Defining Hard Floor Types
A reader writes: “I get confused when you refer to VCT, VAT, LVT, ceramic, synthetic floors, natural stone, concrete, other floor types. Any help would be appreciated.”
Great question and I apologize for not being clear on such an important issue. Today, we face a broad array of floor types that seem to grow almost daily. Following are a few basic definitions that might help. It would require a lot more space to go into any detail so these are short summaries. The following are three resilient floor types:
VCT = Vinyl Composite Tile is composed of limestone, plasticizers and copolymers which probably does not satisfy your desire to understand this floor. Note that is usually comes in 12-inch squares which can be installed (using glue/mastic) relatively inexpensively when compared to natural stones such as marble or granite. It has to be maintained by application of a protective finish that can be buffed, scrubbed and removed. My position is that although it is relatively inexpensive to purchase and install it can be quite expensive to maintain over the life of the floor, which can exceed 30 years.
VAT = Vinyl Asbestos Tile is product that can still be found on floors today has basically been replaced by VCT which does not contain asbestos, a product that has been identified with asbestos related cancers (mesothelioma). Although it was sold in various sizes, we usually find it in 9-inch-by-9-inch squares in older buildings. Go to www.osha.gov for guidance on how to maintain.
LVT = Luxury Vinyl Tiles are relatively new and can be purchased to look like marble, wood or other surfaces. They are usually low maintenance and seem to be quite durable. Like any floor, they need to be installed and maintained correctly to achieve the longest life. I am curious as to how this product will impact carpet as well as VCT sales/installation.
We will take a look at other floors in a future article. Your comments and feedback are always appreciated. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...
Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.