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VCT Flooring (Vinyl Composite Tile Flooring)

Both Beautiful and Durable, These Floors Are Easy to Love

As any property owner knows, whether commercial or residential, finding good-looking, durable flooring that stands up to wear and tear is difficult. A popular solution offered at Surface Design Solutions is vinyl composite tile (VCT). Both affordable and attractive, VCT can be customized to any space by mixing and matching colors and creating interesting patterns. The result is a beautiful, individual floor that lasts for years.

Vinyl Composite Tile

What is VCT Flooring?

Vinyl Composition Tiles – also called VCT flooring – are made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and are popularly used in high-traffic areas, particularly in commercial and institutional facilities. Although it’s been on the market since 1926, this flooring material has recently surged in popularity in residential homes. Homeowners appreciate VCT flooring for the very qualities that have made it extremely popular in commercial structures for so long, including its:

  • Affordability
  • Resistance to water, stains, scuffs, and scratches
  • Soft, sound-dampening surface
  • Attractiveness
  • Easy-to-clean surface
  • Ability to customize

The manufacturing process for these long-lasting tiles is flexible so that producing a wide variety of colors and patterns is much easier than with other types of flooring. Vinyl composition tiles can be made with an extra layer of polyurethane and designed to resemble the texture and feel of wood, stone, and clay floors. In fact, advancements in printing technology make telling vinyl tiles apart from actual wood floors increasingly more difficult. You can get the look of high-end flooring materials for much less.

Vinyl Composite Tile

How is VCT Flooring Manufactured?

The manufacturing process for these long-lasting tiles is flexible so that producing a wide variety of colors and patterns is much easier than with other types of flooring.

Vinyl composition tiles can be made with an extra layer of polyurethane and designed to resemble the texture and feel of wood, stone, and clay floors. In fact, advancements in printing technology make telling vinyl tiles apart from actual wood floors increasingly more difficult. You can get the look of high-end flooring materials for much less.

Benefits of Installing VCT Flooring

VCT flooring comes with a wide range of benefits, quickly asserting itself as the preferred flooring type for commercial applications. Residential home projects are also turning their attention to VCT flooring as a replacement for tiling or garage flooring. Not only is it a durable choice, but the material is long-lasting and attractive.

Multiple Design Options

VCT flooring has wide range of tile design choices with simple repeating patterns or solid colors. Each tile is customizable for precision cutting to help you create the perfect pattern with endless possibilities of color.

There are plenty of design services that can help you create a unique aesthetic for your purpose. Whether you are designing flooring for playrooms, or need something to set your restaurant flooring apart from others, VCT is a low-maintenance, durable, and cost effective solution.

With VCT flooring tiles, colors stay vibrant even with low maintenance cleaning and heavy foot traffic, making it a great choice for your needs.

Withstands Heavy Traffic

Whether you are looking for a solution for a residential mudroom or a light industrial commercial space, VCT flooring is durable enough to withstand heavy foot traffic day-in, day-out. Resistant to chipping, scratching, scuffing, spills, impacts, and heat, this flooring is a versatile option that continues to look great without any sign of wear and tear.

This originally made it an attractive choice for commercial spaces as a low-cost, low-maintenance flooring option that withstood everything needed in a variety of spaces. Now, thanks to its popularity, it is now also catching on as a residential flooring option.

Masks Damage and Debris

In addition to low maintenance cleaning, VCT flooring is excellent at masking damage and debris. Because the material is incredibly scratch-resistant, fewer scuffs and scratches appear on the surface. If the material is scuffed, the damage is much more difficult to see, as it typically penetrates to a shallower depth than most other tiles.

As a heavy-duty flooring for light industrial settings, it is also impact-resistant, making it less likely to chip if a heavy load falls onto a tile unlike other flooring types. The adhesive bond between the subfloor and tile makes it nearly impossible for moisture to penetrate into if professionally installed.

Lifespan and Maintenance

The lifespan of vinyl tiles depends on the thickness. Thicker tiles can last up to 25 years, while thinner vinyl composite tile floors for the more budget-minded generally last from five to 10 years with normal wear. Compared with the lifespan of many other popular floor types, VCT flooring holds up much longer and with less visible wear to the surface material.

For maintenance, soap and water is enough to clean up most messes. Sweeping and vacuuming is easy because the tiles are flat with no cracks or recesses. Best of all, it retains its coloration and surface sheen for most of its lifespan so it only requires minor maintenance like mopping. Resistant to stains and scuffs, there’s no need to buff anything out of the surface of these tiles, making them an affordable and low maintenance choice for commercial and residential spaces.

VCT Flooring Installation

While floors made from VCT can be installed over an existing floor, it’s important to remember that business owners or homeowners should not attempt this project. A professional should install this type of flooring because it requires a skilled level of precision to ensure the flooring remains in place for its full lifespan. Our installation team at Surface Design Solutions is skilled in preparing surfaces, applying a flattening mass, and cutting and adjusting the shape of the tiles.

One of the biggest benefits of using VCT flooring in any commercial or residential space is that it can be installed directly over concrete with no subflooring.

If you are looking for an experienced team to install your VCT flooring over concrete or another type of subfloor, give us a call! We are happy to assist you in finishing out your space with this beautiful and versatile flooring.

Considerations Before Installing

There are a few considerations to make before installing VCT flooring in any space. First, you must be prepared for any subfloor leveling that may need to be done. Any imperfections in the subfloor can greatly affect the final result, meaning the project cannot proceed until the subflooring is ready.

Regular maintenance, such as mopping, will improve the appearance of the flooring. Depending on the amount of foot traffic, it may also require occasional polishing or buffing to maintain a glossy appearance. This is most typical in the commercial or light industrial setting, however, where there is consistent and heavy foot traffic.

Additionally, professional installation is required as subpar installation can result in the floor’s adhesive not curing properly, or in brittle flooring that is difficult to remove. Separating tiles as a result of improper or poor tile cutting can result in shifting tiles, creating ridges for debris to collect in.

Why Professional Installation is Critical

There are a lot of DIY installations of VCT flooring, making it seem like an easy choice to install. Unfortunately, there are plenty of projects that require precision sizing and cutting to ensure the floor is seamless.

Professional installation is essential to ensure the tile is as durable and low-maintenance as intended by the manufacturer. In most cases, DIY installations also void any manufacturer warranty for future repairs or troubleshooting.

Additionally, not all tile adhesives are the same, and it’s important that your flooring professional has the opportunity to assess the site ahead of installation day. A professional installer will have all the tools and expertise necessary to install the tile perfectly.

At Surface Design Solutions, we provide our customers with the same quality we would want for ourselves. We are proud to serve local businesses and homeowners with expert quality installations and advice for your project no matter how big or small. As a small, woman-owned Rochester NY company, we are here to provide you with top-quality service every step of the way from design to warranty follow-up.

What Are the Disadvantages of VCT Flooring?

Every type of flooring has its own disadvantages. For VCT flooring, it is mostly in its limited pattern choices and common association with sterile environments. This disadvantage is the primary reason why it is not more popular for residential spaces. When limited to laundry rooms and garages, however, it is an economical choice that adds appeal over bare subflooring.

For both commercial and residential applications, this flooring must be installed professionally. Not only will professionals understand the right tools and adhesives to use for precision fitting the flooring, but they will ensure the space is flat and leveled prior to installation. Uneven ridges, humps, and dust underneath the flooring can greatly impact its durability and appearance. Areas with debris underneath the flooring are prone to becoming brittle and cracking, and this can be difficult to replace due to the tile’s bond with the adhesive.

Common Applications for VCT Flooring

Most common applications for VCT flooring are in commercial spaces. Having become known as an affordable and low-maintenance flooring option that can withstand heavy foot traffic, it has been gaining popularity for residential spaces as well in recent years.

Common commercial applications include flooring for restrooms, kitchens, exam rooms, hallways, and healthcare facilities. Grocery stores often use VCT flooring for flooring in the retail portion of the building. Light industrial spaces also utilize this flooring type in some cases as a safe and low-maintenance alternative to bare flooring.

In residential applications, VCT flooring is a durable and affordable option for basements, mudrooms, laundry rooms, and garages. These areas are not meant to be lived in directly as the tiles can be uncomfortable to stand on for long periods of time, but the flooring here must be able to withstand the heavy traffic with low maintenance cleaning requirements.

Can You Install VCT Flooring in Residential Spaces?

Yes, installing VCT in residential spaces is quickly becoming a popular option for home remodeling and renovation. Available in a wide range of colors and patterns, VCT flooring allows homeowners to choose a style that matches their new décor.

This is particularly useful for homes with pets, or high-traffic areas as the scuff- and scratch-resistant material can withstand this damage while remaining easy to clean, unlike tile or wood which scratches and retains dirt and debris.

VCT flooring is most popular for high-traffic areas like mudrooms, basements, and entryways. It’s a perfect choice for affordable and attractive flooring choice for your next remodel. As long as the surface below the VCT flooring is rigid and level, you can install these tiles anywhere in your home.

What’s the Difference Between VCT and LVT?

There are a few differences between these two types of flooring. These tiles are created with similar materials, but the difference is in how it’s manufactured.

LVT has a printed design layer below a wear layer, which is designed to wear away before it impacts the design, while VCT is created with fillers and pigments to showcase the patterning throughout the tile.

When comparing cost, VCT is typically less expensive than LVT. VCT is less expensive to produce, but it typically comes in solid colors or simple patterning with a matte finish, while LVT can mimic glossy stonework like marbled flooring.

This means that both options are durable and low maintenance; the decision typically comes down to a choice between complex or simple patterns, and gloss or matte texturing.

Contact Professional Contractors Today

If you would like to learn more about VCT flooring, contact Surface Design Solutions and we will be happy to discuss your project with you. Our team can help you determine the feasibility of the project, potential returns to help you find the right flooring type, and much more based on your individual needs. We can even help you with VCT flooring installation if you don’t have a specialized contractor to help already. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help your project succeed.

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