Tim Chavey

Flooring Specialist

Sheet Vinyl, Tile, Rubber, Cork etc.

Today's Resilient Flooring, (Sheet Vinyl) consists of several categories, Homogeneous: Through-pattern/chip construction throughout entire thickness, Inlaid: Through-pattern/chip wear layer and Heterogeneous: Most but not all of these floors can be seamed with using a process called heat-welding, whereby a channel or groove is made at a panel to panel edge and a spool of like colored materials is heated/welded into this channel forming a homogenous joint/weld. The other process called topical or chemical sealing requires a specific clear sealant, (often two part epoxy type resin), to be applied onto the edges/seams in a workmanship manner, following the manufacturers specific instructions.



First of all, let's clarify some terminology. You have probably heard the terms Vinyl Tile, Premium VCT, Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT), Solid Vinyl Tile (SVT), and Vinyl Enhanced Tile (VET). What's the difference between these products and how do they compare to Standard VCT?

The answer is in the ASTM standards, and there are two for vinyl tile; ASTM F 1066 for Vinyl Composition Floor Tile (VCT) and ASTM F 1700 for Solid Vinyl Floor Tile (SVT). Premium VCT is almost the same or exactly the same as standard VCT but may have more authentic patterns such as granite looks or may be available in solid colors. These products cost more to make so they are at a "premium" price point. As far as VET and other "higher vinyl content" VCT products, all of these are classified as VCT. The higher vinyl content often allows for larger sizes, improved visuals, easier maintenance and better indentation resistance, and may mean different adhesives and installation time that VCT.

Solid Vinyl, or SVT has higher vinyl content than VCT and is another category altogether. The term "Luxury Vinyl" has created unnecessary confusion in the industry. The fact is, there is not an industry standard for LVT. Some solid vinyl tile products that imitate wood, stone and other materials are often called LVT. However, there are also products marketed as LVT that are residential grade and are actually VCT because they don't have enough vinyl content to be called SVT. So, "Luxury Vinyl" can be SVT or VCT.

Cork/Rubber Flooring

Cork is actually the bark of a tree commonly known as Cork Oak. Predominantly found in Portugal and Spain, Cork Oak is native to the Mediterranean region. The bark naturally splits every 9 to 15 years and can be safely harvested causing no harm to the tree. That's good news for the environment. The bark re-grows and the cycle continues on for years and years. Some Cork Oak trees have been known to live up to 500 years. Rubber flooring is made from a rubber tree, a 100% renewable resource. It is easy to install and maintain, is anti-static and provides effective sound insulation and vibration reduction. Rubber flooring is also resistant to fading and cigarette burns. Some rubber flooring is made from synthetic rubber.