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rubber flooring

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.
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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 recycled.

  • Synthetic rubber is made from petroleum. It is stronger than natural rubber but provides the same forgiving surface.
  • 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.

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of Recycling Rubber Flooring

  • 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.

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of Linoleum and Cork Flooring

  • Linoleum: Made from all natural materials, linoleum has a similar appearance to rubber flooring. It's available in sheet goods, tile, and click–lock panels.
  • 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 it.

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.

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