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.
There are three types of vinyl manufacturing:
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.
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.
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.
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
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.