PVC floor or vinyl floor is a type of continuous plastic coating used in places without excessive traffic that require frequent cleaning, such as laboratories, or nursery schools. It is made from polyvinyl chloride, known abbreviated as PVC.
PVC flooring is the modern substitute for linoleum, since its installation and properties are very similar, vinyl being a more resistant and durable material, and with a better fire performance.
Vinyl is developed as a pavement in the early 1950’s. It initially appears as a single component in heterogeneous blends attached to a felt base. And already in 1960 it is commercialized in format of continuous surface (in rolls), but this material did not reach its maturity until the middle of the decade of the 70, with the development of the homogenous vinyl floors.
Since then, this type of flooring has undergone a continuous development with the addition of other chemical compounds and different surface treatments to achieve greater resistance to abrasion, resistance to chemical agents, incombustibility, non-slip characteristics, or improvements in aesthetic appearance.
Recently they have also received interest like alternative solution for the recycling of other materials of PVC.
As with most synthetic products, the properties of this material can vary greatly depending on its chemical composition and the manufacturing process.
However, characteristics common to vinyl or PVC floors include good abrasion resistance, impermeability, and easy cleaning.
PVC flooring can be classified into two large groups: continuous floor (flexible) and tile floor (rigid).
The continuous floor is commercialized in the form of large rolls, usually with widths of between 2 and 4m, and variable lengths (usually around 20m, since larger lengths would make it difficult to manipulate the pieces).
These floors are warm and soft to the touch, and with thicknesses superior to 3mm they present certain cushioning.
These characteristics, together with its easy cleaning and good adhesion, make them ideal as a floor for children, so there are many brands on the market that offer all types of prints either with drawings or imitating all types of materials and surfaces.
As an inconvenience, these types of coatings do not tolerate large weights and are punched relatively easily, and their repair is costly, since replacing the damaged piece requires the entire sheet to be removed.
Vinyl tiles are stiff and hard. Often PVC is only a surface coating adhered to a support of another material.
Its characteristics are a great stability against various chemical agents, tightness, resistance to abrasion, low conductivity and easy cleaning and maintenance.
Like continuous soils, they can present different types of colors and drawings, but unlike the first ones, they are usually smooth colors.
Continuous PVC floors are very thin sheets (1-4mm), so they can be placed on pre-existing pavements.
However, the most important requirement for a good finish with this material is that the support is firm and level.
In refurbishment works, if the pre-existing floor is in good condition, a thin self-leveling mortar base is applied to remove any small damage.
If the floor is not in good condition it is necessary to replace it or pour a layer of concrete.
In new construction, a common practice to achieve a perfectly smooth and level surface is to first place a terrazzo floor that is later polished in situ.
The PVC sheet is cut to size in the work itself, and is fixed to the support by means of glues. It is also possible to place the PVC without gluing it to the support: for this, two different sheets are placed, and the upper one is glued to the bottom, creating a single sheet that simply rests on the preexisting floor.
This solution is very suitable in reform of leased premises, because it is completely reversible.
The assembly of floors of tiles or platelets do not have any special differential characteristics, except that when presented in smaller format should be placed and glued said tiles one by one.
Again your installation will depend on the support material to which they are attached.
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