Garage Flooring – PVC Floor Tiles or Rubber Flooring?
Here at Ecotile we are often asked for information about our rubber floor tiles, we explain that we make PVC floor tiles and usually that’s what the customer actually needs. So we thought we’d write a blog to clear up the common misconceptions around rubber and PVC floor tiles.
What is the difference between PVC tiles and rubber flooring?
Rubber and PVC are absolute opposites. At a glance, many people mistake PVC floor tiles for rubber because they are similar in appearance but when you touch them the difference is obvious – PVC is rigid and tough where rubber is flexible and soft.
To get scientific about it, rubber floor tiles are made out of a rubber granulate that is joined together by a thermosetting polymer such as polyurethane glue. PVC is a lone polymer – a type of plastic that is injected into moulds or that can be extruded.
Many people believe that plastic is bad for the environment because it doesn’t biodegrade however when dealt with responsibly this durability can be an advantage especially in the context of flooring. 90% of rubber flooring is synthetic and is made from rebonded rubber which contains a glue. That typically means that rubber matting and floor tiles end up in landfill or break apart over time.
Even after 10 years of use our PVC tiles can be recycled to create brand new flooring either as a 100% recycled black product or as a recycled core in a coloured virgin PVC envelope. We won a Queen’s Award for developing this new innovative technology and you can read more about our commitment to maximising the opportunities to recycle PVC here Our Green Credentials
Which is easier to lay? Rubber or PVC?
Rubber flooring comes in many different shapes and sizes; tiles, roll out mats, and smaller sheets. More and more suppliers are providing pre-cut rolls that cover the majority of your garage. They can be rolled out pretty quickly (providing nothing is in the way). If multiple mats are needed they can be bonded together using a compound which can be fiddly if you don’t know what you’re doing.
PVC floor tiles are always square and typically measure between 300-500 mm squared. They are also very easy to install, cut and move, but installing PVC tiles will take a bit longer as the joints need to be knocked together with a rubber mallet.
Installing PVC tiles is easier than rubber when there is a lot of furniture and objects to move around (they can be installed in smaller sections). Other than this, both are really easy to install when compared to alternatives like epoxy resin and concrete.
As a material PVC is known for it’s toughness whereas we all know rubber is soft and can bounce. Even with protective coatings that can be added to improve the impact resistance of rubber it is no match for PVC whose versatile properties make it suitable for use in a wide range of products from food packaging and blood bags to water pipes, garden furniture and most importantly interlocking floor tiles!
Which is easier to maintain?
PVC flooring is easy to clean and maintain, it is the plastic equivalent of Teflon as even chewing gum won’t stick to it and it’s impervious so doesn’t stain easily. Rubber flooring on the other hand can be more difficult to clean as it is slightly porous and if you’re working in an environment that requires frequent use or transport of chemicals, solvents or oil, PVC is your best bet.
Lucinda O’Reilly, Exports & Marketing Director is an integral part of the team that has grown Ecotile Flooring in to the successful manufacturing business it is today. Over the last 20 years she has successfully employed her skills in sales and marketing to ensure Ecotile Flooring is recognised as the market leading manufacturer of PVC interlocking floor tiles. Lucinda’s love of travel means the Ecotile brand is dominant all over Europe, North America, the Middle East, Asia and India.
To ensure compliance with export regulations Lucinda has gained accreditations from the Chamber of Commerce in Incoterms & Export Licence Controls and Export Procedures & Documentation and has completed the Institute of Export course on Incoterms 2020. She is a member of the Institute of Export, was a finalist in the Natwest Open to Export competition in 2018 and was instrumental in Ecotile Flooring winning a Queen’s Enterprise for International Trade in 2017. Lucinda has recently been interviewed by BBC News and Channel 4 News for her insights on Brexit and is an Export Champion for the Department for International Trade.