Commercial Vinyl Composition Tile (VCT)

New Vinyl Composition Tile - Installations

American Biltrite - Makers of Colors Plus VCT
Armstrong
Azrock by Tarkett - Makers of VCT, VET, and SVT
Congoleum - Residential and Commercial Resilient Flooring
Mannington Commercial
Mohawk Factoring Inc - Makers of Durkan, Daltile, Bigelow, Lees, Aladdin, Merrit, Quick Step, Columbia, American Olean, Marazzi, and More
Tarkett

Introduction

Wolfe Flooring sells and installs a complete line of commercial goods manufactured by the top brand names in the flooring industry.

We'll make getting a flooring product easy. When you purchase products from Wolfe Flooring, you receive the added benefit of accessibility to technical knowledge, warranty care, routine maintenance and emergency service if calamities strikes for the life of the product.

Please ask us about a FREE office presentation.

We can both provide you with the products your looking for and install the choice of your dreams. Alternatively, we can provide the products without the installation service. Or, we can provide the installation service for the products you provide. The most economical choice for most customers is for us to both supply and install your flooring goods. Most often, this is also the path of least complications.

We at Wolfe Flooring commit to following the installation procedures designated by the manufactures. If the product calls for a particular brand of pressure sensitive adhesive and a specific notch trial, then that is what will be used. The durability and cosmetic appeal of your new flooring product is determined by two factors: (1) the manufacturer's production of quality goods and (2) a careful and diligent installation. We can get you the quality goods and give you the quality installation. We plan to make you happy!

Getting Ready to Select

It may have been a good five to ten years since the last time you selected a new flooring product. Infrequency makes it difficult to stay up with design trends, brand names, pricing and the myriad of other details that constitute a good choice. Please let us help. Below is a check list that simplifies the process.

Sketch a rough diagram of the floor plan. Your diagram should included the following:

  • the names of the areas (e.g., Break Room)
  • the approximate measurements
  • the type of flooring currently on the floor
  • the type of subfloor if known (e.g., wood, concrete, terrazzo)
  • the location of thresholds indicated by dotted lines
  • the volume of use and type of use (e.g., frequently used/path for pushcarts)
  • the quality of the lighting: low, medium, high

Calculate the approximate square footage of each area by multiplying the length by the width. Add 10% for overage by multiplying your total square feet by 1.10. For example, assume your room is 14 feet wide by 18 feet long.

Actual Square Footage 14' x 18' = 252 sf.
Adjusted Square Footage 252 sf. x 1.10 = 277.2 sf.

Decide how many years you want the new flooring to last. (For example, you may want to remodel in five years in order to put your business on the market.)

Gather color keys and samples of your primary colors in each area (e.g., wallpaper, drapes, paint, fabrics) or take pictures of the areas to help in the color selection.

Identify your decorating style.

Calculate your budget. And, see Pricing and Payments Policies

under About Us to learn what payment options are available.

Review your calendar to select a time for the work. Generally, you should anticipate times during the work week. Also, be sure to ask how long the project will take.

Consider what moldings you want around the edges and/or at the thresholds.

Check out our comparison chart of the different flooring products (e.g., carpet, wood, tile, etc.)

Check out our decorating ideas for ideas about styles, colors, patterns, textures, and functions.

Selecting Your Product - Product Review

Standard vinyl composition tile (VCT) is a low-priced commercial flooring product.  There are a few major manufacturers with minimal pricing differences.  Popular brands include

  • Armstrong's Excelon®
  • Mannington's Essentials®
  • Tarkett's Expressions®
  • Johnsonite's Azrock® by Tarkett

Common Specifications:

  • Size: 12″ x 12″ (305 mm x 305 mm)
  • Thickness: 1/8″ (3.2 mm)
  • Wear Layer:  Through
  • Color:  Through-Body
  • Static Load:  125 to 150 PSI
  • Carton Quantity:  45 Square Feet or 45 Pieces

VCT is known for its dappled or mottled coloration and is semi-directional.  The marbleization will never wear away because the product is solid or homogeneous.  The colors are identical on the top and bottom.  The color range is relatively limited with about 40 colors from each manufacturer.

Standard VCT is composed of 85% North American natural limestone, which makes the product very heavy and recyclable.  The composition also includes polyvinyl chloride resin, plasticizers, stabilizers, and pigments.

Application:  Vinyl composition tile is commonly found in schools, hospitals, and department stores.  VCT is not recommended for the following areas:

  • Sterile spaces (e.g., a hospital operating room),
  • Commercial kitchens and commercial food processing areas,
  • Heavy industrial areas,
  • Areas subjected to oil and grease,
  • Areas subjected to pointed spikes (e.g., golf or track shoes) will be used,
  • Areas subjected to unusually concentrated static or dynamic loads,
  • Areas where the radiant heated substrate exceeds 85° F, or
  • Exterior spaces.

Vinyl Enhanced Tile (VET) is an improved form of VCT utilizing a higher binder content than traditional VCT and about 74% natural limestone to create 400 PSI and less maintenance.

Solid Vinyl Tile (SVT)  is an improved form of VCT utilizing a higher binder content than traditional VCT and about 64% natural limestone to create 800 PSI and less maintenance.  SVT is designed for heavy commercial traffic.  SVT is made as 16" x 16" tiles.

Static Dissipative Tile (SDT) is a specialized VCT with an antistatic additive for improved electrical resistance (10^6 to 10^9 ohms).  SDT may have a lower PSI (about 75 PSI) tolerance than standard VCT (about 150 PSI).  STD is engineered to prevent an electrostatic discharge (ESD), a sudden flow of electricity.  A successful SDT must be combined with static dissipative adhesive, copper grounding strips, and static dissipative polish.

Application for SDT:  Static dissipative tile is designed for computer classrooms, data warehousing, electronic testing labs, manufacturing facilities, and hyperbaric spaces.

Slip-retardant VCT (SR-VCT):  Within VCT, there is a type manufactured as slip-retardant flooring (SR or SRF) to reduce the chance of slips.

Installation:  All vinyl composition tiles are installed using a direct-glue installation method.

Installation Preparation

The following preparations should be made before your flooring product is installed. Some of these preparations may be unrealistic given your circumstances and may not have an affect on the success of the installation. However, we've included these manufacturer and regulatory agency recommendations in hope of the optimal installation and for disclosure reasons. Manufacturers may vary slightly. The manufacturer of the product you select is the final authority for their product.

A layout should be agreed.  VCT may have accent pieces you want positioned in a certain spot in the room, or you may want the tiles angled to a particular degree.

Doors may have to be adjusted or cut at the bottom (i.e., planed) after your flooring is installed. Determinations as to whether such alterations are needed may not be possible prior to the installation. Door adjustments are priced separately. This is highly unlikely for V.C.T. installations.

Moldings are located at thresholds and around the room's perimeter. The molding may have to be removed, replaced, or added. A broad variety of moldings are available for all flooring products. Molding are made of wood, vinyl, rubber, metal, carpet, stone, and ceramic. Some moldings are designed to draw attention; while, others are designed to blend with the primary flooring products. Moldings are priced separately.

  • If you have a wood subfloor, verify that a wood subfloor has at least 18" of air above the ground. The ground in the crawl space should be covered with a vapor barrier 4 mils (0.1 mm) thick or greater.
  • If you have a concrete subfloor and it is new construction, the concrete needs to cure for 45-120 days before installing the flooring (90 day average).
  • If you have a concrete subfloor, the moisture level of the subfloor should be tested by the calcium chloride moisture test (ASTM F1869) or by the in situ probe test (ASTM F2170), which is more accurate. Moisture can deteriorate adhesives and also gender bacteria, odor, mildew, mold, rot, and water stains. Moisture in the subfloor may be the result of new concrete or ground water moisture from the outside. Testing of the subfloor should be done early in order to plan accordingly. This test is usually just a matter of formality, except in the case of new construction or below-grade subfloors.
  • Wolfe Flooring can perform this test.
  • If you have a concrete subfloor, the subfloor's pH level should be tested. As concrete cures, the hydrating moisture deposits alkali salt on the concrete's surface. The pH reading should be between 5 to 10 to be suitable for V.C.T.. Alkali can deteriorate adhesives. Testing of the subfloor should be done early in order to deal with any problem that you may possibly detect. This test is usually just a matter of formality, except in the case of new construction or below-grade subfloors.
  • Wolfe Flooring can perform this test.
  • The porosity of the subfloor (wood, concrete, etc.) should be tested. This indicates how well the adhesive will bond with the subfloor. Testing of the subfloor should be done early in order to deal with any problem that you may possibly detect. This test is usually just a matter of formality.
  • Wolfe Flooring can perform this test.
  • Customers will need to verify that the relative humidity of the building is between 30% to 70%. High humidity may cause your new V.C.T. to expand and may also hinder the adhesive's curing time. Most customers have the proper relative humidity.
  • Wolfe Flooring can perform this test.
  • Please condition the room to between 65° and 100° F (suggested 75°) for 48 hours before the installation. The slab temperature should not be below 50° F on the day of installation. If you have a radiant-heated floor system, please set the floor to 70° for 24 hours before the installation.
  • After the temperature has been properly set, acclimatize the new V.C.T. to the room 48 hours prior to the installation. Never stack V.C.T. more than 5 boxes high. Alternatively, we can acclimatize the product in our warehouse.
  • Please, pick up all personal items from the floor, and secure all delicate breakables (e.g., trash cans and picture frames) prior to our arrival.
  • Please, disassemble complicated electrical equipment like computers prior to our arrival.
  • If the building is new construction, the building should be presented broom swept and free of all equipment, etc..
  • The furniture must be carefully removed and put back in place. About half of our customers choose to handle their own furniture; therefore, furniture handling is priced separately. If you elect to handle the furniture, please remove the furniture prior to our arrival. Some manufactures recommend that furniture not be returned onto the new flooring for a period of time. See directions below under "Follow-up Activities and Initial Maintenance."
  • Fixtures (e.g., toilets), doors, appliances, and other items may have to be removed and reattached. This service is priced separately.
  • The old flooring must be removed and disposed of in accordance with local ordinances. We provide this service for most of our customers, but occasionally customers elect to do this themselves. Therefore, take up and disposal are priced separately. (Sometimes, new V.C.T. can be installed over existing products like vinyl, V.C.T., etc.)
  • When the products arrive at your site, please verify the products are the correct color, style, and quantity you ordered. The earlier the detection the better. Flooring products that are installed create more warranty complications than products still on the truck.
  • Once we begin your installation, the work area should be restricted from all foot traffic. Unfinished thresholds, flooring products and tools can pose TRIP HAZARDS. PLEASE BE CAREFUL. Please restrict the work area during the entire project.

The subfloor must be in suitable condition. Your subfloor may or may not require floor prep. The amount of preparation varies depending on: the type of subfloor, the subfloor's condition, and the manufacturer's specifications. Subfloor preparation is priced separately. The stability and precision of the subfloor will have a bearing on the long-term success of your new flooring. V.C.T. requires a very smooth floor. V.C.T. will conform to minor irregularities and will eventually show by what is called telegraphing. BE ASSURED THAT FLOOR PREP IS USUALLY ONLY A NOMINAL EXPENSE.

Here are some of the common preparations made on the different floor types: concrete, terrazzo, wood, or metal.

  • Plywood joints should be level within 1/32".
  • Reinforce subfloor to stiffen and smooth the surface with backerboard, Wonderboard®, wood underlayment, lauan plywood panels (Type 1, exterior, OVL grade, solid core mahogany), or plywood.
  • Treat for urine contamination.
  • Abrade glazed surfaces.
  • Seal off moisture with impervious 6 mil (0.15 mm) polyethylene film, 15 lb asphalt felt, red rosin paper, or another moisture retardant.
  • Replace weak boards and secure loose boards.
  • Seal with primer.
  • Mopping with a mix of muriatic acid with water (1:10) or a mix of white vinegar with water (1:1) and rinse to neutralize alkalinity on concrete.
  • Grind away concrete curing agents, parting agents, or surface hardeners.
  • Grind down high spots.
  • Chip away wall plaster, etc.
  • Fill holes and cracks up to ¼" thickness with patch and/or leveling compounds.
  • Fill in and level depressions up to ¼" deep with patch and/or leveling compounds.
  • Fill embossed floors with an embossing leveling compound.
  • Nail down protruding nails.
  • Remove old adhesive completely.
  • Remove paint, varnish, wax, pigmented material, solvents, grease, oil, etc. completely.
  • Sand away rust of metal substrates.
  • Sweep clean.

Follow-up Activities and Initial Maintenance

  • Documentation.  Process the billing and get a hand written or published warranty.  Retain the sales receipt and any product description from the purchase of the goods.  If possible, document the manufacturer's name and the manufacturer's full product description including color.  Furthermore, retain a sample of the VCT for comparisons.  For insurance purposes, it's good to have a picture of your new product in a safe place.
  • Attic Stock.  Retain extra VCT for possible repairs that may be needed in the future.  Keep the materials in a dry place that stays about room temperature.  Keep the VCT laying on a flat surface.  Do not stack more than three boxes high.
  • Wolfe Flooring picks up all flooring product scraps.  The customer may need to sweep the VCT, but we suggest you wait 24 hours.
  • Do not return the furniture or expose the VCT to heavy foot traffic for 48 hours after the installation.  The adhesive needs time to cure.
  • Maintain the same temperature for 48 hours after your installation.  Never allow the subfloor's temperature to fall below 55° or exceed 90° F during the life of your VCT.  If you have a radiant-heated floor system, please leave the floor set to 70° for 48 hours after the installation.
  • Ventilate the areas during the installation and for 24 to 48 hours after the installation to dissipate the new product smell.  Enhance the ventilation by switching your air conditioner to fresh air, not recirculated air.
  • Do not wet clean the VCT for 10 days after the installation.  Moisture will affect the adhesive and could lead to significant long-term problems.
  • Initial Polish/Wax.  The factory finish of VCT is applied for shipping, handling, and installation benefits only.  So, after the 10 day period has passed, clean and dry the floor thoroughly.  Then, apply about 3 coats of a high-quality floor finish to add durability and luster.  Click on VCT under Maintenance if you would like for Wolfe Flooring to provide this service.

Read:  How to Maintain Vinyl Composition Tile (VCT)

 

Read:  Vinyl Composition Tile (VCT) Spot Cleaning Guidelines

 

Read:  How to Protect Flooring