What is a Resilient Floor?  If you have ever fallen on a tile floor, you may question classifying it as a “resilient” floor since it certainly seemed hard when you landed.  The dictionary defines resilient as “capable of returning to an original shape or position after having been compressed.”

Thus, compared to truly hard floor surfaces like stone which are referred to as “non-resilient”, resilient flooring can seem somewhat “cushiony” when you walk on it.  It comes in tiles and rolls (called sheet flooring in the trade).  Today, tiles usually comes in 12 inch squares but other sizes are available for practical or decorative reasons.   If you see a nine inch square vinyl tile piece it very possibly could be VAT (Vinyl Asbestos Tile) which will be dealt with in more detail later.  

Resilient flooring is usually a mixture of fillers, binders, and color.  Filler materials can include synthetic fibers, ground wood or limestone, and mineral fillers, such as asbestos.  The material that binds the mixture together is either asphalt (asphaltum) or resin.  There are six main types of resilient flooring: linoleum, asphalt, vinyl (composition and solid), rubber, wood and cork.  

Roll flooring comes in the form of large sheets of material.  One sheet either covers the floor completely or, if the floor is very large, two or more sheets are used to cover it with heat welding to waterproof the seams.  If a floor is covered with sheet flooring, you will see just one or two long seams where the sheets meet.  If a floor is covered with square tiles, you will see many cracks or seams where the tiles meet each other.  In either case, there should not be large open spaces between each tile that could allow moisture in.  Each type surface has benefits and challenges.  One key point to remember is that they must be protected from moisture getting under the surface through breaks or damage.

Understanding different types of flooring is essential to successfully maintaining each in an efficient and effective manner.  Your comments and questions are always welcome.  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.