What is Resilient flooring ?
The word “Resilient” in engineering means the ability to restore the energy in form of the work in order to prevent the failure and then releasing it slowly. Thus resilient flooring is the flooring with soft, shock-absorbing, elastic, flexible materials like plastic, rubber, cork, wood, neoprene, linoleum, sheet vinyl polymer.
Floors are subdivided horizontal platforms of the building or structure into different compartments. And the treatment of the top area of each floor surface with good finishing material for different purposes like aesthetic beauty, comfort, insulation, smoothness, etc. is called flooring.
Materials used in resilient flooring
The materials used for flooring purposes can be hard tough, rigid like marble, granite, concrete or soft, and elastic like rubber, asphalt, cork-wood, etc.
The resilient flooring has less impact over it as it can absorb the shock and forces by turning them into vibrational waves throughout them. They can distress the pressure and forces within their loose intermolecular bonding space.
Features of resilient flooring
They have some special features like high absorption of impact, shocks which facilitate the fewer cracks on the floor as well as prevent the fragile material from immediate breaking on fall. They also form the waterproof layers (except in corkwood flooring) as their top layers are coated with the synthetic polymers.
Resilient flooring is elastic and flexible, however, their durability depends upon the use of such floors with proper care. They are easy for maintenance. These floorings are relatively high cost than non-resilient flooring.
How to choose materials for resilient flooring?
Resilient flooring can be made up of different material compositions according to the requirement, quality, and property needed to be enhanced. Whatever the material is selected they must have the property to absorb the energy or forces in a different mechanism.
Wood and corks have the intracellular sap voids created after drying of sap fluid content in the plants and the polymers and rubbers have the long chain molecular compound arranged perfectly in chain-forming intermolecular space between them.
This space available helps to deform during the exhibition of the forces or stress applied and then quickly again release back. Material having such property is mostly used for resilient flooring. The materials are given shaped to the thin shit or tiles structure and they applied over the floor slabs for the finishing purposes.
Types of resilient flooring
The resilient flooring can be basically divided into three types;
1) Resilient hard flooring:
These floorings are resilient but they have a comparatively harder texture. They are generally used where there is huge traffic or moving loads. They are further divided into these types (basic one):
- Wood flooring
These floors are made up of planks or parquets laid on the ground with or without adhesive. They give warm to touch and tend to give a noisy “tock” sound. Their durability depends upon the type of wood use. They are poor at heat conduction and give comfort floor temperature to the human feet.
The major disadvantage of such flooring is that they absorb moisture and are affected by alkalis. Also, termite and fungus can damage it. so high care against fungal action and termites (anti-termite treatment)must be taken.
- Asphalt flooring
These floorings consist of material composed of asbestos, fiber, pigments, and inert fillers. They are made in form of tiles for commercial use.
- Bitumen-mastic flooring
Unlike asphalt flooring, they are made or design to premix design like concrete along with bitumen. They have normally black red or brown in appearance. They have a soft texture but apparently have a hard floor.
They are mostly used in the public area, corridor, and other heavy moving traffic areas. The installation cost of such flooring is low but required frequent maintenance as heat, heavyweight, and organic solvents damage them.
- Vinyl composition tile
They are the mixture of the polymer of organic compounds (consisting of a vinyl group like polyvinyl chloride) and abundant limestone (about 65%-70%). The sheet of the mix is cast in forms of tiles. They are used for high traffic commercial applications. They are durable, easy to maintain, inexpensive compared to another resilient flooring.
2) Resilient Semi hard flooring
These floorings are semi-rigid and semi-flexible in nature. They are resistant to pest, water, heat (except cork wood flooring) and are easy to clean. On basis of some materials used for such flooring, they can be of following types:
- Linoleum flooring:
They are the environmentally friendly flooring made up of a collection of renewable material of linseed oil, recycle wood powder, cork dust, limestone, etc. They are highly durable and available in different colors and patterns.
They are damaged by extreme temperatures i.e. in low-temperature cracks are caused due to stiffness and in high temperature, they tend to expand and cause undulation. The water used for cleaning should be in a very minimum amount. They are favorable for living rooms, bathrooms, and canteens.
- Rubber flooring
They are installed as tiles or pads with the interlocking joints. They are made up of synthetic rubber, which has excellent vibration absorbing capacity, bouncy nature, flexibility which reduces the pain and stress over feet, provides comfortable sense, and protects the fragile material from breaking.
They are highly advantageous to the room of small children and playing rooms, schools to prevent injuries and accidents. They are also used to reduce static electricity, so highly advantageous to automobile operating places where static electricity can cause disastrous accidents. Moreover, they are good in chemical resistance, cigarette burns, are not harmed by organic solvents, grease, sunlight, and abrasives. They reduce noise as well.
- Cork flooring
The wood used for making such a floor is generally bark of the cork trees. Moreover, wastage cork can also be recycled. They are usually soft than wood parquets.
It gives a warm and restful appearance. They can be available in the market in form of tiles which are, untreated cork tiles and cork tiles with PVC surface formed by high compression of the cork dust, adhesive, and additives (like PVC). Their major disadvantage is they are extremely porous, and termite can damage it. So prevention measures against it should be adopted.
- Plastic flooring
In this flooring, the material having a plastic property is adopted. A wide range of colors, designs, and texture and price makes plastic flooring very versatile. They have very good resistance against wear, water, and most of the chemicals.
Depending upon the composition of synthetic elements, Plastic flooring can be of various types.
- Thermoplastic and vinyl zed thermoplastic tiles
- Vinyl asbestos tiles
- Homogeneous flexible vinyl
- Reverse printed PVC
- PVC without backings
3) Soft flooring
Soft flooring is thin layers of temporary sheets placed over the floor for better aesthetic and decorative purposes. They are quite, warm, and slip-resistant. They are available in a variety of colors, texture, and patterns. They are used in many houses, halls, and gym centers.
There are various types of soft flooring materials.
Carpets: They are a commonly available layering of floor finish having hardback laying and the woolen or soft fibrous layering at top. They can be further classified in woven and non-woven carpets. Woven carpets like Wilton, Axminister, and oriental types are available in the market.
And non-woven carpets like Tufted, Berber, Bonded and Knitted carpets are available for the uses.
Rugs: They are thick decorative flooring made up of woolen or natural fibrous materials like, which gives very soft and sensible pleasant fur. They can be either knitted by machines or hands.
Mats: They are very useful for cheer practice, wrestling, martial arts, general exercise, yogas, playrooms, etc. they are mostly of synthetic plastic, which can roll and laid anytime.
Foam: They are the synthetic polymer having a spongy or cellular structure. They provide excellent insulation and comfort.
RESILENT VINYL FLOORING
Resilient vinyl flooring is the type of semi-hard or sometimes soft flooring of plastic property, made up of polymers of vinyl as a major component. They are also called sheet vinyl.
They are available in large width sheets (generally 6ft -12 ft.) their major constituent is Poly Vinyl Chloride(PVC). They are very resistant to solvents of acids and alkalis. They are prone to scratch and abrasion. These vinyl floorings are difficult to install. They are available in various textures of wood, with various shades for aesthetic beauty.
Further, the resilient vinyl flooring is divided into four types on basis of constituents to make such sheets. They are;
- 100% Vinyl: Totally made up of polyvinyl chloride only.
- Wood-plastic compound: made up of wood dust, plasticizers, and foaming agent along with PVC. Thus have a spongy comfort feel.
- Stone plastic compound: Made up of a mix of PVC along with stone dust, lime, and cementing agent in order to increase strength. Thus less risk of creation of cracks. Vinyl composite tiles can be categorized as one of its types.
- Hybrid vinyl along with fiberglass: Made up of PVC along with the addition of fiberglass to increase the strength and dimensional stability, rigidity. They are better at resisting external weather, sunlight, and the environment.
The vinyl flooring usually consists of five layers compacted in a single sheet form. Each layer has a unique composition, percentage, and function. The layers are,
- Top protective layer: These are made of the urethane, aluminum oxide. They layer is made to be resistive to scratch, stains, and tough so that the wearing and tearing are prevented.
- PVC layer: These layers are also called wear layers as they provide strong opposition against wearing action. Their thickness is relatively 6mm-12mm for residential uses, and 20 mm for the commercial uses where there is high mobility like supermarkets, halls, etc. The top layer is adhered to it and works together for wearing and tearing action
- Print layer: The layer consists of different texture of wood and sand pattern cast with the printing laser devices. They are responsible for the color and texture of vinyl sheets.
- Core layer: These layers are responsible for the thickness, durability, and flexibility of the vinyl sheets. They strengthen the floor finish as well. They occupy a volume percentage of about 90% of vinyl sheets. They can be made up of fiberglass, polyesters, and polyurethanes.
- Backing layer: the last layer at the bottom that connects, the vinyl sheet and top layer of floor slab or floor finish. They have ridges and irregular rough pattern for better adhesion on floors.
KINETIC FLOOR TILES:
These are the special tiles form in the modern era with the application of science and engineering with the purpose of preserving energy wasted in form of walking. The tiles restore the mechanical energy while people walk over them and then with help of technology or mechanisms, they convert it to electrical energy.
The electricity thus generated might be small but can be enough to lighten the streets or traffic signals. They are extremely resilient and flexes by about 5mm and thus the energy of impacts of footsteps is stored or conserved in the battery instead of wasting.
The British company name Pavegen had started this technology in 2008. They generate the energy of 2-8 watts per step each step is for a half-second. They are preferred over places like footpaths where there is maximum daily mobility.
I hope this article remains helpful for you.
Happy Learning – Civil Concept
Civil Engineer – Rajan Shrestha