Choosing Flooring

When choosing a vinyl or linoleum flooring, there are two considerations to keep in mind-the suitability of the flooring for the area to be covered, and the décor effect that will be achieved.

Suitability means that the flooring should be chosen with regard to the amount of wear to which it will be subjected. With so many qualities available, this is basically a matter of common sense. The greater the wear, the better the quality of product that should be used.

Soft floor furnishings, both sheet and tiles, come in various thicknesses, graded to give satisfactory wear in all areas of the home.

There are two basic types of smooth-surfaced flooring-linoleum and vinyl.


This is produced by blending together a number of natural products-cork, linseed oil, gum, resin, woodflour and colour pigments – which are rolled on to a compressed felt or canvas backing. The product is then left to mature.

The most basic material is felt base. The felt is saturated, treated, coated, printed and sealed. Felt base is economical to buy, but will not stand heavy wear.

A pattern that will not wear off is found in inlaid linoleum. Chips of linoleum are compressed into the material under great pressure. This flooring is very hard-wearing.

Another hard-wearing surface is pattern-inlaid linoleum. The pattern is made by cutting coloured linoleum shapes and placing them in various patterns on to the backing material. The design is then welded together, on to the backing material, with heated rollers. A three-dimensional textured effect can be imparted by embossing a basic inlaid linoleum.

Lino tiles

There are two types of lino tiles, both consisting of inlaid linoleum. Lino tiles can be used to create a variety of designs. The basic lino tile is loose laid; self-adhesive tiles have an adhesive bonded in to the backing and are stuck down after being dipped into hot water, to activate the adhesive, or peeling off a protective backing paper.


Vinyl is made of PVC (a resinous substance called polyvinyl-chloride) which is combined with a mixture of colour pigments, fillers and plasticizers.

This can be divided into two main types, according to method of manufacture. In one, the pattern is printed on to the vinyl and sealed by a layer of pure PVC. The second method is to inlay the pattern into the material.

An inexpensive vinyl floor covering is felt-backed vinyl. The pattern is printed on to the felt backing and covered with a coat of PVC. Patterned vinyl gives a strong, flexible floor covering. The pattern is printed on and covered with PVC. This is a hard-wearing surface for use in heavy traffic areas, such as kitchens and bath-rooms.

Particles of contrasting vinyl, are pressed, under heavy rollers, into vinyl sheet to give the marbled effects of vinyl sheeting.

A resilient, vinyl flooring is produced by backing vinyl sheeting with a latex foam or thick wool-felt backing. This gives a comfortable, quiet and resilient floor covering.

Vinyl is also used in tile form. Flexible vinyl tiles, some of which can be cut with scissors, are made in a range of thicknesses and qualities.

Rigid vinyl tiles, are very tough, hard and durable. These are made of vinyl, reinforced with a mineral filler. They are suitable in areas subjected to very heavy wear.

10. November 2011 by admin
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