Resilient Floors: Selection Chart

Resilient flooring materials include man-made compounds, plus a few natural products. Your choice will certainly be guided by cost, but other factors will also shape your final selection; these are listed in the chart below. Products manufactured from a natural material base—such as cork, rubber, and wood—are generally more expensive than the entirely man made products, with the exception of top-of-the-line solid vinyl. Where you plan to install the floor is an important consideration in selection. Some materials are more resistant than others to grease and oil, water, temperature changes, denting, or chemicals. For instance, rubber is an excellent choice for a darkroom because it is especially chemical-resistant. On the other hand, it doesn’t resist grease and oil well, so it may not be the best choice for kitchens. Unless they have cushion backing, the lighter-gauge flexible resilients will mold to any irregularities in the subfloor; the smoothness of the subsurface underlayment for the floor is crucial. The chart lists the characteristics of different resilient materials to help you make the best selection for your particular flooring needs.

20 (clockwise) Resilient sheet goods come in a wide variety of patterns such as this grid-over-grid design; Inexpensive resilient tile materials can attractively simulate grouted ceramic or masonry flooring; Resilient sheet goods, as well as tiles, can attractively simulate natural materials, such as this ceramic tile design; In neutral, monochromatic tones, pattern can be more intricate without appearing overwhelmingly busy.



Solid Vinyl and Cushioned Vinyl

Vinyl Composition


Vinyl-Coated Cork

Polyurethane Wood

Color, Pattern, and Texture

Wide range of colors and patterns; may be laminated with fabric, wood, marble chips; smooth or embossed surfaces.

Many colors and patterns, colors marbleized or solid, smooth or embossed surfaces.

Handful of solid and marbleized colors; surface may be smooth, ribbed, or studded.

Limited range of natural cork colors; smooth surfaces.

Limited range of wood grain and colors; smooth surfaces.


Grease and oil resistant; susceptible to heat; cushioned vinyl may dent. Medium to heavy-duty gauges.

Good for damp areas, properly seamed. Good resistance to chemicals. Light-, medium-, and heavy- duty gauges.

Good for damp areas. Very good resistance to most chemicals. Susceptible to grease and oil stains. Heavy-duty gauges.

Grease and oil resistant, susceptible to heat; cushioned vinyl may dent. Medium- to heavy-duty gauges.

Excellent resistance to dents. Heavy-duty gauges.


Cushioned materials are very comfortable underfoot. Good sound insulation.

Not as resilient or sound insulating as solid vinyl.

Very comfortable underfoot. Good sound insulation.

Very comfortable underfoot. Good sound insulation,

Hard underfoot. Good sound insulation.

Maintenance Requirements

Use solvent-based or water-based waxes and polishes. Damp mop; avoid excess water.

Use water-based products only.

Use water-based products only. Requires frequent polishing,

Use solvent-based or water-based waxes and polishes. Damp mop; avoid excess water.

Use water-based products; avoid excess water.

Relative Cost


Low to medium.

Medium to high.


Medium to high.

(clockwise) Resilient tiles made of solid vinyl effectively simulate pearl, creating a subtle, luminescent, marbleized effect; Resilient tile can be made of natural materials such as cork or leather, giving the floor a rich texture; Resilient sheet goods include materials, which are available in a variety of colors and configurations; Patterned resilient sheet goods give the effect of solid color when the pattern is created by tiny, random elements.

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Thursday, 2013-06-20 21:31