Semi Hard Flooring Finishes for Interiors
Types of Semi Hard Flooring
Linoleum is made up from natural ingredients, linseed oil, ground cork, resin, fillers and pigments. These are baked slowly at high temperatures and pressed onto a jute or Hessian backing.
It is a misunderstood product as in its early form it was thin and brittle but with new production methods and design development it is fast becoming a popular flexible flooring choice. It is available in numerous color combinations and can be plain, patterned or in a marbleised look.
It is warm and quiet underfoot. It requires sealing with a polish as if water penetrates under the surface it will lift. It comes in sheet or tile form and is fixed to the floor with an adhesive.
Rubber is made from natural or synthetic rubber, fillers and pigments. It is available in single colours with relief patterns or marbled. It comes in sheet form or tiles cut from sheets. The sheet form is available with foam rubber backing which provides a form of sound insulation. It has good wear properties, is resilient and tough, warm and quiet underfoot. It can be loose laid on concrete.
Cork is a natural product that comes from the bark of the evergreen oak. It is most commonly available in tiles. These are cut from blocks of granulated cork that has been compressed with binders and baked. It wears well, is warm and quiet underfoot.
Most commonly found in its natural color, warm gold to dark brown, it can be purchased colored from specific suppliers. It has good insulating properties and is very resilient. There are different grades, qualities and thicknesses available. It is not to be used with underfloor heating, as it will lift. After laying with an adhesive it should be sealed with polyurethane. A lightweight tile can be used for wall tiles.
This comprises of PVC, resin binder, fillers and pigments. It is a very versatile product as it comes in numerous thicknesses, textures, patterns and colors. It is waterproof, oil and fat resistant, hardwearing and not effected by most household chemicals.
As it is flexible it can be coved up walls to create a watertight floor. For non-slip varieties, quartz crystals or Carborundum are impregnated into the product. This works very well but it makes the floor very difficult to clean. Depending on the vinyl, some can be welded, which means the joins are also made watertight. Vinyl is fixed to a well-prepared substrate free of lumps, bumps and dirt with adhesive. Vinyl is quiet and warm underfoot, and can be used with underfloor heating. It is available in sheet and tile form and for added acoustic benefits some manufactures sell a foam cushion backed product. Vinyl is easy to care for, only requiring a sweep / vacuum and a wet mop.
Non slip vinyl used on this accessible shower floor and standard vinyl to the walls.
For more types of flooring options look below.