10/01/2007

Why the Resurgence of Rubber Flooring?

New choices and options put the spotlight on rubber flooring

 

The Benefits of Rubber

  • Ease of maintenance. Rubber flooring is inherently easy to maintain. Typically, a floor finish is recommended but not required because most rubber floors can be buffed to a nice luster. Day-to-day cleaning consists of a neutral cleaner (soap) and water.
  • Life-cycle cost. Rubber has been proven by several studies to be one of the most cost-efficient selections for flooring installations. Rubber's durability, low costs associated with finishing and maintenance, and wide product offering make it the perfect solution for your long-term installations.
  • Safety. Rubber has natural slip-resistant properties and provides tremendous comfort underfoot. Add cork into the rubber flooring and you have one of the most slip-resistant products in the flooring industry. Non-skid rubber products reduce slip/fall incidences on floors and in stairwells of public areas.

By Jeremy Whipple

Rubber flooring has historically been lauded for its durability, ease of maintenance, and life-cycle costing; unfortunately, it has lagged behind carpet and laminate products in terms of design and innovation. The lack of design innovations has caused rubber flooring to be used in "back-of-the-house" applications where durability and maintenance took precedence over aesthetics. Now, however, multiple flooring manufacturers are using new textures, colorways, and the positive environmental impacts from their products to push their products back into the mainstream and, thus, into the showcase areas of commercial installations.

The days of repeating discs, diamonds, and squares as the only options in rubber flooring are no more. Non-repeating patterns utilizing basket weaves, circles, parquets, and linear patterns as seen in carpet tile, broken ceramic motifs, etc., have recently been introduced with tremendous fanfare from the design community. Combine these new textures with colors updated to stay current with color trends and you have a surge of interest in rubber flooring for new applications. For example, school and hospital hallways could use warm color schemes with new textures, or commercial office settings could display deep, rich colors in parquet patterns fit for a boardroom or reception area.

NeoCon® World's Trade Fair 2007 in Chicago saw the culmination of this new trend in rubber flooring with multiple flooring manufacturers incorporating new colors and textures into their current product lines. Multiple patterns within each tile and within a tile group were introduced and have revolutionized how designers see rubber flooring being used in the future. Add in floor finishes that mimic ceramic finishes and surface textures that incorporate new materials like cork, and you have a dynamic change in how rubber flooring will be viewed and used.

Another trend in rubber flooring is its positive impact on LEED projects and the overall contributions of rubber flooring products to the environmental movement. Numerous manufacturers are using recycled rubber in production. This recycled rubber comes from multiple sources such as passenger vehicle tires and commercial truck tires, and from ground gasket and liner trimmings. The ability to use post-consumer recycled material in new products gives rubber manufacturers a leg up when contributions to LEED certification are the deciding factor on what products are used. In addition to recycled rubber, some manufacturers are using natural rubber in their product compounds. Natural rubber taken from rubber trees is a renewable resource and can be integrated in rubber flooring products along with synthetic rubber, thus providing a contribution to projects seeking LEED certification.

Rubber products in flooring - including rubber tiles, sheet goods, stair treads, wall base, and accessories - are on the upswing, and facility managers and designers are focusing on rubber as the new solution to their flooring needs. Join the tremendous number of facility managers, architects, and interior designers checking out this resurgence. 

Jeremy Whipple is marketing manager at Fostoria, OH-based Roppe Corp. (www.roppe.com).

 

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Connectrac wireways offer discrete power and technology connectivity in open interior spaces of all kinds; affordably, quickly and with long-term flexibility.



When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.

Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.


Mitsubishi Electric’s H2i R2-Series heat pumps provide 100% heating capacity down to 0° F and simultaneous heating and cooling down to -4° F delivering year-round comfort, regardless of climate zone.

 
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