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Interlocking Floor Tile FAQs


Ecotile has over 20 years experience in the industry, and have dealt with a wide range of questions & queries. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions that we encounter.  If you are unsure about anything, or cannot find the answer you are looking for, contact us & we’ll be happy to help.

PLEASE NOTE: The following information only applies to the E500 Industrial Range. Click the following link if you are looking for FAQ’s about Ecotile’s Outdoor Flooring Range

What temperature should the tiles be before I install them?

Installation should not take place at temperatures below 15ºC.

Do not try and install the tiles straight after delivery, the tiles must be
allowed to acclimatise to the ambient room temperature prior to
starting installation, we recommend you allow 24 hours but this will be
dependent on temperature, the warmer it is the quicker the tiles will
acclimatise, if time is short we recommend you breakdown the pallet
of tiles to help them acclimatise and settle quicker.

PLEASE NOTE: If installation has to take place at a temperature
below 15ºC, firstly allow to tiles to acclimatise to the ambient
temperature of the room and secondly, leave a larger expansion gap
between the tiles and any fixed point and / or incorporate an
expansion gap in the floor every 8 to 10 meters. We are unable to
warranty installations that have taken place at temperatures below
15ºC.

For our comprehensive installation guide please go to the download section and download the Installation Guide information sheet 

What do I need to consider when using ecotile within a garage environment?

ecotile has been used in thousands of commercial and domestic garages creating a smart, clean and dust free workshop environment but there are four important considerations to take into account.

  • Catalytic Converters – When the car is running the catalytic converter gets extremely hot and if the car is left running whilst sitting on the tiles it may cause the tiles directly under the converter to expand through the heat. This is only a temporary issue and the tiles will shrink back to their original size once the heat source has been removed. In a busy commercial garage it is worth considering gluing the tiles down in-between the lifts or ramps where vehicles may be left with the engine running.
  • Staining from car tyres -Rubber tyres will stain almost every type of floor including bare concrete, painted and vinyl flooring. The stain is a chemical reaction and will not damage the tiles or impact on their durability.
  • What causes the staining? The stain is caused by a component used within the manufacture of car tyres called ‘6PPD’ (phenaline diamine). 6PPD is an anti-oxidant and is added to rubber products to resist environmental attack by ozone and Ultraviolet light. It also has other beneficial effects in the moulding of rubber itself. Since it adds to the cost of making tyres, manufacturers usually only add it to the softer high performance tyres. The staining is dark grey / green in appearance and will show within 4 to 5 hours of the tyre being located on the tile. The stain cannot be removed as it is a chemical reaction between the 6PPD and the surface it is in contact with.
  • How to avoid the staining issue? Because the stain in a dark grey / green it is far less obvious in the darker colours and is almost indistinguishable from the colour of our Dark Grey and Graphite tiles (which also happen to be the smartest and most popular colours). It is also less obvious in the black and green colours. Light grey, yellow, white and red should be avoided. If you wish to use the lighter coloured tiles to brighten up the garage or workshop design the floor in layout that incorporates different colours using the darker coloured tyres where the car will be parked. The following examples may be of help:

– Use black, graphite or dark grey tiles where tyres will sit.
– Place strips of black, graphite or dark grey tiles where the tyres rest.
– Add black, graphite or dark grey under the engine where oil may drip.

What are the differences between the various designs and thickness of ecotile?

Very little, it is primarily down to personal choice. In areas of very heavy traffic it may be sensible to use the 10mm tiles but in most other applications, thickness and surface design is the customer’s choice.

Quality, Raw Material and the environment, why should I use ecotile?

Our tiles are manufactured on state of the art injection moulding machines that use one third of the electricity of traditional machines. Our process is fully automated ensuring that every single tile is checked for colour consistency and size and every pallet will contain exactly the quantity of tiles ordered, the computer doesn’t make mistakes!

  • We use a chemically free phenol stabiliser (calcium zinc) rather than the more traditional Barium Zinc which has a chemical / soapy smell which leaves an unpleasant odour after the floor tiles have been installed. This is particularly important for applications where the tiles are going to be installed within a sensitive area such as schools, food manufacture, shops and retail applications.
  • Our tiles are manufactured from a slightly more rigid plastic designed to offer better resistance to heavy loading such as reach trucks and electric pallet trucks, they are far less likely to ripple (wave effect) when vehicles with a high point loading move across the floor and they also offer better thermal stability (less propensity to expand in direct sunlight / adjacent to high heat source).
  • Recycling, every off cut scrap tile or old floor can be returned to the factory and re-ground and used in the manufacture of new tiles. This has zero impact on quality, durability or performance but has a major positive effect reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill. We also offer a guaranteed buy back scheme on all old tiles, once the floor has reached the end of its useable life we will buy back the tiles at the current waste compound market value and reprocess them into our recycled range of tiles.

Availability / Lead Time – Peace of Mind –

The tiles are manufactured in Luton, about 40 miles north of London and approximately 2 miles from the M1 and have excellent access to the motorway network and therefore almost the entirety of the UK.

We hold considerable levels of stock and can produce up to 600m² per day so if you need to collect same day or have a guaranteed next day delivery it is no problem for us. If you’re running short on an installation we can get the tiles to you before it even becomes a problem.

Price and value for money

We guarantee to offer the best value for money for like for like product (material, size and thickness). Because we are using state of the art machinery and our process is fully automated we believe that there is no one in the market who can compete on a like for like basis.

The only way a competitor’s product will be cheaper is because they are using an inferior raw material compound that will impact on quality, durability, maintenance and performance. For projects that are extremely price sensitive speak to us about the availability of tiles manufactured from recycled material, the quality will be similar but the price lower although availability is limited.

Where can I use ecotile?

The ecotile range has been designed to offer solutions for almost every conceivable flooring application, from factory floors to kids’ playrooms. Please consult with one of our sales team who can help point you towards which product would be most suitable for your application.

Special Orders, Research and Development

Because we manufacture in the UK and have designed our production process to accommodate almost every potential eventuality we can produce special orders / colours at short notice and with only a very small price premium or even at no extra cost depending on the volume.

We are constantly researching new raw materials, product innovations etc and will be introducing new designs and ranges on a regular basis including a new speckled decorative finish which we anticipate will open up a much larger market for interlocking floor tiles.

What is the purpose of the ecotile tile design when compared to other interlocking floor tiles and why is it better?

The Purpose of grid pattern on the back of our tiles – Both the open and hidden joint tiles has been designed to ensure absolute dimensional stability so that they fit perfectly without gaps between the joints or in the corners. It is our unique grid pattern that ensures the dimensional stability – if you put 4 of our competitors tiles together you’ll see that where the 4 corners meet there is a small gap – this is because of how PVC behaves when you injection mould it in to a solid piece.

  • Plastic will tend to want to curl over time, a flat backed tile will after time start to curl at each corner, the ridge pattern on ours ensures that the tile will remain flat for the life of the tile, this is a proven fact and based on the physical and chemical properties of plastics.
  • The pockets of air create a cushion which prevents the tile from rattling as a flat backed tile will do.
  • The little pockets of air also create a mini vacuum which stops the tile from slipping on the floor especially if there is any oil, water or grease in the substrate, very important for small areas of tiles or where an island of tiles is being installed that is not butting up against retaining walls.
  • The grid pattern allows our tile to cope better with imperfections in the substrate.
  • The grid pattern allows the floor to breathe – very important if installing over concrete that hasn’t cured yet or if there is damp in the floor.
  • The tile design in the hidden joint is almost 100% waterproof.
  • Four of our tiles cover a square meter not 0.96m² as per many of our competitors.

What are the electrical properties of ecotile?

The standard ecotile has a surface resistance of 1014 and is suitable for use in areas where working voltage will not exceed 9,000v. Working volt test 450v.

Can ecotile be used with under floor heating?

Yes but please ensure that the underfloor heating has been turned on and allowed to reach its usual operating temperature before you start installation. Lay all full tiles, allow them to acclimatise and settle to the temperature of the underfloor heating for at least 24 hours before you cut the tiles up to the walls or any fixed points.

Cutting Allowance & Wastage

What Cutting Allowance / Wastage Factor should I allow – We recommend that you allow a 4% wastage factor for the 500/7, 500/ESD and 500/10 tiles and a 6% wastage factor for the 500/6 and 500/5 tiles. To make your calculations 100% correct measure to the nearest 25 centimeters on the 500/7, 500/ESD and 500/10 tiles and 50 centimeters on the 500/6 and 500/5 tiles.

For example:

500/7, 500/ESD and 500/10 tiles – Room dimensions 6.1m x 3.7m – Calculate as 6.25m x 3.75m

500/6 and 500/5 til – Room dimensions 6.1m x 3.7m – Calculate as 6.5m x 4m

Do the tiles require a sealant?

No, however the application of 2 to 3 three coats of a floor sealer will give the floor a high gloss appearance and make cleaning slightly easier in the long term.

What tools are required to install ecotile?

A rubber mallet to connect the interlocking joints and a Stanley knife with a concave blade are the bare essentials required. We rent out a guillotine which is the perfect tool for gutting the tiles or alternatively use a table saw, electric jigsaw or bandsaw can be used, a blade suitable for timber is best.

Do you offer an installation service?

Yes, if you need ecotile to be installed we would be pleased to assist.

Can I use a fork lift / floor jack / heavy machinery on ecotile?

ecotile is extremely tough and hardwearing. It is a vinyl product so it will compress under heavy loads but will always return to its original shape. Please consult our sales team to identify which product would be most suitable for your application.

Can I use my ecotile floor straight away?

Yes, absolutely. The minute the tiles are down you can start using the floor.

Why ecotile Interlocking Floor Tiles?

ecotile offers the best value for money of any flooring product currently on the market. Customers often question this claim as in simple terms the cost of the tiles is usually higher than conventional vinyl flooring or paints and resins. To justify our claim we ask you to consider the following points: ecotile is 6.5mm + thick compared to most vinyl or resin based systems that are 1.5mm thick meaning that you are getting a far more durable and resilient floor finish for your money.

  • Unlike other flooring ecotile doesn’t require any specialist skills to install, and can be laid over damaged, damp or uneven surfaces. It is not usually glued down saving money on specialist contractors, adhesives and floor screeds.
  • ecotile can be used immediately, if you count the cost of interrupting your normal site activities the tiles pay for themselves.
  • Unlike conventional flooring products ecotile can be considered to be a capital asset for both tax and also practical purposes. As a loose laid system ecotile can be written down in your accounts as an asset rather than a building improvement which is far more tax efficient. Because ecotile is an asset many finance companies are willing to offer asset finance to buy the floor, please contact our sales team for further information. Lastly and possibly most importantly ecotile can be lifted, altered and reused as many times as required, move factory or home and you can take the tiles with you. Even if you don’t need the ecotile in your new premises the tiles retain a high intrinsic value as there is a strong market for both second hand tiles and also for the raw material for recycling.
  • Floor protection, not only are you creating a smart, attractive and practical floor finish but you are also protecting the sub-floor from impact and vibration damage. A number of our customers and especially those that occupy premises on short leases will use ecotile to protect the floor and limit their exposure to large bills from the landlord for dilapidations. Why pay for a new floor on three separate occasions, when you move in, when you move out and when you move to new premises when an ecotile floor will cover you for all three!

Does the floor need to be dry / do I need to degrease the substrate?

No, one of the main benefits of the ecotile system is that it can be laid on damp and contaminated substrates. The tiles allow the floor to breathe so any moisture will evaporate up through the joints. Because the tiles are not glued down oil contamination will not create a problem.

Will water get underneath the tiles and start to smell?

Probably the question we get asked most often. In 20 years of trading we have never had a problem, in fact, a number of insurance companies have actually recommended customers who live in areas prone to flooding to use ecotile, as water getting under the tiles doesn’t cause a problem and eliminates the need to replace flood damaged floor coverings. The precision engineered ecotile joint is extremely tight but we do not claim that it is 100% waterproof. If large amounts of water are left to sit on the floor it is possible that some will seep through the joint. The most common concern people have is that the water will become stagnant and start to smell but this will not happen. Firstly the chemicals in PVC act as a natural biocide that prevents the growth of the bacteria that would make the water smell and secondly any moisture under the tiles will evaporate back up through the joint because the temperature above the tiles is almost certain to be higher than that under the tiles.

How do I clean the tiles?

Please refer to our installation and maintenance instructions for a more in depth guide to cleaning but in general terms we recommend that firstly you sweep or vacuum up dust and dirt and then damp (not wet) mop the tiles. Water by itself or with a small quantity of detergent will suffice with either a mop or a rotary scrubber dryer if available. No waxes or sealers should be used. You can use a buffer with a lamb’s wool pad to buff a clean dry floor to an amazing shine. If required you can hose off the floor with your garden hose or a power washer (under 1300psi). Please refer to our cleaning and maintenance guidelines.

Do I need to carry out repairs to the substrate before installing ecotile?

No, except for major cracks or missing cement pieces, no skim coating, sealing, sand blasting or detergent washing is necessary. Just sweep or vacuum the floor to make sure that there are no loose items that will get stuck under the tiles and you’re ready to start installation.

Do I need to use an adhesive with an ecotile floor?

In the vast majority of applications no adhesive is required; the tiles can be dry laid and will take forklift or vehicle traffic without a problem. The only instances in which the tiles may require gluing is when there is a fork truck with a very high point loading (for example a three wheel electric reach truck with the batteries located over the back wheel) that operates in a confined space with very tight turning circles, or, when part of the floor is likely to be exposed to much higher temperatures than the rest of the floor (e.g. in front of a furnace or oven or adjacent to a south facing loading bay door). If gluing is required the simplest adhesive to use is Uzin MK92S or F Ball.

What is ecotile made from?

The 500/7, 500/6 and 500/10 ranges are made from virgin plastic and the 490/7 from100% recycled material. Recycled does not mean lower quality, the vast majority of waste material we reprocess comes from our own tiles, off cuts from installations and when we replace old floors. ecotile can be reprocessed as many times as required meaning that not one scrap of ecotile need ever end up in landfill or the waste stream.

Can I use these tiles outside?

About Ecotile outdoor use

We do not recommend the use of ecotile outdoors. Our tiles are designed to provide heavy duty industrial flooring solutions for internal use only.

To discuss this in more detail please fill out our Contact Us form and a member of the team will be in touch.

Can ecotile be installed over a painted / vinyl / carpeted floor?

Are you looking to install your Ecotile Floor Tiles over an old floor?

Painted Floor

No problem – just lay your tiles as per the instructions

Vinyl Flooring

Again this is fine – just follow the simple instructions

Carpeted Floor

Strictly speaking this is fine – but we strongly recommend lifting carpet if at all possible

Where can I buy ecotile?

You can buy direct from us by calling 01582 788232 (from outside the UK +44 1582 788232), we accept most major credit cards or for trade customers we can set up an account subject to a quick and simple credit check.