Vinyl composition tile, or “VCT”, has long been one of the most popular floorcoverings used in commercial spaces. VCT is manufactured using coloured vinyl chips that have been first moulded into sheet form using extreme heat and pressure, and then most commonly cut into 12” square tiles. While VCT comes in various thicknesses, the vast majority of installed VCT you see is 1/8th of an inch thick. Because VCT is formed from individual vinyl chips, they often have a pseudo-marbled appearance, and come in a huge variety of colours and colour-blends. VCT owes its widespread use in commercial spaces and institutions for a variety of reasons.
Durability and maintenance
VCT is intended to approximate the durability of linoleum in an easier-to-install tile format. VCT is designed to be highly resistant to impact damage by virtue of its density, and it’s vinyl composition allows many scratches and abrasions to be buffed and polished out of the visible surface. VCT’s inherent elasticity gives it resistance to impact damage ensures its longevity as compared to ceramic or concrete tiles; brittle tiles tend to crack under impact pressure, like that caused while unloading and dropping heavy packages or equipment.
To retain its appearance, VCT can be maintained and refinished using chemical strippers or mechanical buffing equipment. Because VCT is colour-fast all the way throughout the tile from top to bottom, installed tiles can withstand these treatments regularly without losing their appearance. If well maintained, these tiles can easily last up to 25 years!
One of the primary reasons for the popularity of VCT is that its initial purchase cost is quite economical. While installation costs for VCT are higher than with some other types of vinyl and resilient flooring, overall VCT is a good choice for the budget-conscious property manager or landlord who needs to freshen up an existing space without breaking the bank.
Ideal for high traffic spaces
Large commercial and retail spaces typically see a large amount of pedestrian traffic on a daily basis. Office lobbies, warehouses, stockrooms and storage facilities, grocery stores, department stores, schools, and hospitals are all prime consumers of VCT because of their need for a durable, inexpensive type of flooring that’s easy to clean and resistant to damage.
VCT is an ideal solution for these high traffic spaces. Because VCT is colour-fast throughout the tile, high-traffic wear areas (like corridors, aisles, and hallways) can be made to match lower-wear areas of the same floor for longer period of time through regular buffing, burnishing, and maintenance. And if a tile is damaged, VCT gives building owners and operators the ability to purchase and inventory a supply of replacement tiles, allowing them to swap in new tiles to replace old ones.