That is the difference in vinyl and PVC flooring?

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vinyl floor

Currently we are getting across with two terms when we are choosing PVC flooring – the PVC flooring and vinyl flooring. My customers are usually confused and that is why I will explain it a little.

As a floor assembler I firstly encountered only the term PVC flooring. So it was a classic pvc floor rolled into the rolls of various width from 1.5 m to 4 m. We still encounter these types of floors in schools, hospitals, bureaus and so on.

Later as the technology forwarded in the manufacturing of the PVC flooring there started to be used a new term for such floors – the vinyl flooring. Manufacturers marked by this name vinyl flooring  mostly PVC flooring not sold in rolls but in planks of various dimensions and thicknesses = 1393 x 185 mm; 900 x 150 mm; etc (or squares 300 x 300 mm; 450 x 450 mm; etc.). Therefore the PVC flooring (poly-vinyl-chloride) and vinyl flooring is basically the same when it comes to material composition. It is a synthetic material in both cases. But because there was created a new product (instead of rolls the planks) the manufacturers needed to differentiate these two products from each other and that is why they started to call the planks products as vinyl, although we could call it a floor pvc planks. Basically it is just a word play.

There is also a marketing aspect in the game. If the manufacturers would call their new vinyl planks just as pvc flooring, then people would not react to it at all and not even know that there is a total new type of PVC floors. I can confirm that by my experience that when I offer to my customer a PVC floor he or she starts to look at me weirdly, thinking I am selling them the classic  old PVC roll flooring into which we stumble upon on stairs of old hospitals and block of flats buildings. But when I offer them vinyl flooring then they are suddenly more satisfied even though I basically offered them the same thing just in different dimensional shape.

Why we are today getting across so many of these old PVC flooring which look so bad and  wear out? Well in the time these were made and assembled there were not such good technologies and glues for these types of products. These old PVC floors were reacting more to the temperature changes and shrank over time as the glue was not strong enough to hold it. As the connections of the flooring started to get more apart from each other the endings of the flooring lift up. 

Today the manufacturers include glass fiber to the most of the PVC flooring and achieve dimensional sustainability. Therefore any shape deformations are eliminated.

Contemporary vinyl flooring is made in such way that you don’t even know what kind of material is it until you feel it in your hands or walk on it with bare foot. I personally suggest the vinyl planks with structured surface which look very good and are practical to maintain.

Author: Soska Milan

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