Various kinds of rubber flooring are available, and while they are all technically “rubber,” their properties are not the same. So if you are shopping for one, it pays to know the various types available. Although they may look similar, the difference in their properties can be significant.
Three types are commonly available, namely recycled, synthetic and natural.
- Synthetic rubbers are made from petroleum, are low impact and generally energy efficient. What makes synthetic rubber attractive is the fact that it is extremely durable and lasts longer than other types of rubberised flooring. It is more expensive than regular rubber, but the initial high cost is offset by its long life.
- Natural rubber is made from latex, and it is also popular with many customers, but the drawback is that some people are allergic to it.
- Recycled rubberised flooring is very popular with certain sectors, as they are environmentally friendly. Made from recycled rubber like those on old automobile tires, it is very durable and is also low impact. Another benefit of recycled rubber floors is they are very cheap as the cost of manufacturing is lower compared to synthetic rubber. Even though recycled rubber is inexpensive, it is very durable and in many cases, much stronger than natural rubber. These floorings are also versatile and can be used in different areas around your house.
Lifespan and Durability
One of the nice things about the different types of rubber flooring is that they have a long lifespan, and are very resilient, capable of lasting two decades or more if properly taken care of. Given this fact, it is not surprising that many people prefer them. They are also less expensive than sheet rubber because if one of the tiles is damaged, it can be replaced easily. This is of course much cheaper than having to replace the entire sheet rubber floor. If adhesive was not applied during installation, then the flooring is open to recycling, thus extending its life even more.
The wide array of colours available is even more varied than before. When rubberised flooring became popular in the 1970s grey and black were the most popular choices and they are still available if you want traditional shades. But as the years went by more colours appeared including reds, yellows, blues, and more. In fact there are now patterns and colours to choose from, and your flooring can have a matte or glossy appearance.
Rubber floors, no matter what type, don’t have to be drab, but can be vibrant, subdued or neon. While smooth floors are still popular, there are also textured floors and are preferred by many since they are not slippery.
Some low quality rubberised floors have a distinct smell, and while it is not offensive you will certainly notice it. If you find that the one you bought has an odour, do not install it in a confined space, or it will become more conspicuous. However, odour is usually not a problem when you buy high quality rubber flooring.