PVC Flooring Installation & Maintenance requirements

Installation

For specific product information related to installation and maintenance, contact the manufacturer or visit the manufacturer's web site. In general, resilient flooring should be installed after all other finishing or construction trade operations, including painting, have been completed. Vinyl floors can be installed over wood, concrete or, in some cases, existing flooring. However, subflooring should be clean, smooth, of high quality and as flat as possible.

After installation, rolling loads and heavy traffic should be avoided until the adhesive sets hard. Plywood or hardboard panels must be used to move furniture, appliances or equipment onto a recently installed vinyl floor. Rests, glides or casters are recommended for permanent use under heavy furniture and appliances.

Following is a brief overview of other installation requirements for most vinyl floors:

  • Room temperature of not less than 65 F (18.3 C) and no greater than 85 F (29.4 C) for at least 48 hours previous to, during and 48 hours after installation or until flooring has become thoroughly bonded to the subfloor.
  • Dry subfloor with temperature approximately the same as the air in the room. Flooring materials, adhesives and accessories at the same temperature as the air in the room. (In winter, flooring should be stored in a warm room for at least 48 hours before installation.)
  • Room well ventilated to carry off any excess moisture in the air.
  • Low relative humidity.

Unless the above conditions can be met, it would be advisable to delay the job and wait for better conditions.

Cost

Vinyl is a cost-effective flooring material when considering both initial and lifecycle cost. Vinyl lasts considerably longer than carpet and can, therefore, save money on repairs and replacement installations. According to Flooring Magazine (November 1999), vinyl flooring typically costs less than other hard-surface floors.
Maintenance requirements

Overall, vinyl is tough, resistant to scratching, scuffing, staining, indentation and other daily abuse. This durability is especially critical in commercial settings where routine wear and tear take their toll on floors. Vinyl floors maintain their good looks even in heavy traffic areas.

The thickness of a vinyl floor's wear layer is an important element in determining its performance and ease of maintenance. The thickness is generally measured in mils, or thousandths of an inch. Higher-quality vinyl floors may also utilize a urethane wear layer, for special property enhancement, while lower-priced floors generally feature a vinyl wear layer to protect the underlying pattern. In general, a urethane wear layer makes the floor easier to clean and more stain-resistant.

Some of the most abusive substances to any floor are tracked-in dirt and grime, which can wear away the surface of the floor. As with any material, proper cleaning and maintenance are critical to the long life and beauty of a vinyl floor.

Regular maintenance should include daily sweeping or dust-mopping, as removal of gritty dirt is extremely important. Floors should be damp-mopped with a neutral detergent. Spills should be wiped up before they dry with a clean white cloth dampened with warm water. To control tracked-in dirt, grit or stains from asphalt and oil in driveways, non-staining doormats should be placed at entrances. (Some rubber or foam-backed doormats can cause surface staining.)

Commercial floors will require periodic spray-buffing and application of a high quality commercial floor polish, which will help the floor resist staining and enhance its appearance. If staining does occur, the floor should be stripped, following the manufacturer's instructions. Consult the manufacturer for stain removal instructions.