually wear away or peel off over time. As the surface experiences traffic and natural wear, there is a sufficient amount of vinyl underneath to replace it.
In comparison to vinyl composite tile (VCT), solid vinyl tile is also solid, homogeneous, and through-body. The key distinction lies in the fact that solid vinyl tile contains a higher concentration of vinyl than VCT. Consequently, it is less porous and requires less frequent surface treatments for maintenance. Of the two options, solid vinyl tile is the superior choice for residential settings.
Vinyl Composite Tile (VCT)
Solid vinyl tile consists entirely of vinyl, while vinyl composite tile (VCT) is a resilient flooring option made by blending vinyl with limestone, dolomite, and other minerals and pigments. This unique composition gives VCT exceptional strength, with up to 85 percent mineral content. VCT is specifically designed for high-traffic environments where durability is paramount, although it offers fewer options in terms of design, patterns, and embossing. Its heavy and dense nature, along with its solid construction throughout, contribute to its durability. Unlike layered materials, VCT remains a solid piece from top to bottom, ensuring that as the upper surfaces wear down, more of the same material is exposed below. For commercial spaces with high foot traffic, vinyl composite tile is the obvious choice, as it is built to withstand the test of time. However, due to its porosity, regular waxing or surface treatments are necessary to maintain its integrity.
- Which resilient flooring is the most durable?
- Resilient flooring is known for its crucial characteristic of resilience, which makes it durable to varying extents. Among the available options for flooring in homes, linoleum emerges as an exceptionally durable choice. Linoleum is often accompanied by wear warranties that extend for 30 years or even longer, emphasizing its longevity. In terms of ultimate durability, vinyl composite tile outperforms all other types of resilient flooring.
- What are the advantages of resilient flooring?
Resilient flooring offers numerous benefits that make it an excellent choice for any space. Firstly, it provides an economical flooring option without compromising on quality. Additionally, the installation process is straightforward, saving both time and effort. Its durability ensures long-lasting performance, withstanding heavy foot traffic and everyday wear and tear. Moreover, it provides a comfortable underfoot feel, offering a pleasant walking experience. Lastly, its water resistance feature adds an extra layer of protection, making it suitable for areas prone to moisture. Overall, resilient flooring combines affordability, ease of installation, durability, comfort, and water resistance, making it a highly advantageous flooring solution.