Did you know?
- Approximately 290 million tires are discarded in the United States every year.
- 290 million tires are roughly equal to 3 million barrels of oil.
- Producing 100 square feet of recycled rubber flooring diverts up to 7.5 tires from landfills.
Rubber flooring is bouncing into homes these days. Brilliant new colors and interesting textures may be attracting
attention, but it's rubber's durability and user–friendly qualities that seal the deal with many homeowners.
Rubber flooring is available in three types: synthetic, natural and
- Synthetic rubber is made from petroleum. It is stronger than natural rubber but provides the same
- Natural rubber is made from latex, a sap found in the Para rubber tree (or Hevea brasiliensis), as well
as in lettuce, dandelions and fig trees.
- Recycled rubber is reclaimed from tires that have reached the end of their useful lives.
Flooring made from each type of rubber has its own characteristics and its own level of greenness.
- Synthetic rubber flooring is made from petroleum products, but the process of producing it is relatively energy
efficient. (Petroleum is neither biodegradable nor renewable.)
- Natural rubber is sustainably harvested from trees without harming the ecosystem. It includes latex, which can
create allergic reactions in some people.
- Recycled rubber consumes the least amount of energy in production. It typically costs less than synthetic or natural
rubber and makes use of material that otherwise creates environmental challenges.
Not all rubber flooring is appropriate for all situations. Some manufacturers do not recommend their recycled rubber tile
for use in kitchens, garages, or any place it might be exposed to oil, grease, vegetable fats, strong detergents, acids,
solvent–based paints or coatings, gasoline, kerosene, or solvents.
Almost all rubber flooring, especially if it's made from natural rubber, has a significant odor. Although the odor it not
unhealthy, it can be unpleasant. Some manufacturers do not recommend installing their recycled rubber flooring in enclosed,
indoor spaces unless they are extremely well ventilated. Furthermore, anyone who has an allergy to latex
should avoid natural rubber products.
All flooring wears out eventually. Rubber flooring can be recycled at the end of its useful life, but only if no adhesives
were used in its installation. To protect the possibility of recycling your flooring, choose a product that clicks together
or creates a floating floor rather than glued–in–place tiles.
Alternatives to Rubber Flooring – Other Green Flooring Options
If you appreciate rubber's resilient surface and durability, these other green options might appeal to you.
- Linoleum: Made from all natural
materials, linoleum has a similar appearance to rubber flooring. It's available in sheet goods, tile, and click–lock
- Cork: Attractive, durable, eco–friendly flooring,
cork offers a cushioned, resilient surface with a feel similar to that of rubber.
Some people are highly allergic to latex, one of the main components of natural rubber. These people should avoid natural
rubber flooring unless their physicians approve of its use.
Most (if not all) of the rubber used to make recycled rubber flooring is synthetic. However, people who are allergic to
latex should evaluate the contents of recycled rubber flooring very carefully and consult their physicians before purchasing
Rubber Flooring Information | Help
- Questions – Find out what to ask your local flooring store.
- Lifecycle – Everything
you wanted to know about the lifecycle of rubber flooring.
- Types – Learn about the differences between
natural and synthetic rubber floors.
- Care – Caring for rubber flooring is easy!
We can show you how.
- Flooring Estimator Tools – Our estimator tool can
help you determine the exact amount of floor material you need.
- FAQs – Get your questions answered and learn important facts
about rubber flooring.