vinyl flooring – luxury amtico to safety vinyl
Vinyl flooring has become extremely popular since the 1950’s, particularly for those designing and working in heavy-traffic locations such as the retail environment, or for rooms that must be kept clean such as hospital operating theatres.
Unlike in the 1950’s, advances in technology have meant that Vinyl flooring is now a very affordable and versatile flooring solution in the home, enhancing any room. Installations of luxury vinyl tiles made by companies such as Karndean and Amtico are becoming ever-increasingly popular for us at Euro-Pean Flooring in Horsham, especially in luxury Horsham, Crawley and Cobham homes.
This lifelike vinyl flooring is available in a wide range of effects from slate, marble, stone, ceramic, wood, mosaic and metal to terracotta and glass. By employing the use of a vinyl floor, you can have the look of stone or wood flooring without the need for expensive subfloor preparations, whilst also avoiding the coldness often associated with hard flooring. A ceramic floor that never cracks!
Vinyl flooring is one of a number of resilient floors. These floors are known as resilient floors due to their bounce-back-ability. Other resilient floors include rubber or linoleum.
In general, there are two types of vinyl flooring – sheet flooring and tile. In addition, there are two basic categories of vinyl tile – solid vinyl and vinyl composition – and three basic categories of vinyl sheet flooring – homogeneous, inlaid and layered composite.
These products differ in manufacturing process and content. In fact, some floors contain as much as 55 percent vinyl (polyvinyl chloride or PVC) while others may contain as little as 11 percent vinyl, yet each of these floors is referred to as vinyl flooring. In addition to vinyl resin, vinyl floors typically contain fillers, plasticizers, stabilizers and pigments.
Vinyl floors are available from our Horsham flooring base in either tile or sheet form. They can be used for both commercial flooring and domestic flooring use.
New technologies in recent years have improved vinyl flooring performance, especially in the areas of durability against rips, tears and surface damage. Because resilient floors are durable, easier to maintain and more moisture-resistant than many alternative materials, vinyl flooring is preferred for use in residential kitchens and bathrooms, as well as in healthcare facilities and commercial and retail establishments.
history of resilient flooring
The first Resilient floor was a rubber floor tile which debuted sometime in the 12th to 13th centuries. It was only available in limited colours and its use diminished. The use of plain, square, undecorated red clay tiles became common throughout Europe during the 18th century.
Linoleum flooring was invented and patented in 1845. It was first manufactured in Scotland in the 1860s, and the first U.S. plant was built in 1872. Linoleum flooring remained popular until after World War II, when easy-to-maintain and durable vinyl flooring was introduced.
In 1894, Philadelphia architect Frank Furness patented a system for rubber floor tiles. Colours were limited, but the floor tiles could be laid in geometric patterns to produce an eye-catching design. By the end of the century these flooring tiles were being mechanically fixed to the floor and soon adhesive advances meant that they could be stuck.
Rubber floor tiles were extremely durable, easy to clean, had excellent acoustic properties and easy to install. However, they tended to stain and react badly to ozone and oxygen. Their use was limited as they also reacted with high levels of alkali commonly found in subfloors or basements.
The first cork tile floor was introduced in 1904, and became the most popular type of resilient flooring in the 1920s. It was available in a limited range of colours and designs, but was expensive and porous.
Then, in 1933, vinyl flooring arrived on the scene in the form of a VCT or vinyl composite tile. During the second world war most vinyl was used in the manufacture of military items and this halted the progress of vinyl as floor covering. Originally only used in heavy traffic areas, vinyl flooring eventually became the most popular choice for flooring in just about any hard-surface application. Most recently figures suggest that vinyl flooring is second only to carpets for sales in the UK.