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Resilient floor coverings

Vinyl, linoleum and cork Vinyl, linoleum and cork are known as resilient floorcoverings, as they are soft and flexible, and give a cushioned effect underfoot.

They are suitable for most rooms, as long as they are given a non- slip finish for areas that might get wet and slippery.

Vinyl flooring

Vinyl floors are suitable for most rooms of the house, but are particularly useful for the wet areas kitchen, bathroom, laundry - with non-slip varieties.

There is a huge range of colours and patterns, from bright primary colours, through pebble effects or metallic-look pastel, to marble and woodgrain effects. They are soft underfoot, and can come in extra cushioned surfaces.

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Vinyls can come in sheet form, tiles or planks to mimic floorboards. Woodgrain vinyl 'planks' can be laid in intricate patterns to resemble parquetry flooring.

Linoleum, the sustainable flooring

Once considered old fashioned, and almost completely ignored when vinyl came onto the market in the 1970s, linoleum is coming back into favour because of its sustainability.

Linoleum is all natural, kind to the environment, non-allergenic, and can be recycled.

Unlike vinyl, which is a petroleum based polymer polyvinyl chloride (PVC), linoleum is made from renewable materials such as solidified linseed oil (linoxyn), pine rosin, ground cork dust, wood flour and mineral fillers on a burlap or canvas backing.

Linoleum comes in a range of colours, patterns and styles, and can be used in place of vinyl flooring for all domestic purposes.

Professional installation is recommended as laying linoleum requires special skills and tools. It is stiffer and less flexible than most vinyl sheet, requiring more skill to cut and handle.

Eco-friendly cork flooring

Cork flooring is completely natural and sustainable, being made from the bark of the cork oak tree, which is peeled off in sheets from the living tree.

Cork floor tiles can be used anywhere you would use vinyl or linoleum, and once sealed, can handle wet conditions just as well as the other resilient finishes.

It has a natural warm, woody colour and effect, but is also available in strong bright colours which can be used to create patterns.

Choosing the Right Flooring

There are so many grades of resilient flooring to choose from, you need to be clear on what you require from the floor:

  1. Slip resistance (bathroom, kitchen, laundry)
  2. Resistance to grease and chemicals (kitchen, laundry)
  3. Level of cushioning
  4. Ease of cleaning and maintenance
  5. Gloss or matt finish
  6. Method of laying - sheet, tiles or planks
  7. Colour
  8. Pattern

Finishes for Resilient Floors

Vinyl and cork floors are usually finished with a polyurethane sealer to ensure they are easy to clean and maintain and will look smart and wear well for years.

Linoleum is not sealed, and has a slightly porous surface. It can be treated with a specialised resilient surface finish, and then polished two or three times a year with linoleum polish.

Need a specialist for vinyl, linoleum or cork flooring? Get the best quote here!

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