Welcome to our comprehensive guide on rubber flooring! In this blog, we’ll dive into the types of rubber flooring, how it’s made, and what you should consider when choosing rubber flooring, including advantages and disadvantages, as well as aftercare tips.
What is rubber flooring?
Rubber flooring is a type of flooring material made from either natural or synthetic rubber. It is known for its durability, elasticity and resilience, making it a popular choice in commercial settings.
How is rubber flooring made?
The manufacturing process of rubber flooring involves the transformation of either natural or synthetic rubber into a durable flooring material.
Natural rubber flooring
Natural rubber flooring involves harvesting latex sap from rubber trees. The sap is then turned into solid rubber through milling and drying. Additives are mixed in, and the rubber is then shaped into sheets. In order to make it strong, it has to be heated and treated with sulfur (known as vulcanisation). The natural rubber is then able to be cut into tiles or rolls.
Synthetic rubber flooring
Synthetic rubber flooring is made from chemicals (monomers and additives) that form a strong chain. Once this chemical compound has been made, it is put through a machine that helps shape the rubber into sheets. Like natural rubber flooring, it has to go through vulcanisation to make it tough.
Once natural or synthetic rubber flooring is made, finishing touches such as embossing or coating can be added to enhance the appearance and performance of the flooring.
Natural and synthetic rubber flooring both offer advantages, and the choice between them depends on factors like costs, specific requirements and environmental considerations.
Types of rubber flooring
Various types of rubber flooring cater to different needs and preferences. If you are looking for a smooth surface, sheet rubber flooring is the go-to for a sleek look and is ideal for spaces with high foot traffic.
Rubber tiles may be suitable if you are looking for a more flexible option with easy installation. They offer many benefits, including shock absorption and sound insulation, and they provide a soft touch underfoot, making them a popular choice for gyms and play areas.
Another type of rubber flooring available is interlocking rubber flooring, a puzzle-like design that does not require the need for adhesives, making it easy to install
Why choose rubber flooring
When looking at flooring options for your commercial space, choosing rubber flooring goes beyond just thinking about the appearance of your space; you need to consider the benefits and drawbacks in terms of practicality. Below, we have listed a few:
Benefits of rubber flooring
Rubber flooring is highly durable, can withstand vast amounts of heavy foot traffic, and resist wear and tear. This means it’s ideal for spaces where a long-lasting solution is needed, such as areas like gyms.
Rubber flooring provides a soft, comfortable underfoot, making it beneficial for places where people stand for extended periods, such as commercial kitchens and factories.
Rubber flooring is naturally slip-resistant and shock-absorbent. The natural traction of rubber helps to prevent slips and adds protection in areas prone to accidents. These qualities make it ideal in places where safety is essential, such as healthcare facilities.
Disadvantages of rubber flooring
One drawback of rubber flooring is that the initial cost can be higher than other options. While the long-term durability will make it worth it, the upfront cost may need to be considered if budget restraints exist.
Vulnerability to chemicals:
In general, rubber flooring is resistant to many substances, it can be vulnerable to certain types, and exposure over time will lead to degradation and discolouration. Examples include oils and grease, often found in garages, which can break down rubber flooring over time. Strong acids such as sulfuric acid can erode and destroy rubber, so laboratories handling corrosive substances should consider this when choosing rubber flooring.
One of the most significant advantages of rubber flooring is that it is relatively easy to maintain. Below, we have provided our top tips to keep your rubber flooring looking fresh:
- Have a regular cleaning routine, ensuring you regularly sweep to remove debris and clean with a damp mop. When opting for cleaning agents, choose gentle solutions that don’t compromise the material’s integrity.
- Have preventative measures to stop the rubber flooring from becoming damaged, such as using protective mats, possibly having a no-shoe policy and a prompt spill response.
- Minimise exposure to direct sunlight, as rubber flooring can become discoloured.
We hope you have found this blog helpful in determining whether rubber flooring is the best choice for your needs.
See below for frequently asked questions, and if you have any other rubber flooring-related questions, please contact us, and we’ll be more than happy to help.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, rubber flooring in generally waterproof, making it suitable for areas prone to moisture
No, rubber flooring is not toxic. It is safe and non-toxic flooring option
Rubber flooring can last for many years, often more than a decade. But this can depend on factors such as usage and maintenance
While not always necessary, using an underlayment can enhance comfort and insulation. This can depend on specific installation requirements
Yes, rubber flooring is ideal for heavy equipment use due to its durability, shock absorption and resistance to wear and tear.