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What is Resilient Flooring?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
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Resilient flooring is designed to be durable, resistant to stains and water, and comfortable to stand and work on. There are a wide range of styles within this category, at a range of price points from very affordable to more expensive luxury brands of flooring. Many flooring stores stock resilient products, and they typically provide samples for interested customers to examine.

The most common types of resilient flooring are made from materials like cork, vinyl, linoleum, and rubber. These materials are all known for being extremely sturdy, and they also possess a natural springiness, especially when installed over a sprung subfloor. Springy flooring is much more comfortable to stand on, making it a popular choice for kitchens, hospitals, retail stores, and other environments where people spend a lot of time on their feet. Cork and rubber are especially good for this, providing support and a springy surface that is enjoyable to walk on.

Another common trait of this flooring is resistance to stains, which includes food, dirt, and liquids. Some floors are treated with an upper layer of wax to make them even more stain resistant and easier to clean. This flooring also resists penetration by water, making it less likely to become a breeding ground for mold and mildew, which can make a home unhealthy to be in. It also reduces the risk of damage to the subfloor.

The materials used to make resilient flooring can also resist scuffing and damage from rolling furniture, dollies, or furniture that is dragged across the floor. They can also withstand high foot traffic, which can be very convenient in a home with children and pets. Flooring materials like cork and rubber are also used in dairies and stables, which goes to show you how sturdy they are; if they can support horses, they can handle busy human traffic.

Vinyl and linoleum flooring tend to be on the lower end of price scale, and they come in a wide range of colors and styles that can mesh with an assortment of design schemes. Rubber flooring can be more expensive, and less exciting to look at, since it is typically a dull black. Some flooring companies also make rubber floor pads that can be locked together for use in high traffic areas, allowing people to create a section of resilient flooring where it is needed most. Cork floors tend to be the most expensive, and they can be quite beautiful, as cork has a natural pattern that is very distinctive.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a HomeQuestionsAnswered researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon129407 — On Nov 23, 2010

We bought the resilient flooring from Home Depot, and after six months it is wearing away and you can see white underneath. Both in our dining room and kitchen. don't waste your money. Get some real tile or something that will last. This stuff is not all that cheap. Maybe OK, for a bathroom, but why buy cheap junk.

By entrepreneur — On Jul 15, 2010

When I was starting a restaurant, I bought an existing establishment that needed some renovation. Some of the features of the place were not up to current codes, but they were grandfathered in.

I would have lost the grandfathering of everything if I made even a single "major" renovation. Some things that qualified as "major" included putting in a new kitchen hood, or changing the plumbing.

Adding or changing non-resilient flooring (such as ceramic tile) also constituted a major renovation according to the local building codes. In other words, I was incentivized to keep the sheet vinyl flooring.

By showered72 — On Jul 14, 2010

For those who want an affordable and attractive option for resilient flooring, vinyl wood flooring is an excellent option. Wood flooring has long been a desirable choice because of its rich, aesthetic appeal. However, real wood flooring is quite expensive. Luckily, there are many companies that offer vinyl flooring designed to look like the wood type. It is used as either sheet vinyl or tile vinyl and is a sensible yet beautiful choice.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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