Frequently Asked Questions

What do you want to learn about resilient flooring?

WHAT IS RESILIENT FLOORING?

Resilient flooring is a category, just like hardwood or carpet. It covers flooring types that have some degree of flexibility or “give,” yet are still solid, non-fabric surfaces. They are engineered to provide comfort, aesthetics, durability, and sustainability without the price of wood or ceramic, and without the ache that can come from standing on concrete floors.

WHAT IS RESILIENT FLOORING MADE FROM?

Depending on the type of resilient floor, it can be made from natural materials (like cork), synthetic materials (like vinyl), or a mixture of both (such as cork combined with rubber). The binding and coloring agents also vary by type. When you search for resilient flooring products, be sure to check out the Environmental Product Declaration, which will tell you the life cycle impacts of a product. For ingredient information, check out a specific product’s Health Product Declaration.

IT’S NOT NATURAL SO HOW CAN IT BE SUSTAINABLE?

Most resilient flooring is made with a combination of natural and synthetic materials. Cork flooring is made from the bark of cork oaks, which actually thrive due to the bark harvesting process. Vinyl composite tile (VCT) is composed of vinyl and up to 85% limestone – a highly abundant natural resource. These material combinations allow manufacturers to offer a huge array of true-to-life, nature-inspired designs while actually conserving less-abundant natural resources. It means that we’re not harvesting hardwood trees or any exotic species, but you can still enjoy their beauty by choosing resilient flooring modeled after them. Synthetic ingredients like vinyl actually make resilient flooring products highly durable and long-lasting – thus helping homeowners waste less over time. Add all of that to mindful manufacturing practices that help us use materials, energy, and water as efficiently as possible, and the resilient flooring we make has earned the right to be called sustainable flooring.

IS RESILIENT FLOORING RECYCLABLE?

Older resilient flooring is difficult to recycle due to the adhesives that were used in the past. We have continuously updated our engineering and installation processes in order to remove those barriers to recycling. By the time you need to replace a resilient floor that you install today, you should have many more opportunities to recycle it. One challenge is that many communities have not built out effective processes for collecting flooring and other building material products for recycling. RFCI is working with other industry groups to resolve barriers to recycling, including collection and reclaimed flooring processing.

HOW DO I CLEAN RESILIENT FLOORING?

Sweep your floor regularly to keep grit or grime from rubbing into it. For deeper cleaning, a dry or damp mop plus a nonabrasive, all-purpose pH-neutral cleaner are all it takes. The key is to avoid abrasive cleaners and harsh cleaning solutions. Check with the flooring manufacturer for specific cleaning do’s and don’ts and, for applicable products, instructions for waxing.

I HAVE SMALL CHILDREN – AND THEY SPEND A LOT OF TIME ON THE FLOOR. WHAT PRODUCTS ARE SAFE FOR THEM?

All resilient flooring products made by Beautifully Responsible™ partners are good options for your children. Whether you choose luxury vinyl tile for your living area, sheet vinyl for your kitchen, or rubber for the playroom, for instance, you can breathe easy knowing that we’ve designed it with your family’s well-being in mind. Look for the FloorScore® and ASSURE CERTIFIED™ labels for a solid sense of security. These certifications are awarded to flooring that meets rigorous standards for indoor air quality and non-hazardous ingredients.

HOW DO I KNOW VINYL FLOORING IS SAFE FOR MY FAMILY?

Vinyl is actually one of the most-tested materials in common use today. The manufacturing processes and vinyl chemistry have been carefully and intentionally changed over time to create safer work environments for employees, and to ensure well-being for families who depend on it as an affordable, beautiful option for their homes. Beautifully Responsible™ partners have commitments and quality testing systems in place to keep harmful materials such as lead – historically, the most troubling ingredient in vinyl – out of their products. For more information about vinyl, including product safety, see vinylinfo.org.

DO YOU USE PLASTICIZERS IN VINYL FLOORS?

Plasticizers are key to the durability of vinyl floors. Without them, the floor would be rigid and brittle. But not all plasticizers are the same. For example, many plasticizers are phthalates, which is a generic term for a large family of chemicals with different health effects. While ortho-phthalates are considered harmful, terra-phthalates have not been shown to have detrimental effects on humans. We made the decision years ago to remove harmful ortho-phthalate plasticizers from our resilient flooring products and replace them with safer alternatives, including terra-phthalates that have no known negative impacts to the endocrine system. This has allowed us to continue to offer highly durable, exceptionally beautiful vinyl floors – without compromising your health or the environment’s.

WHERE ARE RESILIENT FLOORING PRODUCTS MANUFACTURED?

Resilient flooring is manufactured around the world; however, several flooring brands have been manufacturing flooring in the United States for over 100 years. The specific location varies for each brand of flooring. Many brands disclose the country of origin on the web pages or specification sheets for individual products. Check out each company’s sustainability or corporate social responsibility report to learn more about their locations and specific commitments to safe working conditions and environmental, health, and safety standards.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This