Rubber or PVC floor? - The comparison

from Tobias KleinUpdated on 07.12.2022

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It depends on where the floor will be laid and what you expect from him. Both types have their specific properties.

At first glance, the fabrics look similar, but do not be fooled. The composition is different, and from this also depends on the different properties. Rubber tiles are made of rubber granules, which are connected with a polyurethane adhesive. The PVC variant has the material in its name - it is polyvinyl chloride (a type of plastic), which is injected into molds, for example.

Durability and resistance

Rubber floors are very resistant. They do not mind chemicals, cigarette butts and even rain, wind and snow. Therefore, they can be used outdoors without any problems. However, due to the influence of solar radiation, over time they lose their color and original luster. If the floor is selected in an appropriate thickness, it can withstand high loads, so it can also be used for industrial objects or stables. Read more about what criteria should be used to select a floor covering for stables.
PVC tiles are not recommended for outdoor use, but the better are their properties in indoor areas. In addition to resistance to chemicals and cigarette butts, the same as rubber tiles, PVC is also resistant to large loads. Therefore, it is suitable for garages and factories where heavy machinery is moved. Moreover, thanks to the system of draining channels, specially designed for terramondi tiles, excess moisture can be drained, preventing the formation of mold. The PVC tiles terramondi are sold with up to twelve-year wear warranty, with proper maintenance, the service life is up to 25 years. Rubber flooring is usually not offered such a long warranty.

Sound absorption and thermal insulation

From this point of view, both materials are comparable. Rubber and PVC have excellent sound and heat insulation properties. Rubber is a little more comfortable when standing for a long time because it is soft, PVC is again more suitable for machines. terramondi uses a pattern for the tiles that makes the floor non-slip. It works similarly for the rubber floors, variants with a non-slip surface are also produced.

Choice of colors and types

Rubber tiles are available in various designs, they are popular in the version for children's playgrounds with a classic square or rectangular shape or in the form of puzzle pieces. The choice of colors is even greater. The colors can be well combined, thus on the floor different patterns are possible.

The PVC tiles terramondi do not yet exist in different shapes. They were designed to make laying as simple as possible, so they are square and fit exactly into each other. Color options are wide, and you can create colorful works of art on the floor.

Effort of laying

The profiled and non-profiled tiles of rubber require different conditions during installation. The first variant has a profiled surface on the underside, so that it remains stable even on gravel floors. The second variant is used for concrete floors. On gravel floors, the tiles understandably do not need to be glued if you choose composite tiles, which means that the tiles can be removed at any time and re-installed in another place. On concrete floors, they are usually glued with polyurethane adhesives.
PVC tiles terramondi also do not need to be glued. It is enough to level the original subfloor and lay the tiles. Individual tiles fit perfectly into each other, all you need is a rubber mallet and a knife. This is also related to the next advantage that rubber tiles also have - the PVC tiles can be removed at any time and laid in another place. And if a tile is damaged, it can be replaced without any problems.

Ecology and environmental protection

From this point of view, both variants are the same. Rubber tiles can be recycled - crushed and recycled. This also applies to PVC tiles, which can be recycled and repressed. Both variants are ecological and environmentally friendly, and also not harmful from the health point of view. They are made of materials that are safe for health, modern PVC tiles certainly do not contain phthalates and other hazardous substances that can occur in plastics.

For what areas are suitable PVC floors and rubber floors?

Rubber flooring is also suitable for outdoor areas. A typical use is that for children's playgrounds or in gymnasiums, because these floorings are soft, and children do not hurt themselves when they fall. They are also used around swimming pools, for terraces and balconies or garden paths. Therefore, you can see that they are used more for outdoor areas, of course, nothing against also using them for children's play areas, warehouses or workshops.

PVC floors are laid only in interior areas. Very often these floors are seen in garages workshops or large industrial halls. They also look good in basements, showrooms, stores, car repair stores or fitness centers.

In many rooms, both variants can be used without any problems. It just depends on your wishes. Is easier installation and a guaranteed life of 12 years more important for you, or a soft surface and a wider choice of tile shapes?

Tobias Klein

Tobias Klein

Tobias Klein writes for terramondi technical articles about PVC tiles.
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