The lifecycle of rubber flooring depends upon whether it was made with natural or synthetic materials. Natural rubber
flooring that's made with latex is more eco–friendly than synthetic rubber as it's made from a sustainable and
biodegradable product. On the other hand, synthetic rubber can be recycled and is often stronger than natural rubber, which
could make for a longer lifespan. Use this rubber flooring lifecycle section to learn more about the difference between the
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Origin of rubber flooring:
Natural rubber originates with latex (or plant sap) from the Hevea brasiliensis tree, which is grown in Southeast Asia,
and primarily in Maylaysia. Sythetic rubber is made from petroleum, a non–biodegradable and non–sustainable
material. Recycled rubber floors are made using old tires.
How rubber flooring is transported:
Rubber flooring is transported over land by truck and train. The carbon footprint of a particular rubber floor depends
upon on how far the floors need to travel to their destination from the point of manufacture. Of course, the distance that
the raw materials travel to the manufacturer is also part of the equation.
How rubber flooring is processed:
Rubber floors are made using either vulcanization or polymerization.
Vulcanization, the process of curing rubber with high heat, is used for rubber made with natural materials (e.g. latex).
Polymerization is used to cure both synthetic and natural rubber and involves a chemical reaction. In both cases, rubber
granules are combined with polymer in huge cylinders. These are then peeled into rolls.
How rubber flooring is installed:
Depending on the product you select, rubber flooring may be held down with heavy–duty double–stick tape (loose
lay), glued in place (glue down), or clicked together (interlock). Loose–lay rubber installations are installed over a
clean smooth substrate and can be removed easily. For larger areas such as a gym, interlock rubber flooring is recommended as
it can be installed over existing surfaces. Glue–down rubber flooring, on the other hand, offers a surface that's more
permanent and will be less likely to shift over time.
Disposing of rubber flooring:
As long as no adhesives are used in its installation, both natural and synthetic rubber flooring can be recycled and used
to make new products.