Top 9 Benefits Of Rubber Flooring
DECEMBER 14, 2023
- What is rubber flooring made of?
- Rubber flooring types
- Rubber floor tiles
- Rubber floor mats
- Rubber floor rolls
- Pros & cons of rubber flooring
- Advantages of rubber flooring
- Disadvantages of rubber flooring
- Where can rubber flooring be used?
- Best conditions for rubber flooring installation
- Hardwood flooring
- Flat concrete
- Ceramic tile
- Maintenance of rubber flooring
Rubber floor coating has lately found application in various premises, from living areas and sports facilities to commercial and industrial spaces. Considering all the countless benefits of rubber flooring over other materials, it is no wonder.
In this article, we’ll delve into rubber flooring, what it is made from, the pros and cons of rubber flooring, installation and maintenance considerations, and more. Whether you are a homeowner looking for a durable and easy-to-clean flooring option for your kitchen or home gym or a business owner searching for a perfect surface for a commercial area and wishing to know all the advantages and disadvantages of rubber flooring, this article has you covered.
What is rubber flooring made of?
Currently, you can find two main methods of producing rubber – synthetic and natural raw materials-based.
Producing natural rubber includes using rubber tree sap. This kind of rubber is way more renewable and biodegradable, being the choice of any eco-conscious consumer,
On the contrary, synthetic rubber involves petroleum-based materials. Although it might not seem as environmentally friendly as the purest natural rubber, many producers use recycled rubber as their raw material, adding to their sustainability and eco-friendliness.
Rubber flooring types
To maximize the rubber flooring advantages for you, select the proper type of rubber flooring. There are currently a few kinds of rubber floorings in the market, with their features and benefits.
Rubber floor tiles
Rubber flooring tiles are the most popular kind of rubber flooring due to their versatility and ability to fit into almost any design. In addition, interlocking rubber tiles can be easily cut into different shapes and sizes. They can ensure a secure fit, and you can replace individual pieces, which makes this option reasonably cost-effective.
Rubber floor mats
Rubber mats are an incredibly versatile option that is easy to install on a hard, flat surface, offering extra cushion and thickness to any area. They come in various sizes and thicknesses, from smaller and thinner mats for home gym flooring to thicker mats for fitness centers and commercial gyms. Rubber mats can be used independently, or you can install mats with interlocking edges next to one another to cover a larger area.
Rubber floor rolls
Rubber floor rolls are an option for covering larger spaces with fewer seams than interlocking tiles. They typically come in sheets of four feet per to fifty feet, making it possible to cover an entire room using just one or two rolls. Rubber flooring rolls are often used in workout areas, healthcare facilities, and other commercial instances.
Pros & cons of rubber flooring
Advantages of rubber flooring
Doubtlessly, one of the most significant benefits of rubber flooring is its incredible durability, making it an ideal choice for high-traffic areas. It can withstand heavy use without wearing out or showing signs of damage for decades. Moreover, rubber floors are stain-resistant, an excellent option for spaces requiring easy maintenance.
Rubber surfaces are remarkably resistant to slipping, making them a safe flooring solution for schools, nursing homes, playground surfaces, hospitals, pools, and other wet areas.
The natural elasticity and flexibility of rubber make for resilient and shock-absorbent flooring that is water-resistant and can withstand heavy impact, pressure, and foot traffic without breaking or denting. Still, it is crucial to mention that if you want to install rubber flooring outdoors or in a place like a weight-lifting gym, consider going for a coat at least one inch thick. Otherwise, constant impacts and weather conditions might shorten the lifespan of your flooring.
One of the most outstanding benefits of rubber flooring is that it’s an easy-to-clean surface that requires minimal maintenance. Rubber floors are resistant to stains, dirt, and moisture, so that regular cleaning can be done with a damp mop or cloth.
Rubber flooring can withstand extreme temperatures, so it’s welcome in cold climates. Unlike other flooring materials, rubber is non-porous and doesn’t lose elasticity and strength in subzero temperatures.
Rubber flooring can be made from recycled materials, which makes it a sustainable option. In addition, it’s long-lasting and doesn’t require frequent replacements. Rubber flooring is easy to clean and doesn’t require harsh chemicals or excessive water use.
Easy to install
Whether you opt for rubber tiles, rolls, or mats, you will have a simple and easy installation process. Moreover, interlocking rubber tiles can be easily disassembled and put away for storage.
Rubber flooring is an ultra-durable and long-lasting material able to withstand heavy traffic and high-impact activities. Due to this, it boasts a longer lifespan than other common flooring options, saving you money in the long run.
As stated before, most rubber is made of either natural biodegradable components or recycled rubber, making the production and disposal of rubber flooring exceptionally eco-friendly. Even if the initial rubber product was produced using petroleum-based materials, most rubber is regularly reused, making it an almost zero-waste material.
Disadvantages of rubber flooring
Despite its indisputable benefits as a flooring material, rubber comes with a few downsides that are worth considering:
- Scent. Rubber flooring can have a strong smell, especially when it is fresh.
- Cost. Decent rubber flooring can be relatively pricey compared to other flooring options.
- Discoloration. Due to long-lasting exposure to external factors, like UV light, chemicals, humidity, and high temperatures, rubber floors can fade and lose color.
Where can rubber flooring be used?
Rubber flooring can be used indoors and outdoors in various settings in both residential areas and commercial facilities.
It can often be seen indoors in gyms, playrooms, hospitals, and commercial kitchens since it offers excellent slip resistance while being comfortable underfoot. Plus, it’s often used in offices, which helps isolate noise and provides an anti-fatigue surface with excellent sound absorption for staff. Thanks to its moisture-resistant properties, rubber flooring is popular for basements, laundry rooms, and other wet environments.
Outdoors: this material is a widespread solution for rubber crumb driveways and sidewalks. In addition, rubber pool deck and poured-in-place rubber playground surface are becoming increasingly popular due to their slip-resistant properties, durability, and ability to withstand exposure to sunlight and moisture. Rubber flooring is also a common choice for horse stalls and barns, providing a surface for horses and livestock that is non-slip and soft underfoot.
Best conditions for rubber flooring installation
When installing rubber flooring, it’s vital to ensure the subfloor is flat and smooth, without any uneven spaces, cracks, or gaps that could cause the flooring to bulge. In addition, it’s crucial to install rubber flooring in dry areas, as moisture underneath the flooring can lead to mold and mildew growth. The most common surfaces suitable for rubber installation include hardwood, concrete, and ceramic tile. Let’s take a closer look at each.
Working with a hardwood surface, ensure it’s flat and smooth — any imperfections or bumps in the hardwood feed into an uneven rubber surface. Also, it’s crucial to ensure no loose boards or gaps between the planks. Finally, it’s recommended to use an underlayment or adhesive to provide additional cushioning and support for the rubber flooring.
Installing rubber flooring over flat concrete is the easiest installation option. Still, you should ensure the concrete is completely clean and dry before installation — moisture or debris can make the rubber flooring buckle or warp. Also, check the concrete for cracks or imperfections, which can cause an uneven surface.
Lastly, when installing rubber flooring over ceramic tile, remember that this type of surface is often uneven and has grout lines that can interfere with the adhesive. The self-leveling compound over the ceramic tile is recommended to create a flat and smooth surface for rubber flooring, filling in grout lines and other imperfections.
Maintenance of rubber flooring
Lastly, here are some maintenance tips to help you extend the life of your rubber flooring.
- Clean up any spills as soon as they occur — this will prevent water damage to the adhesive underlay.
- Alternate dry and wet cleaning — vacuuming or sweeping will help deal with dirt and debris, while cleaning with a mop, microfiber cloth, or a soft-bristled brush works best with stains.
- The floor must be dry — be sure to dry the flooring completely to prevent mold or mildew development.
- Establish a regular cleaning schedule — this will help reduce the accumulation of dirt, keeping your floor looking fresh and new at all times.
- Take special care of your rubber floor during the first year — it will harden over time and become more resistant to wear and dirt.
- For different types of stains, use suiting detergents — a mixture of warm water and dish soap works best for food or beverage stains; warm water and a mild detergent, like laundry detergent or dish soap, can help deal with oil-based stains, while alcohol or mineral spirits can help with paint or permanent markers.