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Home » Important Facts » Vinyl Flooring Facts


Vinyl Flooring Facts

What You Should Know Before Buying Vinyl Flooring

Resilient or vinyl flooring can be both fashionable as well as durable. Resilient flooring is available in a variety of colors, styles and textures to suit any customer's budgetary, aesthetic, or performance needs.

Manufacturing

There are three types of vinyl manufacturing:

Rotogravure Printing
In the Rotogravure Printing process, a coating of liquid gel is applied to the backing. The liquid gel is then cured in an oven. This gel later becomes the inner core of the vinyl. It is this layer on which the pattern is printed by passing through a series of cylinders. The number of cylinders used depends on how detailed and colorful the pattern is. A different color and a part of the pattern is applied with each cylinder. The inks contain a chemical inhibitor that reacts to heat. This chemical controls the expansion of the gel coat layer during printing creating an embossed surface on the vinyl. After printing, a wear layer is applied in liquid form. This layer varies in thickness depending on the product being manufactured. The product then goes back through the oven curing the wear layer and causing the gel coat layer to expand creating the pattern's definition and embossing. Products are available in both 6 and 12 foot widths.

Rotogravure with Inlaid Chips
This process is similar to the Rotogravure Printing process; however, after the gel coat surface is printed, a liquid wear layer surface is applied, and vinyl chips are sprinkled into the liquid. This wear layer is then cured in the oven. A final wear layer is then applied and cured in the oven again. This process provides additional patterning effects in vinyl products. Some manufactures may refer to this process as inlaid vinyl.

Inlaid Vinyl
In this process, metal stencils are made. The stencils are placed one at a time over the backing, and many colorful vinyl granules are sprinkled through the stencil. A different stencil is used for each color and part of the pattern. Of course, the more complex or rich designs will require more stencils than simpler patterns. Following the stencilling process, intense heat and pressure is applied in order to fuse the granules into a solid, durable product. A wear layer is then applied in a liquid form and the flooring is placed back through the oven to be cured. Since each of the stencils are 54 inches long, the inlaid flooring can only be made 54 inches at a time. This is a slower and more costly process than Rotogravure. Inlaid products offer an elegant, hand-crafted look. Products are available in 6 foot width only.

Backing

Felt
A moisture-resistant latex backing. Felt backing is made to fully adhere to the floor. If the floor has irregularities, felt backing should not be used.

Vinyl
Flexible backing that enables a floor to be installed over most existing flooring and will expand and contract with subfloor movement while bridging over subfloor irregularities. Vinyl backing products should be used over particle board.

Finishes

Satin PVC (Poly-Vinyl-Chloride)
Provides a more dull or unfinished look. PVC will require periodic polishing or buffing to retain its "like new" look. PVC is very resistant to staining.

High Gloss Urethane
Provides a more "wet" look. Urethane backing is low maintenance and scuff resistant.


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