Vinyl and vinyl composite flooring (VCT) are the most common types of resilient flooring today.  Binders make vinyl composition tile more resistant to abrasion, chemicals, and solvents.  This type of flooring usually comes in 12-in. squares and in many colors and patterns.  Vinyl composition tile is more flexible than asphalt tile.  Like asphalt tile, it will dent if heavy weight is placed on it.  Vinyl floors should be dust mopped or swept daily.  Floors can be mopped as often as necessary with almost any soap or synthetic detergent.  It should be finished regularly with a polymer-type emulsion finish.  Use floor cups on table and chair legs to avoid permanent indentations.  Rust stains are a potential hazard since the ferrous oxide can actually dye the tiles over time and can be very difficult to remove.

Although it looks solid, VCT has many microscopic holes in its surface when unfinished.  This characteristic makes it less water and stain resistant.  Vinyl composition tile is usually resistant to oils, greases, acids, and alkalis.  Never use solvents, abrasives, or harsh alkalis or acids for cleaning since the chemical reactions can damage and even ruin the surface.   This tile wears well under normal foot traffic but will not hold up to heavy wear, such as production areas in factories where forklifts or heavy items are dragged over the surface.  VCT is easily damaged by burns and can melt under certain conditions.  The only way to remove the burn is to remove/replace some of the tile surface.

New tile from the factory is coated with a “factory finish”.  This plastic coating prevents the tiles from sticking together in transport or after installation can protect the floor from foot traffic until it is sealed.  Loss of finish adhesion may result if the factory finish is not removed correctly.  The factory finish must be removed prior to the application of a sealer or finish.  Consider using a blue pad and a neutral detergent since stripping is not necessary.  

VCT is the most commonly used flooring today due to both initial cost and relative ease of maintenance.  Understanding what is the appropriate finish and maintenance process can produce a great appearance and long life for this type floor.  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