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Why Choose Commercial VCT Flooring?

Schools, retail centers and other commercial properties can be bustling centers of activity, which is why builders install floors that can stand up to heavy foot traffic. A worn floor could give visitors a negative first impression, as it can make your facility look run down or poorly maintained. This is where Vinyl Composite Tile Flooring (VCT) comes into save on maintenance costs and improve the image of your facility. VCT is a preferred choice for demanding environments like hospitals and public buildings.

One of the most popular choices for hospitals and other public buildings is vinyl composite tile flooring, otherwise known as VCT. If you’re considering using this material in your building, here’s a brief overview.

What is Vinyl Composition Tile?

Vinyl Composition Tile (VCT) is a popular flooring material, particularly in commercial settings. It is known for its durability, versatility, and ease of maintenance, making it a suitable choice for high-traffic areas. VCT is made from a mixture of natural and synthetic materials, which primarily include polyvinyl chloride (PVC) chips formed into solid sheets by applying heat and pressure. These flexible sheets are then designed to produce different patterns and colors, then cut into tiles.

The composition of VCT gives it several distinct characteristics that make it a common choice in the commercial space. Firstly, it is durable and can withstand significant wear and tear, which is why it’s often used in schools, hospitals, retail stores, and office spaces.

The flexibility of its design is another advantage of VCT. Because it can be produced inexpensively, it can also be styled in many ways. It comes in a variety of colors, patterns, and textures, allowing for a range of aesthetic choices. This versatility means it can be used to create custom designs and patterns that fit any décor style.

Benefits of VCT Flooring

As you assess the flooring needs for your commercial space, it’s important to understand the benefits of VCT. Not only does this type of flooring proficiently balance functional requirements with appearance, but it also makes it an excellent choice for improving the maintenance and lifespan of flooring across a wide range of commercial spaces.


There are many benefits to VCT flooring, and durability is chief among them. Manufacturers create these tough tiles by forcing chips of polyvinyl chloride together with heat and pressure. Inorganic materials are less susceptible to breakdown, which means you can expect to get as much as 20 years out of your floors. Aside from toughness, this product delivers a host of other advantages:

  • A wide range of colors and patterns
  • Resistance to fading from ultraviolet light
  • Reasonably priced when compared to other materials
  • Insulating qualities absorb sounds from footsteps
  • Extra traction, even when wet
  • Doesn’t expand when exposed to water
  • Easy to clean

Buffer Against Temperature and Noise:

VCT provides moderate insulation against temperature and noise, helping you create a comfortable and quiet environment. This feature can be crucial in creating a pleasant working or shopping experience, or in adding comfortability in otherwise sterile environments such as hospitals or school rooms.

Modular and Easy Maintenance:

One of the biggest benefits of VCT is that it is straightforward to install, and it is modular in nature. Every piece of flooring comes in pre-cut squares that can be installed easily with minimal interruption to your business.

Beyond this, it is engineered to withstand heavy foot traffic, making it a perfect choice for retail spaces and hospitals. The tough surface is resistant to scuff, scratches, stains and erosion from debris that would otherwise degrade its appearance.

All the maintenance you need with this type of flooring is to sweep regularly, with occasional mopping. With that, you can keep this flooring looking new!


Understanding the limitations of your flooring is important. It’s not the perfect fit for any business, though it is used in a wide range of spaces. Overall, VCT flooring can be tiring for individuals that spend their day walking across the floor, and the environmental impact is significant in both manufacturing and after demolishing.

Limited Application:

While vinyl has plenty of benefits as a commercial flooring product, it’s not ideal for every application. Before you commit to this component for your facility, it helps to familiarize yourself with some of the drawbacks:

  • Dulling can occur with significant climate changes
  • The subflooring must be in good shape to keep surfaces even
  • Adhesives make the tiles difficult to remove if you want a change
  • Installation must be done perfectly to prevent brittles and other premature wear

Sensitivity to Humidity

If your business has trouble with humidity, it’s important to understand that VCT might not be the best choice for you. Before installing VCT in your place of business, you should have your underlying concrete slab tested for any issues with moisture. Unfortunately, VCT flooring can be susceptible to water damage originating from the sub-flooring, making it important to keep track of, especially in areas that are most likely to have leaks such as near plumbing hubs or restrooms. From the topside, VCT can withstand water perfectly fine.

Environmental Impact

Businesses considering their environmental impact and commitment to renewability or sustainability might not be able to opt for VCT as a flooring option, no matter how affordable it might be on the outset. While this type of flooring promises easy maintenance and affordability, the main component in it is made of a soft plastic.

This plastic production is non-renewable and comes from an energy-intensive manufacturing process that releases harmful chemicals into the air. Additionally, at the end of the lifespan of VCT flooring, it cannot be easily recycled. The complex composite structure of VCT makes it challenging to recycle. Instead of breaking down into smaller materials for re-use, these materials add a significant amount of waste to the landfill, where they take a long time to degrade. The significant environmental footprint of this type of flooring is not conducive to many businesses’ goals of sustainability for the future.

A Lack of Comfortability

Any type of vinyl flooring will be a hard surface, which might not be ideal in settings where people are required to stand for prolonged periods. Whether this is at the nurses station, the hostess desk, or even in areas where individuals may have to queue, this can be a concern for many people. The lack of cushioning can lead to discomfort, and raise the level of frustration for individuals that spend a lot of time on the floor.

If you have any concerns about the suitability of this material for your building, don’t hesitate to ask a member of our staff for a recommendation. Our project managers have experience working with VCT and other products, and we’ll be more than happy to help you find the commercial flooring solution to meet your needs.

What is VCT in Commercial Flooring?

Unlike other types of flooring, VCT is much more durable. It gets its durability from its composition of limestone and other fillers which are compressed tightly together during production. As its name states, it is a composite material consisting of a range of ground-up materials.

The main constituent of VCT is polyvinyl chloride, or better-known as PVC. This overall-flexible plastic provides the foundation of its durability and stain-resistance. Fortunately, because PVC is so inexpensive, VCT is cheap to produce, and those savings are passed on to the end consumer. Commercial businesses often select the flooring type for its economical advantage.

How Much Does Commercial VCT Cost?

The biggest advantage many commercial businesses see in VCT is its affordability. Because of its composite nature and the ability to be created with rather inexpensive materials, the price per square foot is next to nothing. The cost to install the material can range anywhere from $2-5 per square foot, while the material itself can go as low as $1 per square foot.

There are few flooring options as inexpensive as this type of flooring, making it an excellent choice for a business on a budget. This type of flooring even beats the average peel-and-stick or glue-down flooring type per square foot, which easily come to $3-5 per square foot for the lower-priced items.

While VCT is inexpensive, it’s important to note that the more complex the design or the thicker the material, the more expensive it will get. $1 is the lowest end of the range per square foot, which will provide you with simpler design options and less creative patterns. Unless you are looking to mimic stone and marble, however, these options are typically suitable for the commercial retailer or hospital.

Can You Put VCT in a Commercial Kitchen?

Yes, you can absolutely put VCt in a commercial kitchen. VCT is a great choice for commercial kitchens, in fact. Because of their stain resistance and ability to withstand heavy foot traffic, commercial kitchens are commonly outfitted with this flooring type as it requires only a minimal amount of maintenance for its lifespan.

In the commercial kitchen space, however, maintenance may become more of an issue. While these areas are prone to spills and stains with a range of temperatures, it’s important to ensure the kitchen is cleaned on a regular basis. Often for restaurants and rental kitchens, this means thoroughly cleaning the space after every day of service. Sweeping and mopping are recommended, but VCT is durable enough to also withstand a significant amount of spraying.

Over time, you may recognize the need to strip and reseal the flooring surface to ensure it keeps its shine and polish, particularly in areas that see more frequent spraying or foot traffic throughout the years.

It’s also important to note that while VCT is resistant to water, it is not waterproof, and should not be exposed to standing water. Water should never be allowed to puddle on VCT flooring, as this can cause expansion and cracking of the tiles. During cleaning, water should be thoroughly mopped away and dried before leaving the kitchen.

What Companies Make VCT Flooring?

There are a wide range of companies that make VCT flooring, from Mannington Commercial to Forbo Flooring Systems. Armstrong Commercial Flooring is another strong contender in the VCT space.

Often, the differentiating factors between these flooring companies are the patterns they include and their price points. VCT flooring is largely the same, with some brands creating flooring that is a little thicker, or a little denser than the other.

The key to selecting the right VCT flooring manufacturer is in selecting the pattern or design that you want for your business. If you are adding VCT flooring to the space in the future, you may want to consider selecting from the same manufacturer to ensure the same texture and density.

The manufacturers of VCT flooring are not the same as retailers or installers of VCT flooring. These contractors are typically local installation companies, such as Surface Design Solutions, who can help you select the right flooring type and manufacturer based on your needs.

The Perfect Flooring for Your Building

When it’s time to install new floors in your commercial facility, turn to Surface Design Solutions for a wide selection of products to meet your stylistic and budgetary sensibilities. You have a lot invested in your business, so don’t let inferior materials give your headquarters an outdated appearance. We can help you with every aspect of your project from bidding to project management and installation. To schedule an appointment with a member of our staff, contact us online or call 585-444-0105 today.

Posted on June 8, 2017.

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