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Garage Flooring – PVC Floor Tiles or Rubber Flooring?


Here at Ecotile we are often asked for information about our rubber floor tiles and we explain that we make PVC floor tiles, which, it usually turns out, is what the customer actually needs anyway. 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.

Durability

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 with 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.